Elderberry Queen with Lindsey Christianson, Founder feature #65 of Together Talks
Updated: Oct 25
"Together Talks" feature #65: Elderberry Queen presented by KLS, freight company
Some Background on Elderberry Queen
For today's edition of "Together Talks" campaign, KLS had the opportunity to interview Lindsey Christianson, Founder of Elderberry Queen. In 2017, the company was founded by Lindsey. With a connection to home and a mission to help her family she dove into creating elderberry syrup. After receiving some interest from friends and family, she decided to spread the word locally of her creation. The traction was exceptional and gave her the idea to build the brand of Elderberry Queen to provide her syrup to as many individuals as possible.
The beginning of the company was out of necessity, but simply trying something, anything to find a solution. In 2014, Lindsey who has 5 children was constantly dealing with sick kids between colds, flu, asthma, etc. She was searching for a remedy to help her ailing kids. Her cousin had mentioned using elderberry syrup and Lindsey decided to look into it more. She found a few products in 4 or 8 ounce bottles, selling for $2.32/fluid ounce...back in 2014. If this product worked it was not feasible for her entire family.
Lindsey continued going down the rabbit hole, researching more what went into the syrup. She realized she had almost everything required, the only thing missing was the elderberries. She decided to buy some and start creating it in her kitchen. Almost immediately she saw her kids health change for the better. That year with 5 kids they missed 1 day of school COMBINED!
Lindsey thought there is no way it is just this syrup, but she started telling friends and family about the turnaround. They asked for some and she continued to receive excellent feedback. She thought let's push even further and she posted on a local group page for garage sales if anyone would be interested in her product.
She sold 10,000 bottles total out of her home!
Starting a Revolution
At this point Lindsey was making 10 gallons of syrup every other day, but the demand was too large for her to keep up. She knew she needed to grow and scale to continue to bring Elderberry Queen to its full potential. The next step was creating a business, but that required legalities and regulations she had to conquer. This resulted in Lindsey getting very familiar with the MDA (Minnesota Department of Agriculture).
This was unchartered territory for not just Lindsey but anyone. As her contact told her, "I've never seen an individual pursue a dietary supplement. It's normally large corporations with one person specifically designated to handle the paperwork for the supplement. It's very difficult." And here is Lindsey who was a mom with a hope to provide her kids a better life now trying to tackle this enormous challenge.
"You're starting a revolution", the MDA told her.
Lindsey's work and vision paid off as her product was Certified USDA Organic as of 9/27/2018!
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7 Organic Ingredients
Lindsey's pursuit of creating sustainable change starts with the foundation of her company, the product. Plant-based, USDA Organic, Non GMO, with benefits of each specific ingredient designed to make an individual feel better. Her elderberry syrup targets strengthening the immune system to prevent sickness. We learned how when she was first introduced the size of the bottles was small and incredibly pricey. This was the first goal of Lindsey's to conquer.
Elderberry Queen is available in 3 sizes: 12, 24, and 30 ounce bottles. In her words, the 30oz bottle comes with 60 servings, meaning it can last 2 months with 1 serving per day.
Next Lindsey wanted to make the product instantly available for consumers which many of us equate to Amazon. Sure enough she got her product on Amazon so parents and individuals can order it in a moment's notice.
The last goal for Lindsey was to also put it in brick and mortar stores across the country. As of our chat with her, Elderberry Queen is found in over 500 retail locations including Hy-vee, Target.com, and Walgreens.com!
Committed to helping
The proof of concept is there for the product, but Lindsey said the company does still face challenges. One is standing out to potential buyers and grocery chains. While she finds incredible success on the ecommerce side as individuals understand the product and her connection to it being a mother as well, she has found it difficult to break into grocery chains. She did mention that when given the opportunity, the product has delivered incredible results. For example, Elderberry Queen is the top selling elderberry syrup at Hy-vee!
She informed us how there was so much to learn and how intimidating it was initially (MDA ring a bell!). But she understood that the company's goal is to help people. They understand that their demographic are individuals who want to improve their health and well being and consuming the Elderberry Queen Syrup is one component to a healthier life. Supporting our immune system is a pivotal component to not only being healthy but remaining healthy. Creating this product, growing it and scaling it, allows Lindsey to provide similar solutions to others that she ultimately solved for her children. It all goes back to helping people with their health.
But that is not the only avenue that Elderberry Queen helps people. The company also partners with the below charities and organizations:
Finding your mission
In our chat with Lindsey she mentioned prior to creating her company she had always possessed the entrepreneur spirit. She had started different companies to try and generate income while also supporting the company and communities, but nothing had ever truly clicked for her in terms of meeting all her needs. That was until she created this company as she shared, "This was the first time I created something and truly understood and felt it wasn't for the money." Then came the turning point for her and the company. In 2019, her husband quit his job to work full time with her and Elderberry Queen.
2020 was the company's biggest year!
The challenges, struggles, adversity she faced could have led her to give up, but as she so passionately told us, this is her mission. Lindsey loves helping people. She loves receiving picture and video testimonials of little kids pointing to the Elderberry Syrup in the fridge before they can even talk. Her syrup. She told us about some of the written testimonials she has received that has moved her and motivates her to continue the journey.
Lindsey shared that the favorite aspect of her job is getting to work with her husband. "He handles the warehouse and operations and I handle everything else. So we have different roles, but having the opportunity to work with him every day is such a luxury." Lindsey admitted she enjoys the creative aspects including branding, designing, and formulating. Also she mentioned the marketing decisions and the fact that aside from her husband the rest of the company is all female.
Recently they took their entire family on a 20 day vacation which she attributed to the flexibility that comes with being an entrepreneur. While she is adamant about helping others, she also cherishes the fact that she can continue to help her family as well. Creating and now running her own company allows her to balance supporting her family while nourishing it as well. "Tomorrow is not guaranteed, we just have today. We invest so much into our kids, our family, and our community, we truly care about helping and believe Elderberry Queen is doing that.", Lindsey explained.
And the mission to help doesn't just end with their syrup. In 2021 they expanded to gummies. They are planning to release a chewable vitamin with elderberry as well. Lindsey hopes one day to become a 1-stop shop for consumers. It is a chewable Vitamin C. One stop shop for immunity. And that led Lindsey to giving us her piece of advice, "Everybody has a purpose, everybody has been given a gift. Finding what that gift or purpose is and figuring out how to help others is the ultimate dream. Maybe everyone can't turn it into a business, but it will fulfill you in a way that nothing else can. And that is our true purpose of life."
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KLS wants to thank Elderberry Queen and Lindsey Christianson, Founder, for today's "Together Talks" feature. Keep up to date with Elderberry Queen by following their blog on their website, check it out here. Follow along for the Elderberry Queen journey with their social handles below!
Also check out where Elderberry Queen has been featured in the following publications below!
Klimson Logistics Solutions - Together Talks with Elderberry Queen feature #65
*Klimson Logistics Solutions is an Industry Leading Customer Service 3PL. Our focus and commitment to our clients has us striving to be the BEST customer service 3PL for LTL, FTL, Reefer, and Drayage in the country. KLS, freight company, is a 3PL providing nationwide logistics solutions. KLS shipping services include: LTL freight, FTL freight, Reefer LTL freight, Reefer FTL freight, and Drayage. Klimson Logistics Solutions thanks you for viewing our marketing campaign, "Together Talks". If you have any interest in being featured or questions regarding your freight operations please contact us today!
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We handle every shipment with the exact same process. It does not matter if you move one shipment a year or ten per day, you will receive the same level of customer service from us. When we started this company, we had one goal in mind, treat every shipment like it was our own. With our vast knowledge of the industry, we understood what a customer would want from a communication standpoint. We applied that process to be the standard here at KLS. Our reliability and being able to depend on our consistency is why we have such long-standing relationships with our clients.
Every shipment in our industry starts with a quote. We are firm believers that time is money, thus we strive to have quotes back in a 5-10 minute reply time for LTL and FTL, any FCL quotes are at the mercy of the carriers getting back to us. For LTL we have the flexibility to quote both off of NMFC and also Density depending on the carrier. Utilizing our services, you’re allowing us to use our expertise to class your freight accordingly to ensure we are providing the best rate we possibly can.
Once a quote has been submitted and a client chooses to proceed with KLS handling the arrangement of the shipment our full process begins. We create the BOL that will be used for the shipment. If it is a new location for our system, we will obtain all the important/special details (reference numbers, contact details, shipping hours, closed for lunch, dock/doors, etc.). We meticulously build every detail into our software for all future shipments involving that location. After we have both locations built and necessary reference numbers have been applied we will tender the shipment to the carrier. We use this method because it provides us a real time pickup number from the carrier to obtain updates prior to pickup. Our staff will either email the BOL directly to you or to the shipper (at your request) the minute after the tender has been accepted by the carrier. LTL carriers require a 2 hour window prior to close time in order to schedule it for a same-day pickup attempt.
The following morning you’ll receive an email from us. It will either provide the reason the pickup was missed (driver’s trailer filled up, driver missed the close time, truck broke down, shipper said no freight, etc.) or if the pickup was successful you will receive the PRO (tracking) number from us, along with the eta for delivery. Our staff will track it throughout the duration of transit and advise if anything happens that will alter the estimated delivery date. The day the shipment delivers we will email you with confirmation and the POD (Proof of Delivery), should you require it.
Your shipment has been quoted, scheduled, picked up, and delivered. The next step is waiting for the carrier to invoice us and make sure the rate matches up. If it does, we close out the invoice from the carrier in our system and automatically your invoice is created and sent to the requested party at your company. In the event the carrier has an additional charge on their invoice “Variance”, we will never send you an invoice with an additional charge without first identifying you of the charge.
Let us repeat, NEVER WILL WE JUST BILL OUT AN EXTRA CHARGE WITHOUT YOU BEING NOTIFIED.
You are our customer, we represent you. Should the carrier provide an extra charge on an invoice, “Lift gate, additional weight, reclass, detention, etc.) We notify you of the charge via email first. Second, within that email we identify what is required should you choose to dispute the charge. Again our goal is to honor your request, if you want to dispute, we will dispute. During a dispute we will provide you updates every step along the way. Once a dispute is closed out, whether it is approved or rejected, then we will invoice you as the invoice has been resolved.
For reference, our company only had 6.2% of all shipments go to dispute in 2022 and we successfully won 91% of those disputes on behalf of our customers.
This is our process for every single shipment you move with us. We don’t cut corners, we don’t hide from difficult situations. We believe in being available, honest, and transparent. We don’t ever want to tell you that a shipment is lost, damaged, misrouted, but it is our duty to notify you the second we find out something has gone wrong. We hate to present bad news, but it is part of the job. What you can guarantee is that we will work a shipment all the way through and turn over every stone until we get a resolution for our clients.
Our core business is LTL and FTL. Within these options we have options for both dry and refrigerated/frozen. We also offer FCL/Drayage options. Our company as a 3PL has nationwide options and services clients across the US.
Let’s breakdown our services more in-depth
LTL: Standard and Guaranteed CFS (Imports & Exports) Tradeshows Hazmat Anything that is on a pallet can be moved LTL. Typically LTL is up to 10 pallets, but the sweet spot for a carrier is 6-8 pallets at most for an individual shipment. LTL quotes are good between 5-30 days depending on the carrier. LTL can be quoted either via NMFC or density to determine the class (we do this for you).
Volume: Anything over 10-12’ of space in the truck is the technical rule for a volume shipment. When we run a quote for you we will determine if it qualifies for volume and provide you a rate if available. Volume moves allow you to get a reduced rate for larger shipments. The caveat to volume shipments it the quotes are only valid for 3-7 days and they move on capacity between terminals. If a terminal is backed up they will move their LTL freight first before the volume freight, which can lead to longer transit times for volume moves.
FTL/Dedicated/Expedited: 53’ Dry and Reefer 26’ Box trucks with lift gate Sprinter Van The main difference for FTL vs LTL is space and transit time. For standard pallets you can fit either 26 or 30 pallets in a 53’ dry van. The other main difference is transit time, for FTL each day counts in the transit time, whereas LTL does not count the day of pickup, weekends, or holidays in their transit time.
Reefer/Frozen: LTL and FTL We specialize working in the CPG space with food manufacturers. We regularly deliver to the following locations: Kehe UNFI Core Mark DPI Wegmans Cugini H.T. Hackney Netrition HEB ALDI Chambers and Owens EBY Brown Nassau Candy Harris Teeter Wakefern NU INC Long Distribution
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There are thousands for freight brokers and 3PL in our industry. Barrier to entry is rather easy and agents or owners will often hire sales people without any intention of properly training them. It results in high turnover for many freight companies and a forgettable experience for the client. We choose to operate differently through our consistency. We truly care about doing right by our clients and prospects too. While we would love to help provide our services to every company we speak with, that just isn’t realistic. We won’t always be the right fit for every company that moves freight and that is ok. Our authenticity as a shipping company sets us apart from the competition and that is backed up by our testimonials. We also run a marketing campaign bi-weekly called “Together Talks”. We interview, highlight, and promote two businesses every week. Our goal is to grow our network, make new connections, and learn something new with each collaboration. Check it out on our website and if you’re interested in being featured reach out.
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