Healthy bath and body products and a healthy lifestyle are important to me but I also try to consider the environment in everything I do. My products are made with organic coconut oil, shea butter, sunflower oil, aloe, tea tree, eucalyptus, cocoa and jojoba oil and Alberta beeswax. Although I minimize packaging, at least 79% of my packaging is recyclable. The paper bags I use for your purchases are made from 100% recycled paper and are reusable and recyclable. If I'm shipping your purchase, I reuse boxes and packing material that I receive from my supplier orders. I shred all the Kraft paper I get my hands on to cushion and fill gift boxes. And I even reuse my personal coffee grinds in my Coffee and Spice soap! There's still lots of room for improvement but its a start!
Some people balk at the price of my natural deodorant. And I understand, it shocked me a bit too! But I'm not interested in making a cheap deodorant, I'm interested in one that is effective. Here's the short version of how I arrived there.
I research all the possible ingredients I can use, how they work and their benefits. I look at problems with other deodorants. I learned stories about deodorant stains, irritation such as armpit burns and deodorants that pulled out armpit hair! Ouch! I make a list of requirements my deodorant needs to meet and some added bonuses:
Did you notice that price is not in there?
I select a few different recipes and test them on myself. I test out arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, magnesium myristate and zinc oxide for their ability to prevent odour. I find that arrowroot powder leaves me a little stinky and eliminate the bentonite clay as it can cause irritation. The magnesium doesn't seem effective but wow, that zinc oxide! I keep improving the recipes and testing the scents, oils and butters for the best results. I spend a lot of time smelling my pits! I ensure it's moisturizing and use clary sage in one scent, which is known to help with sweating. Once I'm happy with it, I provide samples of my top two formulas to my testers to get their feedback. My testers confirm the zinc oxide sample was more effective (no odour for 8 hours or more!). As an extra bonus, you won't sunburn your pits! And then, and only then, do I calculate the price! And yes it shocked me a little but I confirmed its in line with similar products. I mean, I could make it cheaper by substituting other ingredients but why?
So if you find a cheaper one that works for you, that's great. Every body is different. If you can't find anything that works - please give mine a try!
For more information on natural deodorant and how to use it, see here.
I remember going to my very first market, as a customer, many, many years ago. I was afraid to be too interested in a booth or talk to the vendor for fear of the hard sell. And those prices - yikes! I could get 4 of those for the same price at (gulp...) Walmart! Now I'm on the other side of that table and understand the time, costs and the quality that goes into those items and that most vendors aren't going to harass you. And I very, very rarely step into a Walmart anymore!
Based on my experience (and others I've heard about), I'm going to give you a sneak peek at what it's like to be on the vendor's side of the table. But before you even get a table you have to apply - sometimes 6-12 months in advance. I hate thinking about Christmas in July! If you're accepted you submit your payment and start plugging the event on social media. Sometimes you're asked to submit a prize or donation. You spend a week or more creating your inventory. You drive to your event an hour and a half early so you have time to set up. Then you wish you took that extra five minutes to stop for a coffee! You cart all your stuff in, find your booth and get to work with quick introductions to your neighbours. Then the show starts. You hope its gonna be good. At least good enough to cover your costs.
And rarely, you're stuck beside another vendor who is loud, obnoxious and almost aggressive, distracting customers while others avoid them and the booths on either side of them. But more often you meet vendors who go out of their way to give you a plug on social media or valuable tips and information on a variety of things. And sometimes this person is you.
The rest of it is mostly up and down. Sometimes, for whatever reason, it's a ghost town. Other times it can be packed with people who may or may not be spending. And sometimes it seems that today's the day that you're going to sell out. No two shows are alike and they are all unpredictable! You get to know your neighbours better as you check out their wares and cover each other's bathroom breaks. Sometimes your heart sinks as nobody seems interested in your booth. Then you notice those food vendors are always busy and wonder if you should have got into something else! You talk to a lot of people - mostly customers and vendors. Sometimes you are approached by other companies offering their products or services. And every once in a while someone stops by your table and tells you they absolutely LOVE one of your products. It makes you do a little happy dance!
It can be lonely. Sometimes you see someone you know and they avoid you. What? I just want to say hi to you, not sell you something! Then you get that one customer who buys more than you've sold in the past hour. I smile most often when watching people who have tried my lotion and they're walking away as they're rubbing it in. They smell their hands. And smile a dreamy smile! Then they stop and MAKE their friends smell their hands. I smile every time! Sometimes things happen that you'll never forget. My most heart-warming story happened at the Make It Show. Mom, grandma and grandson stop at my booth and spend a lot of time looking at my lip balm. Grandma comes over to pay for one and is ecstatic because she's so happy her grandson is willing to try the bubble gum flavour. This poor kid had red, dry, inflamed lips but had always refused to use lip balm. She was absolutely grateful and he walked away putting it on his lips. An hour later they were back. Grandma bought four more and told me how it was already making a difference for him. It's the ultimate feeling when you know you've helped someone!
The show ends and you start packing up. It seems to go a bit faster then setting up - hopefully there's less inventory! You say goodbye to the new friends you've made and cart your stuff out. You're tired but you're already thinking about your next show.
Loves living a healthy lifestyle and sharing what she learns along the way.