Maker Spotlight: Alana Rivera of Etta+Billie
We are so excited to introduce to you an amazing friend and fellow maker, Alana Rivera owner of Etta+Billie!
We are collaborating with Alana this month to make a very special carving set for all of you! A wooden soap blank and one of Etta + Billie's amazing soaps! We can’t wait to see how your soap dish turns out!
In 2009 Alana Rivera established Etta + Billie, makers of handcrafted, small batch, all-natural soaps, scrubs, lotions, oils, balms, and sprays. She is located in Santa Paula, CA and her studio is in Ventura, CA.
Here we interviewed Alana to share her story of how she got started, her values, and what she is now if it weren't for soap making.
How did you get into soap making?
"I got into soap making as a way to escape a job that I hated. What started out as a hobby turned into Etta + Billie!"
Why do you value hand-crafted items?
"Hand-crafted items have so much heart and energy. Makers put their thoughts, love, sweat, and sometimes tears into creating something by hand. No mass produced item could ever have that kind of feeling and meaning."
Your favorite thing to do to relax?
"Read!! And meditate. Though I do waay more reading than meditation. One of my recent favorite books was Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. I'm a huge fan of Headspace for meditation (especially if you are like me and never thought you'd be able to meditate)."
What are some of your favorite smells?
"Oh gosh, I have so many but my absolute favorite smell is earth and pavement right after the first rain. Believe it or not, that scent actually has an official name - it's called Petrichor."
If you weren't a soap maker, what would you do?
"I think I'd be a spirits distillery, specifically Gin but I'd do Bourbon as well. I did a tour once and listening to the apprentice distillery talk about the process really lit me up, it has so many similar elements to scent creation and requires so much care and energy."