By Matt de Simone
Botetourt residents interested in organic products for a better living may not have to look much farther than Alywillow.
Alywillow’s revitalizing botanical body care products offer clean ingredients made up of zero synthetics, no artificial coloring, and no animal ingredients. They use over 200 plants to make all of their products (plus a bit of organic honey, minerals, and beeswax). Its mission focuses on bettering the environment through its products and helping people become more responsible about their planet and themselves.
Alywillow Founder, Formulator, and CEO Aliya Trinity loves Botetourt County for its serene beauty and peaceful environment. She and her fiancé, Dr. Cazchaow Qazaz, recently moved to Botetourt County from Raleigh, N.C. Aliya previously spent a lot of time in the mountains of Virginia. She knew that she wanted to return one day. Now, Aliya and the business she started in 2014 settled into a beautiful home and organic farm nestled in the mountains of Buchanan.
Alywillow’s products are natural, rich in nutrients and free of all synthetic ingredients. In a recent interview, Aliya explained that the human body absorbs many ingredients in body care products. Alywillow strives to create formulas that make its customers feel better.
For example, the Mullein plant is a local plant that grows better in Botetourt County than anywhere in the country, according to Aliya. Mullein helps improve lung health.
“I accidentally got into (formulating all-natural body care products) when I was about 20 because I was using some plants to help make my skin softer,” Aliya explained. “I accidentally put myself to sleep because I didn’t realize how permeable our skin is—it absorbs the things we put on it.
“I was already making my natural products because I had some severe health issues diagnosed, and I wanted to get away from all the synthetic chemicals. I went to the natural health stores, and there was nothing that didn’t have synthetics. Still to this day, if you read the natural product ingredients, they are half synthetic, half natural. So, I thought, my Native American ancestors lived without chemicals—we all lived without chemicals at one point. There’s got to be a way to take care of our bodies without soaking up all these chemicals.”
After realizing that, Aliya wanted to find a way to develop products with zero synthetics. One of the first things Aliya began creating were soaps made up of plants. Plants are “downloaded” into a person’s body when used. When Alywillow formulates its products, they know the plants’ effects on the body.
For instance, if a person has a fungus on their skin, they could use Alywillow’s “Wildwood” soap, which helps with apparent fungus-related issues. Wildwood is made from nine plants with lemongrass hints that help prevent acne, relieves eczema, provide circulatory support, and reduce dandruff (to name a few).
Alywillow’s current best sellers are the line of pain-relieving products. Each formula isn’t only contained with the soaps. The “Dragonfly” formula can be purchased as a bar, liquid cleanser, spritzers for the scent, and moisturizer that helps lower anxiety, reduces anger, and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
Aliya explained a learning process that goes along with their products.
“The labels have instructions on how to use our products,” Aliya said. “We have to tell our customers, especially new people, ‘read your labels’ because they’re going to need that information because they’re so high in nutrition.”
Alywillow’s “Featherray” face and eye cream boosts collagen, improves elasticity, and helps protect against free radicals that can cause cellular damage. Due to its high concentration level, a small amount (the size of a grain of rice) can be “tapped” around the eyes daily to bring about more youthful skin. One jar of Featherray can last a customer for an entire year.
Each product sold by Alywillow comes with specific directions about the application and includes information about the product’s makeup (plants, vitamins, minerals used, etc.).
Alywillow also offers deodorants, bug spray, disinfectants, and energy inhalers.
“I have access to plants my ancestors didn’t,” Aliya explained. “I walk in the footsteps of my ancestors, but my stride is larger because I have plants from the entire world to choose from. I can choose the highest nutritional plants in the world and do the very best I can to create my products.”
The company is not based on convincing people to purchase products to make a high profit—this isn’t what Aliya thought about when creating the business. She wanted her customers to benefit from the products and base the price point around what works for them. Aliya believes in making her products affordable for everyone.
“I’m always looking to increase the size of the products, but not increase the price,” Aliya added.
In the past, Alywillow grew some of their plants, with the other plants purchased worldwide. After Aliya and Cazchaow settle in Buchanan, they plan on producing more plants on their property to be more self-sustainable and avoid dealing with the shipping issues that seem to impact many folks in the United States currently. Aliya also plans to have more products sold in local businesses in the Buchanan area.
“It’s not about the well-being of the consumer or the planet if companies charge extra to produce (a product) that is good for people or to be careful,” Aliya continued. “The companies don’t want to cut into their profit to be more affordable or better for everything. If we’re better for the planet, then we’re better for our children, our grandchildren, and what comes after us has a better chance at life.”
Visit alywillow.com for more information about the revitalizing products.