ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS
WOMEN OWNED AND FAMILY OPERATED
Sometimes life has a way of preparing you for a purpose and setting you on a course for adventure...
without you even realizing it.
We started off on three different paths.
ONLY TO END UP ON A MISSION TOGETHER
I was pre-med with an MS in health psychology. In addition to working in private practice to assist disadvantaged patients in seeking medical and therapeutic care, I also trained resident physicians to bridge mind, body, and medicine as a tool for healthier lives. During this time, I started and operated several small businesses, which I lovingly refer to as “hobbies gone wild.” Meanwhile, my sister was in California learning to make medicine from plants, and I witnessed first-hand the effects these products had in changing people’s lives. Those experiences were literally life changing for me as well. I saw the potential to change first aid and make it affordable for those in need, so I turned to my favorite girls on the planet, my mom and sister, and said, “Let’s do this!”
Co-Founder and Director of Product Development, Jen Scott
I was attending herb school and studying to be a midwife while living and working on an organic farm in California. During that time, I was taught the practice of making medicinal body care from plants. After receiving my certifications as an herbalist and permaculturist, my husband and I moved to Idaho, where I then earned my CPM (Certified Professional Midwife). In Boise, we continued growing and wildcrafting herbs, drying them, and infusing them in oils to create healing salves that we sold at several local farmers’ markets. The response was overwhelming. Then, in 2013, following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda, we volunteered in the Philippines, where we realized the vital need for portable, natural first aid. The event was life changing. We knew that we wanted our life’s work to be about helping those in need. To make this happen, we needed help ourselves, so I turned to my favorite girls on the planet, my mom and sister, and said, “Let’s do this!”
Co-Founder and Director of Design Operations + Private Label, Kathy Scott
I was born to a Navy couple and am the oldest of five siblings. After graduating with a double major in biology and theology, I married an Air Force man, traveled the world, and had three amazing children. Over the next few decades, I learned everything I could and taught courses from computer science to ethics, sex ed to conversational English. I also started MMI, a web design and video content creation company. My family then launched a quickly-growing salve business, and they needed help with branding, photography, web design, regulations, and more. I realized this was an amazing opportunity to learn a lot, and I knew from my own experience that portable first aid could help people in need all over the planet, from soldiers to patients to refugees, so I turned to my favorite girls on the planet, my two daughters, and said, “Let’s do this!”
ABOUT OUR FOUNDERS
FEMALE AND FAMILY OWNED
A short blurb about taking all the love Momma Earth has to give + tell why it is
so important for the body to soak in all of the goodness
ALT HEADING FOR CONTENT
BRINGING CLEAN, SIMPLE, EFFECTIVE PRODUCTS TO THE MARKETPLACE
Co-founder and CEO Jodi Scott uses Eastern and Western medicine and technology to develop organic first-aid products that are getting traction at retail.
So you take two daughters of a biologist and a West Point-trained Air Force general and what do you get? In this case, a neuropsychologist and an herbalist who created the family business, Sierra Sage. The company's line of natural body and first-aid products are quickly gaining traction at variety of stores.
Jodi started the business with her sister, Jen, and her mom, Kathy. Oh, yeah, and dad -- the retired general -- is now "labeler-in-chief," quips Scott.
The family is working towards a big goal. "Our mission, besides bringing clean, simple products and more effective products than your traditional Neosporins, hydrocortisones, and Vaselines of the world," Scott explains, "is that we make it affordable and organic."
And that means natural ingredients, herbs like sage, arnica, rosemary, and ginger and bases like beeswax and sunflower oil. "All of our ingredients are essentially weeds that grow in abundance," she says. "They need very little water and have two to three growing cycles per year and are good for the earth."
"We're really taking the science down to every single component: what herb, how much herb, how they're processed. What is the carrier, beeswax or oil? We're making sure you're getting optimal absorption of the products, taking all of that science and making sure they work," Scott explains.
When Sierra Sage launched, employees were spread across Colorado, Texas, and Idaho. Jen, a midwife, beekeeper, and farmer, was making salves for her clients in Idaho and selling the flagship product, Green Goo, at farmers markets there.
Sierra Sage has coalesced at an idyllic small farm in Lyons, owned by Scott and her husband. Her sister's family built a house on the property and their in-laws and parents live there part-time as well, each fulfilling roles at the company.
Sierra Sage is growing like the medicinal herbs it uses. Sales have doubled each year and the company's products are found all sorts of places. Its products are available at the Army Air Force Exchange -- important because of the family's military background.
But that's just the tip of the Green Goo iceberg. "We're in farm and ranch stores, hardware stores, outdoor stores, traditional mom-and-pop outdoor stores. We're also launching in REI this summer and we're going into distribution with an outdoor distributor. We're in grocery stores, we're in their first-aid departments, not just naturals. . . . We're in a lot of independently owned pharmacies."
"The FDA is now recognizing certain herbs as having certain medicinal properties," Scott explains. Hence Sierra Sage's products are gaining recognition as actual first-aid products. "It was pretty controversial at first. People didn't want the FDA to get involved with herbs, but I think it's a good thing, another opportunity to educate people."
The company has seen sales double year over year but shortly after the sisters' mother built their website in 2012 Vitamin Cottage reached out to them. That's when they began deciding whether Sierra Sage would be a hobby or business.
They even looked at renaming the company Green Goo, says Scott, "but we have our intimate line and Southern Butter resonates with folks. Having Green Goo as your intimate product doesn't really sound great." They got legal advice, filed for patents, and applied for trademarks. "We spent a solid two years, from 2012 to 2014, doing all of that."
They also had to find a way to produce significantly more product. "We knew we were better suited at product development and our mission work. If we created our own manufacturing facility we would have another business to run," she says. After shopping around for a manufacturer that would create the products using the right materials and technologies, they settled on a manufacturer in Utah. (Scott declines to name the company.) "No one knows when that transition happened but it did. Our faithful followers never knew a difference and that's what you want," she asserts.
Finally, the company introduced new branding in 2016 -- designed by mom. "I couldn't give retailers mock-ups until September 2015. Since then, it's like, 'Whoa!' Since September, we've done more sales than what we did in all of last year."
Challenges: "How to pace things," Scott says. "Trying to grow in a way that is not so overwhelming and yet efficient."
"Financing is always going to be a company's problem as you grow," she adds. "When do you bring in venture capital? What kind of partner do you bring in? This is my family, not just my company."
Opportunities: "We continue to develop products in hopes we can offer really healthy alternatives and then continuing to educate," Scott says. "Healthcare is resonating with that."
Needs: "The counsel of people who have done this before and from any industry," says Scott, noting that the company is looking at establishing a board.