The chemicals that we put on, around and inside of our bodies on a daily basis can be detrimental to our health. That's a fact that Allison Monteith Evans learned the hard way, when an undiagnosable illness led the then college student to cut toxins out of her life and nurse herself to health with green products.
Since then, Evans has worked with her longtime friend, Kelly Blackstone Love, and her health consultant aunt, Marilee Nelson, to teach people about alternatives to conventional products, using Three Branches Healthy Living as an outlet.
In late 2010, the trio distilled their knowledge into one product: Branch Basics, a human-safe, all-purpose home and body soap.
The Houston area has been Branch Basics' test market, and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
Think of it as a roided-up Dr. Bronner's without the burn, or the My Big Fat Greek Wedding of Windex cure-alls with a wider variety uses.
"It's the only formula that Marilee uses for her extremely sick clients," Evans tells CultureMap.
A base formula that mixes coconut oil with fatty acids from seed-baring plants helps with the process of detoxification by breaking down chemicals and neutralizing compounds, plus it acts as a natural disinfectant.
The Houston area has been Branch Basics' test market, and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive: Several customers swear by the product, touting its effectiveness in treating everything from household mold to strep throat, removing wine stains and healing skin diseases, soothing burns and disinfecting scrapes.
Now with a dedicated mixing and bottling facility (Evans and Love were bottling it themselves at New Living until just a few months ago) and an official shipping operation, the Branch Basics team is building capital in hopes of submitting the product for third party testing, the next step required before expanding their market and putting Branch Basics into use in schools, hospitals and restaurants.
The concentrate is available locally at New Living, at Tree House and in.gredients in Austin, plus online. Though the initial price tag ($24.95 for 24 ounces, $78.95 for a gallon) might be daunting, Evans and Love promise that it lasts a long time — plus it streamlines household tasks, since it does it all.
"I feel like we're coming full circle, back to basics," Love says.