A Monday Update

I’ve been meaning to put together a quick update, but have yet to get to it until today! I wanted to let you know what’s going on at the store…

::Lip balm updates

Some of you may have been around for the whole debate about whether or not I should include the compostable lip balm tubes in my line. As you know, I did end up purchasing a box of them as an experiment and have been disappointed – though not for any fault of the tubes! I have found that my current lip balm recipe (one developed over two months of testing) is too soft in the tubes! (There is enough mass in the tins to keep them hard, but in the small, thin tubes, they are way too soft.) This is why I am offering them at 20% off and will continue to do so until they are sold out. I would give them away if I could afford it, but the tubes are actually more expensive to buy than the tins, so on sale it must be! :) (And please be assured that this is a purely aesthetic problem – the balms still work perfectly.)

I’ve also been dissatisfied with the “look” of the tubes. I don’t like the pattern (the only one you can buy without having them printed by Eco Vision), and have found out why they offer printing in the first place – because the tubes are slick and do not grip the adhesive side of the sticker labels! Ack!

The truth is, I’ve been very discouraged with the way my lip balms have been turning out. As far as the tubes go, I have decided that until I can afford to have them professionally printed, I’m going to have to let them sell out and just keep on offering the tins.

As for the lip balms I have now, I’m seriously debating what to keep and what to scrap. My Chocolate Mint Lip Balm seems to be a favorite, though I did not plan on continuing to offer that (for the simple reason that EVERY bath and body shop offers a chocolate mint lip balm). However, I’m reconsidering my decision on that and may (perhaps) restock the Chocolate Mint.

The Vanilla Woods lip balm became a fast favorite, but I have had nothing but trouble keeping those balms consistent and smooth. Each batch seems to turn out vastly different (which doesn’t usually happen), and too often, the cocoa butter clumps up, making the lip balm grainy. You may have noticed that Vanilla Woods is currently not in stock and that’s because I pulled them until I can figure out what’s going on. (If you don’t mind the clumpiness and are planning on making an order soon, leave me a note with your order stating that you’d like one and I’ll throw it in for free while supplies last.)

Finally, my other lip balms, while lovely, aren’t totally, wholly, completely satisfying to me. Lip balms are difficult in many aspects – for one thing, it’s hard to develop a unique, reliable, consistent recipe without using chemical stabilizers. It’s also hard to find unique lip balm blends. This is something that I’m still working on, eleven months later.

The bottom line is that I want to sell the best of the best. This is really hard when you are on a tight budget, but I feel I have put the money and quality where it counts the most – in the ingredients, in the products, themselves. My packaging isn’t always as pretty or perfect as others, but I’ll get there someday. But my lip balms….now is the time for me to pull back and get it just right before going any further. A friend who has been around since the beginning of Five Seed told me she still has my original lip balm that I sold back in January and that it is the most perfect of all the lip balms of mine that she’s tried. I told her I also still have a tin of that same batch and mine is still perfect, too. Hmmm…maybe I got it right back in the beginning. The problem is that that recipe is not vegan (and people have been begging me for vegan lip balms), and that I don’t want to have to always use cocoa butter in recipes, as the scent is too strong to blend with certain other scents.

To make a long story longer, I’m going back to the drawing board on lip balms! Please bear with me – I’ll get there! And just know that I don’t know what I intend to do with the current line. Once it is sold out, I may decide not to restock those same scent blends. So if you really liked the Wild Patchouli or Sweet Rosemary, grab ‘em while you can.

::Coconut Vanilla Bean Balm

Over the summer, I had a few odds and ends of different ingredients laying about and thought I’d try an experimental recipe. Like another experiment (Rose Hip Calendula Balm) I never intended to restock this item. I figured it may or may not sell, and afterwards, I’d discontinue it. Again, like the aforementioned Rose Hip Calendula Balm, this experiment was wildly popular – every single person who bought it has written me to ask me to make more! So….rest assured, I will have it back in stock within a week or so.

::New Herbal Aromatherapy Perfume recipe!

Some of you may remember that a concerned customer wanted to know if it was safe for the environment to harvest castor oil, and if not, if I’d be willing to cut it from my line. You can read about that here. I have thought a lot about this and though I am confident that my supplier is ethical, I thought it might be prudent to cut back on castor oil in my products – just in case. I hardly ever use it, but it is a major component in the Herbal Aromatherapy Perfumes. I have recently made a new batch of Sveva using a new, castor oil-free recipe, but….will people like it as much? In order to find out, I’ll be offering the next batch of Sveva at a discount – all I ask is that you drop me a line and let me know how you like the new recipe. I’ll let you know when Sveva is back in the shop.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something here, but hopefully, that will cover things until my next update. I do have more skin care posts in store for you – some of them are a bit time-consuming to write, though. I’ll try to get to them soon. Other than that, I’ll be working on lip balms and some new perfumes this week.

Have a wonderful second week of November!

Beautiful Imperfections at a Beautiful Price

When making beauty products, there’s always a little bit of product leftover at the end of the process that is too hard to pour and that doesn’t dry with a smooth surface. I call this the “sludge.” Not a pretty name, and it doesn’t LOOK pretty, either, but it works just as well.

I tend to get a lot of “sludge tins” when making Sankalpa Scents because the candelilla wax hardens very quickly, and I don’t want to compromise the oils by heating them, cooling them, and heating them again. I used to give these “sludge tins” to my friends, but eventually, there are too many to give away! I’ve decided to sell these at a discounted price for those of you who’d like to try the Sankalpa Scents and don’t mind imperfection!

And speaking of imperfection, a small percentage of our tins don’t work the way they should. What does that mean? Simply that the tops are loose, and therefore, wouldn’t be appropriate to carry in your purse, where the top might fall off. The product itself is absolutely perfect – it’s only the tins that don’t work so well.

Both of these items will start appearing on the Etsy store. Sometimes, it will be for a specific item. Other times, it will be a general category (usually Sankalpa Scents), and what you receive will be a surprise.

So be sure to keep an eye out for our Loose Lid Discounts and Sludge Tin Discounts! Embrace imperfection – and its great, low price! ;)

Valentine’s Day Giveaway

Our Valentine’s Day Cocoa Love Gift Set is the perfect pairing. It keeps your hands soft for holding hands on those long, romantic walks, and keeps your lips glossy and velvety smooth for those long kisses. And if you don’t want the caloric consequences of eating Valentine’s Day chocolates, then you can indulge in these chocolate-y balms guilt-free. With their high cocoa butter content, they smell divine. Our Cocoa Love Lip Balm has an extra chocolate punch – it’s made with organic, fair trade theobroma cacao powder! Finally, both these products are vegan (no beeswax).

We want to show our love for our fabulous customers and fans by offering a Valentine’s Day giveaway! We want you to share your stories about when you looked and felt the most beautiful. The winner will receive one of our Cocoa Love Gift Sets (Cocoa Love Lip Balm and Cocoa Love Hand & Body Balm).

We’re looking for great stories of true beauty – preferably stories in which you are not wearing a ton of makeup. We want to know when you felt the most beautiful, from the inside out. Please keep it to 350 or less. We’d love for you to submit a picture, as well! Click here for the complete terms.

You can submit any way you’d like: Here, as a comment, on our Facebook fan page (if you don’t exceed their word limit), or our email, five5seed@gmail.com. (Please take careful note of our email address – it includes the WORD five, as well as the NUMBER five.)

Our “panel” here at 5 Seed will judge the entries and pick the one that we find the most…well, beautiful.

New Product: Cocoa Love Balms

We mean “cocoa love” here, because we LOVE cocoa butter. But “love balm” works, too.

Our Cocoa Love Hand and Body Balm is pure perfection. It is a deeply moisturizing blend of cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and coconut oil. It has a strong scent of chocolate, thanks to the heavy cocoa butter content.

Meanwhile, the Cocoa Love Lip Balm pampers the lips with cocoa butter and coconut oil. Castor oil gives the lips a beautiful, subtle sheen. And for all you chocolate lovers, we added real, theobroma cacao powder! (Organic and fair trade, of course.)

These items are great for your purse, travel case, or for keeping in your desk at work. And they are the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat. Chocolate kisses (not the ones with those pesky calories)…a sensuous chocolate massage… You might want to skip dinner and go straight for dessert. ;)

Both these items are vegan (a great way to show love for your fellow creatures). Our lip balm comes in tins, which are not only much more environmentally-friendly than plastic tubes, but contain over TWICE as much lip balm as those tubes. Further, our hand and body balm is so rich that you only need a dab. In other words, both these items show your love for the environment, and are extremely friendly to your pocketbook.

Now through February 14, 2010, we are offering this gift set at a reduced price: $11.95. (Normally, it sells for $12.95, or $13.90 if you buy each item separately.) Take advantage of the savings and pick one up for yourself or your special someone.

New Product: Lime Cocoa Lip Balm

We have been working very hard to perfect our lip balm formulas, and we are thrilled with our new Lime Cocoa Lip Balms! The all-natural scent is sunny, fresh, and will put a smile on your face.

It is as rich as our other formulas, with a heavy dose of organic and fair trade cocoa butter. The organic sweet almond oil adds yet more moisture to your lips, while the beeswax seals it all in.

This is an absolute perfect cure for the winter blues. It not only gives your lips much-needed moisture, but smells so sweet and sunny that you will forget all about the snow outside your window! In aromatherapy, lime gives you a mental boost, refreshes the mind, and inspires happy thoughts.

If you want to read more about why we use tins, and our commitment to reduce (and ultimately eliminate) our use of plastic, click here.

*Please beware of prolonged exposure to the sun when using this product. Some essential oils from the citrus family can cause photo-sensitivity in some individuals. Additionally, if you are pregnant, it is best to consult with your physician before using essential oils of any kind.