“I thought Petaluma was quaint, a cute little town,” said Julia Faller, describing her initial attraction to the home she found here decades ago, “but looking closer, it was about the community.”
Faller, founder and president of Benedetta, a locally-owned skin care company, was reminiscing last week about her first impressions of Petaluma. Having been raised in the sprawling population center of Southern California, Sonoma County had a bucolic appearance to anyone arriving in the early 1990s.
“I had been a licensed esthetician and clinician since the 1980s, and I’d developed my first Hydrating Elixir by 1986,” she said. “I knew there was a void that needed to be filled in the skin care field.”
Faller observed that within that field, there was an overwhelming use of chemicals and plastics that ran contrary to the health of the body.
“It was an uphill battle all the way,” she said. “People I worked with said it was too difficult to do, suppliers, laboratories, even state regulations were hard to navigate.”
By the early ‘90s, Faller knew what direction she was heading in, but was unsure where to look for a base of operations.