ISU alum opens modern-day apothecary in Ames


Courtesy of Jenny Pollard

Jenny Pollard is the owner of Life Distilled, a small business located on Main Street in downtown Ames. 

Mackenzie Bodell

When customers walk into Life Distilled in downtown Ames, they are greeted by the bright and cheerful smile of the owner, Jenny Pollard. 

Right off the bat, no, Pollard is not related to Iowa State Athletic Director Jamie Pollard.

“I’m going to be famous someday, and people will ask him if he’s related to me, but I’ve not gotten to that point yet,” Pollard said. 

Pollard is the owner of Ames’ modern-day apothecary, Life Distilled. Life Distilled is a natural goods store located on Main Street.

Its main attraction is its therapeutic grade essential oils. In November, the shop opened after Pollard and her husband took a leap of faith and invested their savings into the business. 

Before opening Life Distilled, Pollard worked at Iowa State doing communication and marketing for 13 years. She also graduated from Iowa State in 2006, where she was involved with the Iowa State Daily and the Iowa State marching band. 

Pollard and her husband fell in love with the Ames and the Iowa State community while they both were still in college. The pair even got married on Iowa State’s campus at the Lagomarcino courtyard. 

“We just kind of fell in love and never wanted to leave,” Pollard said. 

In the Ames community, Pollard loves Burgie’s coffee, especially their mochas. Pollard says she loves hanging out in coffee shops because of the sense of community she feels in them. 

“You feel connected to your community in a coffee shop,” Pollard said.  

Aside from being a small business owner, Pollard is also a mother to three young boys. Pollard says the best part of her day starts in the morning when she gets to spend time with her children. 

“They’ll always come and snuggle in bed with me, and that like seriously, it’s pure joy,” Pollard said. 

While Pollard finds joy in both her family and her business, she admits that balancing both can be stressful at times. 

“You pick your battles each day,” Pollard said. “You have to just decide what is most important. Is it showing up for my business and doing the very best for what folks need of me here, or is it showing up at home and making sure I get to that one baseball game that is so important to my son?” 

Pollard also spoke about how her faith helps her stay grounded and focused when times get hectic. She said she has always had a strong relationship with God, which has helped guide her in the right direction with her family and business. 

One question Pollard wished she was asked more is how essential oils actually work. Pollard enjoys learning and sharing the science behind it. 

“Smelling an oil or smelling a flower or coffee that you’re brewing in the morning, it goes into the olfactory system and controls or has impact on the limbic system,” Pollard said. 

To learn more about the true benefits that essential oils can have on one’s life, stop by Main Street and visit Pollard. One of Pollard’s favorite parts of running Life Distilled is when people come in just to chat. 

“There’s folks that will actually come in, just to sit at the bar and talk,” Pollard said. “I think honestly, people just need to be heard, just have a real conversation.”

Life Distilled is located at 301 Main St. The shop also has a website with links to events and education resources.