This entrepreneur spotlight highlights Jill Howard from Juice Jar! Juice Jar is located inside the City Exchange Shops (there are so many amazing things in there) and is a premium place for some cold-pressed juice.
Their juice is 100% raw and organic, healthy, and 100% delicious. It’s really great, you can stop buy and choose from their in-store menu while you’re out and about, or you can make sure you’re getting your daily juice on by ordering larger supplies — they even do delivery! Personally, I’m a smoothie-loving gal, and I LOVE the “Feeling Vitality” smoothie.
Jill had some great things to say about entrepreneurship in Fort Wayne, having the chance to share her experience, wisdom, and insights into small business in our city is a real treat for us!
What made you decide to open a business in Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana?
My husband Scott and I decided to open Juice Jar, because we saw an opportunity to bring something to Fort Wayne that at the time did not exist. I have been an avid juicer for almost ten years and have always made my family juices at home. Drinking juice daily helped me overcome some personal health issues I’d been dealing with for over a decade. One day I mentioned to my husband that I wished I could get juice like I got my daily coffee. That started the conversation about opening our own juicery and what would need to happen for that endeavor to take place.
What resource in the community has helped you thrive in the community?
I’m partial, but Fort Wayne has been a wonderful place to start and operate a business. There are so many people and organizations that want to see you succeed. The resource that has been the biggest help to us has been The City Exchange Shops and the people behind it. Having the opportunity to be in the heart of downtown and incubated with other small businesses at an affordable rate has been a huge component to Juice Jar’s initial success. In addition, the individuals behind the scenes at The City Exchange Shops offer amazing guidance and introduce you to resources and people that a new business owner would otherwise have to try and find on their own.
What is the biggest challenge you have worked to overcome in starting your business?
The challenges we face keep changing. The things that were challenges when we first started are no longer issues and I am hoping the things we face today will be ironed out in the near future. It is a continuous learning curve, which I love! I would have to say the most difficult aspect of running your own business is knowing how to stay ahead of the next phase, knowing what that phase is, and when to implement tactics to support it.
What person has helped you the most in your journey?
Hands down the person that has helped me the most in this journey is my husband; and my entire family being a close second. Starting and running a business is not for the faint of heart and Scott has been my rock. He and I have very different business backgrounds, mine is in design and marketing and his in business and sales; so we compliment each other very nicely. Every detail and decision has been collaborative.
What is some advice you would have for new entrepreneurs?
The best advice I can share to anyone considering starting a business is you have to love, I mean LOVE, and believe in what you’re selling or service you’re providing. Running your own business is hard, and you have to want to eat, sleep, and breathe your business to get it off the ground and maintain its success. If you don’t have the passion for it then you will fizzle out quickly. If you love what your doing, its hard but not work. Seeing people enjoy your product or your logo on the wall makes it all worth it!
What would be the best thing Fort Wayne could do for entrepreneurs in your opinion?
This may already exist and I just haven’t discovered it yet, but I would love to see an organization specifically for small business owners. An organization that gathers regularly to mingle and discuss what they are experiencing. One thing that is difficult is not having anyone to talk to that is going through the same scenarios and situations you are within your business. It would be great to have a place to connect with individuals in similar situations as myself as a new and small business owner.
So seriously, stop in (or call ahead) and get some juice!
This post is part of a series of posts in collaboration with Start Fort Wayne where Living Fort Wayne explores resources available to entrepreneurs and spotlights entrepreneurs who decided northeast Indiana is the place to operate their businesses.