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The Body&Soul Story

 Herbs, Aromatherapy, Entrepreneurial Spirit & Limitless Passion!

Body&Soul is a local store in Jacksonville, Florida where natural deodorants, tooth care, hair care, pet care, luxury skin care, herbal bitters, tinctures, aromatherapy body and room sprays, chakra care, natural soaps and much more is made locally in-house.

We're also a local pop-up shop setting up at sometimes over 30 markets and events per month!

Our Goal: To make natural healing aromatherapy and herbal products as accessible as possible. Our products REALLY work! 

And since it's actually been asked we're going to talk about the full story of how this business came to be here!

First of all, Body&Soul is still, essentially, a family business! And in order to tell the full story we have to go way back to the beginning.

The two herbalists at the helm formulating the products are mother & daughter, Consuelo ("Connie") and Vanessa Alvarado respectively. They went through their herbalism certifications at the same time. 

Connie raised Vanessa in a frugal, creative environment. There wasn't a time Vanessa wasn't surrounded by plants, product crafting, and old fashioned entrepreneurial work ethic! Connie ran a daycare out of her home when her children were young. There wasn't a time she wasn't scheming a creative project or business. Whether via genetics or osmosis by exposure (Vanessa likes to say, due to both) Vanessa absorbed it all.

Vanessa skipped conventional education to start a career in copywriting and web marketing at 21, learning skills that would help her with her own business in the future. All the while she was selling vintage items on the side. Eventually she'd leave marketing in cubicle-land behind to work for her vintage business full-time. A few years into her vintage-selling journey, she met Anthony "AJ" Copeland. 

Vanessa and AJ bonded over their deep abiding passion for holistic care and small business immediately. Both had run successful business in the past. AJ owned a lawn care business and was getting started with freelance personal training. Just three months into their relationship, they moved in together. Not many months later, they were planning their future business with Connie, who was getting certified along with Vanessa in clinical herbalism, aromatherapy, and many other holistic healing arts!
The early days of Body&Soul was in AJ and Vanessa's riverside apartment living room. After herb classes Connie, Vanessa and AJ, three lifelong maverick business-owners, brainstormed what their future business could be over drinks or herbal tea, laughing, taking notes, envisioning the future.

Fun Fact: After their first date AJ pressed Vanessa for the details on her natural toothpaste and deodorant, fascinated by their effectiveness and telling Vanessa she had "the whitest teeth he'd ever seen". She'd been making her own herbal toothpaste and deodorant for years! These products would be re-formulated and would become the two best-seller's for Body&Soul. At Body&Soul we really do formulate the product WE would want and that we use. We've been making them before the business even -was-! 

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After selling off their respective businesses, Vanessa and AJ continued to work conventionally while testing their products in the local marketplace, bouncing ideas off customers and providing what they wanted and needed. A few months into doing this, they were able to open their first Brick & Mortar shop!
For the first year of shop ownership AJ continue to work delivering pizza to pay the personal bills so all of the profit earned from Body&Soul can go right back into the business. Vanessa stayed in the store, often until 3AM, creating products for the store and markets. It was a challenging but insanely rewarding time! A little before the end of the first year Body&Soul was earning enough that AJ was able to leave his "pizza" career behind to focus on Body&Soul full-time!
That brings us, basically, to now!
Body&Soul now employs eight people. As stated above, we sometimes do 30 or more pop-ups and events every month! We have store and product expansion plans and so much always developing behind-the-scenes.
We LOVE making new beautiful vegan plant products and sharing them with our customers. The journey here took a lot of sacrifice and tough choices. There were no businesses loans, financial backers, or safety nets. There were mistakes. There were tears.  We don't regret any of the hard work or late nights, it really is our passion project! 
Please do keep coming back to check our progress, and of course, thank you so much for reading and for being here!