BY: Micca Terrell
Keeping a small business going strong is a major task, no matter what the economy looks like, and that’s why the La Belle Naturelle, Pleasant View’s all-natural, handcrafted skin and hair care product company, is celebrating 10 years of rising to the challenge. Anna DiCarlo, owner of La Belle Naturelle, said she never expected to face a pandemic, two recessions, and a shutdown to deal with an intense medical situation within her own family with her daughter’s neurosurgery. Yet, no matter how daunting it all has seemed, DiCarlo said she has rolled with the punches, thanks to a flexible strategy, strong family values, and support from the community.
“I’ve learned that if you can’t be fluid and change with the times, there’s no way I would’ve survived. Changing strategy being fluid and willing to change as times change (while hard) has allowed me to survive,” she said.
The emotions of getting to that decade mark have been strong, DiCarlo said, with feelings ranging from disbelief, pride, happiness, disappointment, and humility.
“I didn’t hit some of the goals I wanted to hit, but in retrospect, goals change. In that sense, I’m humbled because people enjoy La Belle Naturelle enough to vote for awards, and they keep coming back. The notes, messages, reviews, smiles, and healing I’ve done with people have humbled me. They’ve supported me through literally thick and thin and it’s humbling,” she said.
Putting her family first remains a key priority, a non-negotiable one for DiCarlo.
“My family has been very supportive. I’ve cried, been upset, put sweat and tears into this business. I always hear about small businesses sacrificing things, so when I made mine a business, while I love it and what I do, I refused to be a statistic…and knew I just didn’t want to make that sacrifice. And maybe that’s why I didn’t hit some of my goals yet. I don’t know. But it’s a non-negotiable thing for me. I was raised as my French heritage. Family comes first…work will always be there,” she said.
Surviving this long could not have been possible without the support of the community, according to DiCarlo.
“La Belle Naturelle has done nothing but attract the sweetest, most thoughtful, caring souls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. And in all 10 years I’ve had two people that were unhappy, and it wasn’t even La Belle Naturelle related!” she said.
Throughout the company’s history, DiCarlo said she remains committed to serving the community with the best all-natural artisan products, crafted with the freshest ingredients available. She puts hours of research and testing (on humans, of course, no animal testing).
“I don’t do anything simply when it comes to ingredients, quality, research, and testing. Yet it’s simple because the amount of something [a product] contains is simple, not many. I think it’s also important to note that my products are made fresh, so no matter if they’re made and shipped or picked up at the store, the items are only as old as it takes to get to you.
“It’s a different format completely. Things in stores can be months or even years old when you purchase them. Compared to mine that are that day or a few days old. The difference is astonishing,” she said.
You can check out La Belle Naturelle’s storefront at 2515 Highway 49 or the website at https://www.labellenaturelle.net