Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Get ready to scrub!

I'm not sure what took me so long.  I finally came up with a nice scrubby soap.  Customers have been asking for years...for a gardeners bar, for a mechanics bar, for something to scrub feet...etc.

I think I've come up with something that fits the bill for all these uses.  It's aptly named "Brimstone" because this thing will scrub the skin right off the devil himself.  I've loaded it with red clay and bamboo charcoal, and lots of pumice of various grit size.  The essential oil blend helps with cleaning too: eucalyptus, pine and lemongrass.

I've been having my mechanic friends try it out with great results. And I use it after I make soap.  Making soap can be a very dirty job and I sometimes end up with oil and clays all over my hands.  I also have a veggie garden, I'm a no-gloves kind of gardener which means that dirt really gets embedded.  Using "Brimstone" and then slathering on my shea butter balm (coming soon), my hands are baby soft and ultra clean.

This photo is the test batch so it's a bit rough looking, the final version will be similar just a prettier.  On sale in July 2011!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shave and a hair cut?

Ok...I can't help you with the hair cut part, but shaving?  Got you covered!

Last year I carried a nice men's shaving soap.  The reason I stopped carrying it is because I was having a hard time finding a decent brush to go with the soap, and I really want my customers to be happy. I'm thrilled to report that the search for a good brush is finally over!  I recently purchased some badger hair brushes (SO much better than those cheap boar bristle brushes that shed).

Father's day 2011 will be the relaunch of my shaving soap PLUS a good starter brush.  We will also sell the soap without a brush, for those who just want to restock their shaving mug.

About the soap...it's scented with a cooling blend of menthol and eucalyptus and I've added a touch of spice (clove and cinnamon).  It's also got clay and Irish moss for "slip" so you get that extra smooth finish.  This year, I've added beer to the recipe (hey, this IS a guy's soap), plus it adds to the lather.

So ditch those cans of shaving foam/gel and go for something more natural.  You'll also be doing our landfills a favor since our soap is wrapped in biodegradable paper.  Look for the soap to be available on our website about a week before Father's day.  We'll also carry it at our farmers markets.

We love Dad!

Monday, May 23, 2011

North Star House Festival

The North Star house in it's hey-day.
May was an insane busy month for me, as was April.  June is looking pretty busy as well.  But that's good because that means that the soap biz is booming!  In April, we did Green Fest in San Francisco, it was an amazing event!  We hope to return in November, but I gotta see if that will fit into our schedule.  More on that later.

I also taught a couple soap making classes.  I had awesome students because everybody did a fabulous job of making soap.  I'm hoping to squeeze in another class in June and/or July, we'll see.  If there is any interest out there, please let me know and I can notify you directly when class dates are set.

All that aside, there is another cool event coming up on Saturday, June 4th, 10:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m.  It's the North Star House Festival and the theme is "Race day at the house".  There is a historic story behind that theme and I'll get to that later.  For now, all you need to do is put this event on your calendar.  Here's what's happening that day:
  • Live music!
  • Antique cars!
  • Free activities: games, prizes, magic, arts & crafts!
  • Picnic on the lawn (BYO or buy there)!
  • Growers market!
Pretty cool, eh?  No fees for parking or admittance (how cool is that? a rare free event).

If you've never been to the North Star house, you'll want to check it out.  Did you know that this historic structure was designed by Julia Morgan (of Hearst castle fame)?  Built in the early 1900's by the Foote family, it was once a grand manor but over the years has fallen into disrepair due to neglect and vandalism.  Such a sad story!  But, thanks to the North Star Conservancy, it is slowly coming to life again, starting with the beautiful grounds.  

Just one mile from historic downtown Grass Valley, it's easy to get to.  If you're coming from out of town, come up highway 49 and take the exit for McCourtney Road / Nevada County fairgrounds.   Turn left on Old Auburn road and drive about 1/2 mile.  The entrance to the house is on the left, a gated gravel road.  Head up the drive and be amazed by this jewel in the rough.

And the historic event?  It's a celebration of the 100th anniversary of A.B Foote’s Model T race to Tahoe City in 1911.  Pretty cool!  So pack up the kids, grandma and grandpa, grab a blanket and a picnic lunch and head on up to the house on June 4th for a super fun time. 

We will be there with our soap booth, since we're part of the growers market.  So I hope you'll come by and say hello!  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just a heads up that we will be vending at the Green Fest in San Francisco this spring! Here are the details:

Saturday and Sunday
April 9th & 10th, 2011
SF Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th Street (at Brannon Street), S.F.

Better yet, visit the official website for more details! SF Green Fest!

We'll be in booth #847, I hope you'll come visit. We've got soap for sale and our usual free samples. It's a great show, we visited the November show and were just amazed by all the green vendors. Plan to spend all day, there's so much to see, learn, and do!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Flowers & Candy

How can it be almost valentine's day? We'll it's true, the day is right around the corner. Are you ready? If you want to make it easy on yourself and give a truly special gift, take a look at our version of flowers and candy.

We've made up a special bar of soap, mint and chocolate. Sweet peppermint and real cocoa, trust me, it smells amazingly yummy. Pair that with our "Wild Irish Rose" and/or "Lavender Fields", there's your flowers and candy...no calories and your honey will be enjoying these soaps long after the flowers have wilted and the candy has been eaten.

We've also got a sale going on. 14% off until February 14th, just use voucher "LOVE2011" upon check out (or mention the code over the phone). And to sweeten the deal further, any order of 3 or more bars gets dressed up on a red box with a pretty white bow with tiny hearts.

We love our customers and this is just our way of saying 'thank you' and happy valentines day.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Buy Local this Holiday Season

In these economic times, doesn't it just make sense to look to your own community for holiday gifts? It makes perfect sense to me and I always feel great when I can find exactly what I'm looking for in my own home town.

Why buy local? Well, for starters, you're helping a local business to grow and prosper. These are your neighbors, they live in your town, maybe even next door. Doesn't it feel great to know when you're buying a product that you're helping someone to pay their mortgage or put food on the table?

If that doesn't give you a warm fuzzy, then how about the benefits to your pocketbook? Buying local means never having to pay shipping. That not only saves you money, but the environmental cost of those delivery trucks zooming up and down the highway. Spare the air, ya know? How about when you can buy directly from the manufacturer of the product...you can look into their eyes, chat about family or maybe just about what crazy weather we're having. There's nothing like the face to face sale to make the seller and the buyer feel special.

Anyway, those are just some of my random thoughts on the subject of buying local. I'm sure there are other equally valuable reasons that currently escape me. But all in all, it's a really good thing.

Enrich your community by supporting your local artisan, crafter, designer, or small business. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cornish Christmas: A Grass Valley Tradition

I don't know how it went from October to end of November so quickly! But here we are, the holiday season is officially upon us. I just wanted to take a moment to remind folks of a really fun event that happens every year in Grass Valley. Cornish Christmas, I believe it's in it's 40-something year. It's a vintage Christmas themed street fair, with food, kids activities, local arts and crafts, and music!

This year marks our 5th year in attendance, our booth is in it's usual spot at the exact corner of Mill and Main Streets (right in front of Dave's Shoes).

This is a real special event for us. Nothing is more heart warming than hearing how someone's daughter put our goat milk soap boxed set on her wish list, or how a family is heading out of town for the holidays and they want to take "a piece of Grass Valley" back home for the relatives. And the general good mood of all the shoppers, really puts us in that special holiday spirit.

So we hope you'll join us, come early because parking is limited and the streets do get crowded. Oh, and be sure you bundle up, it gets down in the 30's-40's here at night.

Cornish Christmas
Friday nights, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
November 26, December 3, 10, & 17, 2010
Historic downtown Grass Valley