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Meet Alyssa Pittera of The Salty Rose

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Pittera.

Alyssa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My entrepreneurial spirit has been a part of me as long as I can remember. When I was nine, I started a dog walking business in my neighborhood with my best friend. I guess I always knew I could never work for someone else, or take hand-outs for that matter. In my late teens/early 20s I became interested in herbal medicine and natural remedies, specifically with the state of my skin. I got off birth control when I was 21, and my skin FREAKED OUT. I basically looked like a hormonal teenager all over again, but WAY worse than my own 16 y/o skin had looked. I’m talkin’ back-ne, chest-ne, neck-ne, and painful acne all over my face. I wore a full face of makeup every day. But then, I quit my job and hopped in a Volkswagon bus and drove across the country and back. No makeup on the road! What’s the point in that? And everything started to clear up a bit, but I still had a long way to go, especially considering all the scars that would outlive the acne.

Over the years, I immersed myself in workshops, internships, classes, more travel, and becoming a full-blown foodie. I knew to heal the outside. The inside had to be a priority too. Eat more plants! Plants are the answer to everything. My thirst for knowledge was, and is still, unquenchable. In 2015, I moved to Maui for six months, completing a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training, and immediately moved to a permaculture farm to work a 3-month internship. These months transformed me, and I came out of it knowing that I wanted to be a steward of the earth and fill the cups of others as mine was overflowing.

I moved back to California with a vision, and although that didn’t exactly go as planned, so many other beautiful opportunities arose. I applied to the California School of Herbal Studies and was accepted. Dishearteningly, I could not afford the tuition at the time, so I made an effort to attend every single weekend workshop, day-long class, five class series, you name it, I was there. My offerings exploded. I was learning and absorbing and applying everything all at once. I was living off-grid growing my own herbs and medicine, I was wildcrafting non-stop, and practicing my kitchen witchery and skincare alchemy like my life depended on it. Everything was improving. My skin was beginning to glow, and my body was strong. My life was abundant.

A year later, I was living in Washington state, and I launched The Salty Rose. I wanted to create luxurious skin and body care products free from chemicals and preservatives that really fed my consumer’s medicine, not toxins. Our skin absorbs everything we touch; it is the largest organ of our body, and it should be fed with respect! The name for my business was inspired by a couple of factors- Trinity Ava an incredible teacher at CSHS always referred to certain plants as ‘bossy’ and I always loved this and the personification of plants. Then, one of the first products I crafted was a body scrub made from dried rose petals and Hawaiian black lava salt, and it clicked… salty rose… huh, that’s literally me! I’m a sassy, salty rose! And it stuck.

My favorite thing to make is lotion- because I can infuse it with so much goodness and medicine; nutrient-dense oils, herbal extracts, tinctures, beeswax, herbal infused glycerites, hydrosols, and delicious smelling essential oils for our skin to literally drink in. Feeding you from the inside out is my goal. Most of my products are also edible (maybe not always be tasty, but edible!). Today, I thrive knowing that I am supporting my community by sourcing as local as possible and offering the highest quality non-toxic skin and body care products. I grow, wildcraft, and locally source almost all my herbs that go into my infusions. My beeswax comes from local beekeepers that love their bees like pets. My friend grows organic sunflowers, and I craft products with his amazing sunflower oil. I found a local lavender farm that makes both hydrosol and essential oils! And I bring all this goodness to the farmer’s markets, farm stores, and health food stores, in addition to my website where I can offer shipping worldwide. I pride my brand on being one that cuts no corners. I package in glass- not plastic, and I never compromise on my ingredients. Becoming a skinfoodie was the best thing I ever did. I have healed my skin with products I made with my own two hands, and it is the best feeling!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Part of the reason I chose to start herbal skincare was because it is an easy market to plug into while staying small. Scarily enough, but lucky for me- the FDA does not regulate the skincare industry. For someone like me that is basically making edible skincare, this is great because I know that I am bringing a quality, organic, 100% natural product to my consumers, but for all those brands out there using 98% synthetic ingredients, and 2% natural ingredients, it is a scary thought! The hardest challenge I have faced with my business since day one is a marketing strategy. It has taken me a long time to get through ‘imposter syndrome,’ to know that what I am offering is valuable and it is okay to tell people I am selling something! I struggle with keeping up an online presence and advertising for myself.

Please tell us about The Salty Rose.
I specialize in the alchemy of plants into a variety of skin and body care products including but not limited to: hand and body lotions, scar creams, stretch mark balms, salves, lip balms, tooth powders, beard oils, face toners, CBD pain relief lotions, face toners, facial serums, and sea salt hair texturizers. The Salty Rose is a health-obsessed business. But not just on the individual level, I really believe in stimulating my community. Collaborating with my local farmers and gardeners, beekeepers, and medicine makers is my favorite part of this business. It makes every bit of it medicinal, from seed to harvest, there is so much love and intention going into each jar of body butter, every exfoliator and scrub, every mineral-rich tooth powder. We love the plants, and the plants love us back. And when my customers use these products, it is an act of self-love, and they REALLY work. I have die-hard customers all over the country that have been ordering the same product from me for years now. The integrity of my products never falls short, and I am committed to never cutting corners for the sake of financial gain.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t have changed much of anything in this journey. I would maybe have tried to not take such a long break while I was moving and travelling, but I also would not have traded those experiences for staying in one place and really establishing my business at that time.

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Alyssa Pittera

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