Meet our Founder

alywillow - aliyaI was born with an innate connection to nature and also to my ancestors. Even as a child I preferred to be in the woods. I would listen to the water as she spoke her truths and to the animals as they shared their great stories of life. My ancestors and various teachers from many different eons would visit me, sharing all sorts of knowledge and wisdom. I was about 5 years old when I realized that just the mentioning these experiences would frighten my parents and the other people around.  It wasn’t possible to turn these gifts off and the world clearly wasn’t ready for me to be me, so, I very quickly learned to keep these things private.

In my early twenties, I started learning the secrets of medicinal plants and sharing some of this knowledge with the people around me. During this time, I created products from pure plants that would put you to sleep, instantly stop the pain from sunburn, reduce the symptoms of eczema by 80-100%, and so much more. However, for a long time, I allowed my life to keep me far too busy to work with the plants on a full-time basis. And, the world still wasn’t ready for me to be me.

I used to be a successful photographer and the founder of a yoga and multicultural center off the coast of NC. Back then, the plants were only a small part of my life.   However, in my mid-thirties, an accident caused a bone in my back to snap into three pieces leading to extensive, prolonged, and chronic pain. This, along with years of recovery and the transition to becoming a single mom, created many challenges, or as I like to call them, new opportunities. The world still didn’t feel ready for me to be me, but it was finally time to live my truth and once you step forward on the path of authenticity, it is impossible to turn back.

I closed all my businesses and devoted myself to the process of creating a pain reliever from plants that would also reduce swelling and enable me to regain my mobility. I opted out of the back surgery and focused on natural healing options. The formula I developed, later called Minty Relief, was an incredible success and became the gateway for developing Alywillow Organics, LLC.

My journey led me to travel the country working with and learning from plants, teaching at healing centers and churches, speaking in front of hundreds of people, and then I spent a few years in the Appalachian Mountains wild harvesting local plants, perfecting my formulas, and enjoying some special family time with my Native American tribal connections.

All plants are our brothers and sisters.

They talk to us and

if we listen, we can hear them. – Arapaho

There are 14 powerful plants in the Minty Relief formula and using products infused with these plants enabled me to completely eliminate the need for over the counter anti-inflammatory and pain medication. I’m able to use Minty Relief products on a daily basis to reduce the chronic pain and swelling, and this has given me a new life of movement without pain!  It was almost four years later when I regained my health enough to be able to run once more.  Now, I can dance, practice yoga and do almost anything I desire.

This natural way is far more powerful than most realize and I really enjoy watching our customers discover the amazing benefits of Minty Relief for themselves.

“My mom and I LIVE by this soap. My mom just recently started using the Minty Relief soap and says she feels NO aches and pains!!! Before starting to use the soap she was using over the counter pain relievers to help her sleep, now all she does is use the soap in her bath and is sleeping like a baby!!!! Thanks Alywillow – you’ve changed our lives!” Anneca Jolisa Raines, Facebook review January 2017

Please let me explain something that many people are often confused about. Among Native American tribes, there is a strong sense of a single creative life-force, sometimes called ‘the Great Mystery’ or ‘Great Spirit’ or ‘Grandfather’,  etc… (Btw, we respect your right to call the Creator by whatever name you choose. The native path is not a religion, it is just a way of life of honoring and respecting.)

We believe the Creator expresses itself throughout the universe, in every human, animal, tree, and grain of sand. When we speak of the wisdom or spirit of a plant, we are referring to the Creator endowing it with a unique personality and we are respecting it for the wisdom the Creator gave it. We are not worshipping the plant. We believe it was a Divine gift to help make our earthly life more enjoyable.

When you truly walk “with the land”, you are in a continuous state of gratitude and praise to the Creator for the abundance of life and beauty that surrounds you. It is this way of life that leads me on a path of honor and respect throughout my day-to-day activities. It is also this acknowledgment of the wisdom within the earth that has inspired so many incredible Alywillow formulas and products. Our focus at Alywillow is one of integrity, health, and happiness.

When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.

Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice. – Cherokee

I love living a more natural and sustainable lifestyle and in 2014,  North Carolina, my home state, became my home once more. I’ve brought back all the beauty of my work with the intention of settling in these beautiful pine trees and building Alywillow into a powerful force in the skin care industry. Thank goodness for pine trees – I really missed them!  I’m enjoying the feeling of being home and am loving the simple joys of life with my children (the small ones and the grown ones).

My eldest daughter, Hannah Walker, has also joined Alywillow as the Director of our Wholesale Division and our company has been blessed with many other amazing people to help assemble our products, handle the care and packaging of orders, and educate our customers on the wonderful benefits of Alywillow products.

He who would do great things should not attempt them all alone. – Seneca

Now, Alywillow produces over 150 different products made of pure plants and all these recipes were inspired thru me, by nature. I feel like a spokesperson for the plants and Alywillow has become a growing vehicle for creating a better community and a better environment. The goal is and has always been to leave the world a little better than we found it for my children (and yours), for their children, and for the next seven generations to come. 

“Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.”  Chief Seattle

For we stand in the sacred circle of life as one.

I hope you’ll treat yourself to a healthier life – we are all worth it!

~ Your new friend, Aliya