Local Business Spotlight: Zoë & Hadlee

I have been writing this blog for the past year and it  has been so much fun. I started it because I just wanted to improve my writing skills and as a creative outlet, but I’ve really grown to love doing this! Lately I have been thinking about what direction I wanted to take with it in this upcoming year. (Spoiler: there is a lot I want to do!) One thing I would love to do is to promote a local business every month! A sort of highlight of an individual and their shop.

You could definitely say I have a soft spot for local businesses. My first ever “real” job, I mean like more than pulling the neighbor’s weeds and babysitting, was at a local business, Sparkling Tiara. Then I moved on to Billy Goat Coffee Cafe, a locally owned and operated coffee shop. If you know me or have been following for some time, you know that was a little over a five year affair! Overlapping that time I also worked for a few other assorted local businesses. I think the fact that (besides six hours a week for two months when my second job was at Justice) I have worked exclusively at local businesses gives me a unique perspective. I have seen the hardships and challenges, I have felt the family ties of small shops, and I have experienced the behind the scenes of these businesses. I know how much each purchase is valued.

I want to help foster support for these hardworking individuals. I am a proud small business supporter and I want to help others to embrace it as well! So stick with me as I feel out the details, but for now I am so excited to introduce my new, monthly segment- my Local Business Spotlight. Today I am starting with a new find, a precious store called Zoë & Hadlee. A sweet acquaintance, Ali, is the owner and creator of this locally run shop. I asked her a few questions about her store and the realities of running a small business. Here is what she had to say.

For someone who has never experienced your shop before, how would you describe your product? “In our family when you buy someone a gift we call it a happy. I wanted to create a line of gifts of some of our favorite “Happies” in hopes that others would be blessed by it as much as we are. We offer home decor and customized products such as Shirts and coffee mugs. We love to take old vintage items and fix them up. For example, old pictures frames that we paint and distress to give them a new look.”

What makes your products/services stick out from other providers in your area? “We try to make many of our items unique so that that each time you shop with us you find something custom or new.”

What was your inspiration to start your own business? Why did you specifically choose to do what you do? “Zoë & Hadlee are the names of my two beautiful girls who were my inspiration for the business. They are so fun and full of life- and I wanted that to reflect in our business. It all started really as just a hobby, but grew to more pretty quickly. I had been praying for a while to have something that I could do on the side and things just kind of fell into place.”

What was our number one, greatest challenge to getting started? “The greatest challenge for me was just getting started and getting all the equipment I needed. But God is so good and He provided it all. When people got wind of what I wanted to do all the sudden I had people giving me the tools and materials I needed to get started or selling what they had for little to nothing. Before I knew it I had all the equipment needed to get my feet off the ground.”

What gave you the courage to take the leap and start this shop? “The encouragement and support of my family and my faith is truly what gave me the courage to get started. ”

Why is it important for people to support local business? “When you support a local business you are supporting a dream. It is so important to support each other and help other small businesses! ”

What do you think is a misconception people have when it comes to shopping local vs. shopping corporate?  “I think people tend to go more corporate just because of convenience, but in my opinion you tend to find better quality and experiences when you shop small business.”

If you could accomplish one major goal in 2018, what would it be? “My goal would be to have business steady enough that I could stay home more and have Zoë & Hadlee as my main business instead of my secondary business. ”

What is your top piece of advice for someone with a dream of owning a local business? “My top piece of advice would be not to give up. Building a business has its up and downs, but if you love it and you work hard at it you will see the fruit of your labors. Just have the faith!”

Here are a few samples of the precious items that you can purchase from Zoë & Hadlee! I hope you enjoy. The coffee mugs are my favorite- and a great holiday gift. 

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Naturally Different Deodorant (my new favorite) 

The Switch to Natural Deodorant 

It’s crazy how now that I am growing a sweet little person inside me how much more aware I am of what I am putting in and on my body! One thing that recently grabbed my attention is my deodorant. I’ve always heard that deodorants can contain elements that are bad for you. However, I never took the time to read about them. So I decided to spend some time on google reading about health concerns of anti perspirants. After spending quite some time reading I didn’t really have any concrete proof. For every article against it there was an article dismissing the worries. At the end of the day here are the main concerns I found with anti perspirants: Parabens, aluminum, triclosan, phthalates, and fragrance allergens. Each presented me with concern, however maybe not concrete proof that they were, for example causing cancer. Though, there has to be some form of harm if there is a label on the stick that reads “keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” 
That said, it definitely gave me something to think about. One thought that crossed my mind was why risk it? Even though maybe studies are just seeing “links” to the health issue, rather than absolute causation, why do I need to risk that when there are so many organic options available to me? It makes no sense. I decided to take a chance and make a change. If I absolutely hated the natural deodorant I could just switch back! Not a huge deal, and who knows how beneficial in the long run! 
Fast forward and I am now four weeks in on my change to natural deodorant. I am using one of my favorite local businesses, Naturally Different. (I love that their products are locally made in my community, the brand is clean and sweet, plus totally affordable. My deodorant was $7). I am so happy to report that I am completely satisfied! My main concerns when I switched was whether or not I would stink. However, this works just as well and honestly I love how clean it smells! Also, previously I would get really dry armpits. I’m talking, would have to put lotion on them because they were so dry and itchy. I know that’s weird, but I understand now that the alcohol used in my previous deodorant was totally drying me out. I haven’t had that issue at all these past few weeks and I love it! I’m completely sold on my new natural deodorant. Plus, at least with the brand I use, I haven’t had any residue left in my clothing or on my skin. 
I understand that some people with different body chemistry and smells feel that they need to use their extra strength anti perspirants… that’s cool. You do you. However I am so happy that I actually understand the ingredient list on my deodorant now! (See the comparative list below). Are you willing to make the change? I definitely recommend it! 

Naturally Different: 

  • Arrowroot powder 
  • Shea butter
  • Mango butter 
  • Non aluminum baking Soda
  • Organic coconut oil 
  • Organic beeswax 
  • Vitamin E 
  • Essential oils: Lemmongrass and Rosemary 

Secret Scent Expressions: 

  • Aluminum Zirconium Octachlorohyde
  • Water
  • Alcohol denat 
  • Cyclopentasiloxane
  • Propylene glycol
  • Dimethicone
  • Calcium chloride 
  • PEG/PPG-18/18 dimethicone
  • Fragrance 

Please feel free to send me any feedback or brands you love! It would be great to get some other opinions.