Now as an adult, the Brentwood resident has found a less repugnant use for the oil. She uses it as an integral ingredient in her Tierra Mia line of organic skin care products.
Tierra Mia (Spanish for “my land”) is a product line made from raw goat’s milk and other natural ingredients such as honey and apricot, coconut, olive and castor oils. It’s also gluten-free and all-organic. The Tierra Mia line of soaps, lotions, scrubs and lip balms are designed for those looking for a simpler and healthier approach to skin care. For those with sensitive skin, Tierra Mia products also address imbalances in the skin that cause such conditions as eczema, psoriasis and acne.
But why goat’s milk?
“Because their milk is very similar in pH levels to healthy human skin pH levels,” said Melendez. “And that is what brings balance to the skin. There’s nothing like it.”
What began a few years ago as an avenue to make her own cheese, yogurt, ice cream and milk has blossomed into a growing line of skin care products available at Whole Foods, upscale boutiques and online businesses. “I started out making just soaps for some of my clients and friends,” said Melendez, who has been an aesthetician for more than 25 years. “And it took off from there.”
Mary Swenson, a customer and recently hired employee, is one client who’s glad it did. The Brentwood resident has long suffered from sensitive skin and considers the Tierra Mia line a godsend. “For those with skin that is so hypersensitive like mine, these are amazing products,” said Swenson. “I used to itch and itch with the soaps and lotions I used, but not anymore. I can’t say enough about them.”
But for Melendez, the real stars of Tierra Mia are her farm family of two adult goats and five kids – her “babies.”
“They are the most gentle, loving animals you can imagine,” said Melendez, who lives with her goats on acreage in Brentwood. “I really love the farm part of it all. I love getting out there and dancing with them, playing with them and taking care of them. They are wonderful.”
As the business has grown, so have Melendez’s needs. She recently leased an office in Brentwood where she and her three employees – all women – mix, match and produce on site the organic potions that become Tierra Mia products. Stacks of soaps line the walls and vats of oils and ingredients are squeezed into the small space. But for the women who work there, it’s all a labor of love.
“It’s crazy fun,” said Melendez. “We’re good friends who look forward to seeing each other and we work so well together. Is it fair to say this company will stay women-owned and operated? Yes, I think you can say that. Women can just do more; we can do five things at once and still be brainstorming new ideas and ways to do things. Women are just very good at multitasking – they get it.”
But women aren’t the only ones “getting” the benefits of goat’s milk. Men too are grabbing up the natural products and replacing their old soaps and shaving creams with Melendez’s line of men’s skin care products.
Goat’s milk products are fast becoming familiar fare at local farmers’ markets throughout the state, and on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the San Francisco farmers’ market will host the fourth annual Goat Festival at the Ferry Building, featuring and celebrating all things goat.
And Melendez will be there, displaying her wares. “It’s such a great event,” she said. “I love going and seeing and sampling all the products. Everyone should come out; it’s a lot of fun.”
To purchase or learn more about Tierra Mia products, visit www.tierramiaorganics.com or call 925-913-0544.