2019 started off with a bang for us. Right off the bat, we were told we were going to have to move to a new spot in the mall. With less than 2 weeks to complete the task, we worked day and night and moved to our new location in the Dillard’s wing of the Acadiana Mall. Our new spot is slightly larger than our previous location and we are enjoying the roominess and new displays that my husband and his friend built for the store. Although it has been an adjustment, we have gotten a lot of positive feedback from our customers.
During the craziness that was our 10 day store remodel, we had 30 goat kids born within a week at the farm. Yes, 3-0 goats! It was crazy! We had 5 babies that we needed to bottle feed, which meant we had them with us through part of the remodeling of the store. You should have seen the look on the faces of the people who got to see them. They were definitely a hit with the staff at the mall. Now, all of our babies are weaned from their mothers and some of them will be making their way to their new homes. Milking season is in full effect and we are putting milk up to make the products you love. We started off milking quite a few goats. Some of them are first time moms and never have been on a milk stand. It takes a little training and a bit of feed to get them used to the sounds in the dairy… the humming of the milking machine, the in and out of goats and kids, but they all did really well. We cut back to our top 8 milkers and they are being milked daily.
If you have been in the store lately, you may have noticed that the look of our men’s products are changing. We applied for a new trademark to separate our men’s line into its own entity. Our new men’s line is Cypress Point Grooming. You may notice some new scents and new products coming in under the new name as we are adding some great new products. Keep an eye out as we are working on packaging and products.
We are also conducting some pop-ups to test out new markets to bring our store to. I am currently in Lake Charles through Easter weekend testing out the Lake Prien Mall. The mall manager has been scouting us for about a year and a half, wanting us to come into this market. We have had quite a few of our customers come through and have been very excited to see us here.
We are currently working on a new storage building at the farm so we can have the room to support the amount of product we need to supply multiple stores. We have finished the 1st phase of the build and are excited to get it finished. Eventually, I would love to be able to host field trips where we can exhibit how we make the products and educate on the benefits of handcrafted soap and cosmetics. In the past, we hosted a few homeschool field trips out to the farm, and it was loads of fun for us as well as the participants.
I’m also looking forward to next month when I will be attending the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild’s annual conference. It is such an amazing experience for our handcrafted community as we are able to come together for learning and networking. This year, it is being held in Grapevine, Texas at the Gaylord-Texan resort. They have multiple experts in the handcrafted industry that teach classes. It is a time that I look forward to as it always makes me feel energized and renewed with fresh ideas. I can’t wait to share the experience while I am there, so stay tuned to Instagram and watch for my stories up at the top of your screen.
I’m excited about 2019 and the adventures we have had so far. We can’t wait to share all the excitement we are feeling as we expand and reach out to new markets.
We have been busy little elves here at Bain Amour both in the store and in the production shop. We have been working tirelessly getting ready for the official kick off of the holiday season. From new seasonal fizzy scents (available now on the website) to gift sets, we have been hard at work. I can't thank my team enough for all the hard work they have put in prepping for the holidays! It is definitely a team effort and we couldn't get it done without everyone doing their part. From our fizzy/bomb production team cranking out fizzies and bombs (Mindy and Deidre), to my production assistant, Hope, helping me get out all of the other products and pushing me on the days when my get up and go has got up and went, I am forever grateful. To my amazing store managers, Ashley and Jeanell, and our tight crew of associates: Chloe, Eboni, Randi, and Toni, who will be busting it out on Black Friday with me to make sure we take awesome care of all of our customers and provide excellent customer service each and every day; I can breathe a little easier knowing they can handle the pressure that comes with Black Friday in a retail store. I am truly blessed to have such an amazing team!
If you are going to be shopping with us via the website for Black Friday, we will have a special code to receive a discount on purchases of $30 or more. If you make a purchase of $30 or more, you will receive a 15% discount by using the code BF2018. You will also receive a free gift with purchase (while supplies last).
We want to thank each and every one of our customers for keeping our dream alive and shopping small! We appreciate you and are humbled by your support.
Summertime. While most are out taking their family vacations, we are gearing up for baling hay. This past weekend, with triple digit heat indices, we met up with a friend who had just finished baling some square bales. Just what we need for our goat herd. We piled up in the truck with the cattle trailer behind us and headed to Henderson. When we made it to the field, there were square bales on the ground, waiting for loading. My husband, Jon Paul, and my 3 oldest boys, Jean-Luc (11), Tristan (9), and Dylan (7) made a game plan and decided how they would man the trailer to get the hay loaded. Jean-Luc and Tristan would be in control of stacking, Dylan would move the bales to them in the trailer, and Jon Paul would pick up each bale in the field and throw them into the trailer. Hay bales are not light. They weigh around 60 lbs each, which is a little less than my boys weigh. They ended up loading 52 bales in the trailer, which is pretty impressive. I got the easy job of driving from one bale to the next with my trusty side kick, Ethan (4) telling me when to go and stop.
The real work begins tomorrow when we start cutting pastures for round bales of hay for the cows and goats to get them through the winter time. Bless my husband for sweating it out over the next couple of weeks to get the hay baled. It is tough farm work that a lot of people take for granted. Cutting and baling usually doesn’t start until close to lunch so the morning dew has a chance to dry off the grass. With the heat index being so high, I always worry about him drinking enough water and staying hydrated. It’s hot dusty work, but it’s nice to know we have the ability to feed our animals.
Yesterday, we were able to take a break from the heat in our new living room addition in our house. We’ve been living in a construction zone for a while now, and it is nice to finally start moving things in the new living area. We still have work to do, but we got the furniture moved in and my husband got the tv mounted above the fireplace for now. The boys enjoyed hanging out, watching movies, and eating ice cream during the heat of the day. I call that a great end to the weekend!
Good Sunday afternoon! On my quest to bring new blog material every week, I decided to try to keep the content fresh. It is pretty hard trying to come up with content that you will like. I decided that I would throw in some easy to make at home bath recipes. You may have most of the ingredients around your house. If not, don't fret, they can easily be found at your local grocery or health food store.
Today, we will make a simple bath salt recipe. For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
*carrier oil such as olive, coconut, grapeseed, or any other vegetable oil you have available
*essential oil or body safe fragrance oil
8 oz Epsom Salt
8 oz Sea Salt
1/2 tablespoon carrier oil
1/4 teaspoon essential or fragrance oil (if using essential oils such as peppermint, wintergreen, or other sensitizing essential oils, reduce the amount by half)
In a clean bowl, pour in measured out salts. It is important that you weigh the salts and not just use a 1 cup measuring cup as the fragrance load is calculated by weight. In a small glass container, combine the carrier oil and essential or fragrance oil and mix well. Add oil to salt and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk until completely combined. Place salts into an airtight container. If using essential oils, glass containers work best as essential oils can react with plastics and affect the stability of the plastic.
Place 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt into hot bath water. Soak for at least 20 minutes for full benefits.
While some recipes include the addition of food coloring, I do not. Food coloring is not safe for cosmetic uses and a bath salt is considered a cosmetic. Also, food coloring can stain not only the skin, but your bath tub.
You can add dried herbs like lavender buds, peppermint leaf, or chamomile for an enhanced experience.
Did you hear the news? We now have an activated charcoal goat milk soap! Activated charcoal boasts many benefits. It is being used in everything from toothpaste, to soap, to salves. It has many uses, which can be easily found on the interwebs. I chose to make an activated charcoal soap with some wonderful essential oils and incorporated the moisturizing power of goat milk. With olive oil, rice bran oil, cocoa butter, and more, the soap feels amazing on the skin. The essential oils I chose are tea tree, lavender, listea cubeba, and patchouli. I love using it as a facial soap, but it is perfect for any part of the body. The creaminess of the lather along with the moisturizing makes it a new favorite soap of mine.
The soap is now availble on our website and in store.
One year... In the grand scope of things, one year isn't a very long time, but when you open a store, it is a major milestone. This past year, we've had a lot of changes. It has been a huge learning experience for someone who doesn't have a retail background. It was by mere chance that I found this location at the mall and decided to take a chance on opening a storefront. From managing employees to keeping up with making product, it's been a challenge. It's been hard letting go of employees who have moved on to other things because we have a pretty tight crew that have been with us since the beginning. We are looking forward to new staff coming on soon and joining our adventure. We've been riding the tide through the ups and the downs and are starting to hit the smoother water. With a full year under our belts, we are able to better understand the sales trends and when we need to have a lot of extra product and staff in the store.
Now is the time that we, as handcrafters, have to start thinking about Christmas and getting soaps made so we have time to cure and wrap before the rush. With the store doing so well, we had to make a tough decision about shows this year. We decided that it was in the best interest of the store, our online store, and our retail partners (and our sanity) that we sit this year out and put all of the product that would be dedicated to shows into the holding area for Christmas time. We had a really tough time keeping up with demand last year and don't want to fall short again this year.
We really want to send out a huge thanks to everyone who has shopped with us over the past year. It has been so amazing to get such wonderful feedback and to be able to be a part of this amazing community. We can't wait to see what the future holds for the next year and are excited to be working behind the scenes on some new products we hope to introduce before the holidays!
Thank you so much for being a part of our adventure and allowing us to live our dream!
I'm a mom. I totally understand putting my own needs on the back burner for the rest of my family, my business, and my friends. There are never enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to do and someone or something is always pulling you in different directions. It's a never ending cycle. As time goes on, you notice an ache or pain, a sense of overwhelming exhaustion mentally and physically, or you notice that you are getting ill more often. It's so easy to overlook these clues, but eventually they catch up.
Self care is not a selfish thing. I know that indulging in a massage or pedicure feels totally selfish, but these small acts make such a huge impact on your mental and physical well being. Self care can be as simple as making a commitment to meditate 10 minutes a day or it can be as elaborate as taking a weekend spa trip. Whatever you do, take time to take care of you. You cannot be at your best potential when you are running on empty.
Massage therapy is personally my favorite self care regimen. I purposely carve out time every few weeks (or more often when I am having pain issues) to get a massage. Not only does massage help relax the body and relieve muscle aches, it also gives me a bit of a mental "reset". I am able to clear my mind and focus on allowing my body to heal.
Don't underestimate the power of a long, hot bath! A bath is my go-to for quick relaxation. I make the water extra hot, add in some bath salts, a bath bomb, light candles, and relax for about an hour. I wait until all my kids are in bed so I can have that time for myself. It makes a huge difference and I find I sleep so much better afterwards.
Whatever you choose, don't feel guilty. Your body and your mind will thank you for replenishing it.
What is your favorite self care ritual? I have recently started accupuncture and love it!
We are happy to announce that we are partnering with Maddie's Footprints, a local non profit, to donate 2% of our monthly sales for the remainder of 2018. Each month, we will be presenting a check to the organization. Maddie's Footprints works with local families suffering from infant loss. From stillbirths, to miscarriage, to infants up to 1 year of age, Maddie's is helping families both emotionally and financially cope with their tragedy. The work they do is amazing and we are honored to be able to help families in our community in their greatest time of need. Statistics show one in four pregnancies result in infant loss including stillbirth and miscarriage.
We appreciate you being a part of this. Every time you shop with us, you are supporting local families. Our first donation to Maddie's was in the amount of $755.
For more information about Maddie's Footprints, check out their website at www.maddiesfootprints.org.
We are now 2 months into being open at Acadiana Mall and it has been an amazing experience thus far. I've complied an awesome team for the store that love being there. We meet new customers and get to visit with a lot of our regulars every day. It is so amazing! We are definitely making a name for ourselves in the community. We hope you all are enjoying our products!
We are also in the process of preparing for the shows coming up in the fall. At the end of September, you can find us at Tinsel and Treasures in Lafayette. Mid October brings us to HollyDays at the River Center in Baton Rouge. Finally, November we will be making the trip back to Biloxi, Mississippi to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for Ron Meyer's Christmas City. We are in production mode, stocking up on all of your favorite products, so if you have a request, please send them my way and I will see if we can make it happen!
In the midst of it all, we are also getting the boys back in school mode. If you didn't know, we homeschool our boys, so we are starting a new routine since they are with me at the store part of the time. It's been an adjustment for them, but they are starting to get a better routine, and thanks to my mother-in-law, they do have days that they don't have to come to the store if my husband is at work.
In farm news, we added a few new animals to our herd. After a few loses of some of our goats, we ended up buying a couple of new goats and 2 dairy cows. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of a calf from one of our new dairy cows and can't wait to have some fresh cow's milk here on the farm! I look forward to making our own butter, having fresh cream, and milk for the boys to drink. All of the goat milk goes towards our products and we only milk them for a couple of months before drying them up for breeding season. If all of our girls took, we should start seeing new kids in November!
We truly appreciate each and every one of our customers. You are more than just customers to us, you are part of our family and part of our story! Thank you for your continued support!