Food 52, a site co-created by one of my heroes, Amanda Hesser, has been selling a gift pack of our lip balms for the last week and a half and will do so up until Valentine's Day.
We created a Dark & Stormy scent for the pack (more on that soon). Amanda also wanted to add Bare and a former limited edition balm, Localish, which is made with lard.
We've received a little push back about the lard, so I thought I would tell you more of the story. Last year, I tried an experiment: Could I make a lip balm using only local ingredients. I more or less succeeded, but the hitch was that to get the creaminess usually provided by solid fats like cocoa butter and shea butter, we used lard. It wasn't just any lard--it was a beautiful, milky-white filtered rendered leaf lard from Flying Pigs Farm, a tiny farm in upstate New York that raises pigs the right way. My hunch is that it's what the pioneers used for lip balm (and anti-aging cream as well).
If you're vegetarian, well, this just isn't the lip balm for you. But if you're a carnivore, and one who's not against a little pig fat here and there, buy some lard from a small family farm to make pie crust and rub a little of the fat on your lips. You might never buy lip balm again.--Claire
When the owner of Seed Sustainable Style in Regina, Saskatchewan, emailed us, we admit that we had to look at a map to remind ourselves where that is. Who knew there was such a fun, funky shop in the frozen land above Montana and North Dakota? Seed picked up our balms just before the holidays and we're thrilled. Now, if only we could learn to spell Saskatchewan without looking it up!
Thanks to this amazing piece of press on the fab beauty blog, Into the Gloss, and our inclusion in the Food 52 gift guide, we had a thrilling, relentlessly busy end to 2012.
Back in November, I said I'd update the blog with some of our changes. Now that I finally have a moment to breathe, here it goes!
The biggest news for us is that we moved our home and headquarters from Manhattan to Brooklyn. No, no, we weren't jealous of all of the great artisans working here who got to use "Brooklyn" in their branding.We just desperately needed more more space for lip balm making and for our little pal, Elsa.
The biggest news for you, our dear customers, is that we starting printing better quality labels. Yep, that's right! No more ink rubbing off! Most of the orders that went out this holiday season included balms dressed in the new duds. We hope you love them!
Now, for some bad news: Because of the increase in the cost of many of our ingredients, we have raised the price of our lip balms from $5 to $6. This change will help us continue to buy organic and pesticide-free ingredients, which is very important to us.
The good news: We are offering 20% off all orders through Friday, January 18, making the lip balms temporarily less expensive than they were in 2012. Yay!
The code for the discount? happynewyear of course!
Our rich, luxurious cinnamon-scented Winter lip balm is back and so is the very popular holiday gift pack, which includes Autumn (think Indian chai), Old Fashioned (woodsy and orangey) and, of course, Winter. All three are perfect for the season!
Halfway through the season, our ginger-scented Autumn balm is available for sale again. Stewart and I have had a crazy few months but we're finally coming up for air. We've made some big changes (more on those next time), but don't worry, they don't affect the quality of our beloved lip balms. -Claire
We were recently contacted by North County Health Services in southern California asking if we would ever donate lip balm to put in their closet of toiletries they distribute to people living with HIV/AIDS. The request came just as we were wondering what to do with all of the perfectly good but not-fit-to-sell unused lip balms we had lying around. We had a bag of balms that, say, weren't poured properly or leftovers from experiments we decided not to pursue. We were thrilled we could send along 74 balms that would be put to good use!
The day before Elsa was born, we dropped off our balms at the new offshoot of Iris Cafe called Iris Take Away. Set on a quiet, leafy block in Brooklyn Heights and co-owned by Rachel Graville of Gerald Jerky fame, the Iris spots are exactly what we all wish we had around the corner. At the cafe, you can sit with a coffee or an awesome sandwich (the avocado with cheddar, pickles and curried carrots on whole grain bread was the best vegetarian sandwich we'd ever had). Or, you can pop next door to get them to go while picking up Harmless Harvest Coconut Water or Mast Brothers Chocolate or even bodega staples like batteries and flour. We're thrilled our balms are sold right up there on the counter (impulse buy!) in a vintage cocktail glass. Don't they look cute?
We've taken a break from the blog lately to take care of this little creature. Meet Elsa Scarlett, born six weeks ago. We're already dreaming up lip balm scents to name after her.
I met Lauren Thorp last year at a conference when both of our businesses were mere fledglings. Since then, she has launched Umba Box (a mailed monthly box of homemade goodies, pictured above). She included our lip balm in one of her earliest boxes sent out in the fall, and last month, she showcased our Summer lip balm to a subscriber base she had grown significantly in only a half year. Her success is inspiring.
Thanks to Umba Box, we've found ourselves some very devoted customers. We just wanted to say thanks for the love.