We had the good fortune of connecting with Divya Yoder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Divya, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I never would have pegged myself as a risk-taker since I have been a planner my entire life, but starting a business is inherently risky. I feel like making the decision to move forward with my business was the biggest risk I’d taken up to that point. Funnily enough, now that I’m a couple of years into it, I’ve started taking more risks in both my professional and personal life. I see taking risks so differently than I did before; instead of focusing on the potential failures, I now see risk-taking as going after whatever I want to achieve. As Glennon Doyle says, “I see your fear, and it’s big. I also see your courage, and it’s bigger. We can do hard things.” This quote has really resonated with me, especially when I think about delving into something new or making a difficult decision.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The Original Elderberry Co. brand focuses on all-natural, organic products that are targeted to boost the immune system. Each ingredient is selected intentionally for its benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, vitamins, and much more. Original Elderberry Co. prides itself on not using any artificial sweeteners or refined sugars, like other similar products in the market – our Elderberry Syrup contains local, raw honey, which not only deliciously sweetens but helps fight allergies as well. And it’s only 3 grams of sugar per tablespoon! The health of our customers is what we care about, which is why each and every ingredient is chosen with such care. Not only has our Syrup been properly tested and the nutritional facts collected, but we have streamlined our production process to ensure that every single one of our products meets all safety measures and standards. This change to our process has definitely improved efficiency so that we are able to meet the needs of our customers.
Starting a business is always challenging, regardless of your intentions and knowledge of the market. I started the Original Elderberry Company because I wanted to share these products with my local community and because I wanted the personal challenge of building something from the ground up.
I have learned firsthand that rejection truly can make you stronger. Now, rejection just makes me want to try even harder and never give up. I’ve learned that it’s okay to have another business tell you they’re not interested in your brand. If you keep going after those partnerships, especially with businesses you think are going to reject you, and you hear that “yes,” it is the most powerful and uplifting feeling!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are SO MANY possibilities! Even I can’t decide what I want to do or where I want to go next, but if I really wanted my friend to have a great experience, this is the itinerary I would suggest:
-Brunch at Hash Kitchen
-Relaxing afternoon by the hotel pool
-Dinner at Bourbon Steak
-Early morning hike at Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain
-Brunch at Breakfast Kitchen Bar
-Air-conditioned car ride around the Phoenix Metro area to take in many of the sights
-Home-cooked dinner using seasonal, local fruits and veggies or an invitation for Chef William Turner to whip up something scrumptious
-Delicious coffee and breakfast at Saddlecreek Coffee before heading up to Sedona to check in for one night
-Afternoon hike on Devil’s Bridge Trail (bring plenty of water!)
-Delectable dinner at Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill
-Scenic drive back to Phoenix for a relaxing day
-A surprise meal wherever your heart (or stomach) takes you!
-Evening comedy show at Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy, followed by an Elderberry Martini at the hottest speakeasy, Gin & Reel
-Brunch at Vincent’s on Camelback for a very tasty French meal
-Shopping at Scottsdale Quarter and Kierland and/or Scottsdale Fashion Square
-Dinner at Tottie’s Asian Fusion 2
-Morning stroll through Old Town Scottsdale, stopping at the farmers market for local and unique finds
-Afternoon cocktails at Coach House, the oldest bar in Scottsdale
-Unforgettable dinner at Maple & Ash
-Pack up and check out
-Spa treatments of your choice at Joya Spa at Montelucia before heading to the airport… there is no better way to end a trip!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow! I love this question because there are several people in my life that deserve a lot of recognition. First, my family – I could not have done this without them, especially my dad. He is ever encouraging me to pursue absolutely everything wonderful in life – even if it’s hard, difficult, and sometimes scary. My best friend and sister, Selene, who has always been by my side. She consistently motivates me to participate in large events, even when I feel like they are so far out of my league. I would also love to give a shoutout to Lori and Monica at Local First AZ! Having a small business is hard and trying to navigate through all the nitty gritty can be challenging – these women and this organization have allowed me to dream even bigger than I could have ever imagined. For this, I am forever grateful.
FemForce Stephanie Studer