Strategy, Legal & Operations

How the founders of Little Barn Apothecary grew their business and built a loyal fanbase

Little Barn Apothecary

In honor of Small Business Saturday, this year we are interviewing small business owners about their experiences as entrepreneurs and finding out how they are prepping for the upcoming holiday shopping season. We hope that their advice will be useful to businesses of all sizes as they prepare for the busiest season of the year. We kicked off the series last week with a look at how one small business owner is planning for her first holiday shopping season.

Today we’re featuring Joshua Morgan and Brad Scoggins, the founders of Little Barn Apothecary, a pure, plant-based beauty, and skincare line. Since it’s 2015 launch, Little Barn Apothecary has become a fan favorite for natural beauty enthusiasts around the world.

Here’s what the founders had to say about being entrepreneurs, growing their business, their plans for Small Business Saturday, and more:

What does owning a business mean to you?

Owning a business allows us to share our philosophies and passions with the world. We started Little Barn Apothecary at home and it stemmed from our love of experimenting with pure ingredients to find natural remedies. Now we can share what we’ve learned and aim for our products to bring a daily moment of calm to our customers. We believe in establishing daily rituals of self-care, and our products are designed to encourage relaxation and indulgence.

Why did you choose to start this particular business?

Joshua worked in the luxury beauty and spa industry around the country for 16 years, and Brad has experience in marketing and brand management. In 2012, we began creating self-care products at home and really found a passion in researching botanicals. Soon we were sharing everything we made with family and friends. From there, creating Little Barn Apothecary was a natural extension of what we were already doing at home.

What’s your work philosophy?

Connect with people and be open and honest. These philosophies inform what we do. We love engaging with guests in our stores and demonstrating our products in person. We seek to create products with pure and organic ingredients. We work hard to keep our business and our lifestyles simple and wholesome.

What would you say are the three main ingredients to running a successful business?

Determination, passion, and optimism.

You have to be highly determined to make whatever dream you have become a reality and no matter what happens it will be successful.

Passion is the most important ingredient. You can’t fake it. If you are passionate about your business, people will naturally be attracted and will want to be a part.

Optimism keeps everything ticking towards the right direction. There will be hard days, there will be failures, but as long as you keep a positive optimistic view on life and business, you will make it through.

What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned as entrepreneurs?

How to balance work and life. As an entrepreneur, it’s not easy to take time off or clearly outline working hours. While we have a team that helps support what we do, ultimately everything is our responsibility. Having so many daily tasks and decisions that have to be made it can be daunting to learn how to take a break and breathe. We haven’t mastered this lesson yet, but we are getting much better every day.

What tips do you have for someone just starting a small business?

Believe in yourself, take a leap. You can’t get to where you’re going if you don’t start somewhere. Overnight success is a myth and if someone tells you it’s possible they don’t own a business.

I recently read that you are expanding, was there an “aha moment” when you realized that it was time to grow?

Our “aha moment” happened as soon as we opened our first shop, in the beginning, we spent every weekend working the shop, we met so many fans of the brand and people who had been using it for months, even some that had been using Little Barn Apothecary since we launched. We spent our days telling our story, meeting our customers and sharing knowledge about the brand. It felt incredible to have a face to face conversation and actually share an experience with people using our products. You just can’t get that shopping online. It was with that, we were shown how loyal of a following we had created. We knew we had to continue sharing and grow that experience so we could share it with more people.

Do you have any advice for other business owners looking to scale up?

Don’t miss an opportunity, you’ll take risks but you’ll figure it out, just don’t miss out!

As a small business, how do you go about hiring the right employees? 

Small businesses can be tricky because employees quickly become part of the family. You have to find people that share your vision for how things should run, and whom you can depend on to manage parts of the business when needed. Our tips are to look for candidates with relevant experience and who share the passion your business is built upon.

Are you planning to participate in Small Business Saturday?

We LOVE SBS! It is such an amazing day and we are so thankful for the awareness it provides. We participate on the store level and our .com. We will run a few promos and share some holiday cheer in store! We love to support other small businesses this day, we will be doing a lot of shopping ourselves!

What’s next for your business?

We plan to continue growing our brick and mortar presence as well as our distribution with independents and national retailers. Five years from now, there’s no limit to where we want to be. We have so many exciting ideas to unveil. The brand will continue to expand in multiple categories and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on.   

For more information, or to buy Little Barn Apothecary products, check out their two brick-and-mortar shops in Georgia and Florida shop in Watersound on 30A. Little Barn Apothecary can also be found online, and at spas, independent shops, and national retailers around the world.