Area Man Wins Business Award

BERKELEY SPRINGS, WVa. - Every time Tina Beal travels to Berkeley Springs from her hometown, she makes a stop in her favorite shop.

The Cumberland, Md., resident visits Homeopathy Works to pick up a few remedies that are made from all-natural products and have no harmful side effects.

"I'm very allergic to regular medications, so homeopathy really saved my life sometimes ...," Beal said. "I love that it's here and the essence as to what it's about."

The store's owner, Joe Lillard, was recently named the West Virginia Small Business Person of the Year for his business, which sells a variety of products ranging from ointments for cuts and bruises, pills to treat poison ivy and remedies for headaches.

The full name of his business is Washington Homeopathic Products.

"It's pretty neat because it's an unusual business, and people don't think of it and (sometimes) have never heard of it, and winning the thing is interesting," Lillard said.

The award is given to one person in each state by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which is a federal agency that provides assistance and counciling to small businesses.

"I think it's pretty cool," said Crystal Porter, a three-year employee at the store. "Joe's a great person. He deserves it. He works hard for it, and it works. We are definitely doing good, growing business-wise, and I definitely think it's good he's come this far this quick."

Other awards were given to Marten Jenkins and Joe Brouse from National Capital Investment Fund in Shepherdstown as Financial Services Champions; and David Kenneth Whalen, who is publisher of B2B Outlook LLC in Martinsburg, as Small Business Journalist.

Homeopathy is an organic and natural form of medicine that treats ailments.

"I like it. I use a lot of it, my kids use it, and it's great. Everything I've used so far has worked," Porter said. "It doesn't have any chemicals that will make you sick. It either works or doesn't. If it's the right remedy for you, it'll work."

Lillard first became interested in homeopathy when he moved to Berkeley Springs from the Washington, D.C. area and began to raise farm animals.

When the animals became sick, the price of the medication was more than what the animal was worth, so he began looking into alternative forms of medication.

"I just kept studying it and figuring out stuff, and I took classes and got pretty good at it," Lillard said. "Then the pharmacy came for sale, and not knowing any better, said 'I can do that.'"

He purchased Washington Homeopathic Products in 1991, when it was located in Bethesda, Md. A few years later he opened a store in Berkeley Springs and soon closed the Bethesda location.

Besides his store on Fairfax Street, he also has another location in Berkeley Springs that is used more for production of products.

Washington Homeopathic Products has provided products to more than 70,000 customers all over the world, ranging from Australia to Egypt to South Korea to every state in the United States.

Lillard said there's a homeopathic product for every ailment or disease out there and they are much more safe than traditional forms of medicine.

He sells many over-the-counter products and also fills orders for more serious diseases, such as cancer, after a medical doctor who is also trained in homeopathy prescribes it to a patient.

Most of the products are made by staff members.

Lillard was honored May 19 along with other winners at a White House ceremony. He will be recognized again on June 17 at the annual West Virginia Small Business Awards Celebration at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley.

- Jounal staff writer Christina Marnik can be reached at (304) 263-8931, ext. 182, or

reprinted from the Martinsburg Journal