Saturday, December 8, 2012

Notable Thoughts: Grace

I save pages from magazines.  I tear out recipes, reading lists, products I like, websites I want to visit--basically anything that catches my eye and warrents a second look.  This page has been floating around various to-do stacks on my desk for the last year.  It was from Real Simple, Novemeber, 2011.  I kept it for the passage, which reads:

"You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink."

G.K. Chesterton, from an early notebook (mid-1890s)

I say, just don't say it!  :)  That may be my resolution for this year.  And it certainly gives me another topic to ponder...more thoughts to come back to some day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Herbal Eye Pillows

It is so funny to me how products evolve--often without any conscious thought to change them.  Big corporations of course employ thousands in their research and development departments.  I just have little ol' me...and luckily lots of customers who aren't afraid to make a suggestion here and there.

I have been making my eye pillows for decades now...but only selling them for about 13 years.  The first generation were made with mostly rice and some herbs I had in the cupboard using fabric I had on hand.  I just sewed up a rectangle of cloth, added the herbs and rice and sewed it up.   Nothing fancy.  But they did the trick so I have always kept a couple stashed in the freezer for the occassional headaches that popped up.

Fast forward into the selling years where I started putting premium lavender buds in with the rice.  Then added some rosemary--basically because it is good for your brain--and flax seed.  I played with the components until I got just the right blend of scent and weight.  Not too heavy that it hurts the eyes and not too light that it falls off easily and doesn't mold to the face. 

Then one day I am at a show and someone comments about how nice the flannel is--so much better than those plastic ones you get at the store.  I had been making both flannel and the fabric I preferred--thick terry cloth.  I tried the flannel ones and liked them so much better that I phased out the terry cloth.  I added some more colors--mostly pastels.

Then a couple years after that a customer came to a show to buy just the insert for the eye pillows.  I didn't have any to sell--they were all sewn into the covers.  **light bulb**  SO, I started bringing extra herb inserts to shows.  A couple years after that a customer asked if I could make a removable cover instead of the sewn in ones.  Well, doh.  Why didn't I think of that.  Mine at home had been replaced more than a couple times when they got too dingy--or too much mascara on them.  What a fantastic idea!!!

And then just a couple shows ago, a family is shopping for a stocking stuffer for Dad.  They know the eye pillow could work for headaches, so they decide to get one.  The only trouble is I don't have a great selection of guy colors.  But, the opted for a neutral green one.  But again...**light bulb**.  I went right out and got more guy and teen friendly colors. 

Finally, I had been playing around with packaging and found those pillow boxes that would fit the eye pillows perfectly.  Add a bit of bright pink and green ribbon and you have my "new look" for my eye pillows.  Of course, if you want it for a guy, I have just the plain boxes--or even just the ziploc bag to store it in!!  What a bargain, you get all my years of research and development for only $12.00.  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bath Salts and Milk Baths

Our new packaging for small servings of our bath offerings are plastic take out containers decorated with bright ribbon.  The take out containers have a white damask print and the ribbons are full of polk-a-dots.  Inside the ones with the pink ribbon, you will find 8 ounces of our Eucalyptus Mint Bath Sand.  These bath salts are awesome if you are looking to soak for achiness in muscles and joints.  Inside the green ribbon containers, you will find 4 ounces of our moisturizing Oatmeal Milk and Honey Milk Bath.   $5.00 each.