I LOVE this photo!
Can’t you totally relate? … Mommy briefly stops, smiles, and poses (looking fantastic–by the way!) … while having both kids in hand — one temporarily being distracted by her cell phone.
Aww…fully captures a Mom’s Life! It’s as fabulous as the woman in it, Amber Green. In fact, she is so incredible that her middle name is actually “Star”.
How I Met Amber & The Southern Olive
This fun-looking, little store popped up right next to my grocery store.
As an aspiring chef, the logo had me intrigued. It is a pimento-stuffed olive wrapped in a horse shoe and western attire.
Late on a Friday afternoon, I peaked in to see what this place was all about.
It was the type of place that oozes character. With attention to every little detail, it was immediately welcoming. I was greeted by a beautiful woman. She introduced herself as “Amber”, and stated that she and her husband owned the store.
Amber couldn’t help but show me the store. Her enthusiasm and passion for the product were captivating and refreshing. Not to mention, the samples! … Amber was so generous with allowing me to taste all the olive oil and vinegar variations. She also offered perfect pairings and recipe suggestions that were way beyond my culinary expertise, but sounded too easy to not attempt.
Amber explained the health benefits for every products she introduced me to. Her knowledge and expertise about the product and nutrition in general was mind-blowing and impressive.
She then explained that every bakery item in the gorgeous under counter display was house-made with the high quality ingredients I had been sampling. The bakers, sometimes Amber herself, only use the freshest, all-natural ingredients.
Seriously, the baked goods alone are reason enough to make the trip! Each item is its own beautiful and delicious work of art!
Needless to say, I have been a loyal customer since then and now I want to share this amazing woman, her story, and this incredible store with you.
Let’s Start With Her Story
Did you always know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
Yes, my mother and father both worked in the hospital and I would hang out there for hours after school each day getting to know the nurses, Emergency Room, medical records, X-ray & Lab departments. I grew to love interacting with the patients and learning all the science behind healing people. When I was 7 years old, I knew I wanted to become a nurse. I struggled with becoming a teacher and /or a nurse over the next several years until I started taking Anatomy & Physiology, Microbiology, etc. and I knew I could go into healthcare and still be an educator at the same time. I have worked in healthcare for 24 years. I have been a Family Nurse Practitioner for 18.5 years and am still licensed to practice medicine in SC, TN, and NY.
Wow, Amber. So how did you get here? How did you get to The Southern Olive? It’s so obvious you have discovered work you are passionate about.
I received my doctorate in 2014 but I felt like I needed to do more with my life. My family owned a pizza restaurant and a movie theater growing up and I always enjoyed being part of a small family business.
My father passed away unexpectedly 3 years ago which caused me to step back and re-evaluate my life and perspective on traditional medicine. I have had some health problems many of which were related to nutrition and after a lot of research, it was discovered that many autoimmune health issues are related to an inflammatory response to foods we should be avoiding. This generated an idea of creating a gourmet speciality food store to promote “Local Healthy Living” here in the Carolinas.
YOU ARE AN INSPIRATION, AMBER! Tell us more.
I love using my healthcare background in educating our customers on the health benefits of a Cold-Pressed Ultra Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil and “True” non-adulterated aged balsamic vinegars. I strongly believe this is tapping into my love for educating and empowering individuals to take charge of their health by learning new techniques to use food as medicine and eat more anti-inflammatory meals to improve their overall health and well-being. I took a solid year of planning, researching, and creating a business plan before executing on it. I strongly encourage anyone that wants to start a business to do their due diligence and researching all aspects of what can help make the business successful. With the right planning, ambition, and positive attitude, you can do anything you set your mind to!
And finally, what advice do you have for women looking for work they are passionate about?
After working in many healthcare fields i.e. emergency care, family practice, internal medicine, health insurance, leadership C-level management, geriatric medicine and then gaining multiple degrees and certifications on a variety of areas of focus, I realized it was not enough and I lacked the satisfaction of feeling like I was truly making a difference….So I sat back and imagined what my ideal job would be and once I realized it was to become a small business owner promoting health incorporating my passion for food and nutrition, I created goals on how I would accomplish this “what seemed so impossible” task.
My advice is, ask yourself, are you waking up passionate about what you are doing? Is it making you feel good about yourself and do you feel like you are accomplishing your lifetime goals? If not, then step back, self-evaluate, do some serious self-introspection and decide exactly what you love to do and research how you can turn that into a career to pay your bills. Create a goal, a pathway to get there, and take that leap of faith and do it!
Don’t wait, life is too short.
The Southern Olive is located at 8356 Charlotte Highway, Suite 102 in Indian Land, SC. And true to Amber’s generous nature, she is eager to share her expertise, product, and store at several upcoming Meetups.
If you are inspired by Amber’s entrepreneurial spirit or just looking for a night out with some amazing women, then join us for a Ladies Night Out – Wine & Inspiration on Friday, July 21st from 6:30 to 8pm. The event is $15 per person, payable at the store, and includes heavy hor d’oeuvres. Wine and coffee are available for additional purchase. Register Here.
If you are a busy Mommy wanting to get a head start to the school year, join us for Mommy’s Support Group – AM Coffee, Counsel, & Comfort on Saturday, August 12th and/or 19th from 8-9:30am. Samples available. (Coffee, smoothies, and other drinks available for purchase.) Register Here.