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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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!

 

What Happens to Your Dollar After You Purchase From Us

What Happens to Your Dollar After You Purchase From Us

Your money is incredibly important. Not as important as your health, happiness, family, or friends, of course, but it’s up there. We get that.  It means you worked hard to earn it and you chose our products to spend it on. It’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly. So when you make a purchase from us, we understand what that means.

We want you to take a trip with your dollar from the moment you spend it with us. It has many possible paths, and often divided amongst the crowd, but we want you to know where your money is going and what that means to us.

In no particular order, this is where your money travels:

  • To rescuing animals. Our mission and passion have always been living a cruelty-free lifestyle, but we like to put our money where our mouth is, and we support animal rescue organizations. So, your dollar could be feeding or fostering your future furry family member right now!
  • To the government. We pay for certifications and licenses to ensure our business practice is legal, safe, and following protocol. We also pay our taxes!
  • To our insurance. We want to make sure you always feel safe and secure (and we want to feel safe and secure) so we carry liability insurance.
  • To our lawyers. We’re always trying to do the right thing in the right way and that costs mucho moola.
  • To our photographer. We like to pay for pretty product photography because we’re not very good at it. We don’t mind – our photographer, Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios – is another small business owner in New York, and we like to support local business.
  • To our suppliers of raw materials. We’re very careful about our suppliers to ensure we stay compliant with our Leaping Bunny certification, so we choose only the most reputable suppliers with the highest-quality ingredients available.
  • To Kristen’s classroom. I’m a teacher by day and I often need some extra supplies to make my classroom fun and functional. I use extra spending money from our business to fund my class ideas.
  • To research and development. We test all of our products and formulations profusely before putting it to market, and buying supplies for that can get quite costly.
  • To fund free shipping. We’re proud to offer free shipping on orders over $49, and we use our profits to pay for that shipping.
  • To book vendor events. Maybe we event met you from one of our vendor events? Getting out there and into the community is so important to us. We get to know who you are, what your needs are, and what you care about.
  • To pay for our website. Our website costs include a monthly fee as well as a per-transaction fee. To keep everything functioning, we need to pay the web company. We also occasionally pay for some design help through Dean Pagliaro of eCommerceDean – another local small business!
  • To pay for our first home. We purchased our first home in August 2016 and we’re so thankful for your support which helped us get there. We’re now able to have a dedicated lab and office to run our business right from our home.
  • To community fundraisers. We often donate funds or goods for local schools or not-for-profit organizations looking to fundraise for their cause.

When you make a purchase from us, your dollars travel far and wide, and often right back into your goods and your community.

Thank you for being our customers!

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Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

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When I opened up my little online shop just 18 short months ago, I never imagined what we would grow into. What began as a hobby and a dream sparked into a full-time business. With no background in business, I studied and learned from the entrepreneurs before me and combined with a will and drive to succeed, I turned Bath Body Candle Moments into a local brand.

Running a business, especially from the ground up, without any knowledge base, is incredibly challenging. I went through some major pitfalls. Yes, I lost money and time, but I gained knowledge and wisdom by listening. Instead of quitting, I chose to evolve.

 

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CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE SITE

 

I could never have received the honor of Artisan Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 without these major shifts:

  • Studying from brilliant entrepreneurs who offered meaningful, insightful, invaluable feedback – Donna Marie Johnson of Indie Business Network
  • Investing in a website designer who was knowledgeable and a visionary – Dean Pagliaro of eCommerceDean.
  • Investing in product photography with a talented photographer with an eye for branding – Bryan Maes of Inspiration Studios.
  • Being coachable and learning how to blog – Donna DeRosa of Donna DeRosa Coaching

Above all, I am humbled by my customers. My customers who not only show me such love and gratitude but who go above and beyond by sharing my products and sharing our story.

The categories I was honored in are: artisan products, community engagement and customer service, inspired storytelling, and website user experience.

I chose to make the products we offer because I know the value of the little moments of living add up to a life – a life worth living. I knew I could make something that would benefit and save the lives of animals instead of testing on them or using them as experiments. I learned how blogging about our business and offering up my knowledge to the world could help make someone else’s life better. What I didn’t realize was how many of you were watching and listening.

There are no better words to show my gratitude for your vote of confidence than simply thank you.

Thank you for believing in me, in my vision, in my artwork. Thank you for sharing in my mistakes, celebrating my joys, and sticking with me through it all. Thank you for your dedication to a cruelty-free and empty-shelter world. Thank you for giving me purpose. 

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Women in Business

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This past weekend, I hosted a pop-up that included my business, Bath Body Candle Moments, as well as LuLaRoe with my friend Jenn Rivera, and Origami Owl with my friend Sandra D’Auria.  We met on the Vine Vendor Network; a group I created about a year ago to help local small businesses connect and collaborate with one another.

During this pop-up Valentine’s Shopping Social, some of my best local customers stopped by to shop with me, but they were also introduced to Jenn’s and Sandra’s businesses. We built a relationship with each other’s clientele which aided in growing our own.

I never imagined how much fun I would have doing a small show. We laughed all day long, taking photos, trying each other’s products; it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

 

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Kristen, Sandra, Jenn

What made the whole experience so much greater was how business brought us together. We’re three women, each will full-time day jobs, but each with full-time entrepreneurial ventures, as well. We each complement each other’s business because we share the same core values: Collaborate, Inspire, Empower, Achieve.

“Women in Business” means so much to me these days. It means we can and we do. It means stepping outside of the expectation that we only have the ability to emotional. It means stomping on the stereotype that we only look to cut each other down. When women support one another in business, we’re unstoppable.

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Thinning the Line: What Products Will Not Be Staying in 2017

It’s a new year and the time to take a second look at our product offerings to see what would best serve our customers and our business vision.

We have studied market trends, listened to our customers, and have decided to retire some of our products. We know we can provide much better service if we focus on fewer offerings.

We wanted to let you know that after February 14, 2017, the following products will no longer be available:

1. Confidence Face & Body Butter

2. Fresh Facial Toner

3. Room Aromatherapy Sprays (not Rest Easy)

4. Gift sets

We are thinking about possibly eliminating our scrubs, as well, but would love to hear your feedback, first.

While we are eliminating many products, we are also adding new products to our line to see how much you, our customers, love them. We will be testing out our market with Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder and Deodorant. 

Our goal is truly to  limit our line, and while we’ve been in business for a year and a half, we’re still understanding how best to serve our market. 
We would love to hear your feedback!​ 

Reducing Waste: Our Sustainable Commitment

Reducing Waste: Our Sustainable Commitment

At Bath, Body, Candle Moments, our love for Mother Earth expands far beyond animals. We spent 2016 collaborating and working with cruelty-free, humanitarian, and animal rescue organizations, and in 2017, we will expand our commitment to the environment through sustainable shipping, Million Trees NYC, and re-purposing our materials.

Our first commitment will be towards sustainable shipping methods. We currently only use recycled and re-purposed boxes, but we’re ready to take it a step further. We plan on re-purposing all bubble wrap and air-bubble packaging, and moving towards biodegradable packing peanuts.  We love the idea of these packing peanuts because they will actually disintegrate naturally instead of taking up landfill space!

As a company born-and-bred in New York City, we have a special love for our town and want to give back to it through urban arbor development, which is why we have decided to run special promotions throughout 2017 to support Million Trees NYC. To off-set our carbon footprint, we will pick several days throughout the year to donate 50% of sales from that day to planting new trees in New York City! We’re so excited about this project, we’re making our first Million Trees day on Friday, December 16, 2016! So half of every purchase will be donated to planting trees in New York! (Shop now to save trees.)

Re-purposing our materials will take a little bit of work from us, and a little bit of work from our eco-conscious customers. The first re-purposing are our candle jars. Our candle jars are actually American-made Libbey 11oz glasses, so when you’re candle is finished, all you need to do is clean out the wax, scrape out the wick, run it through the dishwasher, and it becomes a drinking glass! (Just make sure you really clean it out well.) These glasses also make the perfect pot for lucky bamboo plants! The current bottles and jars we use for our scrubs, butters, and sprays are all recyclable, so when you’ve finished your product, you can feel good about putting it in the recycling bin, or you can find a fun way to re-purpose the jar. For example, our scrub jars, once you clean them out, can be used to store small materials like paper-clips, pins, or change. You can take a couple of seeds with a paper towel soaked in water and turn it into a small plant pot!

The little steps we all take

Our commitment to our natural environment is real and personal. We are all citizens of Earth and we all have a responsibility to give back. With our company, you’re not just spoiling yourself, you’re making a difference: Making the world a little better and more beautiful – one step at a time.

Our Company in the Press and Media

Our Company in the Press and Media

We’ve been incredibly busy lately, and we’re so thankful for it! We would love to share how our business has been featured, especially with a focus on shopping small and shopping locally. Here are just a few articles that not only highlight Bath, Body, Candle Moments, but some other amazing small businesses!

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SHOPPERS SUPPORTING SMALL LOCAL BUSINESS, FEATURED ON SILIVE.COM AND THE STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE

 

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TEN UNIQUE GIFTS TO FIND ON STATEN ISLAND, AS FEATURED ON SILIVE AND THE STATEN ISLAND ADVANCE
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THE OFFICIAL 2016 STOCKING STUFFER GIFT GUIDE AS FEATURED ON EYE-OPENER TV
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SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY AND HOW IT IMPACTS YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY AS FEATURED ON QUICKENLOANS.COM

Thank you so much for making our business such a success! If you ever find us in the press, Instagram it with hashtag #scentsthemoment and tag us @bathbodycandlemoments and you could win a prize!

 

 

 

 

Shop Small Saturday 2016 – Our Favorite Indie Brands!

Shop Small Saturday 2016 - Our Favorite Indie Brands!

Shop Small Saturday is a huge initiative started by American Express back in 2010. With over 65% of jobs in America derived from small businesses, and over 220,000 small business in New York City alone, you can see why it’s so important to keep your local economy supported.

As a small business, we work hard to purchase all of our supplies from other small businesses as well as support other indie brands and makers. After you fill up your cart on our website for Shop Small Saturday (and earn a free gift with your $100 purchase), we want you to check out some of our other favorite brands!  (In no particular order…)

 

Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum
Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum
Butter Angels Lip Moisturizer

 

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Scrubz Body Oilz Shea Butter & Botanical Oil Lotion

 

Hazel Daze Boutique Lock & Key Necklace
Jackie’s Origami Owl Large Silver Locket
Create Energy: Caffeine Molecule Mug
Handcrafted Honeybee Create Energy Caffeine Molecule Mug
Beansie Cakes Bakery
Noelle’s Touchstone Jewelry Black Ice Bracelet
Fast-Track Action Coaching Package
Donna DeRosa Fast Trak Coaching Package
heleka natural artisan solid perfume
Heleka Solid Perfume
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Ritual Waters Herbal Salve

 

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Le Pampered Pig Pigtails Conditioner Bar
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Alegna Goat Milk Soap

 

 

Interview with Rolande Sumner of Butter Angels

Interview with Rolande Sumner of Butter Angels

Rolande Sumner and I became fast friends through the Indie Business Network. She opened her business, Butter Angels, LLC., a bit over a year ago, and I just fell in love with her enthusiasm and thirst for knowledge. We started with speaking to each other through the IBN forum, but quickly began messaging and calling one another. Our professional relationship morphed into a true friendship, and I am ever grateful to have met such an intelligent, ambitious, compassionate, giving woman and fellow entrepreneur.

Rolande has had an interesting journey into entrepreneurship, including beginning her career in the military. One of Rolande’s, and Butter Angels’, main goals is to support fellow women veterans. Much of Rolande’s work is based in charity, including the KEY P.E.A.R.L.S. Youth Mentorship Program of Kappa Epsilon Psi Military Sorority Inc; this program supports and mentors little girls so they grow to become intelligent and strong women. Butter Angels, like Bath, Body, Candle Moments, is certified by Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free International, and they donate a portion of sales to the Leaping Bunny program, as well. There is no shortage of charity involved in Butter Angels, which is just one of the reasons why I personally love Rolande’s business.

I purchase from Butter Angels, and I am a huge fan of their lip moisturizers and lotion bars, which are completely natural, moisturizing, and totally fabulous. I encourage you to listen to Rolande’s interview because she is a true American dream and inspiration. Of course, you absolutely need to try Butter Angels’ products!

 

Bath, Body, Candle Moments is proud and honored to support other small businesses, especially those businesses we patron and believe in – Butter Angels is at the top of our list!