I'm honestly not sure how to begin a blog post about our 10-year anniversary. It feels like such a huge and pivotal milestone, and I'm humbled and incredibly grateful. I'm so glad to be here, celebrating this momentous occasion with all of you.
So let's start at the beginning. I've always been fascinated by herbal medicine. In 2008, I was given Diana Gabaldon's book Outlander, which ignited a curiosity about the healing properties of plants. The main character, Claire, a war nurse with a passion for plants, is thrust 200 years into the past and comes to rely on her plant medicine knowledge to heal the people she encounters. It was a book that struck a chord with me, and it became the catalyst for what would become URB.
I was working at Trader Joe's in Hollywood around the time the "Label GMOs" movement started, and I, along with others, began paying attention to labels, specifically the ingredients in our food and body care products. My curiosity for medicinal plants caught fire, and I threw myself into research. I soon concocted an infusion of olive oil, almond oil, comfrey, St. John's wort, and calendula, turning it into an herbal healing salve, the predecessor to our Repair Salve, which took the place of triple antibiotic ointment in my first-aid kit. Little did I know then that this salve would become the foundation for URB.
The salve was a major hit with family, friends, and co-workers, and soon an Etsy shop was opened, sporting self-designed and printed labels. URB started as a passion project, a way to experiment with herbs in a creative way, and I didn't have the goal of turning it into a full-time business at the time. But as I continued to experiment with herbal remedies, I knew that I had something unique and special on my hands. Something that could make a difference in people's lives.
After moving to Santa Cruz, I overcame my fear of failure and the fear of success and began reaching out to shops about carrying the line. It slowly grew from being made in my kitchen in my tiny 500 sq. ft. apartment to a garage, to a dedicated studio space, where it is today, in our 1,300 sq. ft. studio in Sacramento. With no loan money or investors, it's been a slow yet rewarding journey that has been challenging and fulfilling all at once.
Looking back at the early label designs, I can't help but laugh and cringe, but I'm so, so proud of how the line has evolved into what it is today. We still make everything in-house with a small team of three women, including myself, in our Sacramento studio. We take pride in every single product that we make, and we feel incredibly grateful to be able to share our love for herbal remedies with all of you.
Ten years! It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since I started down this path. It's been a journey filled with ups and downs, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I am so grateful for all the support that we have received over the years from our loyal customers, family, and friends. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
Here's to another ten years and more! We have some exciting things brewing this year, so follow along. We can't wait to share them with you.