Please Join Us at Squidfire’s 2010 Winter Art Mart!

Once again, it is time for Squidfire’s Winter Art Mart in downtown Baltimore! This year’s Art Mart will be held on December 11 at the First Unitarian Church in Mt Vernon. As always, the art mart will feature some of the best diy/indie crafters from all over the East Coast. Whether you’re looking for handmade soap, freshly baked dog treats, unique paper goods, or even locally roasted coffee beans, they will have it there. So, come on out and support local artists and get unique, handmade crafts for everyone on your holiday shopping list! I hope you can join us on December 11, from 11am-6pm, at the First Unitarian Church, 501 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201.

Goodwill Treasure Hunting


My husband recently purchased some new suits, so purged his closet of his old ones. I offered to take them to Goodwill, as I had heard of a new store opening in Falls Church and wanted to check it out. I had received a promotional postcard a couple of months ago announcing the store’s grand opening, touting it as a “green” way to shop. This was definitely a new marketing angle, and had peaked my curiosity as to how this new store would look.

So, earlier this week, I took the suits and a couple of bags of miscellaneous household items to the new store. The facade was rather attractive, evoking a cross between the free-standing Anthropologie in Westport, CT and a casual-chic American-style restaurant. A sign on the door indicated that this Goodwill store is a Live Green Spot (Live Green is a DC-based membership organization that partners with companies, like Herban Lifestyle, that score high on true eco-friendly practices, quality and price). So I dropped off my donation at the side door, then headed inside for a peak.

The interior was well lit, and there were fun, bold splashes of accent color throughout. The merchandise was well-organized, making it easy to browse. It felt like a well-organized discount department store, complete with dressing rooms. There was a huge selection of glassware and dishware.

Goodwill is a great, green concept. All of the merchandise could have ended up in landfills, but instead it is getting a second life. Besides offering many items that are in perfectly good condition for reuse, I know many crafters use Goodwill finds to fashion entirely new creations. I enjoy browsing Goodwill from time to time for unusual containers and sweaters, which I felt and refashion into ornaments or other decorative objects. Last year, while visiting Connecticut, I amassed a dozen wool sweaters in a rainbow of colors from the Goodwill stores in Wilton and New Milford.

I had a short amount of time, so wasn’t able to peruse the sweaters. But I did come across a big collection of Christmas baskets adorned with jingly bells. I snagged several of them, which I will use to put together gift packets for friends and neighbors.

Do you shop at Goodwill? If so, what are some of your favorite finds?

Here are a few of the sweater cupcakes I made.

Discovering the Beauty of Natural Products

This post was written by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s sustainability intern

I recently started an internship with Herban Lifestyle. I got the position in part because of the knowledge about natural beauty I had gained from my experience at ecocentricity!, an eco-friendly gift shop in Phoenix, AZ that sells, among other things, bath and beauty products from locally-owned businesses. Last month, I returned to Phoenix to pay a visit to my Alma Mater for an Alumni reception and to visit my friends and “Phoenix Family” that I had left behind six months ago. I had only started interning a few weeks prior and was not only learning about the natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients found in Herban Lifestyle products, but found myself obsessively checking out labels on any bath products I came in contact with.

On my second day back in Arizona, I woke at 6:30 am to help my organic, natural, locavore and thoroughly earthy-crunchy former roommate sell locally-made tamales at the farmer’s market (something she does every morning). I had a wonderful time walking around the market sampling salsas, peanut brittle, chocolate, cupcakes, desserts, and of course tamales. I was also excited to see the natural beauty products there, since I am now an expert! I read many labels and was tickled to spot ingredients that I had just entered into the Skin Deep Database for Herban Lifestyle. There was a smorgasbord of soaps, lotion, lip balms, deodorants, shampoos, massage oils, and facial scrubs. Some were really creative, with exfoliants such as natural and plastic loofah embedded into the soap. This reminded me of the exfoliating properties of our Fuzzy Soaps, which have a built-in wool “washcloth” on the outside. I discovered lotion in solid form, that came in a tube like deodorant. I later found you can get solid perfumes in a tube, too. There were even cosmetics made out of goat’s milk, which was a new concept for me.

I collected these vendors’ cards and headed over to ecocentricity to tell my former boss about all the fun, local, bath and beauty products products that she could potentially carry. At the store, I saw a lot of new natural soap that comes in loaves so customers can purchase as much as they want and pay by the ounce. I also saw my old favorite lip butter, which comes in an array of natural flavors, and my mascara made from tea and blackberries.

In the store, there was a display calling attention to the Skin Deep Database, explaining that some products that are ranked highly toxic even though they claim they are “natural.”  I smiled when I recalled the time I had spent entering products from Herban Lifestyle’s new Naked Line into the database, all of which scored a 0 or 1 (on a scale of 0 to 10) for toxicity.

Entering products into the Skin Deep Database made me more aware of the importance of knowing what ingredients are in my personal care products. I have not used a lot of cosmetics in my life. so I feel good knowing I haven’t been smothering my face in toxins. But now I am working on replacing my soaps and shampoos that I had no idea were bad for me and the planet (I am really digging the Herban Lifestyle Deeply Herbal Shampoo Bar). That’s one more earthy-crunchy step I’m taking to reduce my ecological footprint, and reduce my exposure to environmental toxins.

Join Us at the DC Craft Mafia Holiday Heist 11/21!

Two years ago, I was a vendor at my first craft show. It was held by the DC Craft Mafia. My company has come a long way since then, and I have learned a lot about how to display my products and how to best utilize my time and space at a craft show. So I am thrilled to be part of this year’s Holiday Heist, a juried arts and crafts show produced by the new guard of the DC Craft Mafia, an amazing group of crafters who really know how to put on a show. The Holiday Heist will be held on November 21 in Vienna, VA at the Soundry, a converted auto hobby shop. The Soundry has an art gallery, coffee shop and studio space for artists and musicians.

This year’s Heist features 27 selected local crafters. You can see a list of the vendors and a brief description of their offerings on the DC Craft Mafia’s website. Even if you aren’t one of the vendors, you can still get crafty – there will also be a “make-and-take” table run by ScrapDC, and gingerbread cookies to decorate!

The Holiday Heist details:

Sunday, November 21, 2010
10:00am to 5:00pm
The Soundry
316 Dominion Road NE
Vienna, VA

I hope you can join us!

Miss Wonderful and Other Finds at Ginger Root Design

stylish vintage black patent pumps

On a recent shopping trip, I discovered a shop that I hadn’t noticed before. Ginger Root Design, at 1530 U Street, NW has a small, but excellent selection of vintage clothing. They also carry eco-friendly clothing and accessories by ReVamp for men and women that have been fashioned out of repurposed fabrics and notions. The owners of Ginger Root design, Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson, have a passion for sewing, so they offer tailoring and sewing classes. On my recent visit they showed me a cute little bow accessory made from repurposed men’s ties.

best shoe brand name ever!

The first thing that caught my eye was a pair of cute black patent leather pumps with a bow and interesting cut-out design. Because my feet are petite, I don’t easily find shoes that fit (which is a good thing as far as keeping a shoe addiction at bay), so I was thrilled when they turned out to be my size. The owners scored the shoes at an estate sale in Minnesota, from whence they hail. The shoes were unworn and in the original (awesome) box.

image copyright ReadysetDC

While I didn’t have time to thoroughly peruse their store, I did spot several cute women’s items that were fashioned out of a variety of great fabrics, and I plan to go back there soon for a real visit.

For more information on their hours and contact info, or for news on their classes and latest items, you can visit the ReVamp Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

Introducing the new Herban Lifestyle Naked Line

the new Herban Lifestyle Naked Line

Herban Lifestyle recently launched a new beauty and skin care line that is stripped down to the bare essentials. Herban Lifestyle’s Naked™ line uses only the highest quality natural, organic, and fair trade ingredients that have been minimally processed and void of any harsh chemicals.

Naked Body Butters

The line includes body butter, belly balm, mineral soak, bath tea, healing salve, lip balm, body soap, facial soap, facial masque, and facial toner. Prices range from $5 for the lip balm to $35 for the bath tea.

Naked Cold-Processed Unscented Soap

“My new line celebrates the gifts of the earth and the naked beauty in each one of us. We encourage everyone to get Naked and relish nature at its best,” says Kearns. “Each product is designed to provide luxurious body care while using rich natural ingredients and making a minimum impact on the earth.”

Naked Chocolate Vanilla Lip Balm

In keeping with Herban Lifestyle’s commitment to the earth, all Naked products come in glass or aluminum containers with 100% recycled labels. As with all Herban Lifestyle products, 10% of gross sales from the Naked line are donated to nonprofits promoting the health and wellbeing of people and planet.