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Just the Goods Update – Spring 2014

Happy Spring, everyone!

I hope you’re at the beginning of a wonderful week!

I’m writing to you today because it’s my pleasure to be in touch three or four times a year to send greetings and share JTG’s latest news. It has been quite a while since my last newsletter, so this one is jam packed with all kinds of exciting tidbits ranging from new accomplishments, new products and new collaborations, to the exciting announcement of group buying in Montreal, and then some! Please read on…

Just the Goods is now Leaping Bunny Certified!

After months of activity behind the scenes including communicating with raw materials establishing protocols and sharing all necessary information, I am deeply honoured to announce that the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics has declared Just the Goods’ products to be officially cruelty free via its Leaping Bunny Program. This announcement was confirmed at the end of November and — not too long after — I received a formal document recognizing my efforts in this respect. Honestly, this is the first piece of paper I’ve ever received that really felt like something wonderful, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to merge genuinely safe cosmetics formulas with production practices that meet a well respected cruelty-free standard. Thank you for welcoming me on board, Leaping Bunny!

New Products

If you’re connected to Just the Goods via Twitter or Facebook, you may already know about a few new products I’ve recently launched. The first being two types of facial scrubs handmade by me, Just the Goods: one for most skin types, and one for sensitive skin. Offering them in a dry format means far less risk of the product spoiling prematurely, while also providing the option to customize your experience with rose water, lavender water, and/or aloe vera gel juice, if desired. These scrubs also conveniently double as cleansing masks if you choose to let them rest on your skin for 15 – 20 minutes before rinsing. Handy!

Apart from this, I’m thrilled to offer soap by not one, but two fabulous handmakers! Liisa of Wild ReLeaf based in Sault Sainte Marie (Ontario) creates luxuriously foaming bars in a delicious range of mild scents, and Angela of Ground Soap based in Cornwall (Ontario), produces stunning bars that also work very nicely as shampoo!

Wild ReLeaf bars are already available at Just the Goods, and my first order from Ground Soap should arrive in just a few more days. Keep in touch by social media to find out the moment I’ve added them to my website =-)

Collaborations

I love teaming up with other makers and do-ers and movers and shakers because I truly believe that we’re traveling in the same direction and that we’re stronger when we do it together! The following are a few partnership-related news tidbits that stand out:

  • In December I partnered with Women’s Voices for the Earth to present the 2013 Non-Toxic Shopping Guide. A fun and informative tweet-chat took shape and I enjoyed giving away a skin care sample set to a lucky winner. Another giveaway is in the works… stay tuned! And of course, if you haven’t already had a chance to download this handy document, please find it here: http://www.womensvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/2013-Non-Toxic-Shopping-Guide.pdf
  • Earlier this month, a selection of 10 Just the Goods’ body basics were added to My Farmer’s Market, a fabulous new grocery delivery service for Winnipeggers that specializes in locally grown produce. The inventory of available goods is growing all the time, with more delicious vegan items being added weekly, so check it out! Buying local and organic has never been easier!
  • West-end Winnipeggers will be happy to know that a great selection of body basics and fragrant body treats is also now available at Organic Planet, a much beloved Wolseley mainstay. I just dropped off some deodorant, shaving cream, lip balm and more… Whooo!

  • Generation Green at the Forks has invited me to host a workshop in their beautiful retail space on Thursday, April 24 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. I’ll help participants establish their skin type and choose the best ingredients to make and enjoy safe/non-toxic spa quality clay facials at home. I’ll bring all the ingredients necessary, and each participant will get to take home their customized skin care creation. The cost of registration is $15.00 per person. To join us, please contact generationgreenwpg@gmail.com =-)


Shipping-related news for those in Montreal

The concept has been brewing for years, and the exact details took a few months to confirm, but I’m thrilled to finally announce that Just the Goods is now offering regional group buying for those living in Montreal!

What this means is that anyone in Montreal can place an order at http://www.justthegoods.net then have their order mailed as part of one big box sent monthly to a fabulous person who will distribute each order locally. The cost of shipping will reduce dramatically, amounting to a figure between $1.00 – $5.00 per person depending on the number of participants in a given month.

This fabulous deal is being offered on a trial basis – if it’s popular, we’ll continue for as long as possible. The deadline to be included in the first order is Monday, March 31. For more information about group buying in Montreal, please click here: http://shop.justthegoods.net/?page_id=3704.

PS. Please feel welcome to get in touch if you’d like to coordinate group buying in your city!


Shipping-related news for those in the United States – Add tracking to any parcel under 1 kg

As many of you already know, Just the Goods is committed to honest and affordable pricing. Product prices are therefore not inflated to create the illusion of cheap or free shipping, which ultimately provides better value for each item, no matter where you live. For more information about this, please click here: http://shop.justthegoods.net/?page_id=140

To facilitate low cost shipping, Just the Goods’ standard rates to the United States do not include tracking. But, thanks to your requests, it is now possible to add tracking to any order under 1 kilogram (35 oz)! Tracking is automatically included in the shipping cost of parcels that weight more than 1 kilogram as they are required to ship by expedited mail rather than standard air mail. If you select this option but tracking is already included in your shipping rate, this amount will be refunded =-).


Latest reviews and interviews


Other recent scribblings from Just the Goods… in case you’re interested

Final Note

You are receiving this newsletter because you’ve been in touch with Just the Goods in the past. If you would prefer to not receive communications from Just the Goods, please let me know and I will remove your email address immediately. You may also unsubscribe using the links below – I won’t take it personally =-)

As always, thank you for your ongoing support! It is an absolute pleasure to handcraft natural skin and body care products, providing a healthier, small-scale alternative to the corporate “beauty industry”. I wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

With all my best,
Milena

Just the Goods vegan facial scrubs are finally here!

It’s impossible to narrow down my favourite part of Just the Goods, but developing and testing new products is definitely high on my list. I realize this took waaaaaaaaaaaaay longer than planned, but they’re finally here: facial scrub for most skin types and for sensitive skin.

No more will you find yourself alternating between two different face washes if you’re not into exfoliating daily. No more will you be obliged to wash when all you want to do is buff. Whoo!!

facial scrub normalsmaller facial scrub sensitive smaller

What aspect of these new items are most fun? You can customize this item by blending it with rose water, lavender water or aloe vera juice if you wish, but this is not entirely necessary as they work very well with good ol’ fashioned water.

What aspect is most convenient? These scrubs double duty as gentle face masks — to enjoy the detoxing benefits of clay, and the moisturizing benefits of oats, just let the formula rest on your skin for a few minutes before rinsing.

What’s aspect is most satisfying? These scrubs are provided without liquids pre-added, so you can both customize texture *and* not worry about the product spoiling. Effective skin care without artificial preservatives really can be that easy =-)

Be sure to check ‘em out right here: http://shop.justthegoods.net/?product_cat=facial-scrub

When to say yes, when to say no…

Hi everyone!!

Thanks so much for liking Just the Goods!! It means a great deal to me, and I want you to know that I really, super duper like you back *ha ha* I am grateful that you dig my efforts to realize honest and transparent “business” practices, and that you think my truly natural skin care products are pretty darned awesome, too. THANK YOU!!

I’m also grateful that you’re aware of my desire to do things differently, which includes resisting so many of the tendencies dominating the so-called “beauty” industry, and the profit-at-all-costs model of large corporations. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes, and I always want to tell you *ALL THE THINGS* because it never ceases to amaze me how other businesses function, especially in the fashion/beauty world, which is quite new to me. One of the reasons I don’t, however, is because tattling seems less effective than turning the other way and trying to do/be better. Another reason is that I don’t want to send out negative vibes.

With all that said, please know that I say *no* to a lot of things presented to me as growth opportunities because I feel they endorse negative body image/low self-esteem and sexism/racism/classism, while also propping up totally-NOT-safe skin care by proximity. Uncool, amiright? =-)

Soooooooooo… thank you for choosing Just the Goods for whatever your myriad of reasons. I think you’re awesome and I want you to know that I’ll always make choices that I feel reinforce just how much I respect you =-)

xo!
Milena

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Ps. Examples of things I say no to:

  • big retailers that do hurtful things
  • “advertorials”
  • brand management by companies that I don’t trust because of the other companies they work with
  • venture capital offers

If saying no to these things means JTG will be smaller, that’s okay cuz small can be nice, and honest, and true =-)

Josh and Andrea like Just the Goods’ Vegan Herbal Spa. They really, really do!

Whoo! This is so cool!! The fabulous folks at GoodReport.tv reviewed four types of bath salts available at Good Roots and had so many lovely things to say about Just the Goods’ Vegan Herbal Spa =-) Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw. Yes!! JTG *will* marry you!! *tee hee hee*

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Ordering from Montreal just got easier!

Are you interested in trying Just the Goods, but find yourself deterred by shipping costs? Do you need only one or two items, and aren’t in a rush to receive them? Try regional group ordering, now available to anyone living in Montreal!

montrealbanner2Order on-line and split the cost of shipping with others in your area — big boxes of vegan skincare awesomeness will ship to JTG’s Montreal rep one a month and be distributed for local pick up starting March 1, 2014. Click here for details!

Vegan Soap by Wild Releaf is Here!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having an awesome weekend =-)

As some of you already know, I’ve spent several months searching high and low for a line of vegan soaps that I not only love, but know I’ll be able to keep well stocked. Stage one of my search has ended! I’ve partnered with Liisa of Wild ReLeaf (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario) to offer six varieties of genuinely natural vegan soaps including: unscented, sandalwood, lavender, lemongrass and green tea, wild ravensara, and wild mint!!

Wild ReLeaf is made with saponified extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, castor oil and shea butter, so it is soy-free, palm-free and gluten-free. A range of botanticals, clays and herbs for colouring, and pure essential oils for scent provide gentle and inspiring variety. You won’t find any of the harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), propylene glycol, and/or artificial colours and fragrances found in conventional, mass produced products. So in short, it’s fabulous!

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I needed a wee break from production, so I just finished listing everything I have online, and I must say that the dreamy scents wafting from the box have me floating up to cloud nine! So softly delicious!!

As a last note, I’ve discovered that Liisa’s soaps can be used as shampoo, but those with short hair or uncomplicated styling needs will find the best results. I like the way the plain/unscented soap and the wild mint variety washed my scalp and hair when paired with Just the Goods‘ leave in conditioning spray… my curling iron just wasn’t as effective afterwards <=-). This means I’m still on the hunt for shampoo bars that I can keep well stocked, and I’ll keep you posted!

Click here to add these gems to your next order!

Back in the lab!

Hi everyone!

Great to see you again! I hope you enjoyed the past week =-) I missed you tremendously, but — since I realized I’d only taken 2 full days off work between October 15 – February 9 — I must also admit that it was good to take a break and recharge my batteries a bit =-)

I know I write this every time I’m back after a temporary lab closure, but I really am truly amazed by the number of orders than came in … seriously, this is a new record! THANK YOU!!!

I sneaked online for a few hours yesterday and responded to most of the questions that arrived while I was gone, and today I’m starting to input the orders so I can begin hand-making, packing and shipping as quickly as possible.  As usual, I’ll start by shipping orders consisting of in-stock items, then work to fill the most orders the fastest by arranging production to accommodate what has been requested by the most number of people. Overall, I’ve discovered this works better than working strictly chronologically, although that is an important consideration =-)

perfumesteamydreamySMALLER
As you might already know, I spent some time planning for the future of Just the Goods while I was away.  I look forward to sharing details about this in a few weeks… but orders come first so thank you kindly for your patience with me at this time =-) =-)

You’re all so awesome!! Thank you so much for making it possible to do this — I love working with you! =-)

xo!
Milena

Upcoming temporary lab closure: February 7 – 18, 2014

Hello everyone!

Please note that I have one more temporary lab closure coming up, and I promise it will be the last one for a while ;-)

In case you are curious, this absence will be part-work and part-vacation in that it will involve a good chunk of time dedicated to strategic planning. Those words seem so odd to me… they are a great deal more “business-y” than I ever thought I’d type! But, until I think of another phrase, it will have to do ;-)  This is all to say that when I started Just the Goods in 2009, it never occurred to me that it would evolve into something more than a part-time project to steer me away from the unfulfilling aspects of my career at the time. Fast-forward 4.5 years and, not only is Just the Goods my full-time occupation, but it is growing so quickly that I realize I must pause in order to figure out how to carry on in ways that are genuinely sustainable. I know I want to always make my products by hand, and I know I always want my products to be affordable, but I also know that I need to get a little more sleep than I have for the past 6 months *tee hee*.

All that aside, I’d like to share the following dates affecting orders placed during the month of February =-)

  • February 6: the last day to place orders for mailing on or before February 10 -or- for pick up at Point Douglas is for Lovers on February 8.
  • February 8: Just the Goods will be at Point Douglas is For Lovers to hang out with my amazing neighbours… join us!!  Please visit this link for details.
  • If your order is placed between February 7 – 9, and the items you’ve requested are already in stock, I will mail your order just before I leave for the airport on February 10. If what you’ve ordered is not in stock, I will handmake your selections and mail them on upon my return.
  • February 10 – 18: I will be away and have chosen not to access email during this time. I will look forward to responding to all messages as soon as I return =-)
  • February 19: First day back in the lab! All orders received February 7 – 18 will be handmade starting today and mailed as quickly as possible there after =-)

awaymessage Thanks so much! You’re awesome =-)

Point Douglas Is For Lovers – A North End Craft Sale

The Point Douglas Residents Committee & The North Point Douglas Women’s Centre Present

Point Douglas Is For Lovers – A North End Craft Sale

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Featuring Crafters, Artists, Bakers and all types of Creators!
There will be a wonderful silent auction featuring art by vendors, music, and a ton of love! Come and pick something up for that special someone or just treat yourself!

Saturday, February 8th, 2014 @ Grace Point Church
137 Euclid Ave.
Noon – 4pm
$1

Thanks to Graffiti Art Programming and Assiniboine Credit Union for their generous support.

Point Douglas Is For Lovers – A North End Craft Sale from Douglas Point on Vimeo…. so adorable! Click it!!!!

Upcoming Temporary Lab Closure: January 15 – January 22, 2014

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a fabulous week wherever in the world you may be =-)

I want to confirm that I’ll be away from the lab January 15 – January 22. Orders received by January 13 will be mailed on or before January 14. The last day for local pick up before I leave will be January 13, so to ensure I have what you’d like in stock, I’d love it if you could please place your order by Saturday morning =-) Any orders received between January 14 – January 22 will be handmade beginning January 23 and mailed as quickly as possible thereafter.

I will be checking email while I’m away and will do my best to answer any questions you might have during my absence. THANK YOU!!

LeapingBunnyCLR-MED
PS. The offer to help you save a little bit of money on shipping if you are in Quebec and/or Ontario still stands =-) This won’t help your parcels arrive quicker, but might reduce your postage rates by up to $2.00, depending on what you order. If you’d like to take advantage of this, please add a note to your order. Thanks!!

Ps. Ps. I’ve now formally licensed my use of the Leaping Bunny logo, so I thought I’d celebrate by letting this little cutie bounce around here a bit *tee hee*

Ps. Ps. Ps. I will be delivering more stock to Sew Dandee and Generation Green at The Forks on Tuesday January 14, so don’t forget you can always visit them, and/or Neechi Niche and/or Nature Doctors to pick up JTG locally =-) Thanks again! =-)