‘It’s not only what we eat but it’s also what we put on our skin.’ (Photos: Gina Carey)
With some extra time on her hands during quarantine in 2020, Nicole Alicea found herself experimenting with macrame. She was working at a financial firm but keeping her hands busy alongside her mother became more than just a way to pass time. Next came body oils, bath salts, and soaps, sometimes picking ingredients right from her family garden – and Hudson Herbivore was born.
“There’s a lot of things from nature that we can use on our bodies that are super important,” she told River Journal, “and I think we need to get more in touch with that.”
After adopting a vegan lifestyle four years ago, she wanted to see more locally sourced products with safe ingredients that were environmental-friendly in shops. Alicea, a Tarrytown-native who graduated from Sleepy Hollow High School in 2005, now had the time and the tools to make it happen in her community.
She began selling her products in May at the Peekskill Cherry Blossom Festival, and in June she launched her online retail shop. You can find her in person at farmer’s markets and pop-up shops, and via partnerships with local retailers, like Hilltop Nursery and Garden Center in Croton-on-Hudson.
“Her candles are fantastic. They are—oh my god people just love them!” Hilltop’s Erica Egger (who especially enjoys the vanilla scent) said. “Her macrame is beautiful and also durable, so they don’t break and fray and stuff like that. They’re just great.”
Alicea’s skincare and home items are handmade or sourced from local artisans. Macrame plant hangers, clay jewelry, natural body oils, and hand poured, soy-based candles made in small batches with wood wicks are available for purchase online. Her personal favorites include her Good Night Body Oil, a lavender, cedar, and orange blend with a coconut oil base, and her Amber Musk candle that’s scented with essential oils.
“it’s not only what we eat but it’s also what we put on our skin—our skin is super absorbent. And I think a lot of it’s coming to light now, with the vegan and plant-based trends that are going on.”
Down the line, Alicea would like to expand into a brick-and-mortar boutique that doubles as a community space for workshops showcasing local talent. Until then, you can find her products at hudsonherbivore.com, or the in-person pop-ups listed on her site.