My skin and hair are two things that I make sure I take care of, so this next company was right up my ally with their products and their mission. Their chapstick is my favorite product, it’s seriously SO amazing! Grounded Matters is a sustainable skin and hair product company located in Albany, NY. It was founded by two friends who decided to channel their creative energy into something that brings them closer to Mother Earth, their community, and each other. So, let’s learn more about this awesome company and it’s talented founders!
Business Name: Grounded Matters
Owners: Sara Jeckovich & Alicia Gené Artessa
Established Year: December 2019
Location: Albany, NY
Tell us about your business and the story behind its creation!
Friends since 2008, Sara and Alicia joined forces with their kindred spirits to share skin and hair care products, knowledge, and change to others. As advocates for Mother Earth, Sara and Alicia both bring unique knowledge, skills and awareness to what Grounded Matters is and will continue to become. Dedicated to doing their small parts in reducing waste, using natural products, and staying creative, they have teamed up to bring Grounded Matters to the community and share Mother Earth’s messages. In December 2019, we launched this venture and have been growing and learning every day since.
Sara Jeckovich, Founder & Maker
As a Peacebuilder with a nationwide conflict resolution consulting firm, Sara is passionate about consciousness, communication, and connections. Her strongest passion is that with the Earth. Being a Type 1 Diabetic, dependent on insulin to survive, Sara strives to find balance in the use of natural remedies for ailments whenever possible. This led to her research with essential oils and plant-based medicine.
Years ago, Sara began to question why so many of the commercial body products don’t have expiration dates. She decided she would learn the trade and start making her own, ensuring there are only natural ingredients used. In the Summer of 2019, after completing her graduate studies and exploring more that Mother Earth has to offer, Sara relocated to Albany, NY and began to build a new community. She decided she would share her homemade products and knowledge with others through starting Grounded Matters. The strong connection shared with her mejor amiga Alicia, opened up more opportunities of growth with this new venture.
Sara strives to be grounded, because she believes that it matters. To be rooted within herself – balanced and present. “To feel grounded is to feel eased and connected. This doesn’t happen without that conscious connection to the natural world.” Sara created Grounded Matters as her own technique of getting grounded, by consciously connecting to the Earth and the things that make her whole, and communicating this with other seekers. Sara views her products as Mother Earth’s blessings, mixed into elixirs and wonders for one’s body, mind, and soul. Self-taught and always curious, Sara continues to learn more of the natural medicines that Mother Earth has to offer, and experimenting in her kitchen to bring more unique products to Grounded Matters.
Alicia Gené Artessa, Director of Marketing & Media
By day, Alicia is a lobbyist for an Albany-based not-for-profit and a licensed New York State attorney focused on environmental law. When Sara moved to the area and told her about her idea for Grounded Matters, she was immediately excited to help her friend in any way she could. This collaboration grew from bouncing ideas off each other during their weekly hikes to helping with social media.
Eventually, it grew to the partnership it is today. Alicia loved the products so much and had already-established relationships locally that she was thrilled when Sara asked her to take on the role of Director of Marketing and Media. This quickly became an outlet for Alicia to continue her work of advocating for the environment by helping with the daunting task of using upcycled containers, compostable labels, and post-consumer sourced resources. Alicia’s expertise in environmental sustainability brings a unique perspective to Grounded Matters.
Her experience influences the mission and values to reflect a social responsibility that other body product businesses do not truly have. Her knowledge, skills, and awareness of media relations and community collaborations have and will continue to help Grounded Matters progress and expand.
What products and services do you offer? What makes them unique?
At Grounded Matters, we are dedicated to the environment, in every way. We make all natural skin and hair care products that we know are safe for our bodies and the environment. Our products are made with all natural ingredients, never chemical additives. We always use natural preservatives and essential oils to create the best skincare for your body, mind, and soul. Protecting the skin, preserving the mind, and honoring the soul.
All of our glass jars are upcycled and our labels and other containers are compostable. Reduce, reuse, recycle – right? In today’s world, recycling has become obsolete. There are not enough companies buying recycled material and it is not nearly as beneficial to Mother Earth as reducing and reusing. That is why at Grounded Matters, we UPCYCLE all of our glass jars. Each glass container is a post-consumer, sterilized gem, removed from the waste stream for a better use! If you want to reduce your footprint further, you can use your own container and receive 10% off! We strive to stay conscious and engaged in our impact on Mother Earth.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a business owner?
One of the best things about running your own business is how it acts as a creative outlet. Both Alicia and Sara have busy full time careers in completely different realms (politics and conflict resolution). Grounded Matters has become the best way to channel our creative energy into something tangible that brings us closer to Mother Earth, the community, and each other. We have been best friends for years and this venture has been an entirely new experience that has taught us more than either of us ever imagined! Running a business has its unique set of challenges, however, this has become more of a fun and enjoyable activity for us to stay grounded.
Of course, having two of us makes it easier because when challenges do arise, there is always someone to lean on. We both love being able to educate others on our mission and we both bring a different level of expertise. We hope to continue on this path and bring incredible skin care products to our customers while also teaching them the importance of reducing our impact on the environment.
What has been one of the most memorable experiences or opportunities that you’ve experienced since opening your business?
Our most memorable experience thus far has been watching people learn about and fall in love with our products. Every person that uses GM products has a different experience and it is incredible to learn from others what benefits they receive from our products. We have seen people use our products for things we never intended them for and they rave about the effects. It is such an inspiring experience to see someone love something you have created and to see it really work for their specific needs.
What advice would you give to aspiring business owners?
The greatest advice we can give an aspiring business owner is to go for it. Regardless of your circumstances, once you put your mind to something and focus on it, you can accomplish almost anything. Putting yourself out there is hard and intimidating. However, it is worth it if it is something you are truly passionate about.
Especially here in Albany, the community will always have your back. Getting involved with various organizations — we love the Washington Park Farmers’ Market, Lark Street Bid, and local businesses like Byron and Gill Mercantile — helps build your network and teaches you invaluable information. You would be surprised how many people are willing to help a small business thrive in our city.