Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Artisan: Amy Bzdak (& More Holiday Cards!)

We are excited to announce a new addition to Greenjeans: all-natural soaps by local artisan Amy Bzdak. Amy uses a base of saponified palm oil and adds skin treats like cocoa butter and coconut oil. She gently scents them with essential oils of ginger (on the shelves now), grapefruit and wintergreen (curing in her kitchen right now and arriving here next week). Some shavings of orange peel add a nice texture. And I love her home-grown labeling! The approx. 6 oz. bars, (or "Oil Cakes" as she calls them) last a nice long time and are priced at $6 each. These soaps are great for every day use, and would make super stocking stuffers!

Amy's soaps join those by Fran Dunston (Leona Hurnice), another local soapmaker whose work we've had in the shop for over a year. Fran makes excellent glycerine soaps as well as delicious Lemongrass Body Wash and a super soft and non-greasy Unscented Moisturizer. Her Loofah Soap, which is a round glycerine soap with a slice of loofah suspended inside, has been particularly hard to keep in stock. Like Amy, Fran works out of her kitchen cooking up pure and wonderful soaps for you.

And we still have a few jars of 100% organic Facial Scrub made from white clay, ground almond and oatmeal, poppy seeds, and orange peel by Dag Shaw (Dag's House). (Yup, she's my little sister, and she works out of her kitchen, too.)
The full line of handmade, all-natural bath and body products at Greenjeans.

Amy wrote a nice bio of herself where she explains why she makes soaps by hand. I think all of our soap makers would agree with her point of view.

"To me, soap making seemed very basic and accessible. I was taking a lot of fine art classes and felt alienated from more purposeful and self-evident work. You would never have to explain why you make a bar of soap...

"Also, I do not like to propagate an industry that deliberately misleads its consumers. Many well known and supposedly upscale makers of beauty and personal products add unneeded chemicals to preserve the shelf life and give their products ridiculous amounts of lather.... Putting superfluous chemicals on your skin and scalp just seems insane to me, for your skin is the porous passageway to your veins and organs.

"I like being my own little cottage industry. Whether in a small town or big city, I can be found holed up at home trying to sustain a hands-on approach to life."

On a less sudsy note, the holiday cards keep comin' in. In total so far, we have received 281 cards by 20 artists, with more on the way! So if you're needing some nice greeting cards for the winter season (they're not all overtly "holiday" themed), consider buying one from Greenjeans and supporting a great cause. New arrivals are pictured below.

Amy Bzdak made these funky cards from vellum and handmade paper. Inside they say things like "I want to grow old with you." Awww!
Tim Johnson (photograph: "Winter Woods")

Tim Johnson (photograph: "Winter Window")

Tim Johnson (photograph: "Solstice Shadows")

Once again, thank you to all the artists participating in our Holiday Card Project, and thank you to all the customers who have purchased cards!

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