Remember being a kid, and Trick-or-Treating in your neighborhood? Comparing costumes, yelling "Trick or Treat?" when the adults opened the door, singing "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat" when out of range of those same adults (you wanted to be nice - you needed candy!). At the end of the night, you'd go back home and compare candy with your friends or siblings, taking stock by dumping it all on the ground and organizing it into types, then piling it all back together.
Now imagine if you were that same child, but you couldn't eat that candy because you had an allergy to one of the ingredients frequently found in Halloween candy, or in other items produced by the same factories as the candy.
It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it would feel like it! You'd always feel like you were missing out.
Enter the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Launched in 2014, The Teal Pumpkin Project is a new (it started in 2014) food allergy awareness program centered around Halloween.
The basic idea is that in addition to Halloween candy (or instead of, if you choose), you offer non-candy items to Trick-or-Treaters. To show that you have non-candy items available as treats, you put a teal pumpkin on your porch, window, or other visible location. You may also choose to add your home to the map, so families of children with food allergies can plan ahead.
This way, even children who are not able to eat candy, or choose not to eat candy, still get Halloween loot!
Here are some suggestions of items to include:
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I'm taking part in an Instagram Challenge called March Meet the Maker. Joanne Hawker started this challenge in 2016, but I only heard of it this year and jumped in late, just a couple days ago. Joanne set up each day with a different prompt, and makers share photos and stories related to that prompt. Today's prompt is "design process", and since this is my favorite part of my job, I wanted to share more than an Instagram post would allow.
Each type of product I make has a slightly different design process, depending on whether it's a lip balm and I'm creating new scents, or it's an aromatherapy blend where the ingredients are therapeutic, or it's a limited edition body product that is completely new. But they all start the same - an idea. Usually followed by the question, "how can I make this scent with just natural ingredients?"
Two years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore, and I picked up a book on their bestsellers table. I liked the way the book looked and felt in my hands, and I made a split second decision to buy it just before they closed, completely unaware that what I felt was what the book was about - an item sparking joy in myself. The book was Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Though the KonMari Method is about following your heart, not necessarily your instincts, I'm so glad I picked up that book!
I love stuff. I love to collect things, especially old things. I love the memories they hold, the connections they remind me of, and the history they contain. I am comforted by always having useful things around in case I need them. It's rare I ever leave my house without a bag (although I do try to challenge myself sometimes).
Over the last couple of months, I've been joining new groups and meeting a lot of new people, especially other women in business. When asked what I do for work, I usually end up stumbling over my words a bit, unable to decide between a few different ways to answer.
I make lip balm is a good, basic answer but not the whole story.
I'm a herbalist* and aromatherapist and I make products is a better description of what I do, but it feels like I'm selling my brand short.
I own a small natural skincare and aromatherapy company is my favorite straightforward answer, but it's often met with questions like these:
"Like day creams and night creams?"
"Do you make under eye serums?"
"Do you have something for these wrinkles, haha?"