Both of my Grandmothers were seamstresses who worked in sewing factories in Los Angeles in the 1950’s. Both were first generation American citizens born in the USA and stunning women with the passion, love and laughter of young, optimistic Mexican-American women who carried a strong sense of pride as US citizens. They both went on to marry men who also worked in manufacturing, one as a furniture maker and one who worked in a liquor distribution warehouse.
My Mom and Dad met in Los Angeles and were total babes of the 1970’s. I hit the jackpot. My Dad with long hippy hair, big dreams and a love for the outdoors became a California State Park Chief Ranger. His badge literally said Peace Officer. I was a proud little girl. My Mom, with her carefree, loving spirit and strong family values became a Nurse. If you were hungry, she would feed you, like, a lot. If you were sad, she would hug you. If you were alone, she would let you stay in our home. She is everyone's mama.
We didn't have many material things growing up. I wore my brothers hand-me-down overalls and my sister got my dresses. But, we always had campgrounds and family. My parents instilled in us the values of treating people and places with kindness and respect. It meant every attitude mattered, every job mattered and every person mattered.
After my Mom taught me how to sew at the age of 9 and learning how to build a pattern at 18, I knew I wanted to follow the path of my grandmothers and work in fashion design. I went on to graduate from Parsons School of Design in NYC with a nomination for Designer of the Year for our graduating class. I spent 15 years in the industry designing, managing product development and working in sourcing and sustainability for companies like the ICR Vs Deth Killers & Ralph Lauren in NYC, Pacsun in Los Angeles and prAna in San Diego.
In 2016, while I was reviewing a list of chemicals, I realized there were chemicals like phthalates , that were banned from use in apparel, but were used in beauty products as a synthetic fragrance. This was the moment I realized there are people like me out there who are trying their best to make informed purchases, but with such busy lifestyles are left to do all the research on their own. Not anymore. Together, we've only just begun. Since I am a career product tester and skeptic, I am digging deep with certifications and transparency so you don't have to. I am committed to living a sustainable lifestyle rooted in respect for each other and for this amazing landscape we call home.
Life has moved me to San Diego, CA where my husband can surf and my son can skateboard outside year round. While I homestead with our chickens and chihuahua and spend my days in our Design Studio, I reflect daily on how lucky we are to spend time together living a simple lifestyle full of love.
Big Hugs and thank you for your continued support!
Alison Rojas Metcalfe
Owner, Salud Shoppe