I wrote a book!!! It is due to be released in a couple weeks and I am SO excited! I expect to receive my copy in the mail any day now. Writing this book has been a great journey of discovery and reflection. I hope that the knowledge shared finds usefulness in the hands of others that are in love with beeswax as much as I am!
Right now, I am taking pre-orders for the book. One of the benefits of purchasing from the author is that the book can be personalized with an inscription. Once the book is released, I will be selling the book either with or without inscription.
After receiving another local order via the website, I had a light bulb moment. One of the options I now have available for my website is coupon codes. I have issued several; $1 off for product reviews and one for repeat customers. I am pleased to announce that local customers can use a coupon code for free shipping.... LocalOrder.
Read all about it on my new shipping page
My wildly popular scent blend Aphrodite, is now available in my solid lotion bars. The bars are made, but I still need to make labels, so any orders placed won't ship until Monday. Just in time for Valentine's day!
Several years ago, I had a line of lip tints. They went over OK, but not stellar. In the last several months, I have been asked countless times, about whether I would have them again. Now I can answer YES!
The last time I tried making them, I had issues with the color "sinking" and not staying consistent throughout the container. Today, armed with an arsenal of new ingredients and ideas, I think I am close. This base formula is a bit different than my usual lip balm base (it needs to be in order to suspend the color), and I am still in the tweaking mode for the base formula, but I am happy to report that new lip tints will be forthcoming. My first sample batch is staying nicely suspended and the colors are kind of nice.
Now... What colors does everyone like for spring/ summer? I will aim for 3-5 total colors.
These are the ones I created last time and I am shooting for similar colors. Should I put them in pots or tubes?
Personally, I prefer tubes and if no one has a preference, I will probably use them. I have some translucent oval tubes that would work nicely for these.
I finally found the power cord to my sewing machine, so I was able to put into action, some ideas that have been rolling around in my head for some time now... Waxed cotton sandwich wrappers and lunch bags. These are simple in design and work beautifully now that they have been put through their paces. The idea is that waxing a piece of cotton fabric with beeswax, makes it water resistent and make the fabric maleable and moldable to hold its shape around a sandwich and keep it fresh until you eat it.
I toyed with several designs and finishing techniques, but ended up with the simplest version working the best in my trials. It is a basic square of fabric with edges finished with a zigzag machine stitch, then dipped into hot beeswax to completely saturate the fabric with wax, and then clean all the excess wax off to make it user friendly. When they are new, they are quite stiff, but soften up with repeated use.
The zigzag stitched edges are so that there is very little food and crumbs that are caught and held by folded over hems. The stitching is essentially "held" down by the beeswax. to maintain, all you need to do is shake the crumbs off and wipe it down, If its really dirty, it can be washed. I would recommend hand washing over machine washing and NO dryer. It drys pretty quickly just air drying.
I have 2 shapes for these wraps. The above one is for more "traditional" sandwiches, which are more square. I also created a rectangular version for sandwiches created with more oblong artisan bread or tortilla wraps (shown below).
Since I was on a roll, I also created some reusable lunch bags that have a shape similar to the tried and true brown lunch bag. These are also waxed and have a wonderful structure to them. I have several different models, and lots of fun colorsfor spring so there should be something for everyone. There is even one, I am tempted to use as a purse!
Last Saturday, I was approached by a local store about my bubble bath. After a meeting later in the week, I came up with something fun... bubble bon bons. They are single use semi-solid bubble bath nuggets that are wrapped like candy. These bon bons bubble profusely and smell wonderful. I can't wait until tonight for my Sunday evening ritual Bath. Yes, I capitalized "Bath" intentionally. While I take showers the rest of the week, my Sunday Bath is less about getting clean and more about relaxing, unwinding and taking some time for myself. For now, I am offering the bonbons in 3 scents (Lust, Innocence, and Lavender Vanilla - feel I sound like a broken record) and unscented. I think I will offer these up individually and as a multi-pack.
I should make a side note about my essential oil blend "Lust". It also shows up as aphrodite. I was trying to make the name a bit more approachable, but when I mentioned the original name for the blend (it first appeared in my aromatherapy pulse point oils), she loved it. So, for the bubble bon bons, "lust" is what it is called.
The same shop owner also asked about my massage oils. After some discussion, we decided that an oil that had a slightly different form than the traditional would be usedful. So I now have the same wonderful oil that I currently offer, but thickened into a sort of solid gel. It melts easily on contact, but is a lot less messy to use. Since my massage oils were formulated originally for a massage therapist for use in her business, it has great feel and lots of working time. It is also washes out of fabric easily. I have decided to call it a massage balm. It is offered unscented or 3 wonderful essential oil blends... Lust, Innocence, and Lavender Vanilla.
I have been making and using a number of products that I think are finally ready for sale.
A while back I offered a face elixir that was part of my Argan Oil line. I have tweaked this to include a couple different and wonderful oils. Right now, I am only offering it in one blend that I recommend for use on normal to dry and mature skin. I decided to use my coveted Monoi de Tahiti oil which is a coconut oil infused with the tiare blossom. It smells heavenly! I should also note, that I am now calling it my Tiare Rose Argan Face Serum.
To go with that, I am also offering a really nice toner. It has some wonderful hydrosols and aloe vera juice and honey and royal jelly and all sorts of great things, and it smells nice too!
I know there is more, but I'm not remembering what, so I will post more as I think of them.
We were at the East Side Green Market on Saturday for our first Farmers market of the season. I had been working feverishly to get all my product labels changed over to the new label design as well as debuting a couple new items. I got close, but not quite done! In comparison to last year, this years market was nice a lively. I got to see some old customers and meet soem new ones. Hopefully, I will be seeing them again over the course or the summer.
For soaps, I have a whole host of new soaps and I am working on transitioning out some of the not so popular ones. I have added a new soap recipe that utilizes some animal fats, which I am calling farm soaps. This started as an effort to utilize ALL of the animal when we butchered our steers. Some of my new favorites are Neptune, Arabica, Innocence, and Green Amber.
I also have liquid soaps that I will be selling for the first time. I have been making them for years, but only for personal use. It all started when a customer asked if I had any peppermint liquid soap. She loved using it in summer on her face. So, I tweaked my formula and created a liquid soap thats nice and mild, much like a well known castille soap out there, except theirs uses hemp seed oil, and I am using pumpkin seed oil, which is wonderful for the skin and has a longer shelf life than hemp. I plan on keeping the scents to a minimum, so for now, the offerings are unscented, peppermint, cherry almond, innocence, and lavender.
Next week I will have a new deodorant. My product testers tell me it does what it is supposed to do adn smells great, so I am happy! Now that I have the recipe down, my next challenge was containers. Since this is a solid, I needed a tube to make application easy. My order of deodorant tubes arrived today, so I should be able to sell on the new tubes on Saturday. My recipe includes propolis, zinc oxide, and a host of essential oils that are great at keep you fresh smelling.
I also have my Tall Grass Body spray. This is made with a yummy blend of essential oils, most notably spikenard. I love spikenard! A must for walking through the tall grass (or tulips) in summer!
I like to walk the line between the creative and the analytical. Making soaps and other body care products allows me to explore both sides. I am always in awe of bees and what gifts they provide for us. There are many things to be learned....