We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Rickenbaker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stephanie, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The work of an entrepreneur is never done. There is always something going through my head – marketing ideas, staying on top of finances, ways to improve, employee incentives, new products, etc. I have a very hard time turning off work and closing that door behind me at the end of the day.

Balancing work with being a mom is a challenge and, to be perfectly honest, I have regrets. When my babies were little, I was very distracted because my plate was too full. I missed many precious moments because I was trying to do it all. Then, I listened to an interview with Bethany Frankel, and something she said struck home. She stated she is so successful because when she’s at work, she is completely focused on the task at hand, with no distractions. When she is with her daughter, she is fully present, with zero work.

To implement a positive change like that in my life, I made big changes with my company. A few years ago, I hired more help to reduce my work load and relinquished a lot of the control I had been holding onto. An app on my phone limits me from accessing social media when my kids are home from school and on the weekends. These steps have definitely paid off.

I have learned it is impossible to do it all and do it well, and that’s okay. Prioritize what really matters, be present, and outsource what you can.

What should our readers know about your business?
When a loved one was diagnosed with a chronic illness, Stephanie Rickenbaker got serious about clean living. She reduced her family’s exposure to toxins and learned about boosting health through nutrition. During this journey, Stephanie developed an organic elderberry syrup. Her daughter (nicknamed “Sweet”) loved the syrup so much that Stephanie named it after her!

In a short time, Sweet’s Syrup catapulted from a kitchen creation sold among friends to a household name. Today, Sweet’s Elderberry’s range of products are handcrafted in a North Carolina commercial supplement kitchen and shipped to stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and homes across the United States.

Sweet’s practices environmental stewardship by packaging with recyclable materials and sourcing organic, sustainably farmed ingredients whenever possible. In recognition of these efforts, excellent production standards, and fantastic flavor, Sweet’s was awarded a Good Food Award in 2022 in the Elixirs category.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Charlotte has such great weather and spending time outside would be a must. The US Whitewater Center has so many great outdoor activities from rock climbing to zip lining. Bonus is the food there is fantastic! We always support local restaurants and some favorites are YAFO, New South Kitchen and The Loyalist.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shout out memorial to my very first boss, Steve Benson of Morningstar Storage. He instilled in me the importance of always doing the right thing and giving back to the community. The way he approached business was always thoughtful and with a kind heart.

Website: www.sweetselderberry.com

Instagram: @sweetselderberry

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sweetselderberry

Image Credits
Anna Napthali, Amanda Anderson, Lydia Bittner-Baird

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