Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erik Suarez, owner of Sacred Wood Essence, located in Ashland, OR, USA.

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

Our business specializes in selling sustainable Palo Santo wood and essential oil products. Our customers are mostly into wellness and have an interest in spirituality.

Tell us about yourself

I first experienced Palo Santo through a friend who came back from Peru and burned the wood. I instantly fell in love with the smell. Then another friend shared the essential oil with me, and I was hooked. After a year, I wanted to sell the oil myself since no one really had it, so I investigated the source. I traveled to Ecuador in 2010 to meet the tree and the families working with Palo Santo. They became an instant extended family and soon would ship me products directly. I love Palo Santo very much, and I want to continue to share it with others.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I was able to introduce my product directly to over 300 health food stores and co-ops without using distribution. I was the first to market Palo Santo on the West Coast and was able to visit many places face-to-face and meet with the buyers and owners. This is how I slowly built my business.

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

For me, it is organization and keeping on top of all the tasks that need attention. I can get overwhelmed very easily. Being on top of employees, inventory, customer service, accounts, taxes, etc., takes a lot of energy and focus.

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

  1. Separate your personal and business finances as much as possible.
  2. Find a good bookkeeper and CPA to help you along.
  3. Find at least one good employee to help with tasks that you do not feel you can handle.

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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