Just the Goods Newsletter – Spring 2017

Hello everyone,

I hope you are enjoying signs of spring wherever you are, and that you’re finding fun in scheduling summer plans!

As you might already know, I like to send newsletters three or four times per year when I have something new and/or notable to share.

The first piece of news is that – in a few short days – Just the Goods will be 8 years old, and I can hardly believe it! From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of this thrilling journey, which is forever taking new and exciting turns. Evolving from a hobby, to a part-time endeavour, to a full-fledged creation with its very own life force, I can’t help being caught aback given that I’ve generally made decisions about JTG quite spontaneously. I’m not entirely sure what direction Just the Goods will take in the future, but being someone who has never lasted longer than 14 months in any job I’ve ever held (*lol*) it strikes me that – for the first time – it’s important to start making plans. It is no longer possible for one person to keep up with all of the orders received each hour of each day, but I want to retain my commitment to handmaking on a human scale, so it’s time to start thinking about how to ensure this without slowing production/shipping time. Thank you for presenting me with this fascinating challenge – I am eager to take it on as Just the Goods moves towards the next 8 years, and beyond.

Apart from this big news, today’s message will be brief in that I mostly want to let you know I’ll be taking a week away at the end of May to recharge my batteries, and to give you an update on recent fundraising efforts and a new collaboration. Please find details below =-)

Warmly,
Milena

Upcoming Temporary Closure

Although I’ve managed to sneak a few days off since the end of February, 12+ hour days are making me sleeeeeepy *lol*. In order to recharge my batteries a little, Just the Goods will be closed May 26 – June 1. Orders placed by May 19 will be shipped by May 26. Orders placed May 20 – June 2 will begin shipping June 7 – 9, with additional batches shipping the following week as quickly as I can manage. I won’t be online during this absence but look forward to replying to any messages when I return. Thanks!

Fundraising for Standing Rock a Success!

Liz of The Granola Goat and I would like to thank you for making our collaborative fundraising effort to support the Water Protectors at Sacred Stone Camp a success – with your interest in Forest Spirit, we were able to raise a total of $534 USD (~$729 CAD). The encampment was terminated in February, but the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock continues fighting for all the water, earth, air, and all living things and is calling for global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism through long-term movement building. I absolutely agree that this is a fight for the long haul, and I’m so grateful to all of you that we could make this modest contribution together as part of the many other actions I imagine many of us are undertaking at other levels. That being said, if you can give more, please do by visiting sacredstonecamp.org, or contributing to other Indigenous led resistance movements in your area.

The image below is of a print by Nicolas Lampert, which is available for sale at Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, a decentralized network of 30 artists committed to social, environmental, and political engagement. It’s pretty awesome and I thought I’d share it with you ❤

 

Liz and I are looking forward to collaborating on future fundraising projects, and are already concocting something we hope to release in June. Please keep in touch with us via social media to find out more.

Say Hello to Fat Lye Soap Co.!

I love collaborating with other handmakers by offering their awesome work at justthegoods.net. Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know Jennifer Chung of Fat Lye Soap Co., based in Winnipeg and we finally took our Instagram friendship to the next level and hung out in real life. That was super fun on its own, but imagine my smile when I opened a great big box of beautiful handmade soap that I can now share with you. Fat Lye Soap Co., features a range of nourishing plant-based oils and beautiful botanical additives to create a soft, spa-like lather. Every detail is carefully considered, including eco-friendy packaging made from plantable seed paper! Just the Goods is currently offering 4 unique varieties, with a few more on the way. Check it out here.

New Product: Litha/Summer Solstice Ritual Bath and Lotion Set

​In February I co-launched a springtime themed bath salt and lotion set with Canadian online retailer, Tiroir-Noir, designed to welcome the lighter half of the year by gathering our energies and bringing forth new passion and ideas into the world. The soak features dried strawberry, dried jasmine buds, chamomile essential oil and a drop of sunflower seed oil to bring in the light. The lotion features gentle honeysuckle attar. But, as the wheel of the year turns we’re moving toward summer and I’m excited about the plans I’ve been developing for Litha/Summer Solstice! The Ostara set will be available for only a few more days and I’ll be launching the Litha set soon! Stay tuned to Instagram and Facebook for details =-)

 

Keep in Touch!

Don’t forget, the best way to keep in touch for the latest Just the Goods news – especially deadline reminders relating to temporary lab closures – is via social media. Find me on Instagram @just.the.goods or on Facebook @justthegoods =-)

 

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 of each one. 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

End-of-Year Production and Temporary Lab Closure News

Hello!! In case you were wondering, Just the Goods will be closed from December 18 – January 2 this year, which makes December 9 the last day to order for shipment in 2016.

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Orders received by this date will be mailed December 14 (USA), December 15 (Canada/International), or may be picked up at the lab on December 17 between 12 – 4 pm during a lil ‘open house with vegan treats prepared by Organic Planet Worker Co-Op 😊

Orders placed December 10 – January 2 will be handmade as quickly as possible upon my return 😊 Thank you!! ❄♥

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!

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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 Turns 7!

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

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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!!

Just the Goods is now EWG VERIFIED™

It is my honour to announce that Just the Goods has partnered with Environmental Working Group to become EWG VERIFIED™

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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.

Just the Goods has currently received certification for three products, and I will be submitting many more for consideration over the weeks and months to come. EWG announced Just the Goods’ inclusion into its groundbreaking new program on Saturday, but I thought I’d wait until the long weekend was over before sharing the news 😉 As of today, 12 makers worldwide have 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.

JTG is available directly from http://www.justthegoodsthegoods.net or through a selection of great retailers across Canada including Perceptive Health in British Columbia, Generation Green at the Forks in Manitoba and V Word Market in Ontario.

Upcoming Workshop at the Winnipeg Art Gallery

Great news! I’ve been asked to host a springtime themed DIY skin care workshop at Winnipeg Art Gallery as part of the their Maker Lab series in March, and I’d love for you to be there! Together we’ll make 3 products customized to the preferences of each participant using cruelty-free plant-based ingredients, mostly dried flowers and herbs. It’s going to be awesome! Registration is now open for either the session on Wednesday, March 16 or Monday, March 21 (both from 7:00 – 9:00 pm) and advance registration is required, so please feel welcome to click here for further details and to become involved: http://bit.do/springworkshop.

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Ps. If you’re attending this workshop and would like to place an order for pick up when we meet in person, please contact me and I’ll provide coupon code details 🙂

 

Don’t forget :) The Last day to pre-order for pick up at WEST Sale VIII is November 2

Hi everyone! I case you didn’t already know, I’ll be at Winnipeg Etsy Street Team’s Handmade and Vintage Market VIII at 290 Debuc St (Winnipeg) on Saturday November 7. If you live in (or traveling to the area) and would like pick up an order from Just the Goods in person, this *is* possible! ✨

To make arrangements, please visit http://www.JustTheGoods.net and use the coupon code NOVEMBER7 by November 2 to waive shipping and pick up your order anytime between 11 am – 5 pm at this event. 🌿

I look forward to seeing you there!!

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#plantpower #vegan #skincare #selfcare #safecosmetics #homespa #bodycare #gifts #haircare #veganshare #vegansofig #nontoxic

Shake Sweaty Summer Heat …

Shake sweaty summer heat with a cooling aromatherapeutic bath. No tub? No problem! It’s incredible how quickly a foot bath can make your home feel like a spa getaway 🌺🌞 🛀

Self Care is Non Binary

Body care is about many things to many people. Whether it's a matter of basic personal hygiene, or preparing to take on a new day; whether it's carving out a few moments of quiet time, or adding some shine to an already special occasion, our bodies are ours to love and present in whatever way we see fit. Different #cultures throughout history have engaged in a variety of #customs and/or #rituals involving #bathing and #spa, #fragrance, and #cosmetics. Apart from these interests, #skincare is also a necessary consideration when dealing with the #natural world as it can help our #bodies mediate the effects of weather and climate. As irrelevant as traditional definitions of #gender ought to be when a #person wants to prevent the discomfort of #dryskin or #chappedlips; traditional definitions should likewise not prevent someone from being able to enjoy a quick and #refreshing #shower, or a long and #relaxing #bath. And where skin care and spa are concerned, anyone should feel welcome to experience any type of product or range of aromas they wish. We are all far more #complicated than a list of products marked "His" or "Hers". Since our lives and bodies can be whatever we want, we should likewise be able to take care of them in whatever way we please. #selfcare #selfidentity #nonbinary #genderisfluid

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Just the Goods Spring 2015 Update

Hello!

I hope this message finds you having a fantastic day, and that you’re enjoying beautiful blue skies, wherever you might be! It’s great to be in touch with you again — as I like to do three or four times a year — because there is always so much going on with Just the Goods, and I want to be sure you don’t miss a thing!

Having said that, thank you one and all for being so patient during my extended absence in March when I combined work and play to visit ExpoWest, and to explore cities including Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle among others. I posted some pics on Instagram, so if you’re curious about where I went and (and the delicious food I ate, *lol*), please visit http://www.instagram.com/just.the.goods.

The work part of my travels involved all kinds of research, so I’ll mention that I’m close to confirming a relationship with a producer of safe, vegan, and cruelty-free, shampoo that improves upon what I am currently offering. I looked into so many options, and tried more than I can even recall at the moment. That said, choosing comes down to not only the points listed above, but also defining a reasonable intersection between quality, price, good ownership and marketing practices. In other words, all of the things you’ve come to expect from Just the Goods because, if I’m going to endorse something for your use, I want to feel sure that it’s a positive extension.

My research also helped me encounter new potential suppliers of raw materials, new approaches to labels/packaging, and maybe even shipping, too! So, all in all, it was a very productive experience and I hope to turn ideas into awesomeness before too long.

Just the Goods Turns 6!

Speaking of long… I can’t believe it, but Just the Goods will be 6 years old on May 1st! Okay, it’s true… I never seem to believe milestones like this, because I still can’t believe this is what I get to do every day. I love handmaking safer skin care products that help people break away from mass produced toxins, as well as toxic “beauty-focused” marketing, and I know I could never do it without your interest and enthusiasm. Thank you for helping Just the Goods become what it is today, and thank you for giving me opportunities to make it better and better all the time. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you. You’re THE BEST! Thank you! ❤

Just the Goods was Featured in the Globe and Mail

It really is the generous interest and support of Just the Goods users that keep things moving in an upward trajectory. Longtime Winnipeg-based client, Angie, kindly connected Jacob Serebrin of The Globe and Mail with me because he mentioned a series concept he was working on that would look at people who transformed their hobby into an occupation. I had a great conversation with Jacob by telephone, all the while not realizing that he was envisioning an article focused entirely on Just the Goods. So, when it was published on January 20, you can believe I was as surprised as anyone else. WOW! What an incredible honour! So greatest thanks to Jacob and Angie for this wonderful opportunity. And I’d like to thank another longtime Winnipeg-based client, Kelly Bik, for generously sharing the photos that appeared in the article. She took them a few years ago to share as part of her professional photography blog (http://kellybikphotography.com/), and they were so great to have for this purpose, as well.

The final result is really great — please feel welcome to check out “It’s not about the packaging for vegan beauty products maker” right here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/sb-growth/day-to-day/its-not-about-the-packaging-for-vegan-beauty-products-maker/article22682668/

 

Upcoming Event
My next in-person event is less than one week away!

Just the Goods is ever so happy to be part of the Winnipeg Etsy Street Team’s upcoming Spring sale on May 2 at Palmerson Avenue (R.A. Steen Community Centre) from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There is a fanatic selection of handmade and vintage vendors, as well as some great providers of delicious food and drink, so be sure to join us!

As always, you’re most welcome to pre-order for local pick up! Please visit http://www.justthegoods.net and choose anything you wish to receive in-hand by entering coupon code WESTSALEVII at checkout. The deadline for pre-ordering was April 27, but since this newsletter came out later than I had hoped, I can extend the deadline to April 28. I hope this is useful =-) Thanks and see you soon!

New Products

After months of ongoing experimentation, fueled by the promise of something even better, Just the Good’s new lip balm is finally here! I came up with innumerable possibilities over the past few years, but it was only when I made the switch from shea butter to cocoa butter that things really started to fall into place.

This new and improved vegan lip balm formula is creamier, more moisturizing, and longer lasting both on lips *and* in storage, so whereas the old formula would sometimes start to feel grainy over time, this is no longer a concern. In addition to switching from a nut-based butter to cocoa butter, I’ve also added jojoba and castor oil, both of which contribute to a new level of richness. Some may be interested to know that I’ve also removed the rosemary essential oil, which ultimately contributes to lighter, sweeter flavour. All in all, I think this is the lip balm champion I’ve been looking for, and I hope you enjoy it!


Just the Goods’ new vegan mouthwash has become a fast favourite among testers, and I honestly can’t do without it. Apart from the obvious highlights that this products contains no artificial colour/flavour, no sweeteners, no alcohol, no artificial preservatives, and no fluoride, let’s take a look at what it does include and why….

  • Aloe vera gel juice is a natural anti-fungal and antibacterial, so it helps protect sensitive tissue in the mouth by controlling harmful bacteria, which furthermore assists in the fight against tooth decay. Aloe vera gel juice is also said to assist the body in the creation of collagen, which can help to strengthen weak and swollen gums.
  • Alcohol-free witch hazel is known to help reduce pain and swelling, so it is helps to care for irritated or infected gums.
  • Baking soda can be too abrasive for daily tooth brushing, but included as part of a rinse, it can help to control bad breath, discourage plaque, and assist in the healing of gums or other sores.

This mouthwash also includes three essential oils: clove is commonly used in dental care around the world to disinfect the mouth, control harmful bacteria, and relieve pain; peppermint controls bacteria while also providing a pleasant taste and delivering fresh breath; myrrh encourages healthy tissue in that it can heal gums and some mouth ulcers.

This item is available in 235 ml / 8 oz HDPE bottles or glass bottles (when the weather is warm enough to ensure the product won’t freeze and shatter the glass). It is also available in concentrated form packed in a 25 ml / 1 oz bottle in order to reduce shipping weight and related costs – just pour it into a 235 ml / 8 bottle, fill the rest of the bottle with distilled water and shake well before each use.

This next item isn’t as much new as it is something that I would like to share more widely – an extra rich moisturizing lotion that was originally developed for someone truly lovely who shared information with me about the very uncomfortable side-effects of chemotherapy treatments. She looked into some of the lotions recommended by doctors to soothe her skin, but was unhappy to see the number of petrochemicals, drying alcohols, and artificial preservatives they contained. I was prompted to do further research into the topic and learned that squalene was a particularly popular ingredient for rapidly restoring moisture to skin. However, I was bothered to see most commercial sources were animal-based (shark liver) despite it being readily available in plant form, including argan and olive oil. So these oils, combined with soothing calendula, are featured in this extra rich moisturizing lotion, which is ultimately helpful for anyone experiencing extreme dryness, whether health and/or climate related.

This product is currently available in 118 ml / 4 oz and 235 / 8 oz bottles because I will be making each bottle to to order, rather than as part of a batch as I do for products that are ordered daily such as hand/body lotion and facial moisturizer. If it becomes very popular, I can start keeping smaller sample sizes on hand.

Also in the product category, I want to let you know that I’m dropping cornstarch from my raw materials inventory! Effective immediately, bath melts will be made with tapioca starch, and the new batches of body butter will also be made with this gluten-free alternative =-) It took a while to figure out the exact ratio but, as soon as I did, I realized it was perfect! Thanks to everyone who encouraged this change – I’m thrilled I could respond.

A final note, now that there is no longer a risk of temperatures hovering below freezing in Winnipeg, I am once again able to ship hand and body lotion in glass bottles, so the 235 ml / 8 oz option has now been restored to the website.
Latest Reviews

It is always an honour to see people sharing their interest in Just the Goods. I know this takes a great deal of time and energy, so please know that I’m truly grateful! Thank you very much to Kirsten, Gemma, Ellona, MeShell, Sunny, and Anda for creating these links online!

  • Kirsten Mitchell, a contributor to Sexy Fit Vegan, shared her positive experience with Just the Goods as part of a post on April 18, 2015, called “Buying Cruelty Free Made Easy”, which shared information about an app called Cruelty-Cutter, in support of Beagle Freedom Project. To read Kirsten’s thoughts about Just the Goods, and to learn more about Cruelty-Cutter, click here: http://www.sexyfitvegan.com/cruelty-free-made-easy
  • Gemma of A Cruelty Free Life has tried a number of Just the Goods products from toothpaste and lip balm to facial care and home spa, and has covered her impression in detail over the course of various posts between November 20, 2014 – April 20, 2015. Visit this link to read more: http://acrueltyfreelife.tumblr.com
  • Aw, check out this very kind shout out from Ellonavi.com on April 9, 2015. Check it out here: http://www.ellonavi.com/new-blog-1/2015/4/9/just-the-goods
  • Fabulous vegan blogger, MeShell, drew together a fantastic collection of vegan gift items perfect for the holidays and, although the list emphasizing creations made in Toronto, she enthusiastically mentioned Just the Goods’ wholly unique approach as worth including, despite being made in Winnipeg. Aw, thanks!!! Read more about great gift ideas posted on December 6, 2014 at http://meshell.ca/blog/toronto-vegan-gift-guide-2014
  • What a delight to discover a shout out from Sunny of Vegan Beauty Review in her November 11, 2014 post, “List of 100% Vegan Beauty Brands”. Very cool =-) Thank you! http://www.veganbeautyreview.com/2014/11/list-100-vegan-beauty-brands.html
  • Anda Bailey shared the details of her recent addiction to handmade botanical bath salts and gave a shout-out to Just the Goods in a post titled “9 luxurious bath salts on etsy that will have your body thank you… “. Take a look at this link at allwomenstalk.com: http://beauty.allwomenstalk.com/luxurious-bath-salts-on-etsy-that-will-have-your-body-thank-you/7 (Date unknown)

Let’s Keep in Touch

Social media. There sure are a lot of options, huh? I do my best to keep up with the places you like to be, but I realize that some sites/interfaces are better suited for some things than others.

  • Facebook is super fun, and just about everyone has a profile, but Facebook’s policy makes it difficult to reach each person who has liked your page unless you pay considerably to “boost” exposure. If you prefer to keep in touch by Facebook, please consider adding Just the Goods to the pages you actively follow to be sure you don’t miss anything: http://www.facebook.com/justthegoods
  • Twitter is packed with great information but, even with lists, it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. Still, I can’t help sharing interesting articles and action items there. If you’re interested, check out @justthegoods -or-  http://www.twitter.com/justthegoods
  • Pinterest is great when I want a break to think about the food I want to eat, the gardens I’d love to see, or the dreamy architectural spaces I’d like to visit, but I can’t spend too much time there or I’ll get swept away and not get anything handmade or shipped! *Ha ha* Follow me, and the things I like, at: https://www.pinterest.com/justthegood0229/
But of all these platforms, Instagram has quickly become my favourite! I enjoy sharing a little bit of “behind the scenes” details including vegan food I’m noshing, and bits and pieces of what I’m doing while not in the lab. If images speak a thousand words, this is definitely your best place to find updates galore! Join me: @just.the.goods -or- http://www/instagram.com/just.the.goods

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 MailChimp 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