JILL ROWE, OWNER OF LIL’ TYKES TUTORING AND ROWE CASA ORGANICS, ENJOYS HELPING OTHERS LEAD HEALTHIER AND HAPPIER LIVES
by AMBER SMITH ZALINSKI
Jill Rowe has learned a few things in recent years about trusting her gut. As the owner of two thriving businesses, Lil’ Tykes Tutoring and Rowe Casa Organics, Jill’s recipe for success has been fairly simple: follow your heart + provide quality. Of course, there’s more going on behind-the- scenes, and the work never ends when you’re building something you believe in, but Jill is thrilled to have the opportunity to help others lead healthier and happier lives.
Born and raised in New Boston, Jill has made Texarkana home for most of her adult life. With her husband Kevin and their three kids, Drew (16), Alexis (13), and Hosston (6), life stays busy and they wouldn’t have it any other way. “They are always my motivation,” she said. “They are my why.”
Both of Jill’s business ventures have grown out of a deep-rooted desire to help others. As a speech therapy assistant for over a decade, Jill traveled to many preschools and daycare centers and always felt like she could do more, if only she had more time. “I love working with kids! Preschool is my favorite. Seeing their confidence grow as they master new skills is just amazing.”
In March of 2017, Jill opened Lil’ Tykes Tutoring, a mobile tutoring service that has since grown to include over 20 qualified tutors in Texarkana and surrounding areas, and their reach continues to grow. They work with students in all grade levels from preschool to college prep. “Sometimes kids just need a little extra help or to hear something in a different way. I have been so blessed to work with so many amazing teachers through this,” Jill said. “They are truly changing lives.”
Jill’s passion for healthy living and her motivation behind Rowe Casa Organics, an all-natural health and wellness line, began even closer to home - in her own home, actually. “I grew up, like most people probably, that when you get sick you go to the doctor, get a prescription, maybe feel a little better, then wait until you get sick again,” Jill said. “I can remember watching my mom sort her pills in her weekly pill box and thinking, ‘okay, well, that’s what you have to do.’” When Jill became a mother and watched the cycle perpetuate in her own children, she eventually reached a breaking point. “It felt like someone was some kind of sick all the time, and that was miserable! We were in and out of doctor’s offices, paying for medicines, and one day I just decided that there had to be a better way.
I had to at least try something different. I wanted to feel better. I was sick of being sick!”
That was about 10 years ago. Jill began reading about alternative medicine and researching holistic health and making small changes in her own home - drinking more water, making her own cleaning supplies to eliminate toxins, reducing synthetic fragrances in her home, and taking elderberry syrup to boost their immune systems. “For me, it was easy to believe that something natural could work. I believe in God. I believe in His Goodness. So I can believe He created a world full of things to support our bodies and our health,” she said. “I started experimenting with essential oils, testing out home remedies, and replacing our skin care with natural products. It can be overwhelming when you dive into a more natural lifestyle, but I have experienced so, so many benefits.”
While more and more “natural” products are popping up on shelves these days, Jill stays committed to making her own. “I have learned over and over again that a fancy label with the right words does not always match the ingredient list on a product. Marketers can be very sneaky,” she explained. “I knew that if I just made my own products, I would know exactly what was in it and where it came from.
After lots of trial and error, I found what really worked for our family.” During the dreaded “Flu Season of 2017,” Jill started to feel like maybe she had a secret weapon. She attributed much of her family’s thriving health to the elderberry syrup she had been making and decided to share it with others. “I was prepared for people to think
I was crazy! This is outside of a lot of people’s comfort zones, but if it was working for us, why wouldn’t it work for others?” It did work for many
others. They told their friends, and they told their friends. Pretty soon, Jill and Kevin were having late night elderberry parties in the kitchen just
to keep up with the demand. “We’d turn on some music, cook elderberry syrup, and it seems like all day every day I was meeting people all over
town with their syrup,” Jill laughs.
“This is truly a homegrown, from the ground up business, and I just feel so blessed that I am able to help people feel better.”
Over the next year, as Jill offered more products through her Rowe Casa Organics Facebook page and word-of-mouth spread her successes, she realized she couldn’t keep up with the demand and needed to think bigger. “So much of this feels like a God thing,” Jill said as she started to tear-up. “From finding the right recipes and products that have worked for my family, to having such an amazing support system, to being offered this commercial space at the perfect time, and receiving so many testimonials from people that these products are helping them lead better lives – I can’t get over it.”
Since January of this year, Rowe Casa Organics has launched a website, made their first trips to Canton, Texas, and Jill and her team have fulfilled nearly 2,000 orders. “Isn’t that crazy?” Jill said. “I am so humbled by people’s trust and support.” While the growth has been exponential, it has truly been years in the making and still requires continuous behind-the-scenes work. “It has definitely been a learning process,” Jill said. Looking forward to possible next steps and more growth, Rowe Casa has invested in professionally bar-coded labels, implemented a new sealing technique to make their syrups shelf-stable for longer, and Jill continues researching, working with professionals, and is committed to providing quality organic products.
One year ago, Jill Rowe never imagined she would be standing in a large commercial kitchen in a small church in New Boston, Texas, surrounded by drums of witch hazel and a walk-in refrigerator full of elderberries. “It’s amazing to be standing here now and to think about how life has come full circle and brought me back to my hometown,” she said. “The support of both communities has been so overwhelming, and I am so grateful.” Jill can’t help but laugh when she says, “I really never intended to open any businesses. I’m just an all or nothing kind of person when I truly believe in something, and I feel so blessed to be able to do this.”