Hilling Essentials evolved organically, during some of the darkest moments of my life. I am the owner, Arlene Smith. In 2011, the company I spent the previous 20 years working with, sold!! It was surreal; I started there as a cashier, and worked my up to an Above Store Leader /Area Coach where I oversaw the operations of 8 restaurants. This was a big deal for a young black woman, once teen mom of 2, from the projects. I was faced with having to start over, and I did.
Ten months after accepting a management role at another concept, I was faced with losing my son (Michael) and first-cousin (Darren) to a double-homicide. It nearly crushed me. I was working in a job I didn’t like, while trying to navigate the grief of losing my son and first-cousin.
I resigned from that role, re-entered into college and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business, from USC Upstate, in 2017. The next few years were spent with me trying to find myself; where I “fit” in (jobs, friendships, etc.).
My love for natural remedies, prompted me to take a few holistic courses during COVID. I fell in love with all I was learning. As someone with dry, sensitive skin, I had been crafting my own body butters for more than a decade…a true hobby. Learning how to incorporate botanicals, spices and therapeutic essential oils into skincare re-lit the fire in me. It fits me perfectly.