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Hidden Gems: Meet Alyssa Taos Cherry of Fillaree

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Taos Cherry.

Hi Alyssa Taos, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
About eight years ago, on my own personal journey to low waste life, I wanted to refill my cleaning spray bottle in a way that created no waste. Frustrated with the lack of options, I decided to see if there was a need for refills in this particular way, I taught myself how to make soap by hand and from scratch, joined a farmers market, and so began Fillaree.

It has been a long and exciting journey, we currently offer our refillable soaps via over 55 refill partners across the country, we ship soaps to individuals via our website, we have a commercial refill program for businesses and hotels, lastly we have a little storefront in the building where we make soaps. We are a small team with a tank and a dream; to make refill happen in a big way and #normalizereuse.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
So many struggles.

Moving into our commercial space, going from making one gallon of soap to making 65 at a time was a real challenge, and growing demand & sales in order to hire a team was tough. It took years.

It was also hard to teach myself how to make the soap, I failed over 35 times before I got it right.

The struggles are daily, but most are met with optimism and a will to figure it out 😉

We’ve been impressed with Fillaree, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Filaree is a small batch liquid soap factory in Durham, NC. We are women-owned and operated and on a mission to make it easy to refill our essential goods and significantly reduce waste from consumers all the way up the supply chain! We believe reusable anything (even plastic!) is far better than single-use everything. We are a zero-waste company and don’t have a trash can! We are community-driven and do our best to be the kind of company you want to see in the world, one that values the planet over profits and strives to do all we can to make an impact.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
Durham is HOME! I love the closeness, the community, the diversity, I always tell folks that Filaree would not have made it in those first few years if it was in another city, the people who live in Durham are natural early adopters, they were ready to refill before the rest of the country was. Their progressive nature makes them interested in supporting local small & sustainable businesses, and that was and is so important to Fillaree.

I wish there were more places to dance! One of my favorite places downtown just closed and there are very few options here.


  • Soap & Suds Glass Bottle $9
  • Soap $ Suds refill $2.50

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Allie Mullin photo credit goes to Allie Mullin to use on social media use her handle @alliemullin and hashtag #alliemullinphotography

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