- OUR STORY -
Hi Sailor Mercy family!!
I’m Dani--wife to Dougger, for just shy of 20 years, and mom to 4 little’s: our oldest Thatcher who's 11, twins Sebastion and Sailor 9, and our youngest Mercy Agate 7. We are blessed to reside in Stillwater, Minnesota on a dead end gravel road just north of town on a few acres.
I grew up a half mile from Phalen Lake and one of my fondest memories is riding my bike around the lake. For those of you familiar with St. Paul’s eastside, my memories go back before the bike path was there--I remember the tracks and when a train would go by, it would shake our whole house. We grew up with very little money and learned early on the importance of hard work, my mother would take us to work with her overnights to clean office buildings; she did what she had to do to get us by. I was raised by a single mother and she remains my number one hero. She taught me many things, most importantly, about Jesus.
I’ve always LOVED to work. My first job as a teenager was at Fanny Farmer selling candy. I quickly moved into the restaurant business and began to wait tables. I spent 22 years of my life in that business. I did everything from serving, managing, cooking on the line, expo but my heart belongs to bartending. I was born to serve others and my dream is to own my own place one day.
In 2010, I became a licensed general contractor for the state of Minnesota, you may be surprised to know I actually own my own exterior company, Dircks Exteriors. We do roofing, siding and windows. This is the first time I’ve ever mentioned it on this page and although I’ve been hard at work on Sailor Mercy, soon I will be back to selling roofs. I pride myself in being a female contractor in a male dominated field. You can ask me about dormers and flashing...and also PH levels and labeling. And now you know why I drive such a (elder) beast. Women can do anything.
In fall of 2017, Thatcher started kindergarten. In September that year he missed 3 days of school for being sick, a severe cold, and a horrible cough. I was frustrated and overwhelmed by the thought that with school now in session, my kids will be sick all year long. And with having at the time, 4 kids, 5 years old and under I was desperate to find an answer. I sat down at the computer to try to find ways to keep our family healthy.
A doctor visit is $225, and it just isn't realistic to pay those visit costs on top of our self employed premiums for every little illness. During my research I kept coming back to elderberry as being natures best defense, I had never heard of it and of course was skeptical. Mom after mom I talked to swore by its benefits in their own family, so I thought, sure let's give it a try. I bought all the ingredients and followed a simple recipe online. I tend to be a bit of a food snob and knew immediately my next batch would definitely be more complex. I can honestly say during those first batches and taste runs, I had no intention of becoming a business, but one thing led to another, and in October 2017 Sailor Mercy was born.
This has been such a fun ride for me, I have a bubbly personality, I care deeply about others, and respect family as being my #1 priority. My sarcasm runs deep and I pride myself on my sense of humor, believing a good old fashion belly laugh can be the best cure for many ailments. Running a business on social media has been a blast. I feel the Sailor Mercy family is receptive to the page, enjoys the meet ups and the pressure they bring--I feel a wave of joy come over me when I pull into a parking lot at 830 on a Saturday morning to see sometimes 8 vehicles waiting for me. We love having Charlie as our business mascot and a personal muse. We give away a LOT of bottles on the page, through donation, and of course the contests are fun and engaging. Thank you for being a part of it. If you aren't already a follower of Sailor Mercy on social media, be sure to check us out--we have a lot of fun over there!
For the future… Sailor Mercy has some very big goals for 2019. We have been busy already--commercial kitchens, inspections, figuring out labels, sourcing, this website, shipping, and setting up a firm foundation to be able to handle large growth in the days, weeks, and months to come.
Sailor Mercy is currently a 7 days a week business for me as I pour my heart and soul into it. We want to be known as a company that cares deeply about quality. There are ways to take short-cuts on products to save money, but our promise to you is to never do that. We love that our honey is sourced not only locally, but from an amazing couple who not only love what they do, but also respect and care tremendously for the bees that produce it. We are currently really working hard to see if we can find a way to source high-quality local elderberries for you as well.
Sailor Mercy cares deeply about its customers. We understand and respect the importance of family and want you to know that the product you give to your children is the same product we in the Dircks family give to our children as well. We strongly believe in the importance of consistency and safety. We carry that responsibility on our shoulders with dedication and pride. We care immensely about you as a customer and cannot mention enough how grateful we are for your support.
Sailor Mercy will also be known as a company, who respects their employees, treats them to both the highest standards and also like family members. We will continue to hire people who work hard and believe in our mission.
Sailor Mercy will continue to be community oriented; we give a quarter of every bottle sale to charity and on top of that donate endless bottles to local schools and other community events we believe in.
On our first label (and every label going forward) we have printed " COL 3:23". A verse that our company and our family lives by and loves.
"Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
This is a testament I believe in. It keeps me in check when it comes to decision making time. It is telling me to work hard, no matter what the task is and to always honor God by choosing good over greed or right over easy. All glory to God."
If you’ve read this whole bio, you are amazing!!! I will end with one last shout out to you the customer. Thank you for supporting this small business. Thank you for believing in what we are doing.
I’m not sure I’ve ever felt with amount of passion about anything else I’ve ever done. I’m madly in love with this whole experience and I hope you can feel the love and passion in the product you buy from Sailor Mercy. Please continue to share the good news with everyone you know. None of this would be happening without you partnering up with me. God bless each of you.
Love, Dani xoxo