Bella Lina Bath

Soap is on the mind

Tag: soap

We don’t plan to stop using Palm Oil

I always knew a few things at the grocery store used Palm Oil in their ingredients. But I had no idea that up to 50% of the packaged everyday items include Palm Oil. From pizza dough, ice cream, lipstick, and detergent. After doing a bit of research it was pretty clear that Palm Oil used a lot of names that are impossible to pronounce. But if it starts with Palm, its palm oil.

Even with all that being said, we will continue to use Palm Oil. Because we use RSPO Red Palm Oil. By using Red Palm Oil we’re actually helping families provide for themselves. These families are no different from my own just trying to make a better life for their children. Because of this I don’t mind paying extra for this awesome oil. Yes, by using organic oils (I use organic coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil too) I make about .70 cents less per bar than other soapers because I haven’t raised my prices. But it’s worth it to me to help other families, and provide high quality products at a reasonable price.

sustainable red palm oil rspo

sustainable red palm oil rspo

I also add Bentonite Clay and Tussah Silk to all of my soaps too. Yes, not some..  all of them!

 

August Giveaway is Live!

August Giveaway, click on this link to enter.

Our Monthly Giveaway is live and ready for entries! 3 Winners are chosen each month. This month we are giving away any soap currently on our website. Good luck, hope to be emailing you at the end of the month!

Going back to Etsy

If you follow my website and Facebook page, you probably know that I’ve been running a monthly giveaway. I pick three winners every month, and I just love doing it. It’s attracted new customers, added new likes to my Facebook page, but most of all it’s allowed my customers to give me their input.

I’ve gotten more than one request for free shipping and lower shipping on one item. I checked through my website (weebly) and in order for me to run discounts or automatic deductions, it would cost me an additional $20 per month! Which would mean that I’d have pass those costs onto my products. I’m not willing to do that, so the easiest solution was to go back to selling on Etsy.

I haven’t sold anything since last year, and to be honest my Etsy site looked pretty sad. After revamping it, I realized that my website just wasn’t my style either. So I ended up changing my whole website to a brighter and simpler style. I changed my product page to automatically go to my etsy site to make purchases. The website is still there, just better 🙂

So now shipping for one bar of soap is $3.00 and any order over $30 has free shipping with coupon code FREESHIPPING

How do you like my son as the banner?

Making of Loofah Beer

I love the world of editing. Everything just looks so quick and easy. I can just edit out my panic attacks, my kids who always want to play hide and seek the minute I press record, and of course my mother who bursts in to discuss topics that shouldn’t be repeated.

I have a panic attack EVERYTIME I make a beer soap. Because beer moves so quickly, so to pour the soap into a loofah can be a bad situation if you don’t move fast! That’s why I don’t add any color to the soap or even really stick blend it.

I scented it with a blend of Frankincense and Myrrh, Sandalwood, and Patchouli. It’s a fragrance from Crafters Choice called Three Wise Men. I like to add extra Sandalwood essential oil just to add depth. I use Intuition Jon Boat beer, which is a local brewery. I replace the water and use 100% beer. The beer is really good, and comes in a cute blue and silver can.

I package these soaps in two coffee filters and use a 2 inch kraft label for the name and ingredients of the soap. Keeping things simple and low-cost when it comes to packaging allows me to use more expensive ingredients like organic coconut oil, sustainable red palm oil, and craft beers, and still keeping the soap prices down.

These bars are available online http://www.bellalinabath.com and every Saturday at the Riverside Arts Market under the Fuller Warren Bridge from 10am to 1pm until the last week in Feb. and then 10am to 4pm for the rest of the year.

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey

IMG_1060When I was younger my grandma would raid the fridge, grabbing milk, honey, and grinding up oatmeal to make a kind of porridge consistency and slather it on her face. I always told her she was a crazy old lady and she’d always respond in Spanish saying “I may be crazy, but I don’t look old”. I always followed her around and she’d slather these crazy concoctions on my eczema and face too. Turns out she was onto something!

Here’s a few pictures of some of the soaps I’ve been working on. I’ll work on making more videos too, now that my soap studio is presentable.

Oatmeal, Milk & Honey1660548_10201390921842706_1681163536_nThese pictures haven’t been edited at all. This is Oatmeal, Milk & Honey is a totally unscented bar made with colloidal oatmeal, milk, and organic local honey. Although it’s unscented it kind of smells like a snicker doodle. I love this soap when my eczema flares up, if my skin feels tight, or if I’m just feeling sensitive. I love using colloidal oatmeal because your skin absorbs the benefits better than regular oats. I use raw,  This bar is great for eczema, psoriasis, acne, insect bites, poison ivy, diaper rashes, and sunburns.

Raw, unheated, organic honey has antibacterial properties that speed the healing of infections and wounds, including acne. It also contains antioxidants, which neutralize free radicals to promote healthy skin. Honey also improves skin hydration, an important factor in the skin’s ability to maintain softness, suppleness and elasticity. -http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/facts/the-benefits-of-honey.htm

The last healing ingredient is milk. Turns out even Cleopatra used milk on her skin! Milk helps to smooth, heal, nourish and soften your skin. It prevents premature aging which we can really use with the harsh sun in the summer and these polar ice fronts in the winter. Milk helps with irritations, removing stains on your skin, and helps to exfoliate dead skin cells.

It’s available for purchase on my website http://www.bellalinabath.com, at Salon 5 located 14333  #28 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250, and at the Riverside Arts Market every Saturday under the Fuller Warren Bridge from 10am-1pm during the off-season and 10am-4pm after March.

 

 

So many changes this past year, all for the better!

This past year has truly been an amazing one for me, my family, and my thriving small business. In January my husband lost his job of 13 years. This was a big hit financially and emotionally to husband and I, I was always the “free spirit” the person that jumped from project to project, worked part-time to have a little play money, but never really took anything seriously when it came to working. My husband was always the unmoving rock so to speak, I just fluttered around him 🙂  Luckily, we had a little savings for a rainy day (it was pouring) so we cashed it out and decided that Orlando, FL wasn’t where we wanted to raise our children. We wanted to be in an area that we could slow down and enjoy the scenery… and by scenery, I of course meant beach. So what better place than Jacksonville Beach, my mother had lived here for a few years and had nothing but good things to say about it.

So in March, I quit my full-time job, yes I said full-time. It was supposed to be a part-time job that I could just be Jessica, not mom, or maid, or doormat… just Jessica. I wanted a simple job that by the time I walked out of the door, I forgot I worked that day. After 4.5 years, I had moved into quasi management, took on full-time hours, and a super stressful workload. So when opportunity hit (and the frustration of getting a 7 cent raise) I “went to lunch” and never looked back! This past Black Friday was the first Black Friday I haven’t worked in a looong time! It felt fantabulous to sleep in.

After we moved, my husband and I had the discussion. This year was going to be the year that Bella Lina Bath was either going to sink or swim. I had gone to farmers markets and selling online for a little over year, but I never put everything I had into it. After my two kids, college, husband, and a full-time job there wasn’t much left. In May I started at the Riverside Arts Market (RAM). After looking far and wide RAM seemed to be the only market that people talked about.

This place was AMAZING! There’s so many vendors selling all kinds of things. My first thought after going a couple of weeks and then touring with the newbie group was “I don’t belong here”. I thought about how I’m only one person with two hands. But what really stuck was the sinking feeling that “I’m not good enough”. I was shaking out of my flip-flops terrified.

When I got home, I sat in my soap studio and said to myself “this is it”. I come from a long line of business women, I’m strong I can do this too. I was still scared the first show, but I was on fake it to make it status! Although it was raining the first day, I met wonderful customers that have stuck with me and really helped me build my business confidence.

After a couple of months of just really putting myself out there, I had a following! People who came back telling me about how their skin had changed and how I had miracle products!! I knew that my products had always worked for me and my family, but that leap of faith when it comes to sharing something so close to your heart with others really puts you in a vulnerable place. I can’t even begin to explain the joy and contentment I feel when people come back with a clear face when they had acne, or eczema before.

Not only has my business grown this past year in a new town that has embraced me in a way that I could never have imagined, but I have grown as a person because of it. By putting my dream out there, without holding anything back and getting all the positive feedback… really just makes me teary eyed every time I think about it.

As I sit here writing this balling my eyes out (with joy), I think about where I was last year. I was sad, frustrated, cluttered, claustrophobic, 20 lbs heavier, aggravated, unfulfilled, and so much more. This time last year I wanted to just walk away from life with whatever fit in my car.

Well I did! One year later, I’m happy, ecstatic, fulfilled, in love, organized (for the most part), living greener, actually making good friends, and just basically enjoying living. I’m no longer existing… and it really took writing this to see how far I’ve come in just one year.

If my husband never lost his job, I don’t know if I’d be sitting here as happy and content as I am now. I might still be at a dead-end job, making money but losing my humanity (I know it sounds dramatic, I’m dramatic), living in a small cluttered space, without real human interaction. One door closes, and the world opens up I guess. 🙂

My Welcome Video on my website

My website is http://www.bellalinabath.com

I’ll be posting more videos very soon. I made a lot for youtube. If you’d like to subscribe, I’m listed under bellalinabath

 

Where you can catch us… so far.

Our new customers at the Riverside Arts Market have been so welcoming that we decided to make it our Saturday Event for the rest of the year! So here’s our current line up. I’m still looking for something on Sunday’s and one more day in the week. But haven’t found anything yet that’s not flooded with other soapers.

June
6/1/13-  Booth 402
6/8/13-  Booth 406
6/15/13-Booth 402
6/22/13-Booth 407
6/29/13-Booth 402

July
7/6/13-7/27/13 Booth 402

August
8/3/13-8/10/13  Booth 402
8/17/13-8/31/13 Booth 406

September
9/7/13-9/14/13 Booth 406
9/21/13 Booth 404
9/28/13 Booth 406

October
10/5/13-10/19/13 Booth 406
10/26/13- Booth 406

November
11/2/13-11/23/13 Booth 406
11/30/13 Booth 402

December
12/7/13-12/14/13 Booth 402
12/21/13- Booth 505

 

Competition

I just wanted to take a few minutes to express my opinions when it comes to other soapers and competition.

I’ve been getting emails, messages, and comments about competition. Whether it be that someone bought another persons soap, or how some other soapers have soaps or others items that resemble my own, or sometimes just people starting a conversation with the words “So your competition over there…”

I don’t consider anyone competition, period. My honest opinion is that we are a community. There are more than enough people in this world that use soap 🙂 I’m not worried that someone has decided to either make or start selling their own. Sometimes someone else may have something that I don’t, and I don’t hesitate to send them across the way to my fellow soaper.

I love having friends that make soap or are interested in making soap, it gives me someone to talk to because that’s pretty much always the first thing on my mind. I like bouncing ideas off of other soapers, we brainstorm together. We are artists, and there’s a lot of art out there… that doesn’t stop an artist from being what they’re meant to be.

If you have had a chance to talk to me about an interest in making soap, then you know that I’m an open book and willing to offer you any help you need plus all of my suppliers. I look up to other soapmakers that have employees and stores because that’s something I’m looking forward to in the future. I truly believe that when you’re passionate about something and you put yourself out there, your product speaks for itself.

I’m just not the kind of person to have a conversation about how my products are superior to anyone else. I can tell you how I make my products, I can tell you what I use, and I can tell you why I use certain ingredients, but honestly it’s up to you.

First Day at the Riverside Art Market in Jacksonville, FL

If you follow me on Facebook, you probably know that our little family decided to move from Orlando, FL to Jacksonville, FL. It’s been a crazy ride and hoping to get a good response with Bella Lina Bath, LLC has been on my mind 24/7. Our first day at the Riverside Art Market was fantastic! Although it was dreary and wet, we were under the bridge and it didn’t seem to affect us. A lot of vendors cancelled so it seemed as though the market was at 25% in comparison to the week before.

5/4 RAM

We kept a positive attitude and knew that even it we made a few sales, it’s a few more sales than we made by staying home. All of the vendors were super nice and had a lot of nice things to sell. I just wanted to buy everything! Even though the market closed an hour early, there was a great crowd and we ended the day with a lot of products sold. Our bath bombs, soap cupcakes, and cake slices were a HUGE hit. Apparently, it was a new spin on soap in Jacksonville 🙂

I think the icing on the cake was when I went to Costco today and an employee said “hey you’re the soap lady, I love my soap!” I couldn’t believe that a town as big as Jacksonville could show me what a small world we live in; in such a short amount of time.

If you happen to be in the Jacksonville area, I will be at RAM every Saturday this month: 5/11 Booth 505, 5/18 Booth 402, and May 25 Booth 504. Hope to see you there!!

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