Body Care

Spotlight on Breathing In Wellness

We’re thrilled to shine a bright Member Deals Spotlight on a local business that infuses a bit of love into every batch of their handmade herbal wellness products. From May 5th – 11th, Co-op member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Breathing in Wellness products. Breathing In Wellness was founded by Reyna Morgan-Richer, along with her partner Louella, and they aim to bring you a line of products to gently carry you along a journey of self-care. We also happen to think that their products make perfect gifts for the mamas in your life. Read on to learn more about Breathing in Wellness and its evolution in Reyna’s own words:

 

 

Breathing in Wellness offers mindfully handcrafted products to help the user be more connected to space and time; for self-reflection and self-care as well as connection to their body. Moments of self-care are essential to our overall well-being. I believe that we come to this space having all kinds of experiences of being with our body, myself included! And Breathing in Wellness hopefully is a step in the right direction for helping the community (and myself) see and feel that.

My vision for Breathing In Wellness has always been one that encourages the PAUSE… Hand on the Heart…  Breathing In… Breathing Out… You are invited to notice the changes in your body and mind and spirit.

I desire Breathing In Wellness to be a healing space. But I didn’t always know that…

Years ago when I realized that I wanted to offer self-care products as my side gig, I just knew that the products I was making with plants were amazing! And it was fun to feel connected in a different way to the work that I was doing. Until 2018 when I left my job in the Human Services field, it was a way to destress. And I saw it as a way that I could encourage others in my field to do the same. Often times I felt overworked and under-appreciated, and working with plants in such a healing way was a real small part of why I began Breathing In Wellness; the plants and salves and salts made me happy. Learning about different plants and flowers and their medicinal properties made me happy. The other part of why Breathing In Wellness came to be, was to heal myself and those I loved when they were experiencing ailments that could be healed with herbs. As a cancer survivor and someone who deals with chronic, at times debilitating pain, I was finding ways to lessen my symptoms in a natural, safe, no side effects kind of way.

The thing that has gotten in the way of my spreading the message of and love in my products, is fear. This stems from childhood and young adult/ adult traumas that I have not fully considered, faced, or processed… But I’m working on it. And that is also a part of Breathing In Wellness.

I now see Breathing In Wellness as a space in which I can be authentically myself through and through. I think on some level that has always been the desire, but I just wasn’t there yet. I desire my brand to be an engaging and encouraging space for and of openness for growth and experiencing what may seem out of reach for whatever reason. This is actually no easy task. But nothing worthwhile is easy, is not fearful. Things can be hard and scary, there’s no issue in that, at all. It’s about moving through that space to a space of acceptance of those fears.

I welcome you to a space that accepts all of the easy and all of the hard things. And I welcome you to begin your process with Self Care.

Photo by Elisabeth Waller

Co-op Connection Featured Business – Honey Wax Bar

In this era of pandemic isolation, where most of our social interactions occurred on a screen and our only occasion to put on real pants was a grocery and take-out run, it’s easy to see how our self-care and grooming routines may have fallen by the wayside. Now that we’re beginning to collectively emerge from this period of hibernation, returning to in-person meetings and safe social gatherings, we happen to think it’s a great time to visit our featured Co-op Connection business for March – Honey Wax Bar! They offer a generous 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners through the Co-op Connection program, so what are you waiting for?! Read on to learn more about Honey Wax Bar and the skilled esthetician who is excited to help you feel your confident best, no matter the occasion:

 

Honey Wax Bar founder and owner Hannah Zeno felt called to this line of work by a desire to make all things beautiful and an understanding that real beauty begins within. Her path to becoming a holistic esthetician began by studying nutrition and coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and an extensive yoga teacher training program to learn more about the foundations of balance and strength. She studied esthetics for almost a decade with continuing education in makeup, oncology, chemical peels, and most recently lash lifting and microblading. Hannah strives to transform her clients into the most outstanding and glowing version of themselves, helping them feel beautiful from the inside out.

Holistic Esthetician Hannah Zeno, photographed by Elisabeth Waller Photography

Formally known as Honey Holistic Esthetics, Honey Wax Bar is Middlebury’s local go-to waxing and permanent make-up beauty bar. They offer a range of services, from waxing to brow tinting to lash lifting and microblading, all intended to gently assist you along your journey to feeling your absolute most radiant self. Whether you are preparing for your honeymoon or in search of a quick pick-me-up, Honey Wax Bar provides the services to make you more confident in your new bikini or outfit behind closed doors. Located right in the heart of Middlebury, VT overlooking the river, Honey Wax Bar prides itself on its convenient booking system, especially for Middlebury College Students who can book their waxing appointment in between classes.

According to Hannah, “it is a pleasure to work with women and men who come to me looking for a change and want to explore more about the world of health and beauty. When a client makes an appointment, we focus not only on their immediate needs but also long-term beauty goals. My clients are the reason I’m at Honey!” To view their full menu of services, visit them online at honeywaxbarmiddlebury.com. To book an appointment now, text Hannah Zeno at 802-989-9122 or request an appointment online. 

 

Spotlight on Caroline’s Dream

We’re shining a bright Member Deals Spotlight this week on a local favorite that provides handcrafted, lovingly created products to keep our skin healthy and glowing even through the depths of a Vermont winter – Caroline’s Dream! Our entire line of Caroline’s Dream small-batch skincare products is 20% off for member-owners from February 3rd – 9th, so it’s a perfect time to stock up your skincare stash! Read on to learn more about the maker of this skincare line and the inspiration behind her brand:

The seed for Caroline’s Dream was planted over 24 years ago when founder Susan Shashok began her quest for a line of chemical-free skincare products suitable for her sensitive, acne-prone skin. That fruitless search inspired Susan to tap into her knowledge of herbs, agriculture science, and entrepreneurship to explore the possibility of creating a product lineup of her own. After many experimental batches tested on herself, her friends, and her family, Shashok dialed in on the precise alchemy from which her signature line of highly effective, handcrafted skincare products would rise. Her products are free of sulfates, parabens, and animal testing, and are crafted using sustainably-sourced ingredients and environmentally friendly packaging.

Throughout the creative process, Susan drew inspiration from her grandmother Caroline, who had a deep love of medicinal herbs, a pride in handcrafting, and a Pennsylvania Dutch work ethic. As the daughter of two artists, Caroline is described by Susan as “not of myth or legend but a real woman that should never be confused with being ordinary.” Though she passed away when Susan was a teenager, her legacy is alive and well both in the treasured physical works of art that she bestowed upon her family — quilts, Christmas ornaments, and crochet work — and also in the spirit of art, integrity, and craftsmanship present in the Caroline’s Dream line of products.

Shashok describes herself as an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys spending time hiking and biking across Vermont. Perhaps you’ve seen her delivering her products to the Co-op on her signature red bike? It’s the magical sort of thing that can only be achieved when working at a hyper-local human scale and we feel lucky to have the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Spotlight on Grace & Miss Mouse

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a local family-run soap company hailing from Bellows Falls, VT, known as Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps! All of Grace & Miss Mouse’s soaps and bath bombs are 20% off for member-owners from December 2nd – 8th — just in time to pick up a few stocking stuffers! Read on to learn more about the mother-daughter team that brings you these body care products and the inspiration behind their unique scents and product names:

Over 15 years ago Judy Lidie’s eldest daughter treated her to a special birthday trip to an inn and spa nestled in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, which would ultimately spark the inspiration for Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps. While enjoying her stay at the inn, Judy fell in love with the little handmade soaps they offered, which smelled amazing and made her skin feel softer than she’d ever felt. She knew right away that she had to learn to make her own soap and began her quest immediately upon returning home. She bought books on soap making and spent countless hours reading, researching, and experimenting through good old trial-and-error with friends and family who were willing to help her test and adjust her recipes until she felt satisfied that she’d made the perfect bar. She decided to name the company after her greatest inspiration, her granddaughter Grace. 

Judy’s cold-process soaps are made in small batches right here in Vermont using only the highest quality ingredients. Each bar is hand-cut and produces plenty of lather that is kind to the skin and never drying. The unique and cleverly-named scents are long-lasting, but never overpowering. And they leave your skin feeling every bit as soft and luxurious as those initial spa bars that Judy first fell in love with 15 years ago. After her first few years in business, Judy began expanding her product line to include colorful, fragrant bath bombs and other fun body care products.

For the first 12 years that she was in business, Judy was a one-woman show, handling all aspects of the business while also working a “day job” and raising her three daughters with her husband Roy. She was eventually able to take early retirement from her job and, for the past three years, Judy is thrilled to have her daughters and her husband helping out with the soap business, allowing her to expand production and enjoy a lot more family time while doing the work that she loves. Her eldest daughter Jessica makes all the bath bombs, sugar scrubs, bubble bars, and does a lot of the labeling and shipping, Middle daughter Danielle (usually known as DL) makes all of their beautiful soaps, and Michelle, the baby, creates their labels and all company forms. Husband Roy handles the large deliveries throughout Vermont and picks up the oils and lye needed to make their products. Roy also custom-built all of their wood soap molds, their bath bomb press, and handles all shop maintenance. That leaves Judy to handle all of the accounting, billing, purchasing, inventory, and customer service. 

We were curious to know the inspiration behind the clever names and scents like Little Black Dress, Hippy Dippy, Dragonfly, and IPA Suds. According to Judy, “some of the names originated with off the cuff comments one of us said when we smelled a new fragrance, some of them are just good old traditional names, and some are named after family members, like Missy Shell (Michelle), Biker Chick (named after Jessica, who is an avid bicyclist), and Amazing Grace, after the namesake of the company, my only granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth.” When asked about the family favorites, Judy says, “it’s hard to pick one favorite! I love Honey Comb, Champagne Sparkle, and Holly Jolly. Jessica loves Biker Chick and Holly Jolly. Danielle loves Sweet Pea & Rhubarb and Michelle loves Missy Shell!

We hope you’ll try them all and let us know your favorites!

 

 

Spotlight on Grace & Miss Mouse

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a local family-run soap company hailing from Bellows Falls, VT, known as Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps! All of Grace & Miss Mouse’s soaps and bath bombs are 20% off for member-owners from December 2nd – 8th — just in time to pick up a few stocking stuffers! Read on to learn more about the mother-daughter team that brings you these body care products and the inspiration behind their unique scents and product names:

Over 15 years ago Judy Lidie’s eldest daughter treated her to a special birthday trip to an inn and spa nestled in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, which would ultimately spark the inspiration for Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps. While enjoying her stay at the inn, Judy fell in love with the little handmade soaps they offered, which smelled amazing and made her skin feel softer than she’d ever felt. She knew right away that she had to learn to make her own soap and began her quest immediately upon returning home. She bought books on soap making and spent countless hours reading, researching, and experimenting through good old trial-and-error with friends and family who were willing to help her test and adjust her recipes until she felt satisfied that she’d made the perfect bar. She decided to name the company after her greatest inspiration, her granddaughter Grace. 

Judy’s cold-process soaps are made in small batches right here in Vermont using only the highest quality ingredients. Each bar is hand-cut and produces plenty of lather that is kind to the skin and never drying. The unique and cleverly-named scents are long-lasting, but never overpowering. And they leave your skin feeling every bit as soft and luxurious as those initial spa bars that Judy first fell in love with 15 years ago. After her first few years in business, Judy began expanding her product line to include colorful, fragrant bath bombs and other fun body care products.

For the first 12 years that she was in business, Judy was a one-woman show, handling all aspects of the business while also working a “day job” and raising her three daughters with her husband Roy. She was eventually able to take early retirement from her job and, for the past three years, Judy is thrilled to have her daughters and her husband helping out with the soap business, allowing her to expand production and enjoy a lot more family time while doing the work that she loves. Her eldest daughter Jessica makes all the bath bombs, sugar scrubs, bubble bars, and does a lot of the labeling and shipping, Middle daughter Danielle (usually known as DL) makes all of their beautiful soaps, and Michelle, the baby, creates their labels and all company forms. Husband Roy handles the large deliveries throughout Vermont and picks up the oils and lye needed to make their products. Roy also custom-built all of their wood soap molds, their bath bomb press, and handles all shop maintenance. That leaves Judy to handle all of the accounting, billing, purchasing, inventory, and customer service. 

We were curious to know the inspiration behind the clever names and scents like Little Black Dress, Hippy Dippy, Dragonfly, and IPA Suds. According to Judy, “some of the names originated with off the cuff comments one of us said when we smelled a new fragrance, some of them are just good old traditional names, and some are named after family members, like Missy Shell (Michelle), Biker Chick (named after Jessica, who is an avid bicyclist), and Amazing Grace, after the namesake of the company, my only granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth.” When asked about the family favorites, Judy says, “it’s hard to pick one favorite! I love Honey Comb, Champagne Sparkle, and Holly Jolly. Jessica loves Biker Chick and Holly Jolly. Danielle loves Sweet Pea & Rhubarb and Michelle loves Missy Shell!

We hope you’ll try them all and let us know your favorites!

 

 

Spotlight on Frontier Co-op Brands

As part of our celebration of Co-op Month, we’re casting our Co-op Spotlight this week on the Frontier Co-op family of brands, which includes Aura Cacia and Simply Organic, in an effort to highlight the wonderful things this cooperative does to source and provide quality organic and earth-friendly products while also giving back to the communities they serve. All Frontier, Aura Cacia, and Simply Organic products are 20% off for member-owners from October 21st – 27th.  Read on to learn more about this trio of cooperative brands and their commitment to the wellbeing of people and planet:

First founded in 1976 in a riverside cabin in Iowa with only two employees, Frontier has been a member-owned, democratically-controlled co-op dedicated to supporting and advocating the values of the cooperative community from the very beginning. Their 40,000 member-owners are wholesale retailers, distributors, and buying clubs like our Co-op, who purchase products from Frontier for retail sale. Despite their growth and evolution since those early days in the cabin, Frontier remains firmly committed to its founding values of integrity, openness, social responsibility, and respect for the environment. They’re driven by a simple purpose: to do good by people and planet. And to create a stronger company built on a commitment to quality and sustainability.

Each year, Frontier Co-op gives back 4% of its pre-tax profits to causes and organizations around the world that inspire wellness in communities where their products are produced. Each of the co-op’s three brands has an established fund for social giving.

Frontier was an early adopter of progressive workplace programs such as on-site childcare, establishing a subsidized on-site childcare center and cafeteria at their headquarters in Norway, Iowa in the 1980s. They were also early and influential advocates of the organic, fair trade, and non-GMO movements, introducing the first Fairtrade Certified spice line and the first Non-GMO Verified vanilla extracts in the United States. 

They’re also deeply committed to their grower communities abroad where many of their premium organic products are sourced. To ensure a healthy, meaningful, mutually beneficial partnership, Frontier established the Well Earth™ sustainable sourcing program. This program promotes the sustainable production of natural and organic products and creates partnerships built upon mutual respect for quality botanicals and sound social and environmental principles. It is part of a multi-faceted effort to provide customers with high-quality, socially responsible products that include commitments to product quality, Fair Trade standards, Organic standards, integrity, social responsibility, and sustainable operations. By bringing high-quality, socially responsible products to the marketplace, the program gives consumers the opportunity to use their purchases to influence the way the world does business.

Organic ylang ylang harvest

Proceeds from the fair trade of their products has allowed for the development of critical infrastructure in the growing communities from which Frontier sources many of their raw ingredients, including a preschool in Madagascar, a dental clinic in Fedecovera, and the construction of 49 wells in 38 of the farming communities from whom Frontier sources its vanilla.

Students stand outside the preschool constructed in the growers’ community in Madagascar where Frontier and Aura Cacia source their raw ingredients

Aura Cacia

In the late 1990s, Frontier decided to expand its lineup to include body care products and essential oils by purchasing Aura Cacia. As part of Frontier Co-op, Aura Cacia shares the cooperative values of nourishing people and planet. They care for the small grower communities at the source of their products, openly share product information, show their customers how to improve their lives with aromatherapy, and give back to help those in need.

Aura Cacia is committed to both quality products and quality of life. They offer outstanding products made from simple and pure botanical ingredients that improve the well-being of those who use them. They test every shipment of essential oil they receive to verify its purity and quality.

Aura Cacia’s Lavender Fields

As they travel the world to find top-quality essential oils, they encourage sustainable growing practices that preserve and improve land and resources for the future. Click here to learn more about Frontier Co-op’s sourcing.

As part of Frontier Co-op’s far-reaching sustainable sourcing initiatives, they support the growers’ communities with charitable projects that fundamentally improve people’s lives. They’ve created the Positive Change Project to give back a portion of each Aura Cacia purchase to organizations that help women bring positive change to their lives.

 

Be sure to check out Aura Cacia’s impressive collection of recipes to unleash the full potential of their essential oils. Whether you’re looking for DIY recipes for facial care, body care, or home cleaning products, they’ve got something for you!

Simply Organic

In the early 2000s, Frontier launched the Simply Organic line of products as a means to offer a 100% organic line of culinary products to deliver big flavor to your meals while also supporting climate-friendly growing practices. Simply Organic is known for real, pure spices that really make a meal. Always 100% certified organic. Always sourced responsibly, and delivered with ethics and integrity. In keeping with their commitments to their growing communities, Frontier works closely with its growers to ensure goodness all around. Pure, premium spices for you. Sustainable farming practices and steady businesses for farming communities around the world. It’s a win-win!

Simply Organic is committed to helping nourish the millions of food insecure in the United States and Canada through the Simply Organic Giving Fund. Since 2001, they’ve given back more than $2 million to support organic agricultural development and grower communities, including:

  • Helping growers in developing countries produce and market certified organic products.
  • Building training centers that teach organic agriculture methods and wells that bring fresh water to villages; supporting schools, meal programs and other social projects in grower communities.
  • Supporting U.S. organic research and education projects, scholarships in sustainable agriculture, and organic-growing-based social organizations such as urban gardens and community food banks.

In 2018, Frontier committed to focusing the Simply Organic Giving Fund Grant Program on addressing an issue that’s especially persistent and critical, but that is often overlooked or misunderstood: food insecurity. They’re working to help organizations across the United States and Canada to nourish the millions of food insecure in our communities by supporting organizations that provide access to healthy, organic food options.

Grant recipients for this year include the Emergency Food Network, Feed Iowa First, Matthew 25, Project Worthmore, and MEANS Database. Click here to learn more about the impact of these projects and to apply for a Simply Organic Giving Fund Grant.

Also, be sure to check out the Simply Organic recipe database for delicious inspiration!

Spotlight on Alba Botanica

Warmer weather is finally here which means that many of us are having some fun in the sun and looking to stock up on sunscreen and other body care essentials. With this in mind, we’re shining our Member Deals Spotlight on Alba Botanica! All of their face, body, hair, and suncare products are 20% off for member-owners from June 3rd – 9th! Read on to learn more about this company and its commitment to providing cruelty-free, reef-friendly, plant-based body care products for you and your family:

The team at Alba Botanica believes that the future is beautiful. Their choice to use only 100% plant-based products aligns with their love of the natural world. They believe in reducing their environmental footprint whenever possible, which is why they package their products sensibly & minimally and use post-consumer materials whenever possible. They also believe in keeping their friends close, including the furry kind, avoiding all animal testing in their ingredients and products. They were one of the founding members of the leaping bunny program, which is now a widely recognized and trusted certification for cruelty-free products.

Alba Botanica also prioritizes the health of our marine ecosystem and reassures you that all of their mineral sunscreens are free of oxybenzone & octinoxate. To read more about the ways in which sunscreens and other skincare products affect marine life click here. Additionally, all Alba Botanica sunscreens are biodegradable, meaning the formulas have been tested according to industry standards and shown to break down in nature to minimize their impact on the Earth.

Co-op Connection Featured Business – Honey Wax Bar

It has been a very long year of pandemic isolation, where perhaps our only social interactions occurred on a screen and our only occasion to put real pants on was for a drive into town to pick up takeout. It’s easy to see how our self-care and grooming routines, aimed at helping us feel like the best, most vibrant versions of ourselves, may have fallen by the wayside. Now that we’re beginning to collectively emerge from this period of hibernation, returning to in-person meetings, job interviews, and safe social gatherings, we happen to think it’s a great time to visit our featured Co-op Connection business for June – Honey Wax Bar! They offer a generous 10% discount to card-carrying Co-op member-owners through the Co-op Connection program, so what are you waiting for?! Read on to learn more about Honey Wax Bar and the skilled esthetician who is excited to help you feel your confident best, no matter the occasion:

 

Honey Wax Bar founder and owner Hannah Zeno felt called to this line of work by a desire to make all things beautiful and an understanding that real beauty begins within. Her path to becoming a holistic esthetician began by studying nutrition and coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC and an extensive yoga teacher training program to learn more about the foundations of balance and strength. She studied esthetics for almost a decade with continuing education in makeup, oncology, chemical peels, and most recently lash lifting and microblading. Hannah strives to transform her clients into the most outstanding and glowing version of themselves, helping them feel beautiful from the inside out.

Holistic Esthetician Hannah Zeno, photographed by Elisabeth Waller Photography

Formally known as Honey Holistic Esthetics, Honey Wax Bar is Middlebury’s local go-to waxing and permanent make-up beauty bar. They offer a range of services, from waxing to brow tinting to lash lifting and microblading, all intended to gently assist you along your journey to feeling your absolute most radiant self. Whether you are preparing for your honeymoon or in search of a quick pick-me-up, Honey Wax Bar provides the services to make you more confident in your new bikini or outfit behind closed doors. Located right in the heart of Middlebury, VT overlooking the river, Honey Wax Bar prides itself on its convenient booking system, especially for Middlebury College Students who can book their waxing appointment in between classes.

According to Hannah, “it is a pleasure to work with women and men who come to me looking for a change and want to explore more about the world of health and beauty. When a client makes an appointment, we focus not only on their immediate needs but also long-term beauty goals. My clients are the reason I’m at Honey!” To view their full menu of services, visit them online at honeywaxbarmiddlebury.com. To book an appointment now, text Hannah Zeno at 802-989-9122 or request an appointment online. 

 

Spotlight on Grace & Miss Mouse

Our Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly this week on a local family-run soap company hailing from Bellows Falls, VT, known as Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps! All of Grace & Miss Mouse’s soaps and bath bombs are 20% off for member-owners from May 6th – 12th — just in time to pick up something sweet for the mamas in your lives! Read on to learn more about the mother-daughter team that brings you these body care products and the inspiration behind their unique scents and product names:

Over 15 years ago Judy Lidie’s eldest daughter treated her to a special birthday trip to an inn and spa nestled in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, which would ultimately spark the inspiration for Grace & Miss Mouse Soaps. While enjoying her stay at the inn, Judy fell in love with the little handmade soaps they offered, which smelled amazing and made her skin feel softer than she’d ever felt. She knew right away that she had to learn to make her own soap and began her quest immediately upon returning home. She bought books on soap making and spent countless hours reading, researching, and experimenting through good old trial-and-error with friends and family who were willing to help her test and adjust her recipes until she felt satisfied that she’d made the perfect bar. She decided to name the company after her greatest inspiration, her granddaughter Grace. 

Judy’s cold-process soaps are made in small batches right here in Vermont using only the highest quality ingredients. Each bar is hand-cut and produces plenty of lather that is kind to the skin and never drying. The unique and cleverly-named scents are long-lasting, but never overpowering. And they leave your skin feeling every bit as soft and luxurious as those initial spa bars that Judy first fell in love with 15 years ago. After her first few years in business, Judy began expanding her product line to include colorful, fragrant bath bombs and other fun body care products.

For the first 12 years that she was in business, Judy was a one-woman show, handling all aspects of the business while also working a “day job” and raising her three daughters with her husband Roy. She was eventually able to take early retirement from her job and, for the past three years, Judy is thrilled to have her daughters and her husband helping out with the soap business, allowing her to expand production and enjoy a lot more family time while doing the work that she loves. Her eldest daughter Jessica makes all the bath bombs, sugar scrubs, bubble bars, and does a lot of the labeling and shipping, Middle daughter Danielle (usually known as DL) makes all of their beautiful soaps, and Michelle, the baby, creates their labels and all company forms. Husband Roy handles the large deliveries throughout Vermont and picks up the oils and lye needed to make their products. Roy also custom-built all of their wood soap molds, their bath bomb press, and handles all shop maintenance. That leaves Judy to handle all of the accounting, billing, purchasing, inventory, and customer service. 

We were curious to know the inspiration behind the clever names and scents like Little Black Dress, Hippy Dippy, Dragonfly, and IPA Suds. According to Judy, “some of the names originated with off the cuff comments one of us said when we smelled a new fragrance, some of them are just good old traditional names, and some are named after family members, like Missy Shell (Michelle), Biker Chick (named after Jessica, who is an avid bicyclist), and Amazing Grace, after the namesake of the company, my only granddaughter, Grace Elizabeth.” When asked about the family favorites, Judy says, “it’s hard to pick one favorite! I love Honey Comb, Champagne Sparkle, and Holly Jolly. Jessica loves Biker Chick and Holly Jolly. Danielle loves Sweet Pea & Rhubarb and Michelle loves Missy Shell!

We hope you’ll try them all and let us know your favorites!

 

 

Spotlight on Dr. Bronner’s

This week’s Member Deals Spotlight shines brightly on Dr. Bronner’s! Member-owners can enjoy a 20% discount on all Dr. Bronner’s products from February 25th – March 3rd, so it’s a perfect time to stock up and save. Read on to learn more about this mission-driven company and its deep commitment to social and environmental responsibility.

History

Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation master soapmaker from a German-Jewish soapmaking family, who spent his life renouncing hate and war on a personal mission to unite mankind. He used the labels on his superb ecological soaps to spread his message that we must realize our transcendent unity across religious & ethnic divides: “We are All-One or None!” Still family-owned and run, Dr. Bronner’s honors its founder’s vision by making socially & environmentally responsible products of the highest quality—and by dedicating their profits to help make a better world.

Dr. Bronner’s founder Emanuel Bronner

Emanuel passed away in 1997 due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease, though his legacy lives on through his family who continues to run the business and carry out the social and environmental missions that Emanual held dear. The torch was initially passed to Emanuel’s sons Ralph and Jim, along with Jim’s wife Trudy, though, by 1998, Jim was battling cancer and began to train his son David (24-year-old Harvard graduate, mental health counselor, hemp advocate) to run the company. On Jim’s passing, David, along with mom Trudy and Uncle Ralph, began running the company, and in 2000, David’s brother Michael rounded out the team by joining the family business.

David, Trudy, and Michael Bronner

Advocacy

Intent to carry on Emanuel Bronner’s passion for the care of people and planet, Dr. Bronner’s has continued to dedicate themselves to using their business as a force for good. In 2003, Dr. Bronner’s became the largest personal care company certified under USDA’s National Organic Program. They pioneered the first 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, instituted progressive business practices, including the implementation of a 5-to-1 compensation cap between top salaried employees and their lowest-wage warehouse position, and provide 100% free health care coverage to their entire team, along with profit sharing. All profits not needed for the business are allocated to progressive causes and charities. Dr. Bronner’s was instrumental in funding and coordinating the hemp industry’s battle to defeat the DEA’s prohibitive hemp regulations and they’ve been outspoken advocates for the labeling of products produced using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Click here to check out Dr. Bronner’s blog to read more about their advocacy and activism.

Certifications

Dr. Bronner’s has been Fairtrade certified since 2007, B Corps Certified since 2015, and they recently became one of the first companies to receive a Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC) from the Regenerative Organic Alliance for their coconut oil. This designation is given to products that meet the highest standards for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness and Dr. Broner’s is committed to eventually having all of their products receive this certification. The ROC and Fairtrade certified coconut oil that goes into Dr. Bronner’s products is produced by a sister company, Serendipol, located in Sri Lanka.

A coconut farmer harvesting the Fairtrade Regenerative Organic Certified coconuts for Dr. Bronner’s products

The palm oil used in Dr. Bronner’s products comes from another sister company, Serendipalm, located in Eastern Ghana. The palm oil is produced ethically from sustainably-harvested palm fruits that come directly from 500 small organic family farms. These farms were developed without the widespread clear-cutting of rainforest and the resulting devastation to local primates that are common with many of the newer, larger-scale palm oil plantations. The farmers, along with the 250+ workers in the oil mill (primarily local women) are paid a Fairtrade premium price and enjoy working conditions that are uncommon in this industry so marked by exploitation. The Fairtrade premium has been used for a range of community development projects, such as drilling wells and installing tanks to provide community-operated water systems, building public toilet facilities, rebuilding a pedestrian bridge, installing lighting, and providing school supplies.

The women of Serendipalm processing the ethically and sustainably-harvested, Fairtrade, Organic palm fruits to produce the palm oil for Dr. Bronner’s products

According to their website, “Dr. Bronner’s has always been an activist company, dating back to when Emanuel Bronner was calling on the human race to unite from street corners and auditoriums, selling his peppermint castile soap on the side. Carrying forward that same activist spirit, it is our mission to continue to use the company today to fight for and financially support causes we believe in: regenerative agriculture, fair trade, animal advocacy, industrial hemp and drug policy reform, and living wages, among others. We call ourselves the “fighting soap company,” and are committed and strategic in the causes we fight for.