Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Johnson, Founder of Ampersand Essential Oils, located in Columbus, OH, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are a completely independent essential oil company that provides 100% pure essential oils, as well as handmade, all-natural bath, body, and home products. Everything is made from scratch without any preservatives or synthetic ingredients. We serve anyone looking to bring more all-natural products to their home, regardless of how much experience they have! We are also growing our education platform to teach everyone safe essential oil practices.

Tell us about yourself

I used to be a part of a network marketing essential oil company that was teaching very unsafe essential oil practices, and it bothered me a lot. I had lost my job due to COVID (although I now work full time again) and wanted to do something different with my life. I researched how to make my passion for essential oils into a business and found Aromatherapy! I went back to school, got a degree in Aromatherapy, and got internationally certified.

I started Ampersand Essential Oils as a more affordable alternative to so many different essential oil companies that also share their GC/MS reports, all our partner farms, and sustainable farming practices! I am motivated every day to be able to provide all these services to our customers and give them peace of mind that what they are using is TRULY pure and that we aren't afraid to share everything about our company. We are redefining the essential oil industry, one bottle at a time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I've now been a small business owner for over two years, and I never once thought I'd actually be able to own my own business. Looking back, it was a HUGE risk and a step of faith, and I'm really thankful I trusted in God to provide for us during that time. It's been a huge blessing, and I'm super proud of how far we've come! We've more than tripled the size of our company in the past two years, and I can't wait to see how we are going to grow even more!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The retail industry is a difficult one to work in. There are a lot of people that claim they love supporting small businesses, but when it comes down to it, a lot of people don't want to spend the money and end up going to Target or another big box store instead of supporting a business right down the street from them. Getting in front of new customers is always difficult, and social media's algorithms don't make it any easier. You just have to be patient and keep going!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. You have to be patient with yourself. A business isn't going to be an overnight success.
  2. Don't compare yourself to other small businesses either - you have no idea how long it took them to get where they are, the sacrifices they had to make, or how hard they have worked.
  3. Every single small business owner started exactly where you are right now. It's going to be okay - just keep going, and you WILL get there one day!

Where can people find you and your business?





If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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