See you at Etsy Made in Canada Manitoba Edition on Saturday, September 24!

I’m delighted to announce that Just The Goods will be participating in this year’s Etsy Made in Canada – Manitoba Edition 2016 on Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at Neeginan Centre Inc. (181 Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg). Whoo!

MIC DEADLINE IMAGE
I’m planning to be at only two sales this year — and this is one of them — so it’ll be a great opportunity for us to meet in person!

I’ll attempt to bring as much as I can of my 150+ product catalogue, but since that’s awfully difficult to do, I readily welcome you to pre-order at http://www.justthegoods.net by September 18 using the coupon code

>> MadeinCanada2016 <<

Doing so will waive your shipping/local courier fee, and indicate to me that I should bring your order with me so you can pick it up at any time you wish during the official hours of the event. Super easy, and you’ll always get exactly what you want without having to worry about arriving in time. A great option, especially if you’re like me and prefer a late, leisurely breakfast 😉 *lol*

I’m looking forward to seeing you at this event! If it’s anything like last year’s inaugural event, this is going to be fantastic!!

ps. The graphic reads 11 – 4, but it’s definitely 10 – 4🙂

Just the Goods Newsletter – Summer/Fall 2016

Exciting changes to US shipping, upcoming end-of-summer closure notice,
new limited edition product, and more!

Hello everyone,

Happy Summer! I hope you’re finding time to play in the sun, rest under trees, and watch plants and animals grow =-)

Summer/Fall 2016… Meep! No one wants to think about autumn quite yet, and it surely seems too soon for another newsletter, but I have *so* much to share and ultimately decided sending one extra communiqué this year will be worthwhile, especially for clients based in the US. Please read on for details…

Deepest thanks and best wishes always!
Milena

Shipping news for clients in the US

I am thrilled to announce that Just the Goods now ships to the US – from the US – via USPS, which means lower shipping rates for all US clients including access to flat rate shipping boxes (great for orders over 1 kg / 35 oz), and tracking + insurance automatically added to all parcels without additional cost or effort.

The first three weeks operating under this new procedure have been successful and, going forward, parcels will be driven from Winnipeg to Pembina (ND) every Thursday, excluding weeks when Just the Goods is closed, of course. Tracking numbers will be forwarded directly via USPS and shipping will now take an average of 1 – 4 days after mailing, instead of 10. Rush shipping from Canada (via Canada Post or UPS) is still available. Please enquire before making very time sensitive purchases.

This change has been a long time in the making – thank you for your patience while I assessed viability and found someone fully committed to driving three hours each week and clear customs at the border on my behalf😉

Shipping news for local, national and other international clients

Those within Winnipeg who receive parcels via local courier will also experience a shipping-related change. Natural Cycle Courier closed operations after serving Winnipeg for 17 years, so I’ve worked out special rates with Ghost Rider Messenger, who is similarly able to deliver to all accessible locations within the Perimeter; however, delivery will now take place within 1 business day (most often on the same Thursday the parcel is picked up). The cost of local courier is now now $6.75 for any parcel under 1 kg to any address within the Perimeter with an accessible mailbox, safe drop location, or where someone is available during regular business hours to receive the parcel in person. Thank you!

Finally, shipping news for all other clients: Those in Canada may know that Canada Post has agreed to a 30 day extension on current labour negotiations, which means employees who work hard to maintain a well functioning, public network over such an expansive landmass will not fear being locked out of their jobs, nor will they need to take strike action at this time. As such, I am continuing to ship as usual to locations across Canada and around the world, with pleasure! Still, I have retained shipping by UPS as an available option on the website, for those who prefer it. Please be confident that I will not made arbitrary switches between carriers: if you choose Canada Post, I will ship with that method; likewise if you choose UPS. Thanks!

Upcoming Temporary Closure

My recent travels were fantastic – I came back invigorated and inspired, and I was blown away by the sheer volume of orders that arrived during my absence – thank you! In contrast, things quiet down a little in the summer, which I hope means that everyone is spending time outdoors having fun! And, knowing that things once again become wonderfully busy in September (and continue straight through until the end of May), I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to schedule rest and relaxation at the end of each summer.

As such, Just the Goods will be closed August 26 – September 3. Orders placed by Friday, August 19 will be mailed by August 25. Orders placed August 20 – September 3 will be handmade and shipped as quickly as possible thereafter. Orders involving in-stock items will be shipped on September 8 and all other orders will be shipped on September 15. I have decided to limit my access to email from August 27 to September 3 and will therefore reply to all messages when I return. Thanks!

New Product

It has been a while since I released a new product, and this one is unique in that I can only offer it as a very small batch, limited edition item.

Celebrating the height of summer, this facial mask features two of my favourite things: vibrant matcha and aromatic, home grown lavender!

Kaolin is a mild yet effective clay suitable for all skin types selected for its ability to absorb accumulated oil and dirt from pores without over-drying. Organic AOI matcha is prized as a high quality beverage — applied to skin, it promotes cellular regeneration and decreases sebum production making it beneficial to all skin types, particularly when weathehttps://justthegoods.net/products/limited-edition-vegan-matcha-lavender-jasmine-facial-mask-for-most-skin-typesr is hot and humid. Lavender also stimulates cellular regeneration while offering mild antibacterial support that leaves skin feeling fresh and clean. Jasmine is softening, mildly exfoliating, and promotes radiance, which is useful for all skin types, but especially great any time skin feels dull or dry and needs a boost.

This product is suitable for most skin types. It contains no essential oils, but does include a large quantity of recently dried and freshly ground lavender, so it is fragrant and thus potentially not suitable for those allergic to botanical ingredients.

There are only 6 tins available, and when they’re gone, they’re gone… until maybe next summer😉

Find it here: https://justthegoods.net/products/limited-edition-vegan-matcha-lavender-jasmine-facial-mask-for-most-skin-types.

Product Packing Changes

When developing Just the Goods products, I carefully consider how packaging will promote both safety and affordability. Safety is reflected in my choice of heavy glass and/or BPA-free plastics; affordability comes into play by maintaining uniform bottle sizes and caps, thus limiting the range of things I need to order/ship so I can take advantage of volume-based discounts.

I recently learned the perfume bottles I’ve been using for the past few years have started to leak during shipping, especially in winter when the perfume freezes and expands while the packaging contracts and ultimately prevents effective sealing. I’ve chosen another type of perfume bottle – a more traditional vial without a roller-ball and I feel confident it will perform much better. I am in the process of switching over to those soon – please stay tuned!

I’ve also decided that it’s time to offer resealable pouches for body scrubs, which means less weight and a smaller carbon footprint for shipping, which also means lower shipping costs. The same packaging will now be used for bath salts, bath melts, and facial scrubs. I hope this decision will increase access to the body scrubs in particular, many of which have recently become EWG VERIFIED.

Upcoming Local Event

Those in Winnipeg may be interested to know that Just the Goods has been accepted to participate in Etsy Made in Canada 2016 on Saturday, September 24 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at the same location, Neeginan Centre (181 Higgins Ave). As always, I welcome pre-orders from http://www.justthegoods.net for pick up at this event – please use the coupon code MadeinCanada2016 by September 18, and I’ll meet you there with everything you choose!

Other events for the fall/winter season will be announced as they are confirmed – follow me on social media for the news as soon as it becomes available (*Hint: One of them includes Scattered Seeds!*)

Cooking + Home Spa Stress Management Retreat

The stress relieving cooking + home spa retreat co-hosted with integrative nutrition health coach Katie Schmidt of Whole Nourishment (http://www.wholenourishment.net) in St Gallen, Switzerland at the end of May was a fantastic success! We are thrilled so many people were able to join us for a packed day of discussion, making, and eating on a holiday long weekend, and we deeply appreciate all the wonderful feedback we received. At this time I would once again like to thank Mara from Urban Earth Teas (http://www.urbanearth.ca) and Angela of Ground Soap (http://www.groundsoap.com) for their kind contributions to the participant gift bags, which were greatly enjoyed!

Katie and are I definitely interested in co-hosting another event in the future that once again combines easy to prepare foods that help our bodies thrive with home spa self-care practices that promote comfort and rest, and we’re already mulling over possible dates and/or locations. Our principal criteria involves us being on the same continent at the same time, which will be North America next July (2017).

We established this time of year is not good for an event in Winnipeg due to all of the festivals taking place… but we’re wondering, what about other cities? Katie and I are both willing to travel within Canada and/or the US … Are you interested in helping us find the perfect event space + promote the event within the area? If so, please get in touch – we’d love to chat!

Just the Goods is EWG VERIFIED™

Just the Goods has partnered with Environmental Working Group to become EWG VERIFIED™

Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. It’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment, and it does this with breakthrough research and education to drive consumer choice and civic action. Just the Goods is grateful for it’s commitment to rigorous scientific inquiry and unwavering standards.

As of today, 26 Just the Goods products have been accepted into the program, and I’m continuing to add as many others as I can, as quickly as possible. Twenty seven makers worldwide have now accepted and met EWG’s challenge to offer only the safest cosmetics and personal care products. The standards are high — as the should well be — and I will continue to emphasize the importance of being not only vegan and cruelty-free, but wholly committed to safety at the same time.

To quickly view which Just the Goods products are EWG VERIFIED™, please click here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=just+the+goods&h=Search.

Recent Media Coverage

Final Note

You are receiving this newsletter because — as per the conditions outlined by the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation that came into effect July 1, 2014 — you’ve been in touch with Just the Goods in the past either by making a purchase or requesting wholesale information within the last two years, or you have chosen to remain subscribed to this quarterly newsletter rather than choosing to click the unsubscribe link at the base of each newsletter. With that said, if you would prefer to no longer receive communications from Just the Goods, please let me know and I will remove your email address immediately. And of course, you may also unsubscribe using the link below =-).

As always, thank you for your ongoing support! It is an absolute pleasure to handcraft natural skin and body care products, providing a healthier, small-scale alternative to the corporate “beauty industry”. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

With all my best,
Milena

Just the Goods (Winnipeg, MB)
handmade natural + affordable skincare for everyone
http://www.justthegoods.net

Instagram: @just.the.goods
Twitter: @justthegoods
Facebook: @justthegoods

Just the Goods now ships parcels to the US from the US!

It’s official! Just The Goods now ships from the USA! This plan has been in the works for over a year, but I now have someone committed to driving from Winnipeg (Manitoba) to Pembina (North Dakota) every week! 🚚

IMG_20160706_164229_972000
I 💓 Canada Post, but after 7 years of operation, I know that my clients in the United States need easier and more affordable access to their handmade vegan safe cosmetics. I’ve worked as hard as possible to offer public wholesale product pricing and real shipping costs, but I realize that sometimes creates confusion, since parcel tracking couldn’t be included in the lowest shipping rates 📦 📫 But that had all changed! Every parcel to the US will include tracking, and delivery will take 1 – 4 days after mailing instead of 10.

I am still working out USD vs CAD and imperial units vs metric, while also figuring out what *really* fits into flat rate shipping boxes, but things are looking great, so far!

Thank you to everyone who has been so patient with slow and sometimes pricey parcels all the way from Canada! I’m thrilled to finally give you what you have wanted for *years* 💕

Important information regarding shipping

Hi! This is an important message re shipping for all clients in Winnipeg, Canada + all international locations (especially the USA)

ink-744224_960_720

🌾 To all in Winnipeg: With a heavy heart, I have learned the news that Natural Cycle Courier is closing and will no longer be delivering parcels after June 30. I am working to find an alternate carrier, and have made temporary arrangements for local orders over the next few weeks. After June 30, current delivery charges will remain in effect, but may rise depending on what sort of rates I can negotiate with another carrier. I will keep you posted 😃

🍁 To all in Canada: As you know, Canada Post employees are going to be locked out of work beginning on July 2. This means they will not likely be able to continue their jobs until the current labour struggle they are facing has been resolved. I have added delivery by UPS to my website, and you’re welcome to choose that if you need a parcel delivered during this dispute. Or, if you choose delivery by Canada Post, I’ll hold your parcel until service has resumed. For more information about the efforts of Canada Post employees to keep Canada Post relevant, vibrant and public, please visit: http://www.publicservices.ca 😃Thanks!

🌍 To all others worldwide: As described above, Canada Post employees are working to hard to ensure that our national postal system remains public, while also making it a more relevant part to the 21st century economy. If you choose shipping by Canada Post while the workers are locked out and unable to do their jobs, I’ll hold your parcel until it is once again possible to ship. Alternatively, you may choose shipping via UPS — I’ve made a range of service options available, and all are detailed for your convenience 😃

Thank you to everyone for your patience during this time. I realize that it is not the most convenient circumstances for anyone, and I look forward to doing my very best to serve you now and into the future

Warmly,
Milena

I’m back in Winnipeg, orders are on schedule, and I ❤️ Canada Post!

Hi everyone! I’m back in Winnipeg and yesterday I shipped 70 out of approximately 200 orders based on which ones required in-stock items only🙂 Today I’ve starting production on the items needed to complete all the remaining orders, and they will be shipped out on June 21st. Given the volume of handmaking, packing and shipping required over the next several days, I won’t be online very much, but I definitely wanted to provide you with an update — everything is exactly on schedule! Yay!🙂
 
In other news, our friends at Canada Post have provided additional news about their upcoming strike. They are working hard to prevent our national public service from being privatized, and I’m grateful to them for their efforts. The current CEO of Canada Post is formerly affiliated with Pitney Bowes and his goal over the past several years has been made very clear: increase rates, cut service, refuse to replace staff that have retired, and rack up profits while creating the myth that Canada Post doesn’t work so it will be easy for a private company (i.e. Pitney Bowes) to scoop up *our* Canada Post at pennies on the dollar. This is devastating! Their strike is about maintaining a national service that functions well enough to serve everyone equally across Canada, no matter where they live. The last strike was back in 2011 and things really went sideways when employees were locked out. Let’s hope the new government is better at understanding why an affordable public postal service essential for us all *fingers crossed*
 
In the meantime, while supporting our Posties and their amazing ideas for keeping Canada Post vibrant and vital, I’m working on contingency plans so people can continue to place and receive their orders. I will also be attending a public info session on Friday from 7 – 10 pm at Union Centre (275 Broadway, Winnipeg) (https://www.facebook.com/events/653192524834610/657054094448453/?notif_t=admin_plan_mall_activity&notif_id=1466003942574839)

13343024_1751186995166718_8778478484324879935_n

 
And, for info about Canada Post employee’s commitment to delivering pension and social assistance cheques throughout the strike, and their commitment to protecting any animals that are being transported, please read the following news release: http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/posties-pledge-to-deliver-pension-and-social-assistance-cheques-ensure-no-live-animals-are-trapped-in-the-mail-system-582950871.html
 
Thank you everyone for working with me, a small scale online handmaker🙂 Just the Goods wouldn’t exist without you, nor would it exist without Canada Post. I have a fantastic relationship with my commercial account managers, depot manager, and the postal agents I see each week when they come to pick up bins filled with your orders. I know how committed they are to doing the very best job they possibly can, and I really wanted to share with you my support for them🙂
 
Thanks again!!
Milena

Just the Goods will be back in the lab on June 10, 2016

I found this pic online – it's of the #Churfirsten #mountain range near #StGallen, #Switzerland, which is where I'll be this time next week! I don't suppose I'll get a view from this high up, but I'm so excited I'll be nearby 😄😍 A great group of lovely people have registered for the #stressmanagement #workshop I will be co-hosting with Katie of Whole Nourishment, and I can't wait to meet everyone!! It's going to be a long weekend in Switzerland, so we made a few more changes to the schedule to accommodate, which is perfect! So much has changed about #Jtgwholenourishmentretreat since we first devised the idea, and I'm really looking forward to what we have planned! I leave for #Barcelona on Sunday, move onward to #Zurich on Thursday, then head to #Berlin and #Toronto after that 😃 I have a huge list of #vegan must-dos covering dining, shopping and #spa… but please share your recommendations with me! I'd love to know you favourite things💕 As for the lab, although the past few days were spent catching up, I am now ***officially*** closed until June 10 (I'll be responding to urgent email messages when possible — this is, when I'm online and have energy 😊) Thanks so much! I look forward to being well refreshed when I return 🌱🌸 #vegansofig #veganfood #wanderlust #travel #vegantravel #igtravel #spain #germany #explore #exploremore #work #vacation #holiday #inspiration #research 📷 Photo by Hans (pixabay)

A photo posted by Just the Goods (@just.the.goods) on

A few thoughts about sunscreen

It’s finally warm enough to spend all day outdoors! Choosing a safe sunscreen is something to consider year ’round depending on your climate and daily activities, but it is especially important to think about as the amount of time spent under the sun changes with the seasons.

Just the Goods does *not* offer handmade sunscreen because I don’t have the resources necessary to commission clinical trials that confirm evidence of broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. As such, even though there are plenty of websites that claim to help calculate SPF based on the combo and ratio of ingredients used, it seems too risky for something so important.

share

When asked about sunscreen, I prefer to share Environmental Working Group ‘s annual sunscreen round up. The 2015 list is still available online, but I encourage you to keep an eye on http://www.ewg.org/2016sunscreen as the new list will surely be available soon. Or, for an even easier approach, download EWG’s app, which you can use while shopping to access important information about mainstream/widely available brands.

For those insisting on experimenting with DIY formulas, I urge them to consider a few points:

  • Calculating SPF is not simply a matter of adding ingredients to increase protection because factors such as concentration/dilution ratios apply (i.e. 3 – 10 SPF from coconut oil, plus 28 – 50 SPF from raspberry seed oil does not equal 31 – 60 SPF … and, even if it did, that is a troubling speculative gap).
  • Many oils can cause skin to absorb light faster and thus burn faster so, whatever the SPF ratings of ingredients might be in their own right, those benefits are often negated by the very process of applying those oils to skin.
  • Domestic grade mixing equipment can not guarantee absolutely equal distribution of sun blocking ingredients throughout any given formula, which is crucial for providing uniform, consistent, and thus guaranteed protection.
  • Even ingredients with relatively safe ratings such as non-micronized zinc oxide need to be used within recognized guidelines. Wikipedia’s entry about sunscreen demonstrates the range in what is considered allowable according to the health and safety laws of different countries publishing such information.
  • Mineral based sun screens need to be applied more frequently. And yes, they will do leave a white haze on the skin.

In the past I offered non-micronized zinc oxide (I was selling off the material leftover when I decided to stop experimenting), but I’ve since decided that I do not feel okay with this.

As a handmaker operating an intentionally small-scale one-person project, I care deeply about making independent alternatives available on principle; however, I think there are some things that require a larger economy of scale, and given the testing required to guarantee sunscreen works for all, this is a case in point.

When people ask what I use personally, I say “it depends”. My first course of action is to reduce exposure by wearing sleeves and a hat, as well as choosing to stay in the shade. Otherwise, I refer to EWG’s app when shopping and buy what is available.

I’m still searching for a safe and cruelty-free sunscreen that is also vegan and if/when I do, I will definitely share the news🙂

I hope these thoughts are helpful! Enjoy the sun + take care!

Upcoming temporary lab closure

Hello! I am going to be out of the lab May 18 – June 9, so I want to let you know that the last day to place orders before I go will be May 13🙂
 
Any orders placed by May 13 will be handmade and shipped by May 17 🌱 Orders placed between May 14 and June 9 will be handmade and shipped as quickly as possible upon my return 🌷 Please visit: http://www.justthegoods.net ✨ Thank you!!
 

Just the Goods Turns 7!

Today is Beltane, May Day (the people’s labour day), and Just the Goods’ 7th anniversary — I couldn’t be more delighted🙂

IMG_20160414_185714_390000

I can’t believe it was so long ago that I embarked on a project seeking to combine safe cosmetics, environmental responsibility, affordability, and community. I developed my first formulas exactly as I do when creating new ones today, by referring to Environmental Working Group ‘s Skin Deep cosmetics database, and selecting ingredients with well documented histories of safe usage.

Full transparency about these choices earned JTG Champion Status from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics back in 2011, and later welcomed me to become a Women’s Voices for the Earth No Secrets Business Partner. Seeking to demonstrate better respect for all living things, JTG became certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny program and an official partner of Humane Society International – End Animal Testing Campaign. I’m an active member of the Safe Cosmetics Business Network organized by Breast Cancer Fund, a new member of the Vegan Trade Council, and some of my products are now EWG VERIFIED

Just the Goods is a constant process of evaluation and improvement through feedback from trusted partners to ensure I’m providing the best and most honest work I can in a fashion that remains accessible. No gimmicks, no gouging, no guilt. Straight forward, transparent, fair, and human. I feel good about the past 7 years with deepest thanks to all of you, and I’m so very excited about all the years yet to come 💕 Thank you!!

EWG VERIFIED™ Giveaway

As you know, some of Just the Goods’ products have met the Environmental Working Group’s most rigorous health standards and qualified for the EWG VERIFIED™ mark!

EWG_Social_EWGV-Basket_C01[1]

To celebrate, I’ve contributed to a really huge giveaway! Enter to win one of five beauty baskets full of EWG VERIFIED™ products including Just the Good’s handmade vegan + cruelty-free Lavender, Bergamot and Ylang ylang body butter, and the most popular of all Just the Goods’ vegan perfume oils, Wild Woods!

To enter, please visit: https://gleam.io/fb/YHNoZ (it will take you to a Facebook page). GOOD LUCK!! Ooh, and apparently this giveaway is only open to residents of the US. So sorry about that, fellow Canadians!! I’ll think of a way to make that up to you 😊💕