Bath Bombs infused with CBD sold by Christa Rose's.

Entrepreneur alums persevere through the pandemic’s challenges

The global pandemic has allowed many small businesses to reach a larger audience through social media

Blessed Earth Herbals is a holistic herbal body care company that is owned and operated by a woman of color, Christa Rose.

After graduating from Humboldt State in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of science in botany, Rose started her business in May 2020. She primarily advertises through social media, which has led to reaching more customers and getting more traction. As a new business, she is still working on getting her business license and launching the main website soon.

“We strive to make our products available to all, as we believe herbal medicine is the people’s medicine,” Rose said.

Rose’s company specializes in using ethically sourced, organic ingredients. She and her business partner create products intended to promote healing naturally with the use of medicinal plants, and their products range from bath soak blends and bath bombs to facial serums and mud masks.

Interest in herbal medicine and general sustainability due to the pandemic led many to seek out natural ways to care for their health.

“Conversations surrounding natural products became much more mainstream, which we think is very empowering,” Rose said. “Greater support emerged for POC businesses, and people seemed very happy to see the positive representation we strive to be.”

Being a small business, Rose believes it’s important to be genuine.

“A product does not have to be flashy or gimmicky if it is made well, serves its purpose and is made with love and intention,” Rose said.

Cate Be is a pottery maker and multidimensional artist who graduated from Humboldt State in 2013. She works with commercially manufactured stoneware and porcelain clay and owns a business called CBeCeramics.

She had reached a following of 10,000 followers the summer before she decided to go full time. Her business now has over 63,000 followers.

The first summer after graduation, Be was given a gift of a 10-week workshop in ceramics at the local art center.

“Meeting once a week, for 10 weeks, for two hours, it became my therapy, my meditation, my sacred space,” Be said.

The next year in 2017, she decided to take CBeCeramics full-time. Be sees her work as a reflection of herself.

“It mirrors the past and current inner workings of my being,” Be said. “This ranges from natural resource and environmental aspects such as botany, wildlife and mycology, to sexual health/awareness, medicinal herbs and medicine, identity, and self-care and love.”

CBeCeramics carved itself a niche online before the pandemic hit. She had already built a reliable customer base without the need for physical interaction.

“Sharing a community space surprisingly limits my creative potential in quantity and content; that’s an entirely different can of worms I have to manage,” Be said.

The biggest lesson Be has learned since starting their business is community is more important than competition.

“Everyone’s journey looks and is different; don’t compare your brand or self to anyone else’s,” Be said.

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