Meet Courtney Nemec, Friendswood mama of three affectionately known as The Elderberry Lady. Food handlers license in hand, she is the local go-to person in the Friendswood/Pearland area for her famous elderberry syrup! She’s sharing the natural benefits of elderberry, what we should know before we try it and how she scaled her business to keep up with demand. Courtney is also offering 15% off a jar when you mention South Houston Moms!
If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
Hardworking- because I enjoy it!
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I once jumped out of a perfectly good airplane in Hawaii lol
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you along your motherhood journey?
I guess I’d have to say my husband since we have been through it three times now and getting better each time! And now our family is complete.
Tell us all about how you got started in the elderberry business?
Well it started with my oldest catching the flu in October 2017; she was in kindergarten. I remember this time clearly because we had just been through Hurricane Harvey and our town was still recovering.
Flu was so bad that year and I had taken her to the doctor and she refused any meds so I researched how to help her naturally and made my first batch of elderberry syrup. I had told a few friends that it worked like magic for her and they wanted some too. That turned into word of mouth and then someone said I should post it to the Friendswood Moms Facebook page and overnight I had 90+ women asking me to make their family some Elderberry syrup too.
I was happy and excited to be helping others since my professional background was in healthcare (Physical Therapy) and I love helping people, it gives me joy. So next, I decided to make a Facebook page for people to message me there so I could keep track of future orders but also be able to post elderberry education and benefits.
From then on, I had made myself a small business that continued to grow. I also got my food handlers license and more equipment to be able to make more batches and kept up with the demand. I bought a Berkey water filtration system and met with a local honey farmer who began helping me buy more honey in bulk.
I was also asked to supply my products at a med spa for 2.5 years, a women’s gym and another beauty spa here locally. Then Covid messed up everything and I just went back to supplying it from my home as porch pick up again just like I had originally done. So here we are 5 years later and I’m still going as a one woman show juggling life with 3 kids and a small business and I couldn’t love it any more.
What are the benefits of elderberry and what exactly does elderberry do?
Elderberries are the OG of medicines. In fact, it’s among the oldest healing plants in the world. Several studies have shown that elderberry extract is just as effective as Tamiflu but without the side effects of the drug. Elderberry benefits are that they are rich in vitamin A, B, C, minerals and antioxidants. It’s effective for 90% of people and reduces risk of ANY viral illness…. read that again ANY virus. It targets any virus regardless of the strain and works on the cellular level to combat. No side effects have been reported that we know of from elderberry and it has been known to reduce severity and duration of symptom by up to 4 days.
It boosts the immune system, fights and protects against bacteria infections, helps clear sinus infections, reduces the duration of colds/flu/virus’, and has anti-inflammatory/anti carcinogenic properties. It helps to ease allergies as well. Hippocrates the ancient Greek known as the father of medicine called Elderberries his “medicine chest”.
What are the top three things we should know before giving elderberry a try?
1.Kids over the age of 12 months can take Elderberry syrup. It contains honey so this product is not for young babies under the age of 1.
2. Check with your doctor first, of course, if you have any major health concerns or are on cancer treatment.
3. This can be taken with over-the-counter medicines and vitamins. There are no known contraindications.
As you know, mom life is busy! How do you balance being a mom and running a business?
That’s a good question!! Thankfully I have a lot of family support as it takes a village!!! My girls are in school all day and my son is in 2 half days so I work those days and around everyone’s schedules as all moms do. My husband is my procurement manager of all my products and I do all my marketing/social media and I am the one who cooks and bottles my products.
What’s next for The Elderberry Lady?!
I plan on trying to expand my business next year in 2023 to be able to possibly ship products out all over the country. That’s always what people ask me is if I can ship.
What is the best way to order and receive your Elderberry Syrup?
The best way to order is to send me a message on Facebook. I’m looking into building my website for easy ordering also.
What is your best advice to a mom who’d like to open her own business?
Take it one day at a time, give yourself grace and we only have 24 hours in the day. Work when you can and ask people for help when you are overwhelmed.
What is something you would tell the “old you” before you had kids?
NEVER SAY NEVER!!! Also being a parent is the greatest gift and accomplishment I could ever imagine.
Your best shortcut or routine for helping you through parenthood?
Plan ahead of schedule if possible and give extra time for everything. Having a morning routine and after school and bedtime routine helps my family thrive around sports and other activities.
We love to support local small businesses. What are some of your favorite places in the Friendswood, Pearland or Sugar Land areas?
I love the Funky Monkey, Revive Med spa, Main Squeeze, Delta Fitness, Rise Cupcakes, Kids Creation, Friends Uncorked Wine Bar, Revamped by Susan Brown