Food and Beverage · Interviews · Small Business

Italian Hills

Hey guys! Today my article is about Italian Hills, a dairy importer and specialty cheese producer originally from Sardinia, Italy.Italian Hills 6This family has been in the business of dairy production for over 100 years. After starting in Sardinia, they recently expanded the business to the United States.Italian hills 5In their own words “Our story starts at the beginning of 1900 in Sardinia, an Island in the Mediterranean Sea (Italy). My grandparents were farmers. They had a farm where they bred livestock, mainly sheep, goats and cows. They also grew vegetables. In the farm there was a small room where the fresh milk was transformed into fresh cheese. When we were children, we used to help our parents. Before going to school, we took the goats and sheep to the pasture and when we came back we helped prepare the fresh cheese. It was lovely, because everything was so natural and fresh, the air in the fields, and the scent of the freshly made cheese that we made with our little hands.”Italian HIlls 4Italian Hills 3Now, they bring their passion and skills to our community through their small creamery in Orlando, Florida. “My life has changed and improved in so many ways coming to the USA. It has helped me be a stronger person.”Italian Hills 2Coming to America has not been without its share of challenges. Some of the challenges include the language and business practices here. For aspiring entrepreneurs, they offer this suggestion: research not only your product, but how to manage a business.  Learn about the process of doing business in wherever you are expanding because not all rules and regulations are the same.Italian hills 1Ultimately, this family business wants to share their passions with new communities and expand their reach. “The experiences we have with nature, sheep and goats was great it helped us make the best product in Sardinia, so we want to share our tradition in other countries, starting with the United States.”

Thank you so much Italian Hills for sharing your story, beautiful pictures, and your expertise. If you would like to learn more I have the link to their website and Instagram pages below.

www.italianhills.org

Instagram: italian_hills

Thank you for reading! It is my hope to publish more articles on a consistent basis. I appreciate your support! If you know of any small businesses in Central Florida that would like to be featured on this site, please contact me.

As always, thank you for supporting small businesses and have an amazing day!-Amy

Interviews · Updates

New Posts Coming Soon

Hey everyone! Exciting News!

I will be coming back next week with a new post! Thank you for being loyal followers and readers of my blog.

If you are new here, please click through to catch up on past features.

It is my goal to be more consistent with my content.

Again, thank you for being patient with me when life got a little crazy.

If you know of any small businesses in Central Florida that would like to be featured, please let me know!

As always, thank you for reading and I look forward to posting more soon!

Have an amazing day!

Amy

Beauty · Hidden Gems · Interviews · Small Business

Natural Beauty: Wildflower Beauty by Jessica

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Hello!

This week, I am writing about Wildflower Beauty by Jessica, a small business located in Winter Garden, Florida. A local shop that differentiates itself by creating natural, handmade bath, body, and skin products. They hand-make all their products so they know exactly what goes into them. As Jessica herself says, “What really makes us unique is that our products truly are 100% natural. Most ‘natural’ products aren’t 100% natural… there are still fragrances, preservatives, etc.  A product doesn’t have to be 100% natural to be called natural, but we really are.”

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A Personal Commitment

Wildflower Beauty was started by Jessica as an answer to a personal need. As one who has sensitivities and allergies herself, Jessica would spend a lot of money on products that claimed to be natural but, with further research, she realized that these products still had harsh chemicals in them.

Jessica then started making products for herself so that she would know exactly what they contained. She said, “I came to find that other people had this need as well, and only a few months later Wildflower Beauty by Jessica was born.” This came with a promise to their customers to never use harsh chemicals or preservatives, only natural and organic ingredients.

Jessica now gets to be creative with her products and fill a need. She does this by listening to her customers and evolving her product, all while never compromising on the mission of the company.  As with any business, Jessica hopes that her business continues to grow, but she never wants to sacrifice quality to do so. “The most important thing is to have a positive impact around us.”

This positive impact can be seen through their partnerships with other local businesses as well as through their generous donations to local organizations.

One noteworthy example is her partnership with Axum Coffee, a local coffee shop. Jessica uses their coffee in certain products, and Axum Coffee sells her products at their Winter Garden location. “By partnering with others in our community, like Axum for example, we are keeping the purchasing as local as possible and supporting Winter Garden in a financial way too.  Every little bit helps and we are always trying to find opportunities to partner up with local businesses.”

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Jessica’s story is an awesome example of the commitment it takes to become an entrepreneur. She saw a need in her community and is doing her part to fill it.

What started out as a hobby turned into a full-time job and, as is often the case, this comes with benefits as well as some challenges along the way.

“It took me almost 3 years to quit my very amazing full-time job as a project manager at a college… with wonderful benefits, hours and salary.  I gave that all up though to be genuinely happy, but it was a challenge and a scary jump I had to make.  It’s also very hard to not only run the business just like other business owners, but personally MAKE my inventory as well. Plus, with a 9-month-old baby, my hours are maxed out.  Trying to balance being a mom and the business is tough, but I did it exactly for that reason – to be able to have a family and be at home.”

Now she gets to do what she loves for a living. She also now has the ability to be active and involved with her family and the community around her. “It has been my life-long dream to own my own business, and I finally have that and all of the perks that come with it.  Even those nights of working til 3am is worth it to me.”

Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

“The biggest thing is commitment.  It is all or nothing, and if you aren’t 100% in then it will be much harder.  You also must be willing to grow, take feedback and possible criticism without taking it personally.  Anyone that is willing to give you feedback is actually helping you, and listening to those around you when it comes to feedback is important.”

She also advises that aspiring entrepreneurs will need to learn more than just their craft. There are many aspects to running a business that require time and patience. For Jessica, this was taxes and bookkeeping. “I am a creative person and learning about all of the licenses, taxes and things to file was a lot of learning.”

Through all of this, Jessica really embodies what it means to be an entrepreneur. She saw a need, learned how to make a product better, and partnered with the community to make her brand truly unique. Her own words say it best: “We really are different than the rest! Just read our ingredients.”

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Thank you so much Jessica for your time and willingness to share your story!
If you would like to follow Jessica, her social media accounts are listed below.

Wildflower Beauty Instagram

Wildflower Beauty Facebook Page

Be sure to check out her site to find natural products that can be beneficial for you, too! Treat yourself to an all-natural spa day with her spa collection. Also, in mid-March she will be re-releasing donkey milk soap, a very rare product with incredible natural properties for your skin including natural retinol. Jessica partners with a local farmer who supplies the milk, ensuring freshness and it is exclusive to her shop in the area.

Previously this amazing product sold out online in only ten days! Follow Jessica to find out when this anti-aging gem will be released and shop her online store in the link below!

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Link to Shop
You can also visit her shop in person at: 100 W Plant Street, Winter Garden Florida 34787

Thank you, everyone, for reading!

Remember to shop local and stay beautiful.

Have an amazing day!

-Amy

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All photos are graciously taken from the Wildflower Beauty Instagram page or from Jessica’s online shop.