Nature’s Own Herb Shop, Inc.
Ardina Pierre, owner of Nature’s Own Herb Shop in Hapeville, Ga., is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and a licensed nurse. After working several years in nursing and experiencing the protocol in healthcare, she knew people needed more education on nutrition and diseases. This gap, along with her father who was a lifelong entrepreneur, inspired Ardina to open a business to help people resolve their health issues through natural products, education, and consultations.
In the late 90s, Ardina began researching the best way to start her business and went to a One Stop Capital Shop, which was a partnership at the time between the U.S. Small Business Administration and local communities to offer small business assistance in urban and rural areas. Ardina decided to purchase a business and was assigned an SBA counselor who counseled her on marketing, finance, SBA loans, and other business topics for 15 years.
Ardina’s SBA counselor also helped her graduate from the first FastTrac program at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson Business School. That program is now called GrowSmart, which is hosted by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, an SBA Resource Partner. GrowSmart helps small business owners align their vision with the right strategy and tools for future growth.
“I learned important business goals, projections, marketing and more by completing a very important road map for my business – a business plan,” Ardina said. “That same business plan has allowed me to grow even more today and it is always being updated with present goals, social media marketing and more.”
Ardina has also been a client of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE), another SBA resource partner, and has received several loans through them to improve and expand her business. ACE recognized Ardina as the 2019 Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and she’s also been a member of ACE's High Performing Group, a cohort of female entrepreneurs displaying a historical growth pattern with revenues near or exceeding $500,000.
Ardina started Nature’s Own Herb Shop without any employees and only one location. Today, her business has grown to four employees and she opened a second location in the North Atlanta metro area. She also purchased the retail plaza where her main store is located in Hapeville, Ga., one of the fastest-growing communities in the Metro Atlanta area.
“The advice I would give any potential entrepreneur would be to research the business that you really want to do through the SBA because they have the tools you need to help you start your business,” Ardina said. “The SBA will educate you from the beginning stages of the business to the continued success of any business. The free services that the SBA offers are impeccable compared to services that can cost you money you may or may not have while trying to run a business.”