Positively West Virginia
Episode 159 - Jocelyn Sheppard - Appalachian Botanical


Jocelyn Sheppard is the founder and president of Appalachian Botanical Company located in Boone County, West Virginia.

Appalachian Botanical Company uses organic farming practices to grow lavender on reclaimed coal mine land. They steam-distill the lavender essential oil for use in a line of quality personal care products and home goods designed for conscious consumers looking for products with a unique and important mission.

Prior to launching Appalachian Botanical in 2018, Jocelyn spent 20 years as a consultant working with technology startups, entrepreneurs and nonprofits. She worked for several years as a librarian at Bethany College, as a program manager at the National Technology Transfer Center in Wheeling and as a strategic planner at the Biometrics Fusion Center in Clarksburg. Jocelyn has extensive experience with business planning and grant writing, and it was a grant writing gig that introduced her to lavender in West Virginia in 2016.

Appalachian Botanical Company is leveraging Appalachian authenticity, ingenuity and pride to create jobs and opportunities in Southern West Virginia and create a high-value botanicals market centered in Appalachia.



  • 4:16 Jocelyn, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that brief intro and give us a little behind the curtain look into your company.
  • 6:49 How did you go from working in the tech startup business to working in the lavender business?
  • 8:35 What is your 30 sec. pitch for your business?
  • 9:27 Can you tell us more about the products you sell?
  • 13:04 What makes lavender honey so desirable?
  • 14:01 Can you tell us more about the land your farm is on? How many acres is it?
  • 14:46 How many employees do you have?
  • 15:21 Where do you sell your products?
  • 16:35 What are you most excited about for your business right now?
  • 18:15 Do you do tours of your farm?
  • 19:16 What has been your best business moment so far?
  • 20:09 Did you ever consider yourself to be a salesperson?
  • 21:44 What has been your worst business moment so far?
  • 23:11 What did you learn/ take away from that experience?
  • 25:02 PWV Commercial Break
  • 25:34 What is the long term vision you have for your business?
  • 26:47 What are some resources that you lean on in the agricultural business?
  • 30:08 How do you attract new customers?
  • 31:47 Outside of Covid-19, what is the biggest challenge you face?
  • 24:44 Have you thought of expanding your business into Monongalia County, WV?
  • 34:41 What is one piece of advice that you’d give to young entrepreneurs looking to start their own business?
  • 37:47 What is one thing that you do everyday that you think contributes to your success?
  • 38:26 What is one book or podcast that you’d recommend for aspiring entrepreneurs?
  • 41:10 Is there anything else you’d like our listeners to know about you, your story, or your business?
  • 42:05 How can our listeners learn more about your business and perhaps even get in touch with you?
  • 44:07 Outro






Book Recommendation:

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki

Start With Why by Simon Sinek