Today is Maker Monday (ok, every Monday is Maker Monday), and also Day 1 of the Indie Business Network 30-day blog challenge, so what perfect timing to talk about my history of loving to make stuff, and how I came to make natural skin care products full time.
I've been a maker since I was a child.
I used to hand-sew custom Barbie clothes, and I learned to knit and crochet at a young age (only to forget, and later learn again). I loved, and still love, anything crafty. Drawing, cross-stitching, macrame. Although I was too young for actual baking, I created a mud-pie bakery called Cakeland in my backyard. I wanted to try making anything and everything I could.
In my late single-digits to early teens, I was all about the friendship bracelet craze. I still remember all the stitches as if my hands had memories. In my later teens, sewing and beading became my favorite. I recently discovered these two patchwork skirts while cleaning out a closet. I made them when I was 19!
I've always known I wanted to make things for a living, though it took me a long time to figure out exactly what.
In my late teens, I made and sold patchwork hats and peyote stitched beaded wraps for dreads to a shop in Boston. In my early 20s I sold my handmade jewelry on the streets of Galway, Ireland. I worked as a barista for 10 years, enjoying the gratification of making creative coffee drinks. And, in the middle of that 10-year span, in my mid 20s, I started making Wunder Budder.
For several years I was distracted by traditional college and working, only making Wunder Budder part time. I didn't have the confidence I needed to make it a full-time business, but making skincare and aromatherapy blends was what I would turn to in times of high stress (which was pretty much constant as a full-time science-major adult student). Eventually, I realized that if making something was relieving my stress, I should be making that thing full time!
So, long story extremely short, I turned my favorite hobby into a full-time job.
It's not always easy, but it is always gratifying to make things, especially when people love what I make. The best days are when I get repeat customers, or a note from someone who had to tell me how much they loved a Wunder Budder they just used or how it made a difference in their life.
But really, every day I get to make something is the best day.
What are some things you like to make?
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I love aromatherapy inhalers.
If you've never heard of them, they are little lip balm-sized tubes with essential oils inside, and they are really cool.
They are my method of choice for using essential oils (for anything that doesn't require topical application). I started making them for myself over a decade ago, using metal refillable tubes with a salt chamber - I'd add the essential oils to the salt and the salt would help "disperse" them**. These were easy to refill, but messy and annoying to clean, so I would end up buying new ones for each blend I made.
I was using a particular blend to shorten a bad cold during a trying time (I was a full-time student, worked part-time, was planning my wedding, and trying to build Wunder Budder on the side - not an easy time for my body to fight illness), and found the blend so helpful that I had to share it...
It's a brand new year!
A time for a fresh start, "365 pages, 12 chapters"
(it's the new version of "new year, new me").
Personal growth is necessary to living our best lives. Making intentional positive changes, even small ones, is how we become better people.
So many of us make resolutions to change our lives, make ourselves better, create better lives for ourselves, but so few of us keep those resolutions. It's the running joke (we all know it!) about new year's resolutions. Making big changes is hard! We have the best intentions, but keeping resolutions doesn't always work out.
One of the reasons it's hard to keep our resolutions is that ...
Wunder Budder turns 9 on January 1, 2019!
Nine whole years in business (not even including the 8 part-time years before)! It's hard to believe it's been that long, because at the same time that I feel like I've done this my whole life, I also feel like I'm just getting started.
Over the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about the beginning of Wunder Budder, back from the first salve I made in 2001-2002, to getting my first business license in 2002, to the web of events that happened over the next eight years, all leading to today, Wunder Budder's official ninth birthday. I will save most of the nostalgia for our tenth anniversary (I'm already thinking about it!), but I have a few photos to share. Look at these baby Wunder Budders from 2006, a few years before what I even call our first birthday!
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