Sunday, November 28, 2010

Small Biz Saturday part 2

Unless you have been living in a cave, you have heard about Small Business Saturday. Dually sponsored by The 3/50 Project and American Express. (I wrote about it on November 11th.)

It was such a huge success that AMEX is now extending it to all AMEX card holders until December 31st!

To support small business this holiday season, American Express is extending the offer to give $25 back to Cardmembers who register & use their card at a small business ANY day through 12/31. Register now! All small businesses that accept Amex are automatically enrolled. For everyone else, whatever the form of payment, shop small!
  
Whatcha waiting for? You know AMEX has the best rewards program out there!

And again, a HUGE thank you to all of my amazing clients for participating and spending your holiday dollars at my online Spatique and with other small biz's around the country. We cannot thank you enough. Truly!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Friday - Monday Mashup, baby!

We all know the terms. Cyber Monday, Black Friday and now Small Business Saturday.
So, whether you're shopping storefronts, online or both, this is the weekend to get rollin', kids!

Mash them all up and receive 25% off of your online purchases at StormSister Spatique, as well as our Twin Cities personal delivery service for $5 (regularly $10-$20), this Friday thru Monday.
Minimum order is $50 to receive discount.
Enter MASHUP upon checkout.
Sale is for in-stock merchandise only and cannot be combined with other promotions.

Enjoy your holiday and travel safely.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sing it, Sister!

I was asked by my Crave Momma, Kathy Hanson, to read a Strib article about "buying local" and to let her know what I thought.

I didn't find it a terribly well-done article (I believe the online version is now different from the printed version as there has been much banter between Ms. Hanson and Mr. Alexander) but I am not a huge fan of the Star Tribune. I'm more of a Pioneer Press girl.

Below  is a copy, word-for-word, of the discussion between the two.
______________________________
Steve,

While I applaud your effort to educate consumers and/or business owners about shopping local with your article today I must tell you I am terribly disappointed in the lack of effort made to substantiate the facts and promote shopping local this holiday season.

You missed the mark on all counts if you were trying to help businesses, educate consumers or connect your readers (consumers) to local businesses. 

I don't have time to provide you with the links that are readily available but you did not talk to Cinda Baxter of Project 3/50- a HUGE resource and nonprofit founded here in the Twin Cities for the SOLE purpose of supporting shopping local. She has facts and figures galore that will definitely "prove" the benefits of shopping local. Any number of her data points are quantifiable and you can find them easily. The most common fact is that "about" .77 of every dollar spent stays in our communities when you shop local and "about" .47 stays in our communities when you shop big box. By stating that it's hard to prove the benefits of shopping you gave the reader an out and provided them with no incentive to shop local!  Multiplier effect is yadayadayada to an average reader. Dull stuff. Make it resonate! 

If your goal was to help businesses- you should have contacted any number of shopowners who have figured out how to use social media and the press and made it a point of focus in your article not a throwaway sentence in your last paragraph. There are several organizations, non profits, that are devoted to supporting local. You didn't mention any helpful organizations or groups that help build connections and educate floundering businesses in this recession. 

If your goal was to educate your readers- provide the list of local businesses that Metro IBA has on their website. Or go to any number of sources to find it yourself and post it. If it was in the business section and not intended for consumers- do you not think business owners shop over the holidays? 

Why didn't you mention all the benefits to buying all your holiday needs at local stores and NOT big box? Don't buy your kitchen supplies for Thanksgiving at Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel- shop Marie Dwyer's Cooks of Crocus Hill and support local! Her family is here, she pays taxes for schools and roads and hires local employees who also pay taxes! Why didn't you mention shopping the local bookstores that ARE viable, rather than mention the one that closed? Common Good Books is a member of Metro IBA and you didn't mention them. They are a rare breed and you got bogged down in taxation rather than give a solution! 

Your article did not energize me as a business person or a consumer to feel the responsibility to shop local this holiday season. It was boring and focused on businesses that are not top of mind this holiday season. Toys, gifts, stocking stuffers kitchen wares, clothing, restaurants are all destination spots this season and you gave nothing to the reader to help them make educated decisions on where to spend their money.  There are over 150 women owned local businesses that have been shouting SHOP LOCAL for years and years. Any number of them would have been happy to give you more exciting and helpful information. 

Look to American Express and what they are doing for Small Business Saturdays. amazing. 

If you truly want to do something purposeful with your writing you must provide the reader with resources and action items and a reason to shop and eat local. 

It was a fabulous opportunity to showcase what a localvore community we have and you missed the mark completely. 

Please reach out to the men and women of your community who have a "dog in the fight"  and ask questions and write articles that support our wonderful community and give your readers something to grab on to emotionally as well as physically. 

Thanks for your hard work and sorry for the candor but you got me fired up!

Kathy Hanson
 ____________________________________

Kathy:

We’re not here to convince people to shop local. We’re just writing about a group of people who think it’s important.

The amount of money that stays in the community isn’t clear-cut. A flier the Metro Independent Business Alliance handed out yesterday urged people not to use the standard comparison of how much money stays in the community -- 68 cents out of $1 if you shop locally versus 43 cents if you shop at national chain stores – because it’s not accurate.

To quote the filer “misleading information about the local premium has `gone viral,’ potentially undermining the credibility of all buy local campaigns and pro-indie organizations.”

I wish we had included the shop local website, www.buylocalmn.com.
 
Steve Alexander
______________________________________
Steve,

Fascinating that you don't see the need to support your local economy. "Convince"? How about present the facts and let the readers decide? It's not like I am asking you to endorse a political candidate!
Also interesting that as a reporter you did not contact any other source about the benefits of shopping local, but rather took Metro IBA's word for the misleading facts on taxes. 

If the Star Tribune is not here to educate consumers and readers about what is best for their local community- who is supposed to report on it then?

It's a fact that supporting independent businesses helps the local economy stay more viable while keeping our communities vibrant and unique.  By keeping the commerce within our neighborhoods and cities we also support all the entrepreneurs and their families who spend money within their own community, rather than send it out of state to some corporate executive with no vested interest. 

It's unfortunate you didn't write an article with a bigger and better purpose during this tough economy when so many little businesses are suffering. 

You really missed an opportunity to do some good.

Kathy
________________________

I love it when passion cannot be contained. Sing it, Sister!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In-fused Chocolate

Excerpt taken from Turby and John.

I already sort of  liked it before I tried it. I’m always up for dark chocolate since it’s loaded with antioxidants, and we all know that antioxidants neutralize free radicals. This chocolate bar has fancy ingredients like organic meals from raspberries and cranberries and organic oils from pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and raspberries. It’s also made with organic blueberries and organic lemon essential oil. You can definitely taste the lemon, but it’s just very subtle and very tasty.
Check out Intelligent Nutrients Innercalm In-fused Chocolate for yourself, and browse the rest of their products while you’re at it.
Read more about the benefits of dark chocolate, and how much you really need to get an antioxidant boost, in this neat Care2 article.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Green Beaute

Taken from the Ultimate Skincare & Beaute Report.

Looking for eco-friendly, cruelty-free hair care that is effective enough to cleanse yet gentle enough to for an oncology patient to use? Green Body Green Planet has created such a formula.  I must say, at first I was skeptical due to past experiences that left my hair clumpy and knotty.  As per the instructions, I wet my hair very well and worked the shampoo for Revitalizing into my mane with fingertips and hands, concentrating on the scalp.  Cautious to not over use the shampoo due to its high concentration of essential oils, I shampooed only once and rinsed well before moving into the second phase of this glorious experience-Revitalizing Conditioner!
Common conditions such as dandruff and eczema are no match for this uber natural proprietary blend of rosemary, ylang ylang and geranium essential oils.  Is your hair on the brink of massive chemical over-kill?
No problem!  Processed hair is effectively handled with care as Australian bush kakadu plum extract (the highest form of anti-oxidant found in nature) and certified Biodynamic Avocado Oil (a natural sunscreen), protects color and restores the strength of hair.  Perfect for traveling or for use at the gym, Revitalizing Shampoo may be used as a gentle facial and body wash!  
A unique bouquet of rosemary, ylang ylang and geranium essential oils not only deeply care for hair and skin, but satisfy the olfactory during the process!
Rosemary, Ylang Ylang, geranium essential oils and Australian bush kakadu plum extract come together to give over worked, over processed hair the special treatment that will strengthen and protect it.
My personal experience with this product was lovely!  It is the morning after and I love the softness and natural fragrance of my hair.  My scalp is calm, which is something that seemed to be missing for me for a while.  I would recommend this to anyone who just wants  an effective scalp treatment.  My color is brilliant and more defined.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Anti-Aging Beauty Tips for 40's & 50's

Taken from this article.

1. Stop Showering
Yes, that's right - stop getting squeaky clean! One of the hallmark signs of one's 40s is drier skin, which turns into wrinkled skin. While everyone knows to moisturize with face creams and body lotion, why not try to preserve the body's natural oils, too? Unless you are super sweaty or smelly, you probably don't need to shower every day. Baby wipes work wonders to keep your personal areas clean in between shower days. While you might freak out at first, give it a go for a week to see how your body adjusts. You will probably find, like many less-clean converts, that your body and hair looks so much better when you allow your natural oils to stay on your skin!

2. As you age, your skin gets thinner, showing blood vessels and making it fragile and weak. Again, over drying and lack of moisture adds to the thinning. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

3. Sink Your Teeth In
Want to know one of the weirdest things that age a person? It's not wrinkles, it's tooth color! Luckily, teeth whitening is one of the easiest things to do to improve your appearance.

4. Don't Forget Your Décolleté
What's décolleté you may ask? It's the beautiful area between your chin and your breasts, and experts say to show it off for as long as possible if you like, because your décolleté is often the last part of your body to 'go,' age-wise. To keep your décolleté looking darling, regularly exfoliate (2 times per week) Also, don't forget to moisturize this delicate area as well.

5. Stop Spots
Oh age spots, the pigmentation that is difficult to prevent and cover. If you're prone to pigmentation, it's really hard to eliminate age spots completely, especially in your fifties, but you can work a few miracles. It gradually evens skin tones, fading spots as well as scars. But you have to be diligent about using it frequently to see results, so don't slack off or your leopard won't change its spots!

6. Peel the Onion
Not satisfied with the results that moisturizing alone is giving your skin? Perhaps it's time to remove a layer or two of dead skin to see if there's something less damaged or wrinkled underneath! The good news is that there probably is!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Under Cover

Great video. Even I've been doing it wrong!

I love this tip. A lip brush is the trick? I know it's considered a "concealer" brush, but it's just a lip brush.
I've always used this compact as my cover up.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

LaunchHer

How jazzed am I to be included in the latest issue of LaunchHer!

LaunchHER provides the boost that women owned brands need by featuring new and fresh companies as well as providing professional public relations, branding, business development and positioning tools to start-ups.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rollers

When Wyndmere sent me a sample of each of these Roll-Ons to try, they were a big hit with me as well as with friends and family.

The highest quality essential oils mixed with a jojoba carrier oil in a blue glass bottle (protects oil from light), with a handy-dandy roller-ball. Makes for very easy application.

I apply mine to temples, back of neck or bottoms of feet. The rolling motion against the skin is very soothing.

Peppermint is one of my favorite oils as it is very effective for headaches.

The reason I apply to the bottoms of the feet are: The pores on the bottom of the feet are large, the skin is less sensitive and the feet have many nerve endings and reflex points.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Nail Salons Are Feeling Green

Positive change is happening in the world of a manicurist.

One major step would be to incorporate this polish remover in their routine.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cool Swag

There's a new kid in town. Swag 52. And, I'm very excited. Stay tuned!

Step into the world of SWAG52. This is the only place in town to find the best products at the best prices. Every week, one of our contributors will star in a video showcasing a luxury retailer who is sharing special pricing with SWAG52.  Watch the video, buy a product voucher or SWAG52 certificate and find yourself sporting the latest designer trends, traveling with the best gadgets, or crossing off those elusive holiday gifts at significantly reduced prices.  With featured items you'll never find at regular discounts, SWAG52 provides affordable extravagance for the serious shopper.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Free Shipping Day

Free Shipping DayMark your calendars for 12.17.10

When shopping on the StormSister Spatique website on the 17th, enter this code upon checkout: FREESHIP

All of these retailers are offering complimentary shipping as well.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Make it a NONTOXIQUE Holiday!

Available November 20th-30th.
 
Please enter this code when shopping on my site: SISTER1

We're talking the only true eco-luxe care for the hands, feet & nails that everyones talking about.

Please enter this code when shopping on my site: SISTER2

Give gifts of NONTOXIQUE this year and let others envy how beauty-savvy you are.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Small Biz Saturday by AMEX

 

I just love how AMEX continues to support the small business owner! 

Make the most of the first-ever Small Business SaturdaySM, November 27, 2010. A day to come together in support of small businesses. The businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and local economies.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

White Apricot

NONTOXIQUE's Parfait Ten™ Cuticle & Nail Balm featured on White Apricot.

BEAUTY TIP
Helping Hands the Nontoxique Way
Ragged cuticles, brittle, peeling nails, rough skin — old man winter is blowing in and taking a toll on our hands and nails. Rather than hide them in gloves, mittens and pockets, we have become addicted to Nontoxique’s Parfait Ten™ Cuticle and Nail Balm. Like a miracle in a jar, this rich, nourishing cream transformed our “man hands,” removing any traces of rough edges. Each application dispenses vital nutrients from avocado to kiwi and myrrh, while leaving behind a thin veil of protection that prevents nails from absorbing harmful excess water.
Developed by a manicurist with more than 13 years in the industry, the entire line of Nontoxique products is based on the same principles as skin care for the face. All we know is, since we became addicted to the balm, our hands and feet are perfect tens! 

Receive 25% off NONTOXIQUE Cuticle and Nail Balm, today through Saturday, when shopping online at StormSister Spatique. Enter: WHITEAPRICOT upon checkout.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Beauty Pain?

Brazilian Blowout is still the topic of conversation.
This is a letter I just received from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

There is a saying, “beauty is pain,” which we at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics never much cared for. After a hair salon worker complained about bloody noses and breathing problems after using "formaldehyde free" Brazilian Blowout, Oregon OSHA tested the product and discovered it's up to 10 percent formaldehyde. The search for miraculously smooth hair should not cause acute pain or long-term health problems.

Because formaldehyde is a nasty chemical linked to cancer and allergies, the governments of Canada and Ireland issued recalls of Brazilian Blowout in the last few weeks, after their own tests confirmed its presence.

But guess what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has done? Nothing.

This is unacceptable. The high levels of formaldehyde in Brazilian Blowout pose a serious threat to salon workers giving the treatment on a daily basis, and are dangerous for customers, too.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent a letter to the FDA asking for immediate action, and now the agency needs to hear from you.

Please join us in asking the FDA to issue a voluntary recall of Brazilian Blowout products!

Even if you've never gotten a Brazilian Blowout treatment, this issue shows that we need a real change in the beauty industry. Under current law, it's perfectly legal for a product to contain carcinogens and other harmful chemicals, and the FDA doesn't have the power to issue a mandatory recall of any cosmetics. That's why the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is working to pass the Safe Cosmetics Act – a law that will close the loopholes and protect our health.

But right now, we need to get formaldehyde out of salons ASAP: Ask the FDA to issue a voluntary recall of Brazilian Blowout.

Sincerely,
Jamie, Cassidy, Mia, Lisa, Stacy, Marisa and all of us at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Candy Bars

Local bath company, Blissful Bath, has come out with some new bath goodies:
Bath Candy, Scrub-A-Licious Bars and Bath Soaks.  And what were once shower steamers are now called Shower Vapours, with a couple of new essential oil blends in the mix.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Boutique II

When: Friday, November 12th 6:00 - 9:00 P.M.

Where: Meegan Butler’s House
703 Ottawa Avenue 651-248-5657

StormSister Spatique will be rockin' some new product!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Holiday Boutique

I've been invited to showcase my products at a holiday boutique in Stacy, MN on Saturday, November 13th. If you live in that area or are looking for something fun to do that day, please stop in.

I'll be showcasing some fun new bath and shower care items from a local vendor that day.
There will also be prize drawings every 1/2 hour or so!

Time: 2-6 PM

Here is the address: 6081 - 242nd Ave. NE
Stacy, MN 55079
Please call 651 235 3942 if you have any questions.

Bring your friends and I'll see ya there!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Small Boxes

I just love what Cinda and her 3/50 Project are doing.

Rather than hit the big boxes in search of gifts this year, whaddaya say we pop into the neighborhood shops and boutiques first? After all, they pump the greatest percentage of revenue back into the neighborhoods we live (and celebrate) in.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Great Unwashed

This is a fascinating article.
Though I do agree with the concept of this piece, there are deodorants that are available that don't contain any controversial ingredients.  
Essential oils are also great to deodorize and kill bacteria without drying out the skin.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Maiden Minnesota

Maiden Minnesota is this week. Yay!

Two of my favorite brands will be there, Greenbody Greenplanet 
and  Irely by SaireyG. I am so proud of these two women and their wonderful brands and am honored to call them my friends.

Here is some video from Twin Cities Live about the event.

Do you have your tickets yet?

I'm certainly going to have my product there next year!