• Next to Nature

Meet Our Team | Health Hutch Advisor | Alyssa

Updated: May 23

Alyssa has been part of the store since the beginning. She's played an excellent role in recommendations for products, teas, and overall inventory. She focuses a lot of her attention these days on content creation and bouncing ideas with Jamie to bring our audience what they need in their lives.

Alyssa and Jamie have much in common when it comes to parenting and lifestyle choices, which makes for a well-planned, well-researched list of topics to discuss and bring to the store. We are happy to introduce our community to a gal who will make an outstanding impact through natural health and in the parenting world.

Tell us about your journey.

"My journey to a healthier, more natural way of living started slowly the day I got a positive pregnancy test. Funny how that works, huh? I started to research organic foods vs. non organic, neurotoxins such as fragrances, how the toxins in my products are found in the umbilical cord, and how products I place on my skin are absorbed into my bloodstream - and therefore my baby’s.

I used this information to begin slowly implementing changes around our home. Emphasis on the “slowly” because let’s be honest, it can be overwhelming, expensive, and did I mention overwhelming?

It started with simple food switches, followed by some hygiene product switches. I was feeling pretty good about our mindful changes prior to baby’s arrival. That is, until baby decided he wanted to make an appearance 7 weeks early. Our son spent almost 4 weeks in the NICU here in Sioux City under the care of some amazingly talented nurses and doctors. During that short time (although it felt like a lifetime,) I changed a lot as a person and the way I thought I would mother was no longer what I believed was right in my heart. The small lifestyle changes I made prior to our son’s arrival were suddenly not enough. My mom gut had me questioning everything from the treatment he was receiving in the NICU to the tweaks in care he would need at home in order to ensure proper physical AND emotional development. It eventually led me into a rabbit hole of research. I was beginning to question every little thing our society portrays as “normal” for our children and realizing that much of it is in fact NOT normal or developmentally appropriate.

Looking back, at first all the research was more than likely a coping mechanism for the NICU. BUT it also sparked a fire in me to learn the truth about what a more natural life truly meant for my entire family, with an emphasis on natural development for my son. As important as safe home, beauty, and food products are for our children (and us,) respecting and allowing for their natural development is paramount. The “natural” lifestyle encompasses so much more than just our products, and in order to reap the benefits to the fullest extent, we must incorporate both sides.

Everything that I have learned on this journey to a more natural lifestyle has empowered me as a woman, wife, and mother and transformed me into the most “me” that I have ever been. I have started to share my journey in hopes it will inspire others to do their research, and follow their mom gut above everything else. Because that’s just the thing, we all know deep down what a natural way of living, eating, and learning really means. It’s instinct to us mothers. However, sometimes we just need a push to get out from underneath all the outside authority, societal norms, books, unbacked advice, and whatever else gets thrown at us to listen to our gut. I know I sure did."

What made you want to work at Next to Nature?

"We all know that feeling of walking into Next to Nature, right? Suddenly you feel like you’re taken care of, safe, heard, welcome, and you’re walking into something bigger than yourself. I’ve been working with Jamie for almost a year now and I still feel like this when I come through that cute little French door. It’s the same feeling I got when she first showed me her first itty bitty space during my interview. I remember going into that interview feeling like it’s the last place I wanted to be, the last thing I wanted to be doing. I wanted to be home with my son but I had literally JUST graduated and felt the need to quote on quote, put my degree to use. During the interview, I could tell Jamie and I had very similar outlooks and styles. We were clicking and chatting away...but it wasn’t until I walked into the store did it really hit me that this was a place for me. I was just on the beginning of my journey to an all around natural lifestyle and between Jamie’s passion to help people and the tools she had to make her dream a reality, I knew this was going to be something big; not only for me and the opportunity to  learn more, but for the community. From the start I knew, Jamie and this store were on a straight path to making a difference in so many lives, mine being one of them. Boy, oh boy, was I right; and the best part?  It is just getting started!"

What do you hope to bring the the Next to Nature Health Hutch Community?

"With the launch of the Health Hutch, Jamie has opened up so many new doors and windows to different conversations in a more personal setting. I am already loving how close-knit the group feels and it’s barely off the ground. With this more personal setting, I hope to develop a sense of safe where we can all be open and real about our questions, comments, concerns, pointers, recommendations, and so on. If you read my journey to a more natural lifestyle, you know I am a firm believer that “natural” encompasses a lot of things. With my education background, hours upon hours of research conducted on my own, and personal experiences, I hope to be a science-backed resource for the parents within the group by adding natural parenting tid bits and support."

What is a fun fact we must know?

"My husband is a microbiologist for an ice cream company so despite all the healthy food switches you see me making, also know that my deep freeze is fully stocked TO THE BRIM with ice cream and that yes, I indulge regularly. Balance, peeps."

How can others connect with you?

"Follow me along my journey through Instagram @_montessorimama. More ways to connect coming VERY SOON."

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Alyssa as much as we enjoy reading every empowered word of this. She as well brings so much to the store and community, and she is right, she is only getting started with what she will offer all of us.

If you haven’t joined the Next to Nature Health Hutch, a free private Facebook community, to ask questions, get access to products first, and share your journey with others in an intimate space, click the image below to join!

You can also read about our other Health Hutch Advisory, Hali Benson.

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