Recent Positively West Virginia guest Jocelyn Sheppard founded and owns Appalachian Botanical Co., a lavender farm in Boone County, West Virginia.
Jocelyn has a background in several different industries, including libraries and nonprofits. Although, she never thought her past experiences would lead her to lavender farming. This idea began in 2016 when Jocelyn helped fund this project through grants for someone else. As the grant funding was winding down, she got an itch to keep this project going, even if she had to do it alone.
In 2019 Jocelyn and her team picked things back up with the first planting. By the fall of 2020, she had a full eCommerce site up and ready to go. Appalachian Botanical grows and sells lavender products, including essential oils, body mists and creams and honey from wildflowers, goldenrod and lavender.
Jocelyn’s mission for Appalachian Botanical is to build a profitable botanical enterprise that puts West Virginians and coal land back to work. She believes in this product because it will make her customers feel good physically and because they’re helping put people and land back to work in southern WV. This vision is paired with a superior product that speaks for itself so much that vendors all over the state, including Tamarack, proudly sell Appalachian Botanical items.
Jocelyn said, “Broadly speaking, what excites me most is that we’re making something wonderful and valuable out of what was already there.”
Though Appalachian Botanical is thriving on their current 35 acres of land, expansion looks more like a possibility every day. Jocelyn attributes her success to several different things, including learning from mistakes, having a great sales team and strategy, and, of course, power naps. Jocelyn stressed the importance of a digital presence and relationship building.
“For something that’s new and has some risk, people really need to know each other. Relationships are key,” said Jocelyn.
Besides the high-quality products and love she puts into her farm, Jocelyn is exceptionally proud of one other thing. She actively pursues her mission by employing native West Virginians. “We’re really proud that nearly 100% of our workers come from Boone County.”
If you want to view some of Appalachian Botanical’s awesome products, you can shop online at http://appalachianbotanical.com/.
Listen to Jocelyn’s whole podcast here: https://positivelywv.com/podcast/episode-159-jocelyn-sheppard-appalachian-botanical/
PWV QUICK BITS | JOCELYN SHEPPARD
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PIECE OF ADVICE: “Make sure you have the technical expertise,” advised Jocelyn.