All Good: Living in balance with Mother Earth
An introduction to All Good
All Good has always been a brand used to share and spread love, even before it was a brand. Founder and CEO Caroline Duell's background is in botanical medicine that goes back to her childhood in Colorado when plants came in handy for first aid requirements on backpacking trips. Her dedication to plant-derived healing continued to grow, and she eventually found herself optimizing a skin salve made of comfrey, yarrow, lavender, calendula, and plantain. She called it "All Good Goop" and started giving it away to friends with eczema, rashes, burns, or climber's hands.
After moving to San Luis Obispo county in 2003, friends from their previous digs up in Northern California continued to request the goop. To fulfill the demand, Caroline started planting her botanicals on the farm that she and her then-partner-now-husband Ryan purchased. Three years later, in 2006, they started All Good (originally called Elemental Herbs). The company has had steady growth over the last 15+ years while continuing to develop an array of healing body care products including Tinted Mineral Sunscreens and Lip & Cheek Tints that protect against both UV sun and HEV blue lights along with a botanically-derived Herbal Freeze for muscle pain relief – all found internationally at about 5,000 retailers.
The brand continues to grow its calendula for Goop at its farm in Atascadero, and sources other raw materials from local and regional farmers, as well as global suppliers for more specialized ingredients. All Good is hugely dedicated to the environment: they are a Certified B Corporation and a 1% for the Planet member. In 2020 they were able to attain carbon neutrality by measuring, reducing and offsetting their carbon emissions, all verified and certified through the nonprofit, Climate Neutral. They figure, since nature helps heal us, All Good, will give back and help nature heal.
“I never intended for it to be a business. It was just a pure power of love and fun to share. The more and more I shared it, the more I realized I was going to have to keep making more.” - Caroline Duell
The healing power of plants: lavender, yarrow, comfrey, plantain, and calendula! Photos courtesy of Unsplash.
Caroline and Ryan slowly built up the business, keeping sustainability at the forefront while making sure to not grow too much too quickly. Around 2012, they were ready to expand and needed some support to get there. Operating on a grander scale, a larger production facility meant that All Good would need a funding boost to make it work.
“I was interested in raising money and I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it. We had just expanded our facility by 10x and I knew I was taking on a lot, and I would need support.” - Caroline Duell
The Slow Money SLO Solution
Through a mutual friend, Caroline met Jeff Wade (Founder/CEO Slow Money SLO) and he
invited her to a Slow Money SLO meeting where she told the group about All Good and what she was doing with the company. Jeff asked Caroline if there was anything Slow Money could help the company with, and that’s when she explained her goals for expansion and the support that it would require.
Jeff reached out to Slow Money lenders and found folks who were excited about the opportunity. Slow Money SLO lenders are generally less risk-averse than other more traditional lenders like banks and angel funders. These are community members who care about food and farming and want these companies to succeed. They are willing to take on a little more risk in order to give entrepreneurs a leg up.
“I couldn't even believe it! In about 10 days he (Jeff) gathered lenders together and invited me to present to them in a more focused and partnership-oriented way and that led to my first Slow Money loan.” - Caroline Duell
A selection of All Good products made with nature's finest ingredients. Photo courtesy of All Good.
With that first loan, All Good was able to expand their production facility and grow their product line, and the second round of lending has enabled the company to grow at a manageable pace. All Good has paid off both loans now but is still deeply connected to the Slow Money SLO community. Caroline is thankful for the lending community especially, as they have served not just financially, but through their advice and expertise in certain areas of business. These relationships have boosted the success of All Good, including a specific lending relationship that helped the company through the COVID-19 crisis.
Caroline is also excited to be in connection and collaboration with other Slow Money SLO businesses that are dedicated to building topsoil in the county and growing economic vitality. This mutualism and collaboration in the community are so unique in the world of finance, so Caroline is excited to share the story with other businesses and lenders.
“It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in financing and lending. They (her lending group) cared about what we were doing, and they understood it, and they were there to support and were excited to be a part of it. I have so much gratitude for the organization, for Jeff, and for the individuals who have been willing to take a risk. It is (Slow Money SLO) such an amazing resource.” - Caroline Duell
All Good is proud to be certified: B Corporation, 1% for the Planet, Cruelty Free, Reef Friendly, and Climate Neutral.
What’s next for All Good
Caroline and her team continue to produce high-quality skincare products including Goop, sunscreen, deodorants, lip balms, and muscle pain relief sprays. They are dedicated to healing people with plants and encouraging folks to live in balance with nature. Their farm will continue to feed their products, as well as their employees through an internal CSA. Furthermore, the farm is dedicated to growing farmers. New farmers help All Good grow their crops, and All Good helps farmers grow their own business. Their current manager Courtney Mellblom is feeding employees, supplying crops to local schools through Slow Money SLO’s Farm to School program, and running her own business, Farmermaid Flowers.
All Good looks forward to the growth of the Slow Money SLO network and the expansion of business opportunities for underserved and underrepresented entrepreneurs.
If you are interested to learn more about what Slow Money SLO is and why we think stories like All Good's are important, head to our About page. Looking to learn more about how to grow your business? We have a page for that too!