Skip to main content

Campus Alert

The Naked Embrace Carroll Community College

Alyssa Webster, owner and operator of her bootstrap business The Naked Embrace, LLC, recently won the 2024 Upper Shore STRT1UP Roadshow pitch competition, another notch in her belt of startup business achievements. She attributes much of her burgeoning success to the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program offered by Business Solutions, a service of Carroll Community College.

Alyssa Webster The Naked Embrace Carroll Community College
Alyssa Webster, owner of The Naked Embrace

Officially launching her business in 2022, Alyssa has spent the last four years focusing on studying and researching the effects of holistic aromatherapy and herbal medicines/practices in comparison to common traditional methods. “Our mission with The Naked Embrace is to provide sustainable, non-toxic and healthier cosmetic and home fragrance options to promote holistic healing and self-care at an affordable price,” Alyssa explained. “I found that not only can it be more cost effective to find a more natural alternative, but it also can have lasting positive long-term effects on your overall personal health.” To further her cause, she also donates 20% of monthly sales to local nonprofits whose missions are to nurture holistic wellness in underserved communities, such as Holistic Life Foundation and Voices of Hope.

Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Towson University, Alyssa initially had no connections or experience in anything related to business. “The biggest challenge starting The Naked Embrace was overcoming my own thoughts and getting to the point where I truly believed in myself,” Alyssa said. “When first starting out, I clouded my mind with negative self-talk like ‘Who cares?’ and ‘This will never take off,’ among SEVERAL other thoughts that were not conducive to my end goals.”

Alyssa then learned about the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program through a colleague at her fulltime job. “I figured I would try it to see if I could benefit [from it] and I absolutely did!”

I plan to continue to use my connections I have made through the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program to grow into what I know The Naked Embrace could be.

Alyssa Webster Quote Carroll Community College
Alyssa Webster Owner, The Naked Embrace, LLC

Working with Bryan Laing, Business Consultant with the Maryland SBDC, through the Pathways to Entrepreneurship program changed her life. “Bryan helped me not only see the value in my vision, but he pushed me to see what I am actually capable of,” Alyssa shared. Laing assisted her in creating a 27-page business plan that she was able to use in her winning pitch at the STRT1UP Roadshow. “I had NO idea what a business plan even was. He really helped me deconstruct The Naked Embrace and rebuild it in a way where it would allow me so many more opportunities to grow beyond my original mission.”

Winning the STRT1UP Roadshow pitch competition came as a pleasant surprise for Alyssa. “I did not believe it at first and I honestly thought I misheard what they said.” Alyssa stated she was able to use the business plan she developed with Laing to answer the questions that needed to be addressed in the contestants’ pitches. In addition to winning $4,000 in the competition, Alyssa was able to make invaluable connections with other entrepreneurship programs, as well as with successful business owners, through the event.

“Don’t give up,” Alyssa’s encourages other fledgling entrepreneurs who, like her, may be doubting themselves or their business idea. “Start small. It just takes one event or person to completely change your future!”

Free Consultation

In addition to their courses, events and funding options, Business Solutions can also assist with business plan preparation and provide opportunities to promote your small business.