Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all our friends who made Marmalade Hills third year in business possible! Our family truly appreciates your input and support! And we wish you, from our family to yours, a Happy New Year! We hope it will bring you a sea of love, happiness, prosperity, and even more health to all of you and your loved ones.
Looking back at last three years in business I see how much Marmalade Hills have evolved from being just a hobby to a business! I see how much more advanced my recipes have become, how much more knowledgeable I have become about my ingredients and natural-way of living and all the benefits that come with it. I enjoyed every minute of doing what I love most and even though some days it gets tough to stay motivated and not giving up hope, it helps to know that there are people who enjoy what I do and who are also trying to be more conscious about our environment and our planet. We all have to contribute to the big change that we wish to see in the world! Let it be our main New Years resolution! Cheers!

Featured Product - Body Butter

It is always a battle for me to decide which product I should feature. I tried and love every single one, if I did not, I wouldn't be making it of course. As always I struggled this time as well but decided that it would make sense to talk about the winter essential product and it is hands down the Marmalade Hill's ultimate body butters. Our body butters are made from scratch starting with African Shea Butter as a base ingredient, extra virgin coconut oil, grape seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, tapioca powder and Vitamin E. Each ingredient has been selected due to its individual qualities. * African Shea Butter has been praised for centuries in Africa and is very well respected now for its ability to moisturize and nourish dry, damaged skin. It has been clinically shown to provide benefits from just dry skin to many minor dermatological diseases (if you have a serious skin condition, you should see a doctor). * Coconut Oil is the source of two of the most powerful anti-microbial agents found in any food substances. These are Capric Acid and Lauric Acid. They are the same acids that are found in mother’s milk and keep the baby protected from infections. When these are applied on skin, some microbes (good ones) present on skin convert these acids into Monocaprin and Monolaurin respectively, thereby replacing the protective acid layer on the skin. Finally, Coconut Oil is soothing on skin and highly penetrating. * Grape Seed Oil has the same antioxidants as green tea, black tea, berries, and red wine. These antioxidants are called procyanidolic oligomers (PCO’s), known for their health giving properties, and are more powerful than vitamin C and vitamin E. The Grape Seed Oil known for its ability to lock-in moisture, leaving your skin feeling more supple and smooth, and it does not leave a greasy feeling, which makes it ideal to use on all skin types. * Meadowfoam Seed Oil is an absolutely exquisite oil that provides a cornucopia of cosmetic uses. Containing over 98% long-chain fatty acids, this oil is a prized medium for applications which require a moisturizing and rejuvenating benefit for the skin and face. Meadowfoam Seed Oil is one of the most stable natural lipids known with extraordinary resistance to oxidation. * And the last but not least ingredient is a Vitamin E oil. The benefits of Vitamin E for the overall good health of individuals are substantial. In particular, Vitamin E is very important antioxidant, regulator of Vitamin A and an excellent anti-aging agent that makes skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. I find this a perfect combination of oils which makes our body butters extra fluffy, quickly absorbent, extra moisturizing and extremely nourishing to the skin. We call them "ultimate" because they fight dry and damaged skin with pure force of nature! Use them as an all over body deep moisturizer, stretch mark reducer, or sunburn soother. Choose from our 4 different scents: Lavender Silk, Tea Tree Blossom, Cranberry Fig and Coconut Lime. And remember very little goes a loooong way!

Check out previously featured products here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Third Fan Page Giveaway Winner

As always BIG thank you to our active fans for participating in our Third Giveaway! Now let’s find out who will be receiving a yummy treat this time! One person who has submitted her comments turned out to be not an MH fan, so I had to bump up our comment count by one. Here is what I came up with:, 2-Christine, 3- Michele K, 4-Mary Barris, 5-Loretta Sirota. And the winner is…

Michele K. with her vote for Cantaloupe Lily or Apricot Parfait. Michele please email me with your shipping info and don’t forget to include your scent choices!
Thank you everybody for participating! Your comments were very helpful and all mentioned scents will be included in our Spring line of products!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Third Fan Page Giveaway

We have been having regular Fan Page Giveaways every time Marmalade Hills acquires 30 new fans! Our third Fan Page giveaway is here! Anyone who is our fan onFacebook can enroll to win! This time winner will receive a set of Handcrafted Soap and Lip Balm of their choice!
There are a few rules: to enroll in this giveaway you must be Marmalade Hills’ fan on Facebook; you must be 18 years of age or older; you have to comment on this post and tell us which scents would you like to see in our Spring/Summer collection?. Here are your choices: 1-Big Apple; 2-Sweet Pea; 3-Honeysuckle; 4-Woodland Ferns; 5-Cantaloupe Lily; 6-Apricot Parfait; 7-Saffron Honey. If you are submitting your comment as anonymous you will need to leave your first name and last initial at the end of the comment. Giveaway will go on for one week, until 12-22-09, collecting comments from our fans. Only the ones who left comments will participate in giveaway. After one week I will use online Randomizer to choose a winner. Winner will be contacted via Facebook messaging about their shipping information.

Good Luck!

In case you missed it, results for our first and second Fan Page giveaway are here and here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Second Fan Page Giveaway Results

Big thank you to our active fans for participating in our Second Giveaway! I wish you all could win, but we will only have one winner tonight. As always I have numbered fans' comments as they were posted: 1-Mary Barris, 2-Monica, 3-Kess N and Crystal W, 4-Christine Wilson, 5-Donna Maria. Here we go... drum roll please (not the same without it)

Our winner is Monica! Congratulations Monica, you are getting your gift of choice: Zesty Cranberry Omega 3 Body Lotion! ENJOY!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wrapping Ideas Holiday Style

After one of our fans gave me an idea to divide our soy melts into a smaller size sets and give them away as Holiday gifts for teachers, I instantly knew how I would do it and here is how:
1. For this project you will need a set of Marmalade Hills’ pure soy melts set, sheet of scrap booking paper or cardstock, ruler, small plastic bags (I got my bags from a craft store in beading supplies aisle), scissors, pencil, stapler, and a gift tag of your choice. I have purchased my custom tags from Sarah. She can make you custom color tags with any text you like.
2. Try to predict the size of the paper panel you will need for your bag. My panel had to be 3” x 3”. Sketch it on paper and don’t forget to put a dividing line right in the middle to assist you in perfectly straight folding.
3. If you need a few of these panels just cut out the first one and trace copies of it right on paper, no need to measure anything multiple times.
4. Fold your panel in half helping yourself with a ruler by placing it right against the dividing line.
5. Put your plastic baggy between folds of the panel. Don’t forget to put your melts inside the bag first (it’s kind of important)!
6. Staple panel and baggy together and attach your tag to the front. Done.

As soon as I was done digesting soy melts wrapping idea, another one popped into my head. What if I shared with you how I wrap Marmalade Hills’ Soap Stack holiday style?! I love it because it reminds me of a big candy and if you can come up with a way to secure it on your Christmas tree you can turn it into a deliciously smelling ornament!

1. I usually take one tissue sheet and fold it in half. It is important for tissue to be in two layers, extra layer makes it more durable and prevents tears. Put your soap stack in the center of the sheet and fold one side of tissue on top of the stack.
2. Take another half of the tissue paper and put it on top of the first one and secure it with a piece of sticky tape. Make sure that the side with a sticky tape will go on the bottom of your final product.
3. Take two strings of paper raffia or any ribbon that you have handy and tie it in a bow on a distance of 1 ½” to 2” from the stack edges, this will ensure tissue not to be too close to the stack edges and not to tear. (I hope it makes sense)
4. Tie ribbons into bows, attach you tag and if you think that your edges are too floppy just neatly trim them off. Done.

And this is how our final product looks like!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Second Fan Page Giveaway

Our second Fan Page giveaway is here! Anyone who is our fan on Facebook can enroll to win any product from our shop! There are a few rules: to enroll in this giveaway you must be Marmalade Hills’ fan on Facebook; you must be 18 years of age or older; you have to comment on this post and tell us which product you would like to select as your prize and why. If you are submitting your comment as anonymous you will have to leave your first name and last initial at the end of the comment. You cannot choose sets as your possible prize, only one particular item. Giveaway will go on for one week, until 12-12-09, collecting comments from our fans. Only the ones who left comments will participate in giveaway. After one week I will use online Randomizer to choose a winner. Winner will be contacted via Facebook messaging about their shipping information.

Good Luck!

In case you missed it, results for our first Fan Page giveaway are here.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Elf Shelf Raffle

I have 22 email addresses in my sign up sheets. I will contact all the participants about the raffle once and those who have checked the box for receiving updates in the future, will be automatically signed up for our Newsletter. I have numbered all the participants as they were added to the list and here it is as follows:
1-Jenny M; 2-Amina G; 3-JoEllen G; 4-Chris W; 5-Ann W; 6-Annete O; 7-Wendy C; 8-Sue S, 9-Kevin M, 10-Andrea D, 11-Sue R, 12-Tanya A, 13-Nancy S, 14-Sherrill J, 15-Mary Ellen H, 16-Kathleen S, 17-Michele K, 18-Megan B, 19-Michael S, 20-Mary B, 21-Mali B, 22-Brittany L.
*In case of unclear handwriting of the email addresses, winner’s email notification may come back to my mailbox. In this case I will subtract that person from the list and random number for the winner will be regenerated.
The lucky winner will be getting our Omega 3 Body Lotion and One Bar of Soap.
And here it goes! Drum roll please…

Our lucky winner is Mary Ellen! Congratulations Mary Ellen! I can neither recollect who you are nor if you made a purchase that day, but I will gladly mail you your prize as soon as I have your shipping info! and don't forget to select your scents!

Thank you very much to everybody for stopping by at our booth last Saturday! If we could grab your attention among many other wonderful crafters, it means we are doing something right! Hope to see you in our shop and don’t forget to use your Free Shipping codes that some of you received at Elf Shelf.

Happy Holidays!

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Elf Shelf 2009

I finally came to my senses after the show. When I applied for this show I had no idea what to expect and I had no idea how big this show was. I just knew that I have to make progress every day and keep moving ahead. What a crazy time that was: taking care of kids, I gave up on cleaning the house, going to the studio to make products, cooking dinner, back to the studio to make more products… Last night before the show, we stayed up till 2:30am finishing labels and got up 3 ½ hrs later to go to the show. That day was really rough, but adrenalin kept me going and I think, I haven’t eaten all day that day, just coffee and water. Thank God I had my friend with me, who was helping me with everything. I am not sure if it is even possible to do shows on your own. Our booth was in the last room, so the foot traffic was kind of light compare to the two main rooms, in the early morning it even looked a bit empty. People started coming in at 9am sharp! We had our first sale 30 min or so after the opening. We burned and crashed with our first credit card order, it was a $40 purchase and the system was BUSY! Why does it always have to go this way? The lady was very nice and gave us a check and made another $30 purchase :) It was a good start and now looking back, we were pretty busy all day: meeting people, telling them about cold process method of making soaps, talking about benefits of using natural skincare products, making orders, refilling shelves with products, making customized gift sets and processing cards. We could hardly catch up on things, because it was a lot of people around our booth at all times and we tried to be helpful and attend to every stopper-by. There were many different people: some were just wondering around and stopped by just to get a chocolate, some went straight to soaps, and some were interested only in facial care. A few of my good friends stopped by to show us their support and make a purchase, it was very important to hear their words of encouragement. So after all, it was a great show with a big turn out of 1,600 guests and us making great sales! If this is how people shop when the economy is bad, then I can hardly wait to find out how they shop when the economy is good! We had 22 people sign up for the raffle which will be held tonight. The winner will get Omega 3 Body Lotion and one Soap of their choice.
Marmalade Hills will be back to Elf Shelf next Holiday season for sure, only bigger and better and in either of two main rooms! This show has taught me so many things and I cannot wait to improve my flaws next year. I will keep trying until I get it perfect!

I wanted to share with you some of the pictures from the show, please keep in mind that I had only 3 ½ hrs of sleep that night :) So have mercy!
Early Morning: setting up (next year I will have a huge banner behind my booth to cover up any ugly doors or walls)
Side View with soap rack, body mists and soy melts.
Display with raffle sign up sheet, my MICE poster and Specials Menu.

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