Last week I had the privilege of chatting with one of our Sponsors for the Women’s Homestead Society, which I didn’t get to highlight because of time restraints. So we got to sit down, and I got to hear her vision for her business, The Rooted Market. We talked about business, non-toxic living and where God is leading them. It was such a beautiful conversation and left having a lot to think of and ponder in the new season of Women’s Homestead Society.
Welcome, Casey. Thank you so much for agreeing to share with us. Can you share a bit about yourself, about the Rooted Market and what you’re doing with the Rooted Market?
OK, I guess my main thing is that I am a mom to two little boys. We homeschool, and my husband is in the military, so we are a military family. My background is in sales, so before I had children, I worked in merchandising, so it was easy for me to get into the Rooted Market. I was in the corporate world for a while, then ran a chain of small boutiques before I became a stay-at-home mom. About eight years ago, I had been on a health journey, trying to get some things on track. I was struggling with infertility, and my friend told me about removing toxins from my home and diet. So, I went down that rabbit hole, and within a month of eliminating toxins in my home with the cleaners and the fragrances, and food. Within one month, my health dramatically turned, and I was amazed. I had also suffered from anxiety severely for a little over 15 years, and one day I woke up, and it was just not there anymore. And then a bunch of other health issues that I was having just slowly started resolving and I saw a lot of healing happening with my body. I had also noticed problems with my vision, and after the changes I made, with some time, my vision completely healed. So, just like that, I became a huge advocate for non-toxic living.
It is from that place of healing you started the Rooted Market, right? And what do you offer in your store?
Yes, So basically, we offer all-natural products: most of our goods are made of compostable materials. Small American brands make almost everything in our store. I’m careful to say that we are entirely USA-made or sourced; but small makers and creators in the United States, folks located In our local communities make about 95% of our goods. I look for people in my local community, I go to the markets like the festivals and the farmer’s markets and find crafters and people there. We do have beeswax wraps that are from Canada, just because I cannot find beeswax wraps in the United States that are quality wraps. I put in so much research on items before they’re in our store. We look for brands with not just quality products but also with conservative values, which are becoming harder to find.
That’s amazing. Do you mind sharing about starting your business last year and this year as we’re in a recession? I also loved how you were sharing with me about how you, Casey, were stepping away from social media, so how are you combating that fear? As you step away from the “socially” acceptable ways of marketing, what are your steps forward in growing your business?
So I had this plan that God had put on my heart. I knew it would sound like a crazy idea, but I shared my vision with my husband and told him I felt God was telling me this is what we should do. He was like, “Ok. Let’s do it.” So we invested our savings, and we started it. I had my plan in the very beginning, but I kept feeling like God had something much more significant in mind. I didn’t know what it was going to evolve into. I knew that God was saying start slow. But of course my sinful nature came out, my impatience. I started doing things my way, and then God had to step in, and he said, “No, you’re not doing it My way. You’re doing it your way. I need you to do it My way. I’m going to tell you how to do it.” He told me, “I want you to slow it down,” and showed me a vision of a slow trickling stream. Something slow and steady but moving forward at a perfect pace. When I started being obedient to God is when we saw the blessings happen. This whole year has been such a blessing. As for us deciding to leave social media, I felt like God saying lay this down. I know sometimes it’s scary letting go of things like social media, but I felt like when He asked me to let go of Instagram and the worry about followers and likes and being completely glued to my phone that He had something better in store for us.
We can get distracted from following God’s vision for us when we worry about followers. When I decided it was time to start the process of leaving social media, God has already started opening new doors of opportunities. We’re going to get off altogether by 2024. It was when I made that commitment that God shared all these forgotten ideas. Ways to communicate and market. I was at my local credit union, and they had this big screen advertising local small businesses on them. And so did a local restaurant I went to recently on the bottom of their menu. I then realized I had a lot of opportunities as a small business to market in other places. I can do billboards and magazines and things like sponsoring the Women’s Homestead Society Conference. They are so many better ways than I realized until I committed to letting go of the socially accepted forms of marketing and letting God take the wheel.
I love how you’re not giving into the fear of what the world tells you, you have to do to be a successful business. I love that God has given that peace to you and that you’re able to walk in what God’s plan is.
For my third question, I wanted to ask how you would share about non-toxic living with a mama that might be already overwhelmed. What would be some small tips that you would share with her that she could implement in her daily life that would help her live a healthier, non-toxic life?
If you are starting this journey into this realm, I want to share it’s not about fixing everything because we live in a toxic world. But, choosing what is important to you and focusing on those things and taking away the toxic load a little bit at a time. I would highly recommend trying to avoid artificial dyes as far as diet goes. Just eliminating dyes, you will find you will be cutting out a lot of packaged children’s food, and then you might find yourself going down that trickle of ok, well, I can’t have this item, so we will replace it with something healthier. The second advice is don’t shop in the middle grocery store. All processed food is in the center aisles, so you want to get your produce, your dairy and all you need on the outer edges. Also consider eventually making your own food, you can control what is in your food that way. Your next step would be finding food locally from a farmer you know and trust. It’s not always about the organic labels but about how your farmer grows and raises that food. The labels don’t mean as much as they used to. I guess the last step is to grow and raise your own food. This is what we plan to do at our new home.
So this is a slightly different question, but how do you balance having two little kiddos and homeschooling and a business?
Yeah, I think that homeschooling and running a small business holds a load of challenges. Honestly, I don’t have it figured out yet. Some days are easier than others. Something I have learned that works best is when we wake up with the sunrise and make the most out of the daylight hours. Regarding the business, I’ve had to set certain hours aside that I work. During that time, I have my little boys use that time to decompress and work on a quiet project. A good routine that works for our family is necessary for our days to be productive.
I have one last question. What does cultivating community look like for you in this season of life?
When we were moving, the most significant thing we were looking for and praying for was community. We asked God not just to send us a home but a place where we could be active in our local church community too. And also a place where we could open a storefront for The Rooted Market and be connected to the neighbors and friends and form relationships in person. To build a main street again. Also, as I was stepping away from Social Media, I had multiple people reach out and share they loved the community and connection we had formed on Instagram. So I asked God what to do as I didn’t want to disconnect and lose that community yet I felt called to step away from that platform. So I found out we could integrate a community chat on our store’s website! We call it “A Rooted Village”. There are several categories that cover different topics like cooking, natural remedies, gardening and homeschooling. You can also connect with folks in your local area. And recommend products, events and brands. Oh and no influencing or soliciting! It’s a just safer, more relaxed and less noisy place to share and chat with others in this community.
That sounds like an amazing tool! How can my audience find you and the rooted market, and what’s the best way to connect with you?
We will still be on social media @therootedmarket for a little while, and you can stay connected with us by signing up for our email newsletters on our homepage at www.therootedmarket.com. Folks will stay up-to-date on all things happening with the shop. And they’ll have first access to sales and exclusive coupons. You can also sign up to be a Rooted Member, which is free. It is super easy to create a profile, and with that membership, you can create a shareable wishlist, earn reward points, and have access to the private community chat I just mentioned. We’ll also be doing monthly giveaways and lots of other neat surprises. But definitely stay connected with us off social media. God has us on an incredible mission here at The Rooted Market. He just keeps opening doors and flooding me with wonderful ideas on how to build this community and stay connected in a more natural way.
Thank you so much, Casey! I appreciate your time, and thank you for supporting the Women’s Homestead Society!