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Total loan: $15,000


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Oakland, CA, United States / Retail

Megan's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped a women-owned business overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

Megan's story

My professional background is in Culinary Arts. I moved to Oakland, California in 2004 at the age of 19, after I finished cooking school at the university in my home town of Anchorage, Alaska. I took a one-way plane to Seattle, then a Greyhound Bus, and disembarked in Downtown Oakland. I immediately found work as a cook in a Buddhist Vegan restaurant. I was a long-time Vegetarian during that time. My Culinary perspective changed 6 years later when I became the kitchen manager and Sous Chef at Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley and was introduced to the nutritional philosophy of Weston A. Price and traditional nutrient-dense diets. After reading Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, I was blown-away! Grass-fed meats? Real butter? Eat Good Fats as our ancestors did? I began cooking, eating, and consuming local, organic, and sustainable foods and goods. A few years later, I became a French Chocolatier. This is where I learned how to slowly melt fats, with low heat and in copper pots. In late April of 2014, during a routine Holistic dental exam in Berkeley, while staring up at the ceiling lights, I thought about a friend of mine's baby who had eczema that wouldn't go away. I had the idea to create super-healing, aromatherapy balms made with local, pasture-raised beef tallow to help with all skin irritations for the whole family. The concept of Summer Solace Tallow was immediately born. I spent that week sourcing ingredients from local farms, buying supplies, and created our core 5 aromatherapy balms. My husband tried the test balms and loved it. His exuberant support gave me the Green Light to pursue a business. By the end of the week, I had my Oakland Business License and was in three retail shops! But what exactly is Tallow? Pasture-raised tallow is the rendered fat from locally produced suet- a clean, soft, and buttery fat closest to the kidneys. It is rich in vitamins that most plant oils can not provide, such as A, D, K, E, and B12. Biologically, tallow is very much like our skin and is readily absorbable, while not being sticky or greasy as most skincare creams are. The use of animal fats on the skin goes back to the beginning of civilization. Historically, people lived close to the land; using the whole animal and wasting little. This began to change during the Industrial Revolution when petroleum jelly- the residue leftover from petrochemical refining of crude oil- began to replace animal fats. Summer Solace Tallow is a one-woman business, with the help of my husband and children. I work every day on small-batch production, processing your orders, office work, and visiting farms. Before COVID-19, you could find us in-person at local Farmers Markets, Pop-ups, Head West market, Fibershed Gala, and at West Coast Craft Art and Design fair.