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

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Another part of the forthcoming care packages/gift sets have arrived!

Another very exciting part of the forthcoming care packages/gift sets is now in my hands… Conscientiously blended teas by Doctor of Natural Medicine, Mara Jones, founder of Urban Earth Teas in Powell River, British Columbia! I’ve selected four of my favourite blends from an incredible selection featuring certified organic ingredients that are either certified fair trade, or acquired from farmers directly. Whoo!! And yum!

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The July Vegan Box is here!

Oh wow!! It looks like the July Vegan Cuts beauty boxes have not only already been shipped, but are arriving in people’s hands! I’m so excited!! Such an honour to be included =-) =-)

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Pic posted by ‏@Jess_Giglio who writes: “My July #VeganCutsBeautyBox is tooooo great. It even came with a super cute pouch! 😭 💗 @vegancuts ”

Awesome!!

#justthegoods loves ya right back!

Oh wow!! Can you believe today is the first time it ever occurred to me to google #justthegoods? And what a treasure trove it revealed! I’m so excited to see so much enthusiasm online and I wanna send the love right back to @anddurango @blaster_proof @burritokay @damogman @generationgreen  @jodielayne @Ikatestan @racewiththedevil @sewdandee @shannonforest @shecomesundone @steph_wils @vanessabower @veganinyourcity  @worried_shoes for all their awesome pics!!  Thank you so much =-) xoxo!

DIY spa facial mask workshop

That was so much fun! Thanks to everyone who attended the DIY spa facial mask workshop this evening at Generation Green at The Forks =-) Enthusiasm abound… so much that I’m sure we’ll be able to host this one again in the summer =-) And, if any of you have ideas for a different workshop topic, please let me know!

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Feeling the love on Earth Day

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re having a beautiful Earth Day by enjoying the great outdoors and thinking of new ways reduce your environmental impact in all that you do =-)

I started the day earlier than usual thanks to the fabulous crew at Breakfast Television Winnipeg, who kindly invited me to make a detox face mask with co-host Courtney Ketchen as a preview for the DIY spa facial workshop that will take place at Generation Green at the Forks on Thursday, April 24.  It was so much fun and, just as Courtney said, who knew that taking time for yourself could be eco-friendly? Indeed, choosing healthier ingredients isn’t only great for your body, but for the soil and water, too =-) Check out the complete segment here =-)

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A few hours later, I received the flowers I ordered from Oak + Lily  to dress up the new product photos I’m taking for Just the Goods, now that I have a proper lighting kit <=-) I almost melted looking at these gems! Hyacinths! You smell so good!! Why you be poisonous? I wanna eat choooo!!

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And, as if this day wasn’t already *amazing*, Emily von Euw, the spirited creative force behind This Rawesome Vegan Life, posted her review of a few Just the Goods items on April 22, 2014 and she had so many lovely things to say. Thank you!! I’m still blushin’ =-) Check it out here!

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On that note, if you haven’t checked out her new raw recipe book yet, you really should…  here’s a link to share the love!

xo!
Milena

100% handmade, always!

The batches may be getting larger, but I’m still 100% committed to personally making each and every Just the Goods item by hand. Thanks for making it possible to take the acne spot treatment batch from 5 to 56 ❤

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Just the Goods profiled at Whole Nourishment

What a delight!! Katie of Switzerland-based blog, Whole Nourishment, contacted me a few weeks ago to ask if I would like to be profiled and I must say that the pleasure was all mine! Katie asked a great range of questions, and I truly enjoyed the opportunity to reply. If you’d like to read about what inspires me to make Just the Goods, please click through! And there are more profiles to come featuring other people each committed to healthier bodies and Earth =-)

Thanks again for including me, Katie =-) =-)

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