U.S. Air Force veteran launches Delaware’s first herbal apothecary
For Cindy Collins – U.S. Air Force veteran and owner of Delaware-based holistic wellness firm Euphoric Herbals – success’s root is not “in what you do, but why you do it.” In that spirit, Collins grew her passion for holistic wellness into a hobby, using inspiration from her own childbirth-and-rearing experience to blend her own herbal teas and salves to support women’s well-being in their childbearing years. Soon, fueled by Collins’ passion and marketplace demand, Collins’ efforts became a thriving business – Euphoric Herbals – offering holistic wellness essentials across gender lines and growing to boast its own manufacturing facility serving customers in the United States and 58 other countries via its e-commerce arm.
Fundamentally, though, Collins knew that Euphoric Herbals’ tremendous reach reverberated from Collins’ initial passion for bringing holistic wellness to her own community. So, for Collins, launching her own brick-and-mortar retail store and holistic apothecary in the heart of the rural Delaware community she called home – where holistic resources were scant – was the natural next step in her entrepreneurial journey. As a certified herbalist who successfully grew her business from home-based hobby to an e-commerce success story complete with its own manufacturing facility – all while remaining debt-free – Collins’ own industry qualifications and entrepreneurial metal were certainly up to the task. But it was thanks to that very experiential savvy that Collins knew that new growth comes with new challenges, and overcoming them is easiest with the right information and the right team.
For both, she turned to the SBA-backed Delaware Small Business Development Center.
SBA advises entrepreneurs on everything from business plans to day-to-day operations to breaking into new markets like exporting or online ventures through its own website, as well as through SBA-backed SCORE mentors and Small Business Development Centers in every state across the country. And, best of all, these services are offered free-of-charge or for a nominal fee to cover included materials.
With Euphoric Herbals’ first brick-and-mortar launch – set to be Delaware’s first herbal apothecary – and the broader long-term health of the business in frame, Collins teamed up with her SBDC counselor Cindy Small to tackle issues like the differences in wholesale/retail trade; trade shows and effective sales displays; locating a retail space in the Milford area; upgrading bookkeeping systems; networking; profit margins and percentage of sales; and how to secure a line of credit to purchase inventory in the future.
Small was mindful of Euphoric Herbals’ international resonance and hoped to tee Collins up to establish distribution networks internationally in time, so Small quickly engaged Collins in SBA’s ‘Export Tech’ Program. Export Tech is a 3-day program designed to help companies develop and execute their own international growth plan. Within three months of Export Tech engagement, each company develops a vetted, actionable growth plan, and gains access to a wide range of expert resources that help overcome barriers to export sales and manufacturing growth.
Following Collins’ first meeting with the SBDC, Euphoric Herbals increased sales and took steps toward international distribution initiating discussions with a Canadian distributor. But, perhaps dearest to Collin’s heart, in October 2018, Euphoric Herbals opened the doors of its first brick-and-mortar location – an herbal apothecary and retail shop in Milford, Del.
Today, Euphoric Herbals’ brick-and-mortar location is thriving, luring customers locally and from neighboring states, and, likewise its e-commerce arm is booming, having served more than 10,000 customers in the U.S. and 58 countries. But, for Collins, that success is truly gratifying, but the positive impact that her business has on people remains, to her mind, her greatest professional achievement. Powered by growing demand for Euphoric Herbals, the firm holds strong to fair employment practices and nurturing internal culture, and to the social missions that a dedicated portion of its profits fulfills, including annual midwifery scholarships, sponsoring women and children in need through international relief organizations, and contributing to funds that help third-world countries address issues such as healthcare, education and job skills.