This page features the lovely shop owners who are involved in this month's AmuseBoite! Read on about our participants, below, and click on their names to see their Etsy shops!
(v) = vegan-friendly products
(c) = Canadian shop
ivykeep (c) (v) is a purveyor of gourmet loose tea leaves in fabulous flavours that you won't find at the grocery store. Now I've been a coffee drinker for most of my adult life, but over the past year and a half I've started to get more into teas. I'm a lady with simple tastes - plain ol' English Breakfast and Earl Grey (easy on the bergamot) are my go-to choices - but I'm also as curious as a cat, and so I find myself purchasing ever-more creative flavours on a whim. I've actually tried ivykeep's teas before - a few months ago, a friend sent me a surprise gift with a bunch of samples of various handmade products (acquired via Etsy, no doubt), and ivykeep's After Dinner Mint tea was amongst them. While never something I would have purchase for myself (remember: simple palate), I was very impressed by the lovely balance of sweet and minty. Unlike most flavoured coffees and teas, it was sweet without being overpowering and I didn't get knocked over by the mint. It was lovely and delicate - subtly sweet and smooth. As a die-hard foodie, I would highly recommend it!
ClearwaterNaturals (v) - I am really excited about this addition, because I was looking *everywhere* in search of some awesome natural laundry detergent to include. After all, as much as I love bath & beauty items, we can't have a whole box full of them! All of her products are made from high-quality natural and organic ingredients, with no parabens or chemical ingredients. She also sources a number of her ingredients locally, and even grows some of them herself. Definitely a great shop to check out if you're looking for new personal care products, from soaps and facial care to laundry detergent.
LaConchitaNaturals (v) I've had my eyes on Conchita's powder face masks for ages now, and so I'm super thrilled to get to feature them! I love finding solid/dry versions of the products I use, since they're so much greener - there's less energy wasted because there's no water to transport/ship and they need few or no preservatives - and they're also super convenient, especially for traveling. They also allow a great degree of customization, since you decide what liquid to 'power' them with - honey, yogurt, water, just about anything goes! - AND you can use it as a facial scrub, a cleanser or a face mask. What more could you ask for!?
TwistsAndFacets - because I love jewelry and accessories, I couldn't help but include more earrings in the Sampler (: If you're looking for something fun and classy that would go with just about any outfit, Renée's creations are must-sees! She offers a number of earring sets that incorporate pearls, wires, beads and more in simple yet sophisticated designs. My favorites are the Silver Balls and the Super Star earrings. Fabulous for a night out!
ScentedLuxuries (v) makes beautiful bath and body products, from lip balms to body butters, as well as candles and personal fragrances. You may recognize her stuff from Etsy's front page, which she has graced several times. Many of her products are vegan, too!
(Scented Luxuries also has a blog!)
SilverFirsFarm (v) has a FABULOUS selection of handmade soaps. When I was looking over her offerings for the packages, I was impressed by each and every scent of soap that she offers - from grapefruit (my favorite!) to coffee, and from castille clay to caramel vanilla, you won't have a hard time finding your next favorite soap. She also offers candles, scrubs, lotions and butters, bath bombs, and perfume and all of her products are vegan (:
NassimNaturals(v)(c) Nassim's products are all 100% handmade natural mineral products, and she focuses on simplicity and high quality in selecting her ingredients. She currently offers a wide range of foundation, blush, bronzer, lipstick, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and more. Be sure to check out her shop next time you're looking for new colours to add to your collection (:
SinfullySoyCandles (v) offers dye-free, eco-friendly soy candles and tarts, as well as bath & body products, like lotions, lip balms, sugar scrubs and body creams. She has an amazing assortment of fragrances and flavours, from Amaretto Nog and Antique Sandalwood to White Tea & Berries and Wildberry Mousse, as well as tart giftsets that would warm anybody's heart and home (:
The Kupcake Shop (v) has offered up some of her gorgeous products for the Sampler! I am especially excited about this feature, because of this shop's fabulous eco-friendly ethos; all of its products are free from parabens, propylene glycol, SLS, formaldehyde, phthalates, dyes and synthetic fragrances. The owner, Danielle, use all-natural, organic ingredients in their products. On top of all that, her products also have GORGEOUS packaging (I'm a sucker for a lovely label *wink*)!
dodelinedesign's shop is full of really pretty paper creations. In addition to cards for every possible occasion, she also has some really cute calendar cards - great for save the date cards, or to leave all over the place (in your purse, by the phone, on the fridge, etc.), especially where regular-sized calendars may not be convenient. My personal favourite - and a great idea for Etsy sellers - are the little Thank You cards. These would be fabulous to include with outgoing orders. What a lovely way to show your customers that you appreciate their business!
thepixie (c) - That's right, I'm going to include some of my own items! It wouldn't really reflect well on the box if I didn't believe in it enough to put my own stock forward, would it? (: My focus lately has been on custom and upcycled packaging as well as adorable miniature gift wrapping, so I plan on assembling a lovely little collection of items that I'm sure you'll be able to use and enjoy. You can check out my sales for some examples of things I've made in the past, and definitely get in touch with me if you are in need of custom packaging for your own Etsy store. In fact, I'll even give blog followers a special discount (:
littlewhitechapel makes absolutely stunning bridal and everyday jewelry at reasonable prices. As she says, every bride deserves to look her best on her wedding day, but shouldn't have to pay a fortune to do so. When she offered some of her stunning pieces for the Boite, I was literally floored that she could even bear to part with them! Good thing you don't need to be getting married to wear these gorgeous pieces ;)
charmedincolorado's name is very appropriate, since the shop specialty is wine charms - a terrific way to adorn your wine glass and to protect it from being poached by a fellow oenophile! She completes a ton of special orders, and she's great at working with your ideas and vision to create something perfect. Her charms and bookmarks also come packaged for gift-giving, so they would be perfect additions to gift baskets or tied onto a bottle of wine as a hostess gift.
fbessentials (v) Flowery Branch Essentials handmakes her bath and beauty products in small batches using high-quality ingredients to ensure great products every time. Her shop features a wide variety of personal care and relaxation products such as shower bombs (bath bombs for the vertically-inclined), bath soaks, whipped sugar scrubs, hair care products and more! She also sells personalized lip balm or solid fragrance samplers that would be a fabulous Thank You gift to include with Etsy sales, or to use as favours at your party or shower. Most if not all of her products are also vegan and paraben-free.
HoneyBeeSoapShop (v) Don't let the name fool you - all of HoneyBee's soaps are vegan! These soaps are absolutely gorgeous to look at (they are even stamped with a little honeybee!), and luxurious to use. They are all made the old-fashioned way - cold process - and come in fabulous scents like Mango Tea, Champagne and Wasabi! Can't decide or won't commit? Pick up the No Frills Sampler to take 5 soap scents for a test drive!
SouthernVTsoap (v) offers not only soap, but also soy tarts, lip balms, solid perfumes, shea butter lotions, whipped scrubs and more! All of her products are made using all-natural ingredients and formaldehyde- and paraben-free preservatives (where necessary), and they are all vegan. With well over 150 different essential and fragrance oils to choose from, your only difficulty will be deciding where to begin!
CleanJellybeanI'm *so* excited about this one! Well, I am about all of the participating shops, but in this case the shop owner, Care, was such an absolute pleasure to deal with that I literally can't wait for the samples to arrive. She started making soaps and lotions when her youngest (Mikey) was allergic to just about everything. She had to come up with something that would keep him rash free, soft and smelling good. After finding her handmade soaps and lotions worked the best, she began making different versions for friends and family. Before long the requests started rolling in. All Clean Jellybean products are tested before ever being sold to the public, so rest assured you are getting something that we truly believe you will love. CleanJellybean offers tons of vegan products, including soap, lotions and bath teas, in a wide variety of scents. All products are handmade in small batches, with the utmost care taken to ensure high quality from start to finish. They're also made with sustainable palm oil (good news for orangutan lovers!) and phalate-free essential oils and fragrances, and with scents like "beach," "strawberry champagne" and "fresh rain" there are tons of great new summer loves just waiting to be discovered!
BellaYarns offers crochet face cloths, facial scrubbies, dish cloths, dish sponges, and bath and shower scrubbies (phew) made from 100% all-natural cotton, in delightfully cheerful colours! I'm also very excited about this addition to the Sampler, because I love the idea of finding simple ways to 'greenify' the things we already use on a daily basis. A couple of months ago I stopped buying disposable cotton facial pads (also known as toner pads) and started using reusable flannelet pads and face cloths to wash and tone my face. They're just as simple to use as their disposable counterparts, but they get way more mileage - I just toss them in the washing machine with the rest of my laundry to get them nice and clean after use. The real difference is in how much I have managed to cut back on waste by using them; I definitely recommend making the switch. Plus, with BellaYarn's colour names like "citrus punch" and "sunny orange," how could you not feel slightly uplifted every time you see them? On top of using renewable (and soft!) natural cotton for her creations, she also packages her products in post-consumer paper and biodegradable cellophane. Her shop is definitely one worth checking out if you have been considering the switch from disposable to reusable!
GreenLivingSoap (v) offers soaps, balms and oils that are 100% natural! I love when I can say that about a shop (: But really, who better to describe the shop than its owner? Here's what Esmeralda, the brains and the beauty behind GreenLivingSoap, has to say:
"The idea behind my shop is as follows: the more I see of commercial bath and body products, the less I like them. I don't want to buy expensive soap and creams where I'm maybe familiar with one or two ingredients and where I end up with lots of plastic and other packaging materials, so I started making my own.
As a biologist I love plants and the way they affect us. Sometimes it's their scent that brings back positive memories or calms the mind, or it's their beneficial properties for certain skin issues. All of my products are vegan, apart from some of my balms that contain beeswax. I believe in wholesome products from good sources and try to use as many fair trade and organic ingredients as possible."
Vegan, organic and fair trade with minimal packaging and an eco-conscious ethos? Got my vote!
Other AmuseBoite Supporters:
The following shops and blogs are not contributors this month, but they have generously provided support in the form of advertisement or promotion. Big thanks!