We had the good fortune of connecting with Roxana Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roxana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
In 2018, I was attending Sam Houston University as a junior interior design student. I had the grand idea of making cosmetics and one-step natural soap with natural and organic ingredients that I can understand. This was enough to spark my interest, but once I began researching how to make the products and then evaluated the balance between completing my degree in good standing, being a mom, wife, large interior design projects, internships, I decided to put this entrepreneurial venture on hold. My goal was to complete my education and work in the interior design industry in large to small-scale design firms specializing in commercial and residential projects.
Fast Foward to March 2020, I am working as an Interior Design Assitant at a small residential firm with only two months away from graduation, and the pandemic intervened. I enjoyed my time gardening and growing my herbs and flowers because this helped me understand the process of growth through another lens. I decided it was my moment to revisit my business idea. I began researching, formulating, and creating from concept to reality to what is today, Yerba Soap & Co.
As a proud designer and artisan, our vision is to bring the community together through the appreciation of natural, detergent-free, designer soaps, and vegan cosmetics. The essence of our business comes from five values. Research, Design, Community, Yerba, and our Mission to be “Natural x Siempre”.
“Natural x Siempre” is our Mission. We are Local, Faith & Family Driven. We take pride in our artisan, natural, and detergent-free soaps as an alternative to traditional synthetic detergent soaps. Our soaps and cosmetics are derived from natural, organic ingredients, plant-based oils, real fruit, roots, herbs, and essential oils to cleanse the skin while uplifting your mood as part of your skincare routine.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Design is involved in every element of our business. I am proud to design and create everything from marketing material to booth presentations to product collections to final products to packaging. What gets my excitement is designing the collections that change each season and then meeting our customers. Along the way, I have learned to Level Up, Own It, Be Confident, and Get the Job Done! The essence of our business comes from Research, Design, Community, and our Mission to be “Natural x Siempre”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
What makes a week-long trip fun? It’s the local markets, art, nature, local food, and drinks for us! Here is our shortlist!
If you are a person that enjoys an exclusive artisan market but want to dine, sip, and shop, come visit us at Katy Farmers Market! If you are a plant, coffee, Bahn mi, and artisan lover you must visit us at HouGrewIt Market at Tenfold Coffee Company. If you enjoy unique sour beers, look no further and visit Urban South Brewery! If you enjoy the 90’s vibe, hookah, drinks and want to shop vegan, visit us at State of Mind. We would enjoy a day at the beach in Galveston, Seismique Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and enjoy nature walks at the park.
Local Places to Visit for Food and Drinks:
Kolaches and Donuts with the Best Vietnamese Coffee: Donut Licious
Brunch: Melange Creperie and Another Broken Egg
Lunch: Union Kitchen, Dish Society, Ambriza, Mico’s Hot Chicken, Pho Than Long
The Best Boba with Bahn Mi: The Teahouse, The Boba Shop, I Love Boba
Tacos: Tacos Los Gemelos
Pupusas: El Pupusodromo
Ice Cream: Luliet Creamery and Bake Shop
Dinner and Live Music: Vida Mariscos and Gloria’s Latin Cusine
Breweries: Urban South Brewery and Buffalo Bayou Brewing
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I thank God for blessing me and gracefully guiding me on this journey. I thank my mother for instilling higher education, entrepreneurship, determination, and perseverance. I thank my husband for his unconditional love and unmatched support. Our kids have been involved in our journey through community college to university and now into our family business. I thank my parents-in-law for fostering love, advice, help, and support through the most important times. I am thankful to our family for their team spirit, encouragement, and support since our first batch of soaps!
Brandy Darden is my mentor and dear friend. I met her in the Interior Design Program at Sam Houston State University. I am thankful that she has helped me with my work experiences and given me valuable professional advice. Brandy and I were classmates and then co-workers and now dear friends. I am thankful that Brandy and I met and have helped elevate each other past graduation.
Shundra Harris is my mentor and former employer. I thank her for the opportunity to be her Assistant. Out of all the design firms that I previously worked for, Shundra Harris Interiors offered an unmatched work experience and valuable lessons that will resonate with me for a lifetime.
We are thankful to our Yerba Fans for allowing us to be part of their skincare routine. We thank the local farmer’s markets and collaborations that we have had the pleasure of working with. It has been a pleasant experience to become part of the artisan and small business community. Thank you for enjoying our Fresh and Sustainable Collections each season as much as we love designing and making them!
@br.mixedmedia @hougrewit @yerbasoapandco