Women in Business

Woman in Business Helps People Breath Easier

Meet Jamie Stern, Owner of Allergies & Me

Tell us about your business.
Allergiesandme.com is an online store that provides products and resources to those battling Food Allergies, Food Intolerances and people with other dietary restrictions.

Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
My very dear friends, here in the Tampa area, have a son with life threatening multiple food allergies. We have seen what an impact this has had on his life, as well as his parents. There are over 12 million people in North America that suffer from food allergies and that number is growing.

After witnessing the difficulty in finding safe food for this child, I started researching and determined there were very few retail locations offering a variety of healthy choices. It is difficult enough to find “allergy friendly” foods in a large urban area like Tampa, can you imagine how difficult it must be in more rural towns? This started my journey to create a company that would provide a stress-free on-line shopping experience for those suffering from not only Food Allergies, but Food Intolerance issues or those with special dietary needs.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why? 
Specific to this business, I would have to say the people I have met that deal with food restrictions every day. I have spoken and met many mothers with food allergic children and their stories are very compelling. I believe that in order to be successful in any business venture, you first have to feel passionate about what you are doing. In addition to providing an online resource for safe foods, my company also gives a portion of our profits to the non-profit organizations that are helping these kids and adults.

What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
E-commerce is a totally new world to me and I don’t think you ever “master it”, but I feel confident in my abilities thus far to understand the big picture and take the necessary steps in action and learning to make my company successful.

What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I have to say that for me, my favorite quotation has always put the hectic schedule of launching a new business in perspective. It is by Ursula K. Le Guin, “ It is good to have an end to journey toward, but is the journey that matters, in the end”. To me, you have to maintain a balance between your personal and your business life. When you are 80 years old, it doesn’t matter what was in your in-tray, just that you enjoyed your life and made the lives of others better for knowing you (that’s my own quote!).

What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
It is still an ongoing process to determine the best promotion methods, but I believe for my niche market, being found on search engines is critical. This can only be accomplished by having a solid website and networking with other online business to “co-market” through sites links and promotional support.
 
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years? Patience and Perspective. That’s two, but they really go well together!

Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small business owners that have helped you run your business?
There is no one source to share. For online store entrepreneurs, you must keep up with the world of search engines through reading all you can get your hands on. Exposing yourself to many different points of view provides some great “nuggets” of knowledge that you can successfully implement…and never rest on your laurels because it is a rapidly changing world out there.

What do you do for fun/relaxation?
I live in Florida and most of the time we are on or near the water. It has a wonderful way of putting things in perspective and reminding you how small you ,and your issues, really are.

What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Being on the first page of Google Searches!

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I want to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2010. I have great respect for women who take the plunge and make their own way in the business world…I am honored to now be one of the group.

In addition to your website, how else can our readers connect with you online?
My website is www.Allergiesandme.com with my Tasty Tidbits blog. I also have a separate recipe blog at www.allergyfreerecipe.com .

My social media contacts are www.twitter.com/allergiesandm, www.facebook.com/allergiesandme and www.linkedin.com/in/allergiesandme

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: Entrepreneurship: How to Start Your Own Business : Sell Your Business Tips

  2. Thanks so much for getting the word out about my business Heidi!
    I look forward to hearing from your readers.
    Best regards,
    Jamie Stern, Owner
    Allergiesandme.com

  3. smilinggreenmom says:

    Great! I will for sure look her up on Twitter! Our son has had severe Eczema with food allergies/Eczema since he was a baby – and no one had any answers for us. The lack of support was horrible and thankfully now he is so much better by taking his Belly Boost chewable probiotics. I am on a mommy mission with my mom blog smilinggreenmom.com to help others who are going through this, sharing our amazing story of our son and I always love to find others who have knowledge and experience with this too! Thanks so much 🙂