Culverhouse Grad Receives Amazon’s Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year Award
- November 30th, 2019
1818 Farms, located in Mooresville, Alabama, just outside of Huntsville, has been named the ‘Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year’ by Amazon through their first ever United States Small Business Spotlight Awards.
The Small Business Spotlight Awards were established to honor and celebrate top entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country who are selling their products on Amazon. The awards had three categories this year: Small Business of the Year, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, and Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year.
“I am honored that 1818 Farms was named as Amazon’s 2019 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. I would like to thank our friends, followers and many Amazon customers for supporting us during the contest,” states Natasha McCrary, Owner & Founder of 1818 Farms. “Working with Amazon has allowed us to connect with customers across the United States who might not be familiar with our products. Amazon has played an essential role in our growth as a company and a trusted brand.”
McCrary is a 1994 graduate of the Culverhouse College of Business.
1818 Farms is owned and operated by Alabama-born and bred, Natasha McCrary. While on vacation in North Carolina, Natasha and her family were introduced to Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep; where her son suggested the family raise and breed sheep. In 2012, 1818 Farms (named for the year Mooresville was incorporated, one year before Alabama became a state) opened its doors. What started as an idea for a family project, to teach their children to appreciate the land and animals and be good conservationists, is now a thriving small business.
In 2013, Natasha McCrary used some of her dried herbs to create soaps that she sold at area farmers’ markets – originally as a source of income to help feed the farm animals. From there, 1818 Farms’ bath and beauty line was born. Product offerings include their popular shea crème, bath soaks, essential oil roll-ons, face serum, and more. Their line is now available in 490 stores in 45 states, as well as online. Since 2013, close to 200,000 units of 1818 Farms’ shea crème has been sold to people all over the country; 64,000 of those in the last 12 months. Since 2013, 1818 Farms has averaged 60% revenue growth annually.
“We began selling our products on Amazon Handmade in March of 2017. Working with Amazon has helped us expand our customer base and continue to grow. Being associated with Amazon, not only provides credibility with those who may be out of state or haven’t visited the farm, but it also aligns with our brand and mission, as well as theirs. It is extremely important to us that we maintain our authenticity,” says McCrary. “Everyone loves the convenience of Amazon, we’re thrilled we’re able to offer that to our customers.”
1818 Farms was first named one of six finalists in the category. More than 1,300 small businesses based in the United States nominated themselves for the awards across three categories. Amazon customers chose the winners by casting their vote for their favorite small business.
A conversation with Natasha McCrary
Recently, we were able to interview McCrary about her time at The University of Alabama and the Culverhouse College of Business.
Q: How did your time at The University of Alabama and the Culverhouse College of Business shape your future as an entrepreneur?
McCrary: My time at the Culverhouse College of Business provided me with both the knowledge and skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur. The wide variety of required classes introduced me to the many facets of business. Even if you are a marketing major you must have an in-depth understanding of finance, economics, and management to launch a successful business.
Q: Do you have any faculty members that you remember fondly? Or a particular class?
McCrary: I considered Dr. Robert Robicheaux a mentor while attending the Culverhouse College of Business. He played an integral role in my academic and future career success. Dr. Robicheaux sparked my interest in marketing and consumer behavior during his Marketing 300 class. Over the next two years, he offered me invaluable advice and guidance on how to sharpen skills and increase my knowledge in the business field so that I was successful not only upon graduation but also for the duration of my career.
Q: Do you make it back to campus?
McCrary: I do, I return to campus a few times a year to attend sporting events.
Q: What advice can you offer to students who aspire to launch businesses of their own?
McCrary: Always have sharply defined goals in your business plan and work every minute to achieve them. Realize that success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years to build a successful brand – think long term. Lastly, you only get one first impression with customers so make sure it is positive
About 1818 Farms
1818 Farms is located in historic Mooresville, Alabama and is owned and operated by Natasha McCrary and her family. The McCrary’s broke ground in 2012 and began their family farm – which is home to a variety of animals and over 10,000 flowers. A barn and garden house on the property often serve as the setting for 1818 Farms events, workshops, Bloom Strolls, farm-to-table dinners and more. Natasha can often be found traveling the Southeast in her 1965 Ford F100 which she converted to a flower truck. The farm’s bath and beauty line was established in 2013. Product offerings include their popular shea creme, bath soaks, essential oil roll-ons, face serum, and more. Their line is now available in 490 stores in 45 states as well as online.
For more information, visit www.1818farms.com and follow @1818Farms.