Meet the Mermaid Warrior behind Fillaree

Meet the Mermaid Warrior behind Fillaree

You may have wondered, who is the mover and shaker behind Fillaree? What woman in her right mind would take on both plastic waste and eliminating synthetic toxins from our bath and cleaning products?! Well today we want to introduce you to Alyssa Cherry, the founder and ocean defending mermaid warrior behind Fillaree. “Mermaid warrior?”–you may be wondering. What’s that about? Well, she sort of looks like a mermaid. But more importantly, the root of Fillaree, and Alyssa’s passion for zero-waste, refillable bath and cleaning products, starts with her love for the oceans and her deep concern for the impact plastic is having on them. 

In the beginning, before Fillaree, Alyssa did her best to reduce plastic waste and use a “natural cleaning spray”. She would buy the largest containers of it and refill her spray bottle. For years she observed the gradual accumulation of the refill bottles in her recycling. At the same time, Alyssa was following her ocean obsessed newsfeeds populated by haunting images of dead or mangled sea life as a result of the plastic that is now ubiquitous in our oceans. She saw the connection. A tour of a local recycling plant confirmed her concerns–most of the plastic we produce cannot be recycled and gets shipped overseas. Somewhere during this process, a lot ends up in our oceans. 

Image courtesy of
 Michalis Koulieris

And then Alyssa’s mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which pushed her to dig deep into learning about the toxins in bath and cleaning products. There she learned that even “green” products contained dangerous carcinogens. A mother of two young children at the time, Alyssa was determined to keep carcinogens out of her home. Finding no good alternatives, Alyssa decided to try making her own products. And she wanted to make sure that she created a product that would minimize the amount of plastic waste created as people used it. The best way to do this was to make sure that her customers never needed to throw out the vessels her products came in. 

Alyssa with her mom, Karen Callahan 

In April of 2014, Alyssa founded Fillaree, with the mission of helping customers reduce their home’s plastic waste, while providing beautiful, natural, earth and body friendly bath and cleaning products. Alyssa convinced local companies throughout the triangle to install refill stations, and local businesses to end plastic wasted from soap and refill bottles in their restrooms and instead provide customers with beautiful hand soaps to use (who doesn’t like washing their hands with a beautifully scented handmade product versus a bright pink chemical goop?). 
Lest this all sound like an easy peasy progression, we will return for a moment to Alyssa’s role as a Mermaid Warrior. Taking action and creating a business to solve a problem, defending our oceans from plastic, and our loved ones from toxic chemicals, is a fight against the status quo. It is not easy. It is a battle won day to day, today a new refill subscriber, tomorrow a customer at our storefront energized by taking back their power to stop contributing to plastic waste. 

It takes courage and determination and insane energy. If you’ve had the pleasure to meet Alyssa, she’s got all these things. And she is no longer battling alone in her kitchen concocting her own soaps. In building Fillaree, she built her community.  
Little by little, together we are creating it. And we are continuing to learn from you how to accomplish our mission together. We have heard how busy you are, and are now providing subscriptions for Soap + Suds, Clean Dream Spray, and Clean Plate Club Dish Soap directly to your home.


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