Sweet Southern Elderberry
Today I'd like for you to meet Jenn Heusing with Sweet Southern Elderberry!
Here's her story, in her own words:
When my oldest son was diagnosed with autism as well as his brother not long after, everything changed for us. After the shock and fear of the unknown subsided, I rolled up my sleeves to get to work. That's what we do as moms, right? We do whatever it takes for our children.
I began researching a more natural and holistic approach to treating the underlying issues of autism and just life in general. With the help of another autism mom in our neighborhood, we set out on a new journey. The first change was our diet and we eliminated inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy and noticed a difference in our children within just a few short days. This would lead to an overhaul of our home and personal care products. Even with these changes, the boys were still constantly sick and seemed to bring home every single illness from school. Add in a husband who is an educator and head baseball coach (Go Milton Eagles!) and someone was always sick. I needed something to support their immune system and elderberry to the rescue!
After paying a small fortune for a tiny bottle at the local store I quickly realized the ingredients were horrible and my kids DID NOT like the taste.
I knew I had to try to make a batch myself. After all, the major diet changes required me to cook so much more from scratch so I knew I could do it. I made my first batch which was kiddo and husband approved and we were off to the races! Not only was everyone sick a lot less but we noticed a huge relief in seasonal allergies.
In January of 2020, I was ordering more berries to make syrup and thought, "Why don't I share this goodness with the neighbors?"
A Facebook post later, and I was making huge batches of syrup for neighbors, friends and family. Now we have an amazing local customer base, sell at numerous local farmers markets and ship nationwide. I never dreamed I would go from stay-at-home mom to making gallons of elderberry syrup but Sweet Southern Elderberry was born!
Like many parents of special needs children, we worry about the future. What happens when they age out of school? Our middle son is still non-verbal at age 7 and the realization quickly set in that he may not be able to live independently. There aren't many opportunities for adults with autism so we created one.
This business will teach them skills, provide them with a job they can be proud of but more importantly pride in themselves.
I have prayed long and hard for God to show me a way to help my boys and when you remain faithful and trust the plan he has for your life he shows up BIG! We also have a two year old daughter who will set the world on fire (literally) one day and I pray she comes back to help run the business for her brothers.
I am probably one of the few that can say COVID has actually propelled our business. We saw the most growth during the height of the pandemic. Everyone has been looking for a way to boost their immune system and focus on their health during this time and what better way than a safe and natural plant-based supplement. Even better if it is made locally, with organic ingredients and supports a local business in your community. We feel so blessed to be able to help others to stay healthy during this crazy time. They are the reason we are still here and I have loved every second of meeting these amazing people in our community.
We use the highest quality ingredients and never compromise on that. Some of the biggest challenges we have faced during COVID have been sourcing supplies and shipping delays. Did you know there has been a national mason jar shortage? I kid you not. I sent my husband out-of-state at one time to pick up pallets of jars in our minivan.
We have many local customers that swear by our product and continue to support our small family business and for that we are forever grateful.
If I had a superpower what would that be? Wow, this is a tough one! Can I have two powers? I would love to be able to be in two places at one time. With three kids, autism therapy and a small business I feel spread thin a lot of the time. I wouldn't trade it for the world but two of me would be helpful when things are really busy (husband might not agree).
The other would be the ability to help more autism families like ours, especially those that are newly diagnosed and finding themselves on this new journey. While it can be scary, unfamiliar and stressful there is a community of warrior autism moms and dads that will tell you that you can do this and be the support your kiddo needs. You got this momma! You can find Sweet Southern Elderberry online here: Sweet Southern Elderberry Be sure to like SSE on FB: FACEBOOK And follow on IG here: INSTAGRAM