We had the good fortune of connecting with Apryl Sims and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Apryl, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I always knew I would be an independent business person, my question was what type of business would I have? My father Larry Sims had 333 Construction Company, my paternal grandfather was a serial business man (service station, cafe, tamale shop), my paternal great-grandfather was Nathaniel Newman, founder of Newman & Sons Funeral Home in Shreveport, LA. My dad raised me with the understanding that whatever someone was able to pay me for my services, they had to be making more off of what I was doing for them. He would always say, I should be able to earn at least what I was being paid to do myself.
I had the normal jobs as a teenager (retail sales at the Fox Hills Mall); Go-fer for the Kansas City Star & Times Washington Bureau during college at Howard University, Commercial Sales for International Paper in New York, Manager of a Computer Store in Flint, Michigan. My core skill and expertise centers around Niche Marketing and obtaining Information and Resources. While living in Michigan I started “Information Services Now!” It was intended to be an on-line service, a pre-curser of Goggle, who knew?
In 1986 I came home and had the privilege, pleasure and honor of working with and for my dad the last 10 years of his life. Our capstone project was the rehabilitation of the former Wichstand to what is now the home of Simply Wholesome, a landmark business. My dad transitioned after completing the project. Circumstances. Fate. Energy. I ended up working there as the General Manager for 24 years.
A few years ago I started experimenting with making cold-pressed juices to support a friend who was helping his body regain its balance naturally after being diagnosed with cancer. My friend’s health improved and the juices were gaining traction. I started focusing on juices to help assist Simply Wholesome’s customers in dealing with some of their health concerns, high blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol. indigestion, sluggish elimination, low energy, skin issues an immunity boosting.
Early 2020 Covid happened and shook the world up. July 2020 I experienced a life changing event. October 2020, I jumped. It was time to follow my dream of expanding Apryl’s Life In A Bottle.
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?
I’m proud to produce delicious tasting raw unpasteurized drinks and juices that are actually good for our bodies. My juices are as close to being alive as possible, what could be better? I’m proud that I’ve resisted the temptation to do things to extend the shelf life of my product and sacrifice the health benefits to my customers.
I’m accessible to my customers and enjoy interacting with them. I love seeing their faces when drinking my juices. I love the energy that is exchanged between us.
This is the first time I’ve ever been associated with a start-up. Even though I’ve had over 45 years of Retail Marketing experience plus a rock solid education, I’ve made mis-steps and mistakes while navigating unchartered waters. Doing all this under the cloud of Covid has added another unforeseen layer of challenges. I’m blessed to have lived through the ups and downs of my father’s business. I’m grateful to have witnessed how he handled things. I also know he overcame his obstacles and never quit. I am his daughter, I’m eternally optimistic. I will find a way, always!
After July 2020 I’d ask myself “if this was your last day on the planet is this how you’d want to spend it?” It was always a resounding NO! I want the world to know that I know longer ask myself that question. If today is my last day, I’m spending it exactly, precisely in a manner that pleases me, and those that have supported me. I provide an excellent high quality beneficial product to an underserved community at a reasonable price. I share and I care.
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?
TIhis is a great question: We would definitely walk the beach straight out Culver Boulevard after parking at Del Rey Lagoon. We’d walk south to the Red and White utility stacks near Imperial Highway. After our walk, we’d take a Qi Gong class at Dharma Health Institute (143 Culver Blvd., Playa Del Rey) and do the oxygen tubes just to chill. While there if we were lucky we would run into Master Z, the owner and he’d enlighten us on some wonderful topic and we would leave feeling special and appreciated. We would grab breakfast at Senor G’s at 343 Culver Boulevard.
The next day we’d go to Simply Wholesome, grab a Spinach Patty and an Apryl’s Life In A Bottle juice. We’d picnic at Baldwin Hills Park ( 5401 Highlight Place) and admire the Temple of Trees installation by the artist Nawili.
Thursday night we’d hit up Leimert Park (3333 West 43rd Street) and just chill and stroll. We’d check out Aziz’s Art Gallery, Sole Folks, catch whatever live music set was jumping off on the side of Hot & Cool Cafe (Shout out to Tony Jolly the owner for curating the livest spot in LA. There is a food pantry on the side of his building that’s regularly stocked with fresh, canned and boxed food free for the community). Before leaving we’d check out the Drum Circle and join in on the African Dance or just admire the movement and community.
A must is My Two Cents (5583 West Pico Blvd.), order whatever Chef Lisa is cooking as you won’t be disappointed.
We must spend 2 days in the desert. We’d stay at Indigotopia and do a Sound Bath Meditation and take a long hike in Joshua Tree National Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Main Shout Out to my dad, the late Larry Sims. He was the most self-less person I’ve ever known. His compassion and desire to help others knew no bounds. Anyone that came into his orb was the better for having been acquainted with him. He wanted to be known as someone who “Shared and Cared”. The motto for Apryl’s Life In A Bottle is “We Share and We Care”, this is my homage to him.
Shout Out to the Fremont High School Pathfinders Classes of 1954 thru 1968. This spans my Aunts, Uncles, Parents and their friends. Their motto was “Find a way or make one”. I grew up around these incredible people who always encouraged, loved and supported me.
Finally I want to Shout Out my mom Floy Sims who is going strong at 81 and my incredible offspring, Gyasi Matthew and Asha Ruby-Saara; the three of them are the wind beneath my wings.
Last last is the indominable Harriet Tubman. I first became aware of this Queen at the age of 9 and have remained in awe of her strength and determination to this day. Every day of my life, I endeavor to make her proud.
Facebook: Apryl’s Life In A Bottle
2 pics with greenery background greenery – Roberto Hannibal @ptcameraguy all others Asha RS Jordan @aristocrasha