Introducing Twenty Paws Rescue: Our New Charity Organization

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Frank and I had been thinking about adding a dog to our family for a long time.  We were waiting for the right moment…pun intended.  When we first got married, we lived in an apartment that wouldn’t allow pets, so it was out of our hands. But when we finally bought our house this past August, it was only a matter of time.

I admit I was hesitant at first. I LOVE dogs. I’ve raised two dogs in my life: Rocky, a lab-beagle mix, and Daisy a pit bull mix, but I was living with my parents and completely aware of how much help they offered. Dogs need tons of love and attention and working two full-time jobs and one part-time job, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to give enough of myself.

And then there was Lucy.

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Frank and I saw this little “pocket pittie” (as she was described by Twenty Paws Rescue) and fell in love. Her bio read she was good with other dogs and kids, perfect for us since we have a niece and nephew, and tons of other dogs in our neighborhood. We put our application in, and after a rigorous interview by Rachel and her team at Twenty Paws, we drove to the Upper East Side of Manhattan on May 6th to pick up our Lucy, who had traveled all the way from North Carolina.

After a visit to our vet, we learned that little Lucy, who is only two (and shares the same birthday as our niece…which is also our dating anniversary, April 17th), was used for breeding purposes. She had also suffered from Lyme Disease (cured now). This poor baby had been through so much.

Now coming into our fourth week with Lucy, she is vibrant, alive, and not a pocket pittie anymore, but very much a full, healthy girl at around 58 pounds.

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Lucy loves her walks! We take her on three a day and hire Wag to take her on a fourth while we’re at work.   (Disclosure: Click the link for Wag to get a free week of walks for your dog and a free week of walks for Lucy!)

So, after many conversations, we decided that it would be most beneficial for pups to make our priority charity Twenty Paws Rescue, a not-for-profit Brooklyn-based charity focused on emptying shelters and saving dogs. We loved our time with Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue and hope all of our donations have served them well, but we are moving forward to help rescue the dogs now.

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A portion of all of your purchases from here on in will be donated to Twenty Paws Rescue and we are so excited to begin this new partnership in honor of all the good they do for dogs, and in honor of our Lucy.

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When You Need a Moment to Step Away

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I haven’t blogged in two weeks. I haven’t made soap in over a month. I only stepped into my lab twice in the last two weeks. I haven’t even logged into my business social media accounts to maintain them. The normal joy I feel from crafting was, strangely, just non-existent. Luckily, since the business is mine to run, I can choose when I want to work and when I don’t, but because the business is almost solely my responsibility, if I choose not to work, my sales plummet.

I try to be open about my anxiety and clinical depression. But we all know there is still a stigma and shame to those of us who suffer from depression – why can’t we just “snap out of it” or “get over it.” Believe me, and I think I can speak for most of us, I wish it were that simple. My whole business was born from my depression; my needing a moment to step away. To take me down from a panic attack, I would light candles of fragrances that would remind me of happier moments in my life….like my wedding cake.  So I started making my own, and the rest is history.

But this blog isn’t about my depression, per se; it’s about recognizing when you need to walk away from things. It became obvious to me that I needed to walk away from my business and concentrate on different moments of my life when we adopted our rescue pup, Lucy. What started as a rushed chore to get home and take her out for a walk became my half an hour of peace. It was just me, Lucy, and the pavement. I didn’t have to worry about posting the right thing, or finishing something up, or some order; I had the perfect reason to put all of it aside and just be present with Lucy.

I’ve been torn about my feelings because I love my business and I’ve worked incredibly hard to grow it, but I couldn’t ignore my visceral reactions of flooding tears, overwhelming trembles, constant migraines, and persistent illness. Walking with Lucy, I felt a little freer, a little less trapped to my home office, a little riskier with my money. I specifically remember thinking that “I can’t be buried in my money, so they can bury me in debt” as I was walking. I felt like Atlas on a coffee break – alive, weightless, impermanent.

Unfortunately, this need to let go doesn’t always work so easily. For example, my day job as a teacher wouldn’t just let me walk out because I didn’t feel like it that day. So, we persevere and continue to push ourselves beyond breaking points causing irreparable damage.  I started to feel damaged…like the sunken hole I was in had gotten so deep I couldn’t pull myself out of it. If I didn’t act in my favor soon, I would have crashed and burned. Lucy was a big proponent to this since I could not longer hide behind my screen all day.   I had to make a choice, and I chose me.

I always preach that people should just learn to say “no,” and yet I always find myself in the corner of an obligated yes. I do believe that true friends will understand whatever you go through, but that can only go so far when all you want is to say no all the time. You can’t be depressed and a good friend.

The real trick is to listen to yourself before it gets to the point where you want to run and hide from all things in existence. Do things for yourself everyday. Light a candle, take a bath, go for a walk with your Lucy. I wish I would have listened to my signs before I felt broken.

Will I turn glittery with this soap? Addressing Customer Questions!

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Whenever we craft and create products, we do our best to predict customer questions and concerns. We try to anticipate how the product will be received, which is why we offer a comprehensive FAQ page, an ingredients page, and a product care page.

Even with all of the information we offer, including on our blog and product descriptions, we still get questions from customers. We’re so happy when you contact us with your questions because it makes us better makers, providers, and allows us to offer service that is specific for you. Most of the questions we receive are in person at our shows, but we also get them via email and our social media accounts.

Some of the questions we receive are a little obscure, which is why we don’t just update our FAQ pages, but we thought it would be a lot of fun to share them (and answer them) here!

  1. Will the glitter on your soap turn me glittery or make me sparkle?
    1. No, we use cosmetic grade and biodegradable glitter solely for the aesthetic purpose of the soap itself. It will not adhere to your body….or make you a unicorn.
    2. *Side note – We use this same glitter (sometimes) in our bath bombs. This may get stuck to your bath tub, but it is easily rinsed off with water and a cloth.
  2. Will your soap wash off blood?
    1. To be completely honest, the context of how this question was asked freaked us out… A LOT, nonetheless, if the blood is on the body (such as a cut or scratch), then yes, our soap is no different than any other body soap in that it will wash off the blood. If this question was referring to fabric, then the answer is no. You would need a special blood enzyme stain remover for fabric. Just for the sake of precaution – our soap does not claim to stop bleeding or act as first aid equipment. 
  3. Will your products cure my eczema/acne/psoriasis?
    1. As much as we would love to boast that our products could do everything, maybe even your laundry, the reality is that our products are solely created for cosmetic purposes – to make you look younger and more beautiful than you already are.
  4. Is your soap made with lye?
    1. Yes, our soap is made with lye. It’s as simple as this: no lye, no soap. (FYI – Lye is the common name for sodium hydroxide.)
  5. Why did my bath bomb fizzle all out in my tub?
    1. Bath bombs are created as a one-time-use-only bathtub treat. Some people have broken the bombs to get multiple uses from them, but the bath bombs will not perform in the way they were intended to if they are broken.
  6. I’ve left my scrub open in the shower and now it smells weird/looks weird?
    1. While we use enough preservative in our oil-based scrubs to anticipate some water contamination (like wet fingers dipping in to grab more lovely scrub), you can never, ever leave any products open for water contamination. Where there’s water, there’s mold, mildew, and bacteria.
  7. I want to stretch my product, can’t I just add water and/or more oils?
    1. No, no, and please NO. Not only are you risking some serious contamination, you are messing with delicate chemistry and formulations. Unless you know the actual percentages and properties of everything inside of a product, you don’t take it upon yourself to change it. Think of it this way – if you’re making cookies and you’re out of eggs, do you just add more water?
  8. I only use liquid soap; I don’t buy bar soap because it’s dirty.
    1. Well, we actually wrote a whole blog entry about this, but in short – you’re way dirtier than your bar soap will ever be, unless you store it in the dumpster.
  9. Are your products natural?
    1. Ah, the famous natural question. The answer is yes and no. Did we pick our bar soaps and candles off of our magical bath and body bushes, nope; did we use ingredients derived from nature, yup; were those ingredients synthesized and decontaminated through various scientific methods, yup; do we use harsh surfactants, detergents, phthalates, or formaldehyde, nope. In short, NATURE + CHEMISTRY = BEAUTIFULLY SAFE.
  10. Do you have anything made with milk, beeswax, or honey?
    1. No. We are a vegan company who only uses botanical (plant-based) ingredients. The closest we get to breaking that law is the use of palm oil (from palm trees); however, we only use RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which is responsibly sourced palm oil. [More about why some people don’t consider Palm Oil vegan here.] Milk, Beeswax, and Honey are all animal-derived ingredients, which is why they do not fit our criteria.
  11. Can’t I just melt my own wax and crayons to make my own candles?
    1. We encourage anyone who wants to be a maker to be a maker; however, anyone who plans on selling their products needs to do an incredible amount of product testing first. You can try whatever you please, but FYI on the DIY – crayons are created to be flame-retardant, so they will drown your wick.
  12. Do you have a shop on Etsy?
    1. No, we do not sell our products on Etsy or Amazon at this time. All of our products are sold directly to consumer from us through our website or at one of our tradeshows. We do not plan on joining Etsy or Amazon in the future. Our future plans consist on having independent sales representatives.
  13. How come you don’t have more candle scents/soap scents, etc.?
    1. Putting a product on the market is a lot more work than “Ok, I’m going to put this on the market today.” We have to buy fragrances/ingredients to make product, ensure it goes through complete testing, if it passes – then buy packaging and labels, pay a photographer, store the inventory, and then hope it is successful on the market. This process can take months. We’ve significantly narrowed our product line to ensure the products are successful and attributed to our vision and branding.

Do you have any other questions for us that we have not addressed? Email us at info@scentsthemoment.com and ask us!