Handmade on a human scale

Hi everyone! Thank you so very much for all the orders that continue to flow in every hour of every day — I’m truly grateful for your enthusiastic interest!! ❤ ❤ ❤ I must admit, however, that this enthusiastic interest has become a lil’ bit overwhelming 😉

Just the Goods was formed almost 8 years ago as a part-time side-project to share the results of my personal research into safer plant-based and cruelty-free skin care. When I decided to launch beyond my circle of friends, I intentionally established public wholesale rates because I wanted to provide an affordable alternative to what I still perceive as unreasonable luxury branding in the world of natural skin care and cosmetics. I did the math and realized that yes, I could still make a modest living, and thus began my one-person eco-feminist anti-capitalist operation. Late 2013, I realized Just the Goods was becoming more popular than anticipated, so I decided to follow that excitement and make it my full time occupation. Since then JTG has continued to grow, particularly now that I am able to offer US clients more affordable shipping via USPS instead of international shipping via Canada Post.

Over the course of the past 3-4 months, orders have increased at a rather staggering rate. If I work 80 – 90 hours per week, I’m able to handmake enough product to ship anywhere from 150 – 200 orders on a weekly rotation, and I’ve been doing that quite consistently since September, but my body is really starting to protest. And, having reached the 200+ orders per week mark, I know I need to make some changes.

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Yes, I have explored hiring someone to work with me, but I’ve discovered that the time it takes to find, train, and coordinate with someone is actually time I don’t have. So, for now, I think the best option is to continue working alone, but to reinforce that Just the Goods is a one-person — I dare say “artesinal” — project committed to staying small and operating on a human scale. This means that I will continue to work as quickly as I can, but that I will also acknowledge my need to sleep, eat, and spend personal time with people I care about for the sake of my physical and emotional health, both of which are currently in decline.

If I decide that I have no option but to hire someone, please know that I will be obliged to raise prices, which is something I’ve worked *very hard* to avoid over the past 8 years, especially when the Canadian Dollar dropped in relation to the US Dollar. In the interim, I’ll be taking these steps:

  • Most orders will continue to be shipped within 5 – 7 business days, but some may take as long as 2 weeks to ship… hopefully not, but it could happen, so please accept my apologies in advance
  • I will not be able to resume local pick up services
  • I will not be able to undertake any custom orders, which includes modifying existing formulas
  • I will no longer be able to manually calculate alternative shipping rates as the rates on the website are very accurate and the best available for the service speeds they offer
  • I will sadly not be able to reply to all email messages (especially not those requesting free samples and/or coupon codes)
  • My response time to other messages will inevitably become much slower than it has in the past
  • I may start to remove some products/format variants from my catalogue of 150+ products

Since I currently work 7 days per week, every week, I’m going to do my best to take Thursdays off for sleep, exercise, friends, etc., as I’ve realized that the only way I can legitimately facilitate self-care for others is to ensure I take care of myself, too.

Thank you for making Just the Goods possible, and thank you in advance for your understanding. Please know that it has taken me a very long time to not only share my experiences, but to recognize how important it is to make these and other changes. I don’t take these decisions lightly and I offer this behind-the-scenes look because I’m learning that acknowledging vulnerability is not only healthy and healing, but an important challenge to the normative self-exploitation of capitalism.

xo
Milena

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!! ❄♥

Pretty scary… A disturbing report on the toxins lurking in makeup designed for children!

A shocking new report released by the Breast Cancer Fund’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed the
widespread presence of toxic chemicals in children’s shampoos, lip balms, makeup, nail products and
face paints.

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  • Labels revealed hormone disrupting parabens and preservatives that release the carcinogen
    formaldehyde.
  • Laboratory testing unmasked lead, a neurotoxicant, and cadmium, a hormone disruptor, in face
    paints.
  • Laboratory testing also revealed developmental toxicants like toluene and possible carcinogens, such as ethylbenzene and vinyl acetate in fragranced products.

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The presence of toxic chemicals in products marketed to children is of serious concern because kids are
especially vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemical exposures during critical windows of development.
Toxic chemicals don’t belong in kid’s makeup and face paint, especially when more and more science is
linking childhood exposures to cancer-causing chemicals and endocrine disrupting compounds to later in
life breast cancer or other diseases. Tell Congress to act now to make children’s health and safety a
priority!
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Click here to read the report: http://www.safecosmetics.org/prettyscary

Urge your U.S. Senators to support meaningful, health-protective federal cosmetic safety policy reform that protects children and other vulnerable populations.

We don’t have an active campaign like this going on in Canada right now, but your MP, MPP, and/or MLA needs to know about this issue. It’s a perfect time to contact them, as well sharing the information compiled by Breast Cancer Fund as it is still wholly relevant to everyone on this side of the border, too.

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 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! 🚚

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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* 💕

Demand Unilever disclose their fragrance ingredients

Although it’s just one little word on an ingredient label, fragrance can contain dozens, even hundreds, of chemicals—including known carcinogens, hormone-disruptors, environmental toxicants and other chemicals of concern. In fact, fragrance allergies affect two to 11 percent of the general population. This translates into tens of millions of people who are globally affected by fragrance and studies suggest that this chemical sensitivity is on the rise. Without required fragrance ingredient disclosure, it is impossible for consumers to avoid problematic ingredients or for researchers and regulators to understand the full universe of ingredients used to formulate cosmetic products.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a project of the Breast Cancer Fund, is partnering with Rosa and Brandon Silk in calling on Unilever to disclose all ingredients in Axe Body Spray and all other products. Eighteen year old Brandon – and countless others like him – suffer serious, sometimes deadly, reactions to the secret ingredients in fragranced cosmetics and personal care products. In Brandon’s case his mom, Rosa, reports for the last eight years she has been struggling to keep her son, an otherwise happy and healthy young man, in school and out of hospital emergency rooms to protect him from a severe, life-threatening allergy to one or more of the fragrance ingredients used in Axe Body Spray. Despite Rosa’s pleas, Unilever the manufacturer of Axe Body Products refuses to disclose this vital information.

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** This means that it’s not only Axe’s toxic branding and advertising campaigns that are a problem, but their actual product, too!! **

Learn more from Rosa’s blog post at http://www.preventionstartshere.org/

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And, if you’re sick and tired of hidden toxins in body care products, let the manufacturers know — create your own post telling them how you feel, and tag them to be sure they see it. They won’t stop poisoning us and our planet until we make them!

Tell Unilever to disclose their fragrance ingredients NOW by visiting: http://www.safecosmetics.org/AXE.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day‬!! You know, the thing that should be *every day* 😉 I’ve been think about what this means to me for a while, both the notion of Earth Day and that of celebrating the planet daily, and it keeps bringing me back to the phrase: “grow gardens, not profits” 🌱

I don’t particularly have talent for planting and nourishing things in the soil, but I like this idea as a metaphor that some things are more peaceful and in tune with nature than others. Being focused on money and trying to squeeze it out of people by overcharging, or creating products that compromise the planet by adding toxic chemicals to make them last longer, are unhealthy actions.

I am regularly contacted by folks that want me to raise my prices for their benefit, and I always say no. I fully realize that adhering to mainstream business practices means I could gain distribution and make Just the Goods some massive thing that is more widely known/available, but small is beautiful and I am perfectly happy with the choices I have made that are *not* focused on growth =-) And maybe that is why I don’t identify as an entrepreneur — I am a handmaker, a worker, and my idea of success isn’t tied to being a boss or having piles of cash. I care about sustainability, not only for me and my future, but others, too… humans, all other animals, plants. This world can’t just be about grind and power. I refuse to believe it.

So with that, happy Earth Day, friends!! 💕

Happy #EarthDay!! You know, the thing that should be *every day* 😊 I've been thinking about what this means to me for a while, both the notion of Earth Day and that of celebrating the planet daily, and it keeps bringing me back to the phrase: "grow gardens, not profits" 🌱 I don't particularly have talent for planting and nourishing things in the soil, but I like this idea as a metaphor that some things are more #peaceful and in tune with #nature than others 🍁. Being focused on #money and trying to squeeze it out of people by overcharging, or creating products that compromise the planet by adding toxic chemicals to make them last longer, are unhealthy actions 😞. I am regularly contacted by folks that want me to raise my prices for their benefit, and I always say no. I fully realize that adhering to #mainstream #business practices means I could gain distribution and make #justthegoods some massive thing that is more widely known/available, but #smallisbeautiful and I am perfectly #happy with the choices I have made that are *not* focused on #growth 😊. And maybe that is why I don't identify as an #entrepreneur — I am a #handmaker, a #worker, and my idea of #success isn't tied to being a #boss or having piles of cash. I care about #sustainability, not only for me and my future, but others, too… humans, all other animals, plants. This world can't just be about #hustle, #grind, and #power. I refuse to believe it. So, happy Earth Day, #friends!! 💕 #vegan #vegansofig #crueltyfree #becrueltyfree #handmade #nontoxic #safecosmetics #selfcare #green #greenbeauty

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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.