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Alabama company named Amazon’s first national ‘Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year’

Limestone County’s 1818 Farms has been named America’s ‘Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year’ by Amazon through their first ever United States Small Business Spotlight Awards.

Located in Mooresville, 1818 Farms before being announced as the winner was named one of six finalists in the category out of more than 1,300 small businesses nominated across three total categories. Amazon customers chose the winners by casting their vote for their favorite small business. Customer voting ended on November 8 and 1818 Farms was notified late last week of the result.

“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,” Natasha McCrary, owner and founder of 1818 Farms, said in a statement.

“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,” she added.

McCrary, an Alabama native, and her family were introduced to Olde English Babydoll Southdown sheep while on vacation in North Carolina. There, her son suggested the family raise and breed sheep. The rest, they say, is history.

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.

McCrary in 2013 began using 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 via Amazon Handmade. They have sold close to 200,000 units of 1818 Farms’ shea crème to people all over the country in the past six years, including 64,000 of those just in the last 12 months. The company has averaged 60% revenue growth annually since 2013.

The business owner attributed some of the growth to Amazon’s marketplace.

“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,” she explained. “Everyone loves the convenience of Amazon, we’re thrilled we’re able to offer that to our customers.”

Alabama will celebrate Small Business Saturday this coming weekend.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn