A Year in: Ownership, Giving Back, & Continued Sparkle

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Ally 1 year interview questions

Ally, what has been your greatest challenge this year?

As I think back on my first year as owner, I think my biggest challenge was letting go of my pride and learning to ask for help. I’ve learned that despite your best efforts, you really can’t do this thing alone. I always thought of asking for help as an inconvenience to people, or as a weakness. But I’ve learned it’s quite the opposite. Asking for help shows strength, bravery, and that you are willing to grow and learn.

Greatest joy?

It’s hard to pick just one, but I think it’s that I get to share this venture with my family. My dad, especially, has been such an incredible support for me. He’s there to listen when I feel stressed, he’s the reason the store looks spotless, and he’s always coming up with new ideas to bring in the store. To be able to share this experience with my dad is something I will treasure forever and will be one of my greatest joys in my life. 

What did you unexpectedly love about running a business? 

I love the feeling of being a part of the community and the feeling that I’m contributing something positive to the community. Running a business really gives you a platform to give back in ways you may not be able to on your own. 

How has the community supported you in this venture? How do you hope to have supported the community? 

The small business community in Leesburg is really incredible and I feel lucky to be a part of it! There is constant collaboration and cross promotion. We all want each other to succeed.

Tell us about Linny! 

UGH. My sweet baby ANGEL. Linny is my perfect pit mix pup. If you come in to the store regularly, there is a good chance you have met her. I adopted her almost 3.5 years ago and I can’t imagine my life without her. She is the perfect shop dog 🙂

Will there be any changes on the horizon? 

We have something really exciting in the works that I can’t wait to share!! Be on the lookout for a big announcement on December first 🙂

Any recommendations on gracefully easing into Autumn? 

First and foremost, give yourself GRACE. I feel like most can agree, this time of year can feel intense and leave us feeling vulnerable. It’s the time of year of changes and that can be hard. Allow yourself to feel how you feel but also take ownership and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. I think allowing yourself some time to rest and reflect is so crucial during this season. Give yourself time to dream up dreams, then get to it!

What are your favorite skincare products FGS carries for this change of season?

Oh boy, I LOVE skincare. If your skin is anything like mine, especially this time of year, it craving moisture! Right now I always add a drop of frankincense to my moisturizer am and pm. A few other products at FGS I love is the Intelligent Elixirs vitamin C serum and their vitamin B serum. Kill combo for evening skin tone and keeping your skin dewy.   

What are your top 3 immunity boosters for this change of season? 

I love the DoTerra OnGuard oil! I diffuse, add it to my water, and put it on topically. Another staple is the Host Defense MycoShield spray. I swear that stuff keeps any bug away. The last one I love is Umcka! It nips all cold and flu symptoms right away. 

What do you recommend people have to see or try who have never been to your store before?

We have amazing kombucha on tap by Blue Ridge Bucha! I also cannot recommend CBD enough and I’m really proud of the selection we carry. 

Thank you for your time and thoughtful answers, Ally! We are so happy to have you as friend, boss babe, and beautiful / graceful leader of our amaZING health food store. Stop by with questions or if you are looking for any of the products mentioned above. PS, this is worth mentioning: FGS just got rainbow starfetti sprinkles!! Dyed with food, nothing artificial! AKA MOST BEAUTIFUL COOKIES EVER. Let us help you with any of your Holiday sides! We love to get creative: come on in and let’s brainstorm! 

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