When Jodi Scott, her sister Jen, and their mom started making herbal creams for fun, they never imagined their hobby would turn into a major company.
“We were doing this for fun, for friends and family and at farmer’s markets, then one day a store contacted us, and people started asking if they could order online. We didn’t even have a website,” Jodi says. “We thought, ok something is happening here that we need to pay attention to.”
Soon, they launched Sierra Sage and were learning about manufacturing and meeting with retailers.
Jodi has her master’s in Psychology and a background in western medicine, and was about to start medical school. Jen is an herbalist, organic farmer, and midwife, and formulates Sierra Sage products. Kathy, their mom, is a biologist and teacher. The three of them combined their skills to create all natural products that absorb into skin to ensure the highest level of medicinal effectiveness possible.
When meeting with manufacturers, keeping their infusion process intact was one of the most important issues.
“A lot of people wanted to use synthetic alternatives, which compromises our ethics, and also doesn’t work as well. People love our products because they work, and because they’re plant based and natural. When you put parabens and glycerins on your skin, they don’t absorb the same,” Jodi says.
Eventually, they found a manufacturer in Utah who would work with them to keep the product exactly the way they wanted. Jodi notes that more recently, a shift in technology and an overall movement toward more eco-friendly business practices around the country has allowed them to manufacture their product with even less waste.
“We can use far more of the plant now, and from an environmental standpoint this is far more sustainable,” she says.
Sierra Sage products use natural, organic ingredients including olive oil, Vitamin E oil, sunflower oil, jojoba oil, calendula flowers, yarrow, sage, myrrh, beeswax, lavender oil, rosemary, and more. The herbs are all sourced from organic farmers, consciously wild crafted, or organically grown in house. Using the herbs instead of pre-made extracts enhances the medicinal potency of the salves, maximizing their healing potential.
Part of their goal when starting the company was to incorporate a humanitarian element. As a midwife with an EMT husband, Jen traveled often to disaster areas to provide emergency medical care. This was a major catalyst in making a portable product that could fit in a small bag and be taken to remote areas. Portable first aid products mean more room for protein, medicine, and other necessary supplies for patients.
“If you’re going to a disaster area, you can bring our one product that does twenty different things, rather than something for blisters, something for insect bites, something for sunburns, cold sores, cuts, rashes, antibacterial needs, et cetera,” Jodi says. “Our first aid balm also offers pain relief, which is something other antibacterials don’t do.”
People in the military have told Jodi that the First Aid salve saved them from intense sunburn, chafing, and blisters. One guy even uses it to shine his shoes and gel his hair.
Sierra Sage works with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which has created portable hospital sites. The product is on hand in these portable facilities for wound care and pain relief. World Vision also uses Sierra Sage products for HIV and wound care.
“The formula is so incredibly effective,” Jodi says. “More than 50-percent of medical issues are related to wound care and infection, so this allows the ability to treat the infection instantly.”
The humanitarian element applies in the United States as well.
“Our mission here is to make organic products more affordable and available,” Jodi says.
For this reason, they work hard to keep their price point low. Similar products run upwards of $20 at places like Whole Foods, but Sierra Sage products sell for about the same price as Neosporin or Icy Hot.
“This way, you get to make the choice to use an organic product rather than the alternative, and hopefully if people can afford it we can make the world a better place and clean up the environment,” Jodi says.
For travelers, these products are ideal. They’re small, they’re portable, they won’t get you in trouble with TSA, and because they’re salves you don’t have to worry about anything spilling in your bag. Adventure travelers will love the First Aid salve for cuts or other injuries, and everyone can benefit from the Dry Skin salve, especially on long flights! The Colorado based company sells all over the world and on Amazon.