Summer Solace: Where It All Began - A Founder's Perspective
I'm Megan Bre Camp. The founder of Summer Solace Tallow®. Here is my story of how this revolutionary skincare brand came to be.
I was born in Alaska in late November of 1984 and raised by my military father from an ethnic minority in the central highlands of Vietnam. He instilled a love for cooking and a harmonious relationship with nature and its seasons.
At 15, I landed my first job as a barista at a popular coffee shop, and by 17, I was enrolled in culinary school after graduating high school.
In 2004, with $200 in my pocket and a duffel bag of personal things, I headed to Berkeley, California, on a Greyhound bus from Seattle to immerse myself in holistic nutrition.
I quickly found work at a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant and later joined Cafe Gratitude, a renowned vegan and raw establishment in San Francisco and Berkeley. Despite these experiences, my aspiration was to join the famed Millennium restaurant.
However, a stint at an organic farm in Maine in 2010, where I encountered farmers dedicated to sustainable livestock rearing, reshaped my culinary philosophy.
Returning to the Bay Area, I became the Sous Chef at Three Stone Hearth, a kitchen proponent of the research by Weston A. Price and the ideologies expressed in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I also married my husband, Brian, during that time.
My culinary journey was further enriched by the Berkeley Slow Food Movement, permaculture, urban gardening, and horticulture studies, culminating in roles as a French Chocolatier and positions with chefs at Chez Panisse. I was now evolving my food career based on the Northern California Locavore movement.
In 2014, a revelation struck me during a visit to my holistic dentist (out of all of the places!)—I could alleviate my friends’ children’s eczema with a traditional balm made of pasture-raised beef tallow and regional extra virgin olive oil, based on my knowledge and training on ancestral diets and holistic nutrition.
Within a week, my core line of tallow balms was born. I secured my business essentials and garnered my first retail accounts during the drive home.
Each balm is crafted with the utmost care and quality, utilizing ingredients sourced within 150 miles of our Oakland studio. I collaborate with Stemple Creek ranchers and butchers for their regeneratively raised cattle.
The whole animal is broken down on a Thursday. On Friday, I pick up 45 lbs of fresh suet and render the fat into tallow, low and slow, without adding water or salt. My work is the truest expression of tallow. Pure, regional, hands-on, clean, and fresh.
Calendula flowers from Sonoma Herb Exchange and extra virgin olive oil produced by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation enrich our balms. The essential oils, epitomizing the pinnacle of natural perfumery, are meticulously selected. I personally pour each balm, refraining from whipping the tallow to preserve its purity and potency while preventing the intrusion of air and bacteria.
Only glass and stainless steel vessels are used. We make our products in-house, and by hand. Our recipes are tried and true. This is Skincare and home essentials made for the whole family and for the most sensitive skin.
There is a spiritual difference in Summer Solace Tallow
rooted in integrity, community, inclusion, sustainability, tradition, transparency, and passion.
We are the epitome of Slow Made and the heart of the Slow Body Care Movement™. Summer Solace is dedicated to preserving the traditional use of regional and regenerative tallow™ since 2014.
We serve our Bay Area community at farmers markets, curated marketplaces, and online through our website. We are supported by our customers, small retailers and word of mouth. Thank you all for your trust and support.
Megan Bre Camp
Founder, Summer Solace Tallow®
Skinfood for a Regenerative Future. Slow Body Care Movement™