We had the good fortune of connecting with DelRae Cicinelli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DelRae, are you self-funded or investor funded? If you could start over, would you make the same choice?
Loil Life has been a self-funded business from day one, and at times, we have been knee deep in the struggle. When I started I took all my ideas and tried to launch them at once. Material costs were high, I didn’t account for the trial and error associated with each product, and the branding was non-existent. Looking back now I wouldn’t have done it differently. Sure, it was extremely stressful and costly, but all of the education I have in every facet of my business is irreplaceable. The product quality is high, the branding has come together, and the vision I had over four years ago is sitting on the handmade shelves of my shop.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
At the ripe old age of 13 I entered a high school business foundations class and here is where I first discovered my entrepreneurial spirit. I was a part of the DECA program all four years of high school and was immersed in the business world. It felt meant to be. During my senior year I wrote my first 30 page business plan, and opened the student store. My high school was new and as a senior, and I was fortunate enough to learn every facet of that process. I built the Point of Sale system, monitored inventory, stocked the shelves, re-ordered products and interacted with customers. I always knew I was destined to own a business, I just wasn’t sure what I would do. As I entered college, I pursued accounting and after three years pivoted to pre-med; fast forward 6 years I landed on my feet as a pre-med graduate with a herbalist certification and a thriving natural products company. I dreamed of becoming a neurosurgeon, but there was a speed bump in my path for that dream, well more like a redirect. I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2014. Growing up I was familiar with the disease, and held it close to home. Luckily, my experience with the disease left its host fully independent and thriving. The story behind the diagnosis is one for another time, but I chose to have a victor not victim mentality. Sure, I was devastated at first, I was in a new relationship, 22 years old and just finishing up college. I gave myself one night to sulk, to feel sorry, and then I went on to solutions. It was through this diagnosis that I found essential oils, and realized I had to decide on a new career. I saw improvement in my diagnosis with use of essential oils, and fell down the rabbit hole of natural living that catapulted me into Loil Life. I love everything about what I do. It is a creative outlet at every capacity, but my passion lies in testing and trying new products, butter and oil combinations, herbs infusions, and much more. My curiosities for further knowledge drove me to continue my education and become a certified herbalist. Herbalism is challenging, and being hands on is the best way to learn the magic behind this field. The integration of herbalism into Loil Life has not only been fun, but so rewarding because it has introduced a new level of aide I can provide to others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
As a frequent homebody my favorite outings are the weekend markets. Every other weekend I head for Downtown Gilbert to the Made with Love Market. On my way, I stop at Enroute Coffee and Tea for a delicious and unique iced tea, and a delicious treat. The Boyer Bakery and Noras Macarons have a selection of yummy treats for the road. The market is full of local makers, and it’s next to a farmers market so we can grab fresh produce too!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many thank you’s that need to be given for a part in my story. To my husband Devin and beautiful baby girls, thank you for allowing me to put energy and love into my passion. What I do is, and will always be FOR you. To my mom and dad, thank you for being there for the countless days and nights to help make my dreams come true. To my mother-in-law, thank you for helping me label and organize products, and watching the girls so I can be the chemist at work. To market organizers Maribeth and Cody, thank you for your words of wisdom, platform to share my passion with the community, and endless support. To Barb Coakley for introducing me to business and teaching me the fundamentals of a good business plan. To my hustle train Michelle and Kaelee, and all my Loil customers, thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Adison Cooper Audreys WIldlings Photo Co