Etta + Billie Interview: Why I love all things natural

I was recently interviewed by the fabulous crew over at Makers Market (online retailer focusing on well crafted American Made goods). Get a little insight into my natural philosophy…

Makers Market_Etta + Billie_Handcrafted Soap

Alana Rivera of ETTA + BILLIE (shop her products here)

“I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources.”

When we scroll through your instagram feed we get hungry. Why is it
important that the things we put on our skin should be good enough to
eat? Do you use any preservatives? Could we really eat your products if
we wanted to?

I think it’s important to be as conscious of what we put on our bodies as we are of what we put into our bodies. While synthetic ingredients can be effective, I think there is no way to truly mimic what mother nature has created and the only way to feed our skin is to choose ingredients that come from natural sources. These ingredients have been used for years to nourish and heal. Residue from all the products we use, will eventually end up in our water system and choosing natural ingredients helps reduce the harmful impact on wildlife and plant-life. I do not use preservatives in any of my products with the exception of the lotion, it is a aqueous based formula that needs a preservative to maintain it’s integrity. I suppose you could eat the products, but I wouldn’t recommend it, they taste terrible!

What are your favorite California plants to work with?  Do you get any
of your herbal ingredients locally?

Read on over at the Makers Market Blog.

Retail Spotlight: West County Herb Co. in Occidental, CA

west_county_herb_store_sonoma county_etta + billie_apothecary  
After a lifetime of loving to be around plants and studying herbalism and also noticing how many talented herbalists and diversity of plant life Northern California held, Lisa Kurtz opened West County Herb Company  in 2008 to celebrate and support the plants that grow here and the people who are crafting beautiful products. West County Herb Company carries locally grown bulk herbs and locally made herbal products, soaps, candles, etc. They also carry medicine-making supplies, oils, bees’ wax, salts and glassware for those who are wanting to do some creating of their own.
Lisa wanted the shop to be a place where people felt comfortable to come in, smell the wonderful aroma of herbs, ask questions, look through our reference library, sip some tea and feel comforted and soothed by the surroundings and the herbs themselves. She wanted to create a place that invited you to slow down and be in your body and discover ways to enhance the feeling of wellness and connection that is within us when we take time to notice.
The first Monday of the Month at 6:00 there is a free lecture given by a guest speaker at an event space adjacent to West County Herb Company. Some of the most well-respected herbalists in the area (and beyond) have generously given their time to these wonderful talks. The space also hosts other classes and events.
Read on to find out a few of Lisa’s favorite things.west_county_herb_store_sonoma county_etta + billie
1. What is your favorite color? I really like them all, but my eyes really miss green when I don’t see it.
2. What is your favorite smell? my herb shop
3. What is your favorite beverage? There are many, but I have to go with water
4. What would you choose as your last meal? Oysters and champagne
5. What is your favorite thing to cook? Nettle and spring onion omelet
6. What is your favorite dessert? blackberry pie
7. What is the furthest place you’ve traveled? Prague
8. Three destinations on your bucket list: Turkey, Japan, and Iceland (although I want to go to so many more)
9. What is your favorite book? The one I’m reading now: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
10. What is your favorite Etta + Billie product? At the moment I am using the Peppermint Lime Soap and LOVING it, but I feel that way about whatever Etta + Billie product I am using at the moment.- Yeah we’re so happy to hear that!
You can find out more about West County Herb Co. by following them on facebook!
West County Herb Co.
3641 Main
Occidental, CA 95465Open: Saturday and Sunday, from 11-5, and by appointment.

Retail Spotlight: Park and Pond in San Francisco

Park and Pond-Shop-San Francisco-LocalPark and Pond opened in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood in August 2011. Founded by Bay Area natives and sisters, Jessica (pictured below) and Abbey Herman, Park and Pond is the source for awesome, creative, useful, and well-designed goods such as jewelry, stationery, gifts, home items, art, and bath and body products that have been produced within 100 miles of San Francisco. The store has been named the Best Place to Pick up a Hostess Gift and Best Homegoods by Bay Area A-List for three consecutive years!!! Pretty fantastic. Owner Jessica Herman, shares a few of her favorite things below.Park and Pond-Jessica-Shop-San Francisco-Local

1. What is your favorite color?
My favorite color has always been green. Followed closely by black.

2. Go to cocktail or beverage?
Go to cocktail is a dirty vodka martini.

3. Favorite dessert?
Favorite dessert is anything with chocolate!

4. Furthest place you’ve traveled?
Furthest place I’ve traveled would be to Cape Town, South Africa. And I absolutely loved it, and would definitely go back!

5.Three Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Japan, Cuba, and Burma

6. Favorite Etta + Billie product?
Favorite Etta + Billie product right now is the grapefruit cardamom body oil, but we just got the Vendetta IPA soap in, and it smells absolutely amazing!

Park and Pond-Etta-Billie-Soaps-Shop-San FranciscoFind out more about Park and Pond!
website: www.ParkandPond.com
instagram: parkandpond
facebook: www.facebook.com/parkandpond
pinterest: www.pinterest.com/parkandpondsf
twitter: www.twitter.com/ParkandPond

Park and Pond
1422 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
OPEN: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 7pm & Sunday 12 – 5pm

 

 

Retailer Spotlight: The Flora Cultural Society

  The Flora Cultural Society Oakland ShopAnna Campbell runs the stunning The Floral Cultural Society in Old Town Oakland. Not does Anna produce beautiful arrangements, she also raises flowers and hosts workshop at her flower farm located in an abandoned parking lot in downtown Oakland. Pretty rad, right? The shop has a collection of beautiful handcrafted plant based goods. In Anna’s words -““Rewilding your life” can be as simple as a few fresh cut flowers or a lovely Etta & Billie soap”. We couldn’t agree more! Please read Anna’s interview and be sure to stop by the shop.
etta billie the flora cultural society oakland

1. What is your favorite color?
I’m obsessed with color, always have been and could never pick one as a favorite although if you had to pigeonhole me I’m always drawn to mustard yellow

2. Favorite smell?
I have three: lily of the valley, freshly mown grass and rain on sidewalks

3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
I’m a tea girl, can’t get enough of the stuff.

4. What would you choose as your last meal?
Fish tacos from Tamarindo.

5. Favorite thing to cook?
Paella

6. Favorite dessert?
Lemon curd and shortbread

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled?
As a mental traveler, Cuba but in real life I’m a homebody and actually not a very adventurous traveler, I love my house.

8. Three Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list?
I would love to have a chance to name colors (I have no idea for what it just sounds fun), go to Cuba, and as silly as it sounds build a tree house somewhere in the middle of a field just like I had when I was little.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents?
My grandpa handing me his chapstick whenever he saw me. I don’t think I ever had chapped lips it was just his way of showing me he cared and he wasn’t much of a talker at all. The other favorite memory is picking plums with him in their backyard. I really miss my grandpa.

10. Favorite book?
Camus “The Plague”

The Flora Cultural Society Oakland Boutique Find out more about Flora Cultural Society!
instagram: http://instagram.com/floraculturalsociety
blog:http://floraculturalsociety.com/blog/

FLORA CULTURAL SOCIETY
461A 9th StreetOakland, CA 94607
OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday 12:00-6:00 pm

Store Spotlight: Lilify

Lilify Monterey California Shopping Lifestyle StoreHanni and Jesse are the team behind the well curated boutique Lilify, located in the beautiful California coastal town of Monterey. You’ll find hand crafted items, vintage and other one-of-a-kind treasures there. Plus, they are home to coffee roaster, Bright Coffee. Coffee + shopping = my idea of heaven. When not running the Lilify boutique, you can find Hanni creating incredible natural and sophisticated floral arrangements. Check out the amazing images on their site. Find out more about a few of Hanni’s favorite things below. Lilify boutique Monterey California Shopping Destination

  1. What is your favorite color? Black
  2. Favorite smell? Rosemary
  3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Rose
  4. What would you choose as your last meal? Salmon with asparagus (prepared any way) served with Rose
  5. Favorite thing to cook? Salmon with asparagus (prepared any way) served with Rose
  6. Favorite dessert? Rose
  7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? South Africa is probably the furthest geographically, but southern Guyana was the ruralist.

Floral Design Monterey California at Lilify

Follow Lilify!

instagram: lilifydesigns

facebook: lilify

pinterest: lilify

blog: lilify.com

Lilify
281 Lighthouse Avenue
Monterey, California 93940

Open: Mon – Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sun: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Retailer Interview: Egg & Dart

Egg-and-Dart-Etta-Billie-Display
Painter Chris Wyllie and designer Kristen Coates collaborate to bring you Egg & Dart, an eclectic collection of art and home decor. Their flagship store is located at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island or you can find them online at egganddart.bigcartel.com. Both shops are filled with a carefully curated selection of local art, handmade objects, fine linens, table decor, gifts, books, apothecary and seasonal greenery arrangements. What’s not to love about that? Read Kristen’s interview below!
1. What is your favorite color?
I got back and forth between favorite colors. Gold, grey, white, blue, white, grey, blue, gold. Lately I have been in a big black and white phase, but as I am putting the pieces together for our store, we are getting all sorts of sandy beachy palettes of gold, grey, white, blue with some hints of black.
2. Favorite smell?
My favorite smell is my dog. I have 9 month old Cavalier King Charles, Sofia Banana, that pretty much rules my life right now.  Her fur smells of cinnamon and hints of almond and the beach.  So treats and salt water basically.  Traditionally I am drawn to espresso in the morning, tuberose and lilac throughout the day and then rose and patchouli in the evenings. I love when people can pick up on scents in my home and more often than not, when someone comes in my store they say “It smells delicious in here”.
3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
We keep a couple of bottles of cava on hand for impromptu cocktails along with bitters and some sugar. A bit of sugar in a glass, a dash or two of bitters and top with champagne.  If there are roses in the garden I add a few petals for garnish or a slice of strawberry or even nasturtium just for the color. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but when I do drink, I like it to be pretty. I think guests appreciate the special touches.
4. Favorite thing to cook?
I grew up as a vegetarian that did not like cooked vegetables. In the last year or two as I have transitioned out of living in NYC full time, I have taken to visiting farms near our home in Newport and going to the farmer’s markets as much as I can and have fallen in love with cooking vegetables and experimenting with different flavors.  While in LA this winter, we were very much in love with Summerland.is – they deliver local famer’s market items to your door! I love a thick, baked cherry tomato sauce over polenta cakes, or soup with butternut squash, caramelized onions, an apple and a little white wine and grilled radicchio, I could eat it every day.  I don’t know if it is tastes changing or actually paying attention to food and cooking that makes it all seem better now, maybe a combination.
5. Favorite book?
Daily Rituals is a series of short essays on how writers, artists, filmmakers, composers, poets, musicians, novelists and the like go through their day. The book details each person’s work ethic, alcohol consumption, eating habits and sleep (or lack there of) patterns. Maya Angelou works from a hotel before heading home to make dinner for her husband and makes sure she has time to unwind her brain before dinner is ready.  I find this type of information to be fascinating and inspiring.
egg-and-dart-art
Follow the team behind Egg & Dart!
blog:
my blogs vary in states of neglect…
Egg & Dart
57 America’s Cup Avenue at Bowen’s Wharf
Newport, Rhode Island
Open
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Retailer Spotlight: Greenhouse

Etta + Bilie Retailer
Greenhouse is a shop located in Serenbe, Georgia that focuses on one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and lovely found objects. Owner, Kenya Brantley is an absolute sweet heart and has a seriously good eye for fabulous goods! If you are in the area, you must stop in and check it out (and post photos!). In the meantime, check out my mini interview with Kenya below and be sure to follow Greenhouse on social media.

instagram: greenhouseserenbe
facebook: GreenhouseSerenbe
pinterest: shopgreenhouse
twitter: ShopGreenhouse
website: greenhouseserenbe.com

  1. What is your favorite color? Grey
  2. Go to cocktail or beverage? Sex on the Beach. Don’t ask. 😉
  3. What would you choose as your last meal? Crab legs with lots of butter!!!
  4. Furthest place you’ve traveled? Fiji!!! It was amazing!!!
  5. Favorite book? The Bible. I need it to live by…

Greenhouse
9117 Selborne LaneChattahoochee, GA 30268

OPEN: Thu – Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

 

 

Retailer Interview: Twig & Twine

Twig and Twine-Boutique-Florist-Los Angeles-Storefrontphotos by Ashley Keleme

Aren’t these lovely? Those flowers are from Los Angeles based, Twig & Twine. Owner, Heather Williams, creates incredible arrangements and curates a unique selection of hand-picked gifts, home decor, artisanal goods and other lovely treasures. Check out her interview below and if you’re in LA, be sure to stop by.

1. What is your favorite color?  Favorite? Too tough to name just one. I’m a florist! All colors are great. Just depends on my mood.

2. Favorite smell? Sweet peas.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Tequila on the rocks with a lime.
4. What would you choose as your last meal? Pork of some sort. Bacon, pork belly, loin….I’m into it all. A side of seasonal veggies would be great too. And I wouldn’t complain with a first course of cheese. Oh, crap. I just thought about sushi. SUSHI! Pork for dessert. ; )
5. Favorite thing to cook? What’s left in the kitchen fridge meal. I’m the best at that. I’d totally kick ass on Chopped.

6. Favorite dessert? Again!?! Just one?!?! Impossible. I’ll eat and enjoy it all from macarans to ice cream to pudding to salted caramels! Sweet treats are the best.

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? Technically? Probably South East Asia, Indonesia or Eastern Europe. But that flight to French Polynesia felt pretty long too.
8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Paris, Japan, New Zealand
9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? My youth in my grandmother’s rose garden.

10. Favorite book? Don’t have one. As you can probably tell by now I’m not a “favorite” person.

Where to follow Twig & Twine:

instagram: twigandtwine

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twig-Twine/255543164473734

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/twigandtwine/

twitter: https://twitter.com/twigandtwine

blog: http://twigandtwinedesign.com/blog (i’m not really a big blogger though)

Retailer Interview – LEGION SF

 Legion-SF-Boutique-Etta-Billie-DisplayMeet Sydney Pfaff owner and curator of the lovely LEGION boutique in San Francisco. Sydney has a fantastic eye for stylish simple beautiful clothing, jewelry, bath and body goodies and art. Read on to find out more about some of her favorite things.

1. What is your favorite color? Sunshine yellow!

2. Favorite smell? Sandalwood.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Any kind of pilsner is a-ok with me.

4. What would you choose as your last meal? A chile relleno burrito.

5. Favorite thing to cook? Veggies with coconut curry.

6. Favorite dessert? Chips & salsa

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? I don’t think it’s technically the furthest away, but the longest travel time was to Indonesia—also one of my favorite countries to visit. Japan is a close second and a much easier flight!

8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Turkey, Morocco and Nashville.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? I always loved hearing my grandpa’s stories about living in San Francisco as a kid. He grew up in the Outer Richmond and his father (my great-grandpa) was one of Muni’s first employees. He and his brother used to ride the trains for free all over the city. He always smiled so bright when he talked about it. I miss him very much.

10. Favorite book? I really like Dave Eggers. My favorite photo book is “California Trip” by Richard Blair and Kathleen Goodwin. I never get tired of looking at California’s incomparable beauty.Legion-SF-Boutique679 Clay Street, San Francisco

Where to follow Legion:

instagram: @legion_shop

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/legionsf

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/legionshop/

twitter: @legion_shop

blog: http://www.legionsf.com/blog/

Etta + Billie Retailer Interview – Andi Winterfield

Good Things Green Things website with yours truly on the cover.
Good Things Green Things website with yours truly on the cover.

There is a new retailer in the Etta + Billie family!  Meet Andi Winterfield of Good Things Green Things.

Andi Winterfield, founder of Good Things Green Things

Good Things Green Things is an online shop specializing in natural skin care products that are made in the USA. Every product is hand picked by Andi & made with simple, nourishing ingredients. I’m am really excited to be a part of the fantastic collection of makers on the site. I asked Andi to answer a few of my favorite questions and she was kind enough to oblige. Read on for the answers and find out how to connect with Good Things Green Things through your social media platform of choice.

Happy Bathing!

Alana

1. What is your favorite color? Blue. All shades are great, but lately I’ve been loving ocean blue. This Minnesota winter has been way too long, with way too much snow!

2. Favorite smell? My overall favorite smell is the Minnesota north woods. The air is just so clean & fresh up there. My favorite food smell is BBQ.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? I’m an iced coffee kind of gal. I also really like lemonade.

4. What would you choose as your last meal? That’s a tough one. I love food & have many favorites, but if I had to narrow it down I would either choose a plate of lobster meat drizzled with butter & salt or a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the fixin’s. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, corn, dinner roll & a salad.

5. Favorite thing to cook? I love to make chili & have great recipes for both red & white.

6. Favorite dessert? Cherry pie. It’s the best.

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? California. I have family in Redwood City. It’s such a great area & if you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend stopping at Half Moon Bay. Besides home, it’s my favorite place on earth.

8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? I would love to go to Tahiti, Hawaii or France, but I’m not much for flying so I don’t think I’ll ever get to those places. My husband and I would love to take the kids to Alaska, the Black Hills and eventually Disneyworld.

9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? We went to church with my grandparents every Sunday & then back to their house for roast or some other amazing meal my grandma would make. She always had 7 Up & wafer cookies for a treat. I always think of her now when I eat them. The pink ones are my favorite. We also spent a lot of time fishing at the cabin.

10. Favorite book? Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read a little bit every day & I start it over again as soon as I finish it. If I could live in a book, that one would be my home.