Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dark Chocolate Almond + Champagne Body Scrub


Our Valentine's Day take out box of body treats.

Two 4.75 ounce jars of Crush On You scrubby wash in two limited edition scents formulated just for Valentine's Day. Dark Chocolate Almond Crush that won't make you fat and Sparkling Champagne Crush that won't leave you hungover.

Package of yum for $20 at Product Body Shop!

I better go whip some up for me, too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Can Make It And Eat It, Too



I have to say, that experiencing 4 classes of cake decorating was super fun. Last night (last level 1 class), we learned how to make the rose. So fun. I am in shock, though, because I never had any decorating juice in me, but check out this cake! I made that! All by myself... I baked the cake, whipped the icing up, colored it, decorated it and VOILA! I start level 2 next monday. I wonder what's in store... Too fun!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Foam and Hallmark Loved Our Whipped Shea



Product Body made it into Foam and Hallmark magazines this month.  Both features were on our Double-Whipped Shea Butter.  The Foam feature was focusing on natural green products and the feature in Hallmark was about moisturizers that work.  

Press is good.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Heart Art

For Valentines... at Etsy shops.

Sea Finds Designs: Green Sea Glass Ring. $27.00.


henrihopper: henri with hearts - blue. Print is a reproduction of an original art by artist. 8x8 - $25.00.


AmeliaMakesArt: Heart felted soap : $6.00 per soap.



littleblackrabbit: tin art - honey. Made from a vintage honey tin and discarded pine (4 1/2 x 4 5/58 " One in stock, $30.00.



geelizzie: Whatever You Say comic book glass pendant - -reversible. One in stock. $12.00, 1 1/2 x 1 1/2".



All of these Etsy artists have such original works. I my have to go get myself something. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beige Bubble Rubble

A new wholesale customer in Texas asked me to make a batch of Bubble Rubble in sweet vanilla mango.  Product Body's Bubble Rubble, which is a solid bubble bath, has only been made in lavender, lemon, tangerine, and hyacinth and all beautifully colored and smelly delicious.  I figured it was a reasonable request, right?  "Sure!!", I said.

When I was hand  mixing this batch together I added yellow color and scent and set it up for curing overnight.   Well, this morning, to my surprise and disappointment, the batch turned to a mauve-like beige color.  Uh oh.

Now I had heard of soap makers warning each other that vanilla can cause the soap to discolor to a brown, but I never really gave it much thought in this case. :[

I called my customer, explained the situation and she was so easy going about the whole thing.  She figured as long as it smelled wonderful, she didn't care.  I sent her extra Bubble Rubble in Tangerine as a booby prize and hope it sells well for her.

I quite like the color, but it looks like a cocoa, not vanilla mango.....
 Bummer. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Things About Florida

An old friend came to town a couple of weeks ago with his wife and daughter who I absolutely fell in love with.  It was my first time meeting Courtney and Maddy and we hit it off.  They are seriously thinking of leaving New York and moving somewhere completely different and are actively looking for places to move to.  

Gary and Brad are good friends and I adore him and his whole little family.  They are considering Florida as a spot for possible relocation, but the heat is a problem for Courtney.  I have devised a plan to shed the light on how great Florida is, even with the heat, so that they will move here.... and soon!


Courtney and me



Once a week I plan on pointing out reasons why Florida can be wonderful.  Courtney, this is for you!

First group of reasons:

1.  The beach is 3 miles away and it is available every day.
2.  Look at these built in playmates!


3.  I love playing, too!


So this concludes the first installation of brainwashing.  (Let us chant)

Florida

Florida

Florida

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Warning About All Natural Labeling!

There are plenty of companies out there hoisting the “all natural” banner, but we urge you to pay close attention and to read the labels.

For example, fragrance oils are not natural, while essential oils are.  Also, an ingredient ending in “ben” (with the exception of Gentle Ben, though who would put that sweet bear in a body product is beyond us) is in all likelihood a paraben (ethylparaben, methylparaben etc.). The thing is, PARABENS ARE NOT NATURAL!  They have been shown to have hormone-disrupting effects (we think pregnancy does that effectively enough, thanks) as well as a few other nasty side effects that we don’t want you to have to worry about.

We know of one very prominent pregnancy product company that has the phrase “All Natural Ingredients” boldly written right on the front of their belly butter while the ingredient label lists no less than 3 chemicals including two different parabens and phenoxyethanol.  The latter is listed on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) under toxicology with the following copy:

“Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. May cause reproductive defects. Severe eye and skin irritant.”  No, we aren’t kidding. You can read the data yourself right here:http://physchem.ox.ac.uk/MSDS/PH/2-phenoxyethanol.html. And mind you, this is in a Belly Butter!

At first we scratched our heads over the “All Natural Ingredients” label and more than one person in our office got pretty pissed off over it.  So here’s what we think:  they don’t mean that ALL the ingredients are natural, but that SOME ingredients are “all natural”, as in “This product contains some all natural ingredients.”  Fabulous.  So does Mop N’ Glo, which might make your belly look really nice, but we don’t recommend rubbing it on.  Apparently there’s a fine line between lying and just misleading. Bet no one ever explained that to you in ethics class, did they?

Seriously though, we find this sort of misleading labeling disgusting.  Sadly it happens way more than you might think (we were shocked and angered ourselves).  In this case it’s particularly putrid as this company is urging you to rub something that is “harmful if absorbed through the skin” and “may cause reproductive defects” all over your pregnant belly.  Yuck.

Look – we aren’t saying that parabens or chemicals are inherently evil.  And really, we all ought to use whatever bath and body products we feel good about using.  But we all need to make informed choices. Misleading people that are trying to make smart and healthy decisions is disgusting.  Factor in the fact that the people they are misleading are pregnant women with growing bellies and it just gets worse.

So we URGE you to read labels.  Educate yourself about ingredients so that you can make smart choices that you can feel good about, both for yourself and your baby.

And remember this: every MAMA BOMB product is ALL NATURAL, and we mean EVERY INGREDIENT.  We also don’t use water or other fillers  - every ingredient has a purpose, so you aren’t paying for something who’s primary ingredient you can get from your tap.  Read our labels.  Look up the ingredients.  We promise that WE won’t ever lie to you, ever.


This is published on Mamabomb.com.

Cake Clowns - Class 3






Cake decorating class was a blast last night.  We made clowns, which I am generally not a fan of, but they were fun to make.  Just so you know, the clown heads are plastic and they get inserted into the icing body.  The whole process I did myself, which is great because the only frosting I have ever done in the past was with a tub of Betty Crocker and a knife.  I actually baked the cupcakes and created the icing clouds and the clowns.

I had left over icing in my bags and two extra cupcakes, so the pictures below show me trying out some designs .  They didn't get home without getting banged around, unfortunately, but they were delicious....


Friday, January 18, 2008

My Mother's Group Therapy Session

A funny story told by my mother, long time psychotherapist and Product Body junkie:

I run a women's group therapy session each week.  There are about 7 women who are truly dynamite.  We decided to take a 3 week break for Christmas because all of us were going to be very busy.  I gave each of the women Product Body cream and Crush on You as a holiday gift.
 
Well, we finally got back together and the group was a bit rusty.  Interactions were superficial and there were long silences between these interactions.  Finally I said "You are playing it awfully safe tonight.  Could you look around the room and say one significant statement to someone here tonight."  Well, after they recovered from the shock of my challenge to them, one of the members, said "So, what did you think of that Crush on You?"  We all laughed and group resumed on a much better note.  

Thanks Jo for saving group.  Love, Mom

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Cake - Wilton Decorating


I had to make icing for the first time at home before my cake decorating class, ice my cake and bring in the cake to decorate in class.  Can you believe that the main ingredient for icing is Crisco?  Pounds of Crisco and confectioners sugar, a couple of tablespoons of meringue powder, flavor oils and water and ***voila!*** icing!



That is me in my kitchen mixing the first batch of icing


The class was super fun, although I think my cake turned out pretty ugly.  Why you ask?

a)  The cake looks very lopsided and weird
b)  I don't like the colors so much
c)  I'm not big on rainbows unless they are in the sky or from a crystal in the sun

The rainbow took me over an hour to make.  Each part of the rainbow is made of hundreds of star squirts,  with each tiny star taking about one second to squeeze out.  The process was very fun and I thought of nothing but icing while I was decorating.  Immersing myself was a way to completely detach and de-stress, although I don't think I breathed because I was concentrating so hard.

Now I know why professional cakes can be pricey.  It's not the ingredients.  It's the skill of the decorator.  I will continue to share, but being a beginner is a challenge and can be embarrassing.  ;)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Top Ten in Jewel Box Dreams

Susanna of Jewel Box Dreams is blogger who likes us (yay!).  She included Product Body as one of Jewel Box Dreams Top Ten Beauty Products picks.  We are very excited to be included in her list.  Susanna writes an excellent beauty blog and I have become a loyal weekly reader.

Thank you, Susanna!

Cake Decorating With Wilton

As one of my Christmas presents, my husband signed me up for Wilton's cake decorating class.  He knows how excited I got after I saw how beautiful bath cupcakes could look like.  Anne-Marie of the Soap Queen blog gave a tutorial (with pictures).  I was so happy for her when they came out so well after some sad bath bomb cupcake flops.  This is what the final cuppies looked like:


So you can see why I got inspired to expand my knowledge of bath and body and test the waters where I have zero skill:  Confections.  It is one of my goals this year to try new things where my comfort level is seriously compromised and be willing to fail when I do attempt a new thing.   Like cake decorating.  I have no more experience with decorating a cake past the can of chocolate frosting you buy in the supermarket and a butter knife.  Maybe some sprinkles and candles.

So I am out of my comfort zone with this class, 'tis true, but only because I have never done it and I am a bit clutzy with fine detail. This is an understatement, folks. 

My class started last week, but we only talked and there was a quick demo in making the icing and .  Tonight, my class meets and I am supposed to bring in a cake, already baked and iced with the stiff buttercream frosting I am to make.  Hmm.  I know I should have practiced this week, but with work, company and other family related events, I could not get to the cake thing before today.

:*

Friday, January 11, 2008

PaPaYa!

Is it papaya or Pa pa ya?  Need unique cards or gifts?  This is a great site filled with beautiful notecards, calendars, envelopes, gift tags and journals all with gorgeous artwork.  Go check it out:  papayalicious.com


Full Color Card + Envelope, $4.00


Rose Greeting Card, $4.00



Birds + Blooms 2008 Calendar, $14.00

This was founded and run by a mother/daughter team and they include a few select artists on their website.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Smell This!


Many years ago when shopping for perfume and getting seriously overwhelmed with odor, a young woman working at the shop brought me a tin filled with coffee beans to smell. Why? To clear my nose of scents and bring my palette back to neutral. It worked... I was able to be "objective" again and continue smelling the hundreds of perfumes I had ahead of me, with the tin of coffee beans close at hand for every ten smellies I reached.

According to her, one's nose can only take about ten perfume/fragrances before the sniffer is blown out. This is true for some. I think my nose is tainted after about three sniffs. When I am formulating and scenting, I always smell the final product to double check it all came out as lovely as intended, even though I follow my own recipe exactly. Sometimes, I walk over to the espresso machine, lift the lid on the fresh beans reservoir and take a deep inhale. This brings me back to zero so I can smell again accurately.

If you are planning on visiting the perfume section in your nearby department store, bring a cup of fresh coffee beans in a closed container, so you can come home with the scent you actually smelled and not the one you thought you smelled.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Moisturizing Tips

WHIPPED SHEA BUTTER - PRODUCT BODY


About moisturizers... it really is a personal preference what moisturizer is right.  For instance, my mother hates anything greasy, so Mama Bomb, Ski Bomb, and Shea Butter are NOT her thing, but for me?  Nothing else moisturizes the way those do.  They are super concentrated balms and seep in after ten minutes or so, so my skin glows afterwards.  The Cream is a thick lotion and moisturizes without that greasy feel, but is more of a light moisturizer. Body scrubs can also assist in combatting terribly dry skin by taking the dead cells (outer layer) off the skin to reveal the untouched layer which you can then moisturize daily to maintain the glow.  

At Product Body, we make two types of scrubs.  One that is cleansing and the others, oil and sugar (& sometimes butters).  The Crush On You and Butter Scrub are like two different animals.  The Crush On You is a sugar scrub with shea butter and cleansing agents, so when you wash it off it leaves NO film at all, just softness.  The Butter Scrub is more of a typical sugar scrub containing no cleanser at all.  It is pure sugar, cocoa butter and oil and will leave you oily once scrubbed and rinsed.  Some people like this type of scrub  because they can come out of the shower, dry off and have no need to use an additional moisturizer....but some people detest the oily feeling when they are finished bathing.  It's all so personal what route of moisturizing one chooses, so before purchasing a scrub, try to think about what you do NOT like, so that when you use it, you are in heaven and not feeling unsatisfied.

For nighttime, people with extremely dry skin should scrub dry patches with any scrub and then, slather on Mama Bomb or Ski Bomb and cover hands or feet with cotton gloves or socks right before bed (so you don't stain your sheets).  If you do this every night for a week, you will see a significant difference in your skin. Either way it will be such a treat for your skin...The cracking, peeling, painful, dry skin that is caused by repeated washing, dry heat and cold wind will subside and you'll feel better.  I know I do.  :)

Stay hydrated,
xoxo Joanna

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Back To Work


It has been a week and a half since I really worked or blogged and I am itching to get back. When we coasted into this holiday with the kids being off of school and family in town, I didn't want to stop working.  I was ready to storm in and get pumped for the new year.  Sell, sell, sell, get more press, make new products, be more influential, involved, business savvy, etc.   I have a lot of formulating to do tomorrow as the pile of orders call to me, but the real work lies in my ability to sell.  I have to start getting on the horn every day calling spas and boutiques and getting my products prepped for the press.

I do not make resolutions every year as many people do, but I try to make goals and meet those goals.  My goal for January is to bring in business like no other month yet.  This is hard for me because I keep thinking, "I'm not good at this."  But I don't give myself enough credit. Honestly, I realized in a discussion I was having with a family member that well over half of the wholesale customers we have came to us.  I had never contacted them initially.  Ok, you are probably scrunching up your nose and thinking, "how does that make her good at...?" 

I always thought that it is easier to have people come to their own discoveries rather than being pushed into them.  Using the press has been far better than free advertising because consumers take people's product reviews as found gold.  Who can really trust anything an ad tells us anyway?  I know I don't believe anything an ad tells me.  (This all came to me when was 13 years old and I ordered breast enlargement gel and nothing happened.  I was convinced it would make my flat chest grow because it promised it would.  Silly me....and thank goodness).

In addition to selling and creating relationships with the press, I treat my retail customers very well and it pays off in many ways.  Typically, I think it is hard to get companies on the phone to begin with but then to be treated with the respect they deserve?  That is priceless.   I love every one of the customers  I have had contact with.  Every single person I deal with is so nice!!  And the compliments stream in about the products, thank goodness... because what a bummer it would be if it didn't work on others the way it works on my family and friends!

Business building... always a challenge.  I think I'd be feeling far more confident if I had myself an MBA, but my schooling background is Education.  I have to learn from others and from my own mistakes.  So be it.  Once I get caught up on my orders, I'll be back-a-bloggin' and working me arse off to revv up business for El Product Body.  The selling nerves I feel?  Maybe those jitters will just turn to adrenalin and I'll be off like the Roadrunner with only dust in my trail.  

poof

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Which Is Your Favorite Scent? POLL


It's really hard to know what scent will work for people.  I try really hard to choose scents that are as close to "true" as possible when I add them to my products, but not everyone likes floral or citrus or sweet chocolate....  For instance, I am not a floral scent person even though I LOVE flowers.  Someone asked me once if I make anything in gardenia.  Well, I hadn't but I knew that it is a popular flower, so I found a delicious oil that I thought was close to being true.  So since I have offered gardenia as a scent choice in select products, I have been receiving many many letters like this:

"Received package today when I got home from work. Tore into it, sniffed it, and couldn't wait to jump in the shower.... The gardenia is wonderful! Thanks so much for letting me have a try. I think I'm addicted to your products. =P
Warmest regards,
Rachel

P.S. My best friend is equally enamored with your products. She "borrowed" my giant jar of Cream when she came over yesterday... I don't expect I'll see it again, so thank goodness I ordered more."


I like sweet and citrus scents on my body, but there are people who live for gardenia or lavender so I try to find the best of those scents.  Do you know how many fragrance oils I have here that aren't good enough for me because they are not quite right?   I have spent WAY too much money on fragrances that I don't like, but if I can create products that make one feel really good and cause the eyes to close and the nose to breathe in the good scent?... Well, then, it's all worth it.

What scents are your favorites?  You never know, I might just take your fave and create a new blend..... :)  Leave comments!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

This Is The Woman Who Named Our "Crush On You"




This is my wonderful mother-in-law, Jeanne Boland Schmidt.  She is fully responsible for naming the most popular product we make, Crush On You.  It came from her admiration of young Frank:



These pictures of us together were taken on Christmas day.  

Happy New Year, all!!