Background and Personal Life
My name is Anna, I am the Owner and Founder of Root Apothecary. I was born, raised, and currently reside in North East Ohio. I'm married to my high school sweetheart of over a decade, and together we have a dog named Franklin. My husband, Michael, is a Marine Corps veteran and fireman. We hope to have 3 kids in the near future.
I am a very family-oriented individual. I spend most of my time with my husband, parents, sister and brother-in-law. We are very close and we enjoy sharing meals and hanging out on the weekends. They are the only "employees" Root has (I pay them in love LOL).
I was a student-athlete from grade school into college. I developed an interest in nutrition and general wellness when I was 15. My faith is extremely important to me and has been since I was a small child. After high school, I attended a small Christian school, Rochester College (Rochester MI), for nutrition science where I played volleyball and made life-long friends. After my first year, I decided to change my major to Mechanical Engineering to follow my lifelong dream of purchasing my Father's manufacturing business.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude with my Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Gannon University in 2021 and began working in the aerospace field. After 7 months, I left to transition into my role at my Dad's business. This is where I work now and will work until retirement.
Founding of Root Apothecary
Throughout my teen years into my 20s, I experienced very bad period pain, migraines, dizzy spells, and mood swings. I saw 8 different OBGYNs during this time. They all had the same blanket "solution": The Birth Control Pill.
I was on the pill from 13 years old until I turned 18. The pill wasn't helping, it just made things worse. At this point in my life, my idea of wellness looked like working out for 2 hours, 6 days a week ontop of being a collegiate athlete, and eating low-calorie, low-carb, low fat processed meals (Boy, was I wrong about health).
At 18 I decided to get off the pill. I told my doctor I was frustrated that instead of addressing the root cause of my pain, we were just covering it up with a pill. My doctor scoffed and said, “Honey, the root cause is that you’re a female. That’s just what we have to deal with. You can stop taking your pill but I’m going to leave your prescription open because trust me, you’ll be back for more.”
I never went back to that office, and I never took a birth control pill again. I will go into more detail about this experience in my upcoming e-book, “Flourish Frugally”, for now we’ll just stick to the basics.
Skipping ahead to my twenties, I finally had time to focus on something other than engineering school and sports. I decided to start looking into holistic wellness to try and find my root causes for all my symptoms. It worked, I cured my period pain. This re-lit the fire I had for nutrition, and I decided to go back to school to study functional nutrition. When I graduate in 2023 I will be a Holistic Health Practitioner.
One of my many root causes was toxic overload.
I threw away all my toxic products and bought what I thought were clean alternatives. I spent a small fortune on these new brands, only to find out they were no better than the products I was already using. They were greenwashed. Out of complete frustration, I decided I would make my own products. I liked my formulations so much that I decided to sell them online. July 15th, 2022 marked the beginning of an exciting new adventure: Root Apothecary was born.
I chose the name “Root Apothecary” because my great-grandparents used animal fats like Tallow to make soap years ago. To me, it seemed that making skincare like my ancestors did was in a way, getting back to my roots.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to stock the store with every item I wanted to provide, as I plan to always work full-time as an Engineer at our Manufacturing business. I decided to include other small wellness-focused businesses as a part of Root’s offerings.
Vision and Philosophy
When you decide you want to start living a more wellness-focused lifestyle, you quickly begin to realize how expensive everything is. Organic foods, air purifiers, water filters, emf blockers, etc. Some tallow-based skincare can reach prices of over $300.00. While these prices may make sense for some small businesses, I wanted to offer an affordable option for the everyday family.
When pricing Root products, I keep the customer in mind. I want my customers to know that they are getting a great product at an affordable price without a "clean markup". When I stock items from other small businesses, I only select those that are affordable. All products offered at RA are high-quality, affordable, and low-PUFA. Customers can rest assured that they're purchasing safe, clean and reliable goods. We do the label reading and the greenwash background check so you don't have to.
Achievements and Challenges
We are blessed to experience such success in such a short time. I give thanks to God and our wonderful customers. Through their kind words and referrals, we grew from nothing to more than 2,000 loyal customers in just six months - an amazing feat.
Our tallow products sell out in under 90 seconds, no matter how many we stock. While this is such a huge blessing, it has been a challenge. We are working hard to increase production and fulfillment to meet demand.
Since opening, we have increased our production space, designed and built new equipment, and engineered new processes to increase production capacity without having to hire employees. We are working on better fulfillment times for orders and we plan to grow the business as the demand continues to increase, so long as we can maintain affordable prices.
The Future of Our Company
In the future, we plan to hire a team of like-minded employees to assist with production, fulfillment, customer service, and social media management so we can finally meet demand.
When the time is right, we plan to open a brick and mortar in Painesville Ohio. It will be a place to gather, learn, and connect. We will have an organic espresso bar, tables for studying or reading, and free events centered around community, faith, wellness, and small business growth and development.
If you live far away, don’t worry. We are planning some exciting things for you too! We will soon be offering one on one business coaching to assess your small business. Starting in 2023 we will be releasing wellness resources beyond physical goods such as e-books, courses, and live classes.
We plan on choosing different charities and non-profit organizations to contribute to on a quarterly basis. This way, each purchase will be supporting small businesses and helping someone who is truly in need.
It's such an exciting time with all the amazing things we have planned! We are so grateful to all of the customers that have chosen to join us on this journey and be part of something incredible. We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve, and can't wait for everything that's in store. Thank you for being here with us along the way!