Wow did 2017 zoom by in a flash! It has been fun to have the business start to pick up some momentum. We were able to make it into some great new stores this last year and introduced our new essential oil blends. We started 2018 with a bang and have been super busy getting ready for the Seattle Gift Show which is January 20th-23rd. It is a wholesale show and we are super excited for this new opportunity.
Lemon is a great oil that can be used in many different situations. It takes expressing the peels of 1,500 lemons to make one pound of lemon essential oil. It has antibacterial, antiseptic, astringent, insect repellent, bacteriostatic, and rejuvenating properties. Lemon helps stimulate your white blood cells. Lemon can be used to keep you slim, disperse cellulite, and keep wrinkles at bay! We use lemon when my family members are experiencing frequent nose bleeds. My daughter now goes to my essential oil closet and opens up the lemon to waft the scent to her nose when she feels she needs to. Not only can lemon be used to wake you up and stimulate your senses, it can also be used to relax your mind and help you sleep.
I like how Valerie Worwood describes lemon. “Its fragrance enables our meditations to be deeper and our prayers to take flight. The spiritual cleansing of lemon enables the entire psyche to react to the positivity in mortal as well as divine love.”
I use lemon in our Refresh and Headache Tamer blends and Mēm’s Marshmallow-Marigold Cream.
*Make sure to store essential oils in dark glass containers. I put this lemon in a clear container so you can see the beautiful color of the oil.
Using essential oils in the home is quite simple and effective. I wanted to include some recipes that I had talked about this last week at the MASBO conference plus some basics about lavender essential oil.
When I wash my floors I use:
2 Gallons of hot water
¼ c vinegar
A squirt of dishwashing soap (castile soap works too)
20 drops of either lemon, peppermint, lavender, or tea tree (I usually do 15 lemon and 5 peppermint)
As a general cleanser for wooden surfaces and children’s toys use:
7 drops of lemon essential oil
1 cup of water
Each variety of lavender has a slightly different scent. Lavender is one of those desert island essential oils that has a huge variety of uses. It has antifungal, antiseptic, antidepressant, calming, normalizing, harmonizing, deodorizing, rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and immune boosting properties. This oil can be used “neat” (not in a carrier oil) on most people but there are a few that are allergic to it so use caution. Lavender can be used to keep moths at bay instead of using moth balls and is also effective at repelling fleas and flying bugs. It is super effective to heal burns due to the fact it helps regenerate cells as well as protects them. Not only can this oil be used on burns, it can also be used to help stings and disinfect scrapes and cuts.
I will continue to talk about different oils and basic safety using essential oils in future blogs.
What an amazing weekend at the Made in Montana Tradeshow. We were so blessed to meet so many new faces and hear your wonderful stories! The new product launch of our essential oil blends in a 10 mL roller ball went really well and I am so happy to hear you guys are as excited about them as we are! I will be working hard to get them up for sale on the website this week along with changing out all the old pictures to new ones with our products dressed in their new labels!
Not only was Saturday a huge success, but eight new stores around the state picked up our product as well. We can’t wait to branch out and have our products available locally to more individuals. If you have a store you would like to see us in, please let us know and we will get a hold of them.
However, a few things fell through the cracks. With finishing up the new labels, preparing our new product launch, school, sports, and life in general, our website was neglected and the price changes on some of our products were not updated on there until this morning! Please forgive us for this oversight as it has caused some confusion and irritation. Each year we check our prices as working with natural ingredients can sometimes see drastic price changes year to year depending on supply and demand. For example, last year there was a world-wide shortage of Roman chamomile essential oil and the year before the large number of typhoons and hurricanes knocked out enough palm trees that coconut oil was less plentiful. Brandon and I looked at all the numbers and decided not to increase everything that should be as we did get into this business to help heal and provide relief to individuals using ingredients found in nature. While some look at this as a bad business move, it sits well in our souls and that is enough for us!
Our other exciting news is that we now have a storefront in Manhattan, MT! I will be working hand in hand with an amazing esthetician, Jenn Curtice, to bring you new products and services. Part of this new venture will be consultation appointments to look at specific needs for each individual and devise custom blends to help them. We are super thrilled for this new adventure and can’t wait to see how it evolves.
Wow, and just like that we are into 2017! I always think things will slow down after the holidays but truly, that never happens! We have so many exciting things on the horizon for our little business. Right now we are in the process of redesigning all of our labels to include UPC codes and the Made in MT sticker on our labels. We have started to get into enough stores that I think this will be a good move to make us more marketable. We are also having the labels printed professionally for the first time and this excites me on so many levels (I will not miss cutting out lip balm labels at all)!! It has been an interesting process to redesign everything as we are also taking all the feedback we’ve gotten over the years and are trying to apply that as well. It has been a bittersweet process for me as I love our labels but also recognize where they could use improvement! Overall, I think it will be amazing and I’m excited to see everyone’s response! This process could not have been done without the amazing help we are getting from Jeremy Hanson—we should have been keeping count at how many times we have done these labels!
We will be at the Made in MT show in Helena March 10th and 11th and are getting new products ready to release that weekend. If you get the chance, stop by and see us in booth 109. We would love to see all of your faces.
What a crazy few months we’ve had! School started in August and I’m not sure any of us have caught our breath since! Soccer is wrapping up this week and both kids have enjoyed playing so much. Between bow hunting and shows Brandon and I have only made it to a couple of games. Luckily Grandma has been a willing cheerleader for our babies when we aren’t there. Hunting has moved from bow season to rifle season so Brandon will start going without me more and that leaves me time to create! We are at an interesting brink with the business. I feel like we’re at an edge and I’m excited to see what God has in store for our little business but I’m also plagued by fear and anxiety for no apparent reason. Isn’t that the way life works sometimes…complete faith next to stifling anxiety. So, I’m choosing to trust and am taking each step prayerfully and trying to go wherever God is taking us.
The Potato Festival in Manhattan, Fall Festival in Belgrade, and the What Women Want Expo in Great Falls all went well. We have met so many amazing people, have gotten to hear glowing stories from our customers on how some of our products have helped heal skin conditions that they have for a long time, and new customers trying out our products only to return right away for various reasons (for instance, they haven’t been able to breath for six months and Cold Buster started clearing up their sinuses right away)! I am so grateful for these lovely stories as that is truly why we are doing this as a business. My business skills are lacking in so many areas (don’t get me started on marketing) but to be reminded that we are doing this so we can try to help alleviate aches, pains, rashes, congestion, you name it, then everything else falls into place. We have some fun special order requests that have been so fulfilling to create and follow the journey of how they are working…or needing to be tweaked!
We’ve made it into a couple of new stores! You can find our entire line in Butte at Beautiful Butte and Beyond located at 21 N Main St. We also have our lip balms in Big Sky at Wild Trout Outfitters. We are also meeting with a couple of other stores so we’ll keep you posted!
We are participating in a few shows this holiday season. We will be at the Montana Parent Holiday Bazaar on November 19th at the Holiday Inn from 10-4pm. We will also have our open house here at our home again on Dec 10th so let me know if you would like more information!
We had pictures taken professionally by the amazing Megan of Megan Marie Imagery for a more personal look at our company. I can’t wait to start putting the pictures on our website and making new signs for our booths at shows.
Hope you are well! Thanks for all the support we continue to get, we couldn’t do it without you.
Here we are in August already looking ahead (forward!!!) to school starting and planning out the rest of 2016. Looking back over the last few months has me floored over what all has happened. In March we had the Made in Montana show and were able to get into a few more stores which has been so great. We did a few shows in the spring and took the summer off this year as far as shows and farmer’s markets go. That being said, we are going to be at Manhattan’s Potato Festival on August 20 and can’t wait to see all your smiling faces! That kicks off the show season and we will be doing at least one show a month until December when we will have an open house at our house like last year!
Brandon and I have decided to start giving 10% of our sales to The Station Foundation which is a local nonprofit that helps special operation soldiers and their families reintegrate into society (check out their website at thestationfoundation.org for a more eloquent and complete description of what they do). This has been so much fun for us to contribute to!
We continue to be overwhelmed with the support we are shown not only from our family and friends but those who we happen upon from day to day. This summer, our lip balm was used as wedding favors—what an honor—when they were found in MT Gift Corral! I am also grateful for all the insightful words and design help we get from Linda and Glenna who own the wonderful shop Sassy Sisters in Bozeman. We are learning how to brand ourselves better when we aren’t there to explain all the amazing benefits of our products thanks to Todd at The Eagle’s Store in West Yellowstone. It has all been an adventure of ups and downs as I am learning to navigate all my different roles not only in the business but as it also affects us at home. I’ve been surprised at what I have enjoyed doing and what I haven’t (anyone who wants to market for us is more than welcome)! I’ve been humbled time and time again and imagine I will continue to be in the future as well as I continue learning.
Looking ahead we have some pretty exciting things in the works! One of which is a collaboration with my friend Jenn who is an amazing esthetician and has a shop in Manhattan called The Powder Room.
Our personal lives have been busy as well with a trip to visit family in New York in March. We took the kids into New York City for the first time and they had a blast but decided they were ok living in rural MT! This summer we squeezed in a couple of trips to Yellowstone National Park, a trip to Sheridan, family reunion fun, and a myriad of playdates with friends. Now the kids and I are in Washington visiting my parents and our days have been filled with loads of fun including tennis with grandpa and crafts with grandma. Our other big news is we stumbled across a little slice of Montana paradise and were blessed to be able to purchase it the end of July! I now have visions of my own bees and gigantic herb gardens….
We hope you are all well and enjoying time together. If you are in the Manhattan area on the 20th please come and say “hi” we’d love to see you; our booth number is 42!
Brandon, Sarah, Jade, and Kyler
I never can get used to how quickly time seems to fly by! Last year was filled with so much joy, love, tears, awe, wonder, perseverance, and learning opportunities, I can't wait to see what is in store for us in 2016! We have been blown away time and time again by the support we've gotten from our friends, family, and our new friends we've just met! Thank you for all the encouragement, we truly could not do this without you. I always feel anticipation in January at the possibilities of what's to come. We have made some business goals (for instance updating this blog more frequently...wait, I feel like I've said that before) and have some new products we are working on. We revealed our new ceramic coasters in November and think we will keep them around after seeing the reaction they got. I will get them up on the website sometime this month so you can see them as well. January is always about setting new goals so we wanted to help you stick to your goals by offering 15% off our Ripped and Ripped bath salts so you can help soothe your sore, tired muscles. The sale will be going on the entire month of January!
And just like that, summer is over....We're in full back-to-school mode here and adjusting to having a schedule again! Truth be told, the chaos of school and sports actually feels like a break which leads me to believe we need to learn how to relax and have more fun next summer. We did sneak in a kid-free camping trip this last weekend and the kids got to go camping with Grandma and Grandpa and
I am a wife and stay-at-home mom who enjoys making 100% natural body care products that will actually heal ailments using fixed oils and pure essential oils.