Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Weakness

Haagen Dazs is by far the best ice cream that you can buy in just about every grocery store. Lovely rich milk chocolate and creamy peanut buttery swirls. If you are a Reese's peanut butter cups lover like me, then you need to go get this very fattening nighttime delight.

This is how they describe it on their website, which is on the nose: "start with our legendary chocolate ice cream, made with premium Dutch cocoa. swirl in ribbons of creamy, smooth peanut butter. then experience an almost irresistible blend of flavors as the robust peanut butter complements the classic chocolate in every delicious mouthful."

Oh Yeah.

Ok. The bad news is the fattening element of this treat. When I see this pint calling through the glass at the market, I feel the fat pockets growing in my cellulite.... 24 grams of thigh fat in every tiny 1/2 cup!

Serving Size: 1/2Cup (109g)
Calories: 360 Calories from Fat: 220
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 55%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 100mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 8g

All I can say is.... It is worth it. And so am I. And so are you.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fake Bake Month

I frequent beauty blogs. I try to keep up with skin care trends through the eyes of these very dedicated woman. Lately, it appears that everywhere I go, bloggers are reviewing fake tanning solutions. Big comparisons between this lotion and that bronzer. Living in Florida, I don't worry about being pale, because if I want a tan, I can sit poolside and get one any day (although if you saw me, you'd see how pale I am at my tannest). Do you remember when there was only one tanning lotion available back in the 80's? I can't pull the name of the brand from my brain archive. The lotion left me orange and smeary looking. It looked like I smeared myself in pumpkin. Ew.

Other tanning choices on the tan menu are tanning beds, which I did a few times when I lived in Brooklyn and needed a "dose" of sun. The newest form, though, is pretty fascinating. Spray tan. A friend of mine got a spray tan at her gym, of all places. Looks good, but does it just come off when you shower? Can that be good for your skin? The creepiest of all is the tanning pill. I quote from this website that sells Tanamins (vitamins that make you tan????): "Our synergized blend of 2000 mg of L-tyrosine, a natural occurring amino acid, provides the nutrients your body requires to increase melanin production."

Hmmmm. No.

You know, I was a product junkie way back when. Always ready to jump on board to try the next miracle cream... for stronger longer hair, smaller pores, faster growing nails, whatever was going to help me through those terrible awkward years as a teenager. Now I am a bit skeptical because of too many disappointments and too many dumb moves. I am not falling for miracles anymore now that I am 36 years old. BUT! If anyone has tried the pills and has had positive results, then please post here. We want to know.

I think Fake Bake may be a short-lived month of May trend, but I eagerly await other stuff that I actually will use. If you can remember the name of that 80's tanning lotion, please leave a comment, because I would love to be reminded. The old brain is going. :)

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I know as a customer that if I'm loyal to a brand, I occasionally like to be refreshed with a new product or new look. I like the classics, but the new and improved are exciting as well. I try to drive the company's direction from a consumer standpoint.... what I would like as a consumer, what I would look for that would excite me to try something special.

I have a secret. We are going to be launching a new line this summer, but I can't tell you yet what it will be. We have been running around working like dogs to get this thing going. Who knew it would take all waking hours to run a company and keep it afloat while trying to expand, grow and introduce new things? I love what I do so the work is fun AND exhausting.

There is so much involved in introducing a brand (having done it once), it's much like having a baby, except a LOT less physically painful. First, we had to think hard about what our mission is, then create the product, the logo, jar design, label design, website (and all that's involved in that), the shopping cart, the millions of packages we send out to prospective retailers and press. Then there is filling the orders; formulating, filling jars, labelling, packing shipping.... that's like a whole different company.

So you see, there are so many things to do. I, of course, always fear that I will completely fall on my face and fail. I suppose in everything that we do, there is that to worry about. I am trying to look ahead and make this new line the best I can, and hopefully it will be wildly popular and thrive like a healthy baby. I think it will.

With all that said, you'll have to wait a bit to see what is coming. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Friends of El Faro

There are always dilemmas that go beyond the obvious daily decisions that are difficult in business, but this one was easy. My cousin Leslie Abbott recently tried my products and loved them. Then, being the thoughtful sweetie that she is, decided to send all of her friends a bit of Product to try (thank you for the support honey!). As you might infer from that, Leslie is a kind and generous woman and it's no surprise to anyone who knows her that she has always been wildly active and done charity work all over the world. Recently she sent me an email with a suggestion about a way I could make a difference and help out one of the wonderful projects she is involved with, an excerpt of which follows:

"I have been going down to an orphanage called El Faro in Tijuana for four years. The group of people I go with head down from L.A. periodically for the weekend, and just play with the kids, do fun activities with them, love ‘em up, etc. We also raise money in the U.S. to support them. The kids are great. In July, we are holding an auction online with EBay. I’m asking you to donate a package...."

Could I possibly resist?!? Of course not! We have made donations to charities and charity events a priority in the past, but over the last month or two (or three) have been swamped (I've blogged about some of our projects, and have some other surprises coming soon...), but a reminder of what really matters to us was just what we needed. As I mentioned, we are busy busy and are almost missing the deadline on getting the goodies off to them, but I wanted to share with you how important this is to them and to me. How often do we involve ourselves in really making a difference? We're just lucky to be in a position to have people present these opportunities to us and be able to help.

So go see their website and see how you might get involved. I take my hat off to Leslie and everyone else who goes down there, leaving their jobs, homes and families to spend some time with these kids and make a difference! Here is my hat Leslie! And my donation is on its way. I love you!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Can't Do The Nails

Cut them off today. They were pretty and I stopped chewing on my nails for 3 weeks, but I couldn't do it. It takes a Wonderwoman to raise children, garden, formulate.... and still maintain nails. In fact, I cut them off after one got snapped off with great force as I tried to open a large canister. Anyone who works with their hands just can't maintain them, or at least I can't. I am always using my hands. If I sat at a computer or worked in a retail shop or bank, I could do the nail thing... tap, tap, tap. But I don't. I am digging deep into the business to make it happen. I can't have anything slowing me down, especially if its beauty. Beauty is supposed to accentuate, not handicap.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Juicy Watermelon

We decided to offer Watermelon as a Summer Treat for a limited time and I have to say, it is scrumptious. It almost smells like a combination of a Jolly Rancher and Bubble Yum, but softer, wispier (is that a word?). So the Watermelon scent is only offered in Shea Butter until I see how it sells, although I think it would be wonderful in Cream and Crush On You, no doubt.

I am always looking to expand our scents because I like to spice things up. I keep getting a lot of resistance from the folks here because it makes our job much harder, and since we don't have gobs of product pre-made sitting on warehouse shelves, and we make it all by hand, adding scents can be quite the task. I also found a new scent that I think is just lovely....the mystery scent. Haven't named it yet or have come up with a way to describe it. I think what I will do is ask some of you who would be willing to be one of our testers and help us with feedback with the scents we are dappling with. So leave feedback and if you'd like the job to be a sniffer of small samples, let me know.

Try the Juicy Watermelon. It is sweet, but not overly sweet. And it's a great Summer smell.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yuzu...The Ugly One

When you go to Wikipedia and type in "yuzu", you get this picture. Not so pretty. In fact, a bit homely and rotten looking. We carry our products in yuzu scent and customers ask me all the time what it is. This is hard to explain, because it's a tangy version of a lemon/grapefruit/tangerine mixture. I guess you will have to smell it for yourself. Other than lemon (which smells like a freshly cut lemon---NOT kitchen cleaner!), yuzu is my favorite scent. Keep in mind that I prefer citrus over floral notes and I love the tropics more than Antarctica.

Don't always judge a book by its cover. You may pass some lovely Ugly Ducklings.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kiss Kiss To Mothers Everywhere

Happy Mother's Day to all you women who have crossed over to the other side and have become mothers. I have had a marvelous Mother's Day, with my kids and my hubby, which started with a cappucino in bed.... my favorite little luxury that will win big points every time. Hugs, love, kisses and snuggles. I wish you all a great day, whether your a mom or not. Kiss!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Adding Honey To The Mix

I've always been skeptical of honey in body products because when I was a new mother, I remember not being able to feed my 10 month old anything with honey in it, because, "The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that raw honey not be given to infants under one year of age because of the rare possibility of being infected with the bacteria that causes botulism " quoted from Dr. Sears. I guess this scared me enough to specifically exclude honey form my recipes/formulations, but honey has always called to me. It's golden color, pure origin, sweetness and benefits to the skin... well, I can't really ignore it any more.

I thought to pass on it as an ingredient because I hated the idea of any bacteria touching any of my customers, but the more I read, the more I realize it benefits on the skin have nothing to do with infants and their ability to digest it in the delicate systems. I have far more research to do, but I think honey will be the next ingredient I introduce to our line of skin care. It is just too yummy, natural and positive for us all to ignore! What has taken me so long, I ask myself?!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Regina Spektor

Check out Regina Spektor. Apparently she's been around for a while... her live venue list goes to 2002, but I only just learned about her thanks to Brad, and I am here to spread the word. She is my new fave woman vocalist.... She has a sweet voice, nice tone and the music is great. She looks a lot like what my daughter, Nina, might look like when she becomes an adult. See for yourself.. :)

I am interested in hearing your feedback about her music, and if you love her, spread the word! Happy listening!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Free Shipping All Week

It is important to occasionally let you know about certain promotions we are running, so you don't feel like you were kept in the dark. It is my duty to get our news to you..... The United States Postal Service is hiking their rates again, so on Monday morning, the increased rates apply. To celebrate the fact that it hasn't risen yet, and that it is Mother's Day on Sunday and that sometimes we just feel like giving our lovely customers free stuff, we are offering free shipping (U.S. only) on every order until May 11th. Even if we don't get it out before the new rates apply, you still get free shipping.

It is going to be my personal challenge to snap the formulary into overdrive and whip up efficiency and speed as well as the yummies you'll receive in the mail. After you go to Product Body Shop, you'll see on the home page the coupon code "shipfree" which you can use umpteen times to get free shipping.

In addition, Salt Bath and Mama Bomb are both on sale for another week or so. So stock up before it gets too hot, because you are going to need the Bomb after baking in the sun. Or getting wind blown in a sand storm... :)

Monday, May 7, 2007

High Heat Warning

It's Getting Warmer

Because of the warm weather approaching, we want to let you know that our Shea Butter and Mama Bomb may melt in high temperatures. Remember: these butters melt at or about skin temperature, so in the event that they are stored in a high heat environment you might end up with a jar of melted butter. Messy. They might also melt in transit from us to you. Because we cannot control the temperature from our door to yours, we can’t guarantee Shea Butter and Mama Bomb will arrive in their original condition. We’ll still send it to you if you want, but we simply can’t reship or refund products that have suffered heat-damage in transit.

The solution: Order Early!

Avoid the summer heat changing your luscious solid butters by ordering them before the summer arrives. Lots of them. Lots and lots of them. You’re going to need the healing magic of our Mama Bomb and Whipped Shea anyway, so indulge yourself now!

It is not necessary to refrigerate any of the products, but do be sure to keep them in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight or other sources of heat. Of course, refrigeration won’t hurt a bit (though it will make the products harder, obviously), and can be pretty refreshing on a hot summer day.

As always, just give us a shout if you have any questions about any thing at all.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Going Green

In the beauty business, judging a book by its cover is part of the industry. I do it, you do it, it is part of the consumer experience. When I pick up a jar of anti-aging cream, for instance, in a department store, there are three things I notice.
1. Jar and design.
2. The miraculous claims.
3. Finally, the price.

If the jar is a heavy, glass jar with simplistic labeling, I am more inclined to pick it up. Once it is in my hands, I read on. The claims of the miracle cream making my 36 year old face look younger in 14 days? I'll buy that! Does it ever make me look younger? I try to think it does so that it justifies the pricey purchase. We all do. However, if I see the same cream in a flimsy jar with a less than stellar design on the jar, I probably won't pick it up and read the back or consider the purchase.

Packaging has really been an important part of our process. From the beginning, I always insisted that the more expensive packaging made sense because it was elegant and classy and of high quality. If I were in a store, I would pick up my own Cream because it looked special. Because the Cream was in the heavy bottomed expensive packaging, it feels more special and in turn, makes the consumer feel special after they purchase it. At least that is my experience as a consumer.

The "foot in the door" theory was my big pitch for keeping these expensive jars around. Unfortunately, there is an 8-10 week lead time for delivery of the jars, because the manufacturer makes them to order. The lead time can be a problem because if we get a large order from a retailer, we can get stuck unexpectedly and end up running out of the good jars.

We realized recently that the thick jars we use do not have the recycle logo on the bottom. Can't be recycled? No good. At that moment, we decided that it was more important to make the move to going green. We try very hard to make choices in life and in business to have the least effect on this earth. We use suppliers that use natural clays to refine our shea butter, not chemicals, we support our local sugar supplier who minimally process their sugar, we support organic farmers where we can and we pack our retail boxes with newspaper that we actually read, instead of purchasing filler (because even if we purchase recycled filler, it takes a truck burning loads of fuel just to get it to us!). So when you get our boxes with your goodies, we ask that you recycle the newspaper on your end.

So when our supply runs out on the jars, we are going to be using recyclable jars. Not as pretty, but there is a benefit for you in addition to the recycling component. It holds MORE product, and we aren't raising the price. The jars are cheaper so you not only are part of the movement towards going GREEN, you get more for your money! And what is better than more Crush On You for you?!?

Stay tuned. I will be posting our switch-over when we get close to finishing the jars we have. In the meantime, please reuse the jars. They can be used for holding paper clips, tacks, loose change, sea shells, jewelry....whatever. Reuse, recycle, reinvent. And let's join together to make a small difference.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

We Are In Germany!

Germany ordered our products! Masuri now has Product Body in their hands, and we are thrilled! It is quite a journey being involved in the starting up process of a small business. It can be frightening, nerve racking, challenging and wildly rewarding all at the same time. When we were contacted by the Manager/Director of Sales at Masuri, we were surprised. We had been included Internationally by New Woman magazine as one of the Top Ten Best Beauty Buys of The Year, but when Germany called us? Well, we were pleasantly surprised, of course. We hadn't attempted sales Internationally as of yet.

Denmark is also calling our name. A distributor, no less! So, there you have it. If we keep persevering, maybe this business will grow and prosper the way I hope it can and we will continue to make beautiful handmade products for all of you gorgeous people. We need to get more press and for people to notice us so we can be available in more locations. I continue to send out samples for magazines to try and write about us, but it is quite a process and is something I will go into in more depth soon.... that is a whole other posting.

I've never been to Germany, but I am hoping for some reason I will have to attend a business meeting there soon.... :)

Funny Video with Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell and a couple of his colleagues have a website called "Funny or Die". There is one short with Will Ferrell acting in the short called, "The Landlord". Well, I can't say too much or I would give it away. I can say though, that it is very funny. I love Pearl! In order to enjoy the movie fully, you must have speakers to hear the audio. Go see "The Landlord". Will Ferrell is part genius.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Tattoo Dilemma

At age 18, on the fly, I decided to get a tattoo of an ugly bug on my right shoulder. Not just any bug, a dung beetle (aka scarab). Now there is good history on the dung beetle at Wikipedia. I was, at 18, an attractive young woman. From the time I can remember, I was flirted with by men of all ages. I mostly did not like the attention. These were men on the street, in a bar, driving by, NYC construction workers, teenagers whistling from across the street, or snapping their lips, and the list of ooglers goes on and on. So growing up being told I was pretty felt like a jail sentence a lot of the time while I was in NYC.

I was ready to get the ugliest looking tattoo I could get. I decided not to be a typical girl and get an angel or butterfly, but instead, chose to turn people off.... for shock value, I suppose. However, I wanted some meaningful choice as well. Something with depth. I felt deep, mysterious, unique and powerful (typical for a young freshman at Antioch College). Quoting Wikipedia, "The image of the scarab, conveying ideas of transformation, renewal, and resurrection, is ubiquitous in ancient Egyptian religious and funerary art. The scarab was linked to Khepri ("he who has come into being"), the god of the rising sun."

The crap roller had a major following. They had no idea that they were so meaningful.

Anyway, I have been looking for the right design for me to transform my dung bug into something I wasn't ashamed of. The beetle was not only an ugly bug, it was done by a lousy tattoo artist. And so. Choosing a tattoo is very personal. Should it just be pretty, should it have meaning ...? I have been looking and I finally found a design I think is quite beautiful and is beauty for beauty's sake. I found it, funnily enough, at All About The Pretty beauty blog. I love her site and I love the header. So if and when I get it together to finally get a "cover-up", I think I am going to make it pretty, because after all, shouldn't my tattoo accentuate and beautify? And be interesting to look at? So go see the lovely blog and see the lovely header, which was conceptualized by Julia of All About The Pretty and executed by Joy Cho of "Oh Joy" . I LOVE Joy's designs and sense of space. Every last one of them. Love it love it!

When I get my camera charged up, I will insert the photo of my tatt for y'all to see. then you will understand the need to change it.... :)