Sunday, May 26, 2013

Busy As A Beazer

In the past few years there has been a noticeable increase in products of all types advertising that they are green, natural, cruelty free, safe for children and pets, or a combination of the four. These types of products are everywhere. They are soaps, candles, laundry detergents, facial cleansers , make up products, and everyday cleaning products. Not only has it become popular to use these types of products, but it has become increasingly common to make them as well. 

There is so much information out there on these products and what goes into them that it can be overwhelming to say the least. I have been fortunate enough to be introduced to a lovely lady named Kimberly who not only knows a ton about this sort of stuff, but makes her own natural products. I had a bunch of questions for her... everything from how she got started in this business to horror movies! She had a lot of useful and interesting information to share with me as well as some insider info on new products she is working on. I have been very excited to share this interview with everyone and introduce you to Kimberly and her shop, Beazer's Garden! Enjoy!

I’m Kimberly or “The Beaz” as my close friends call me and I’m turning 40 this month! My family consists of my crazy but supportive mom and 3 younger sisters. We have five furry friends in our family (but not in my home anymore), two beagles one named Freddie (after Mercury) and the other is Lula Belle and a mini pin mix named Keiko; and two cats, Bowie (after David) and C.B. (Cotton Ball). I’m an environmental educator in the Bronx and a self-proclaimed tree huggin’ hippie. I love spending time outdoors, camping, exploring or relaxing in green spaces and dancing, watching old movies and playing games (from board to video).

1. What types of items do you make and sell?

I make natural products for bath, body & home.

2. How did you get interested in making natural bath, body, and home products?

Well I started making my products around 2001, I was a preschool teacher at the time. To clean, we would spray store bought disinfectants around the classroom without realizing they contained harmful chemicals. Then I saw a child about to lick the surface of a table and knew I wanted to change this habit of “cleaning”. Also around the same time my goddaughter got a scalp condition from her school so we had to use the popular recommended product on her multiple times. Leave it to say none of us enjoyed that experience, but when I found a natural remedy made with essential oils, it was cleared up quickly plus left our hair conditioned and feeling/smelling great!

3. How much research did you end up doing before you got your hands dirty (so to speak) and started making these types of products for personal use? What type of info did you look for?

After that experience I started studying the properties of essential oils. Some are cleansing and antibacterial, some are relaxing and soothing, some are stimulating and bring a sense of well being. I love the fact that nature provides for many of our needs; from our food to medicines and beauty needs, we have natural solutions found in plant material growing all over the place! Whether we use their essential oils or their fresh and dried parts of roots, stems, leaves or flowers, we can benefit from learning about our connection with plants and lessen our dependence on man-made chemicals, which are harmful to our bodies and the planet.

4. Upon doing research, was there anything that you were surprised to learn?

It was surprising to learn that many of the plants we would consider to be weeds are in fact beneficial for many purposes, ex: dandelion, mugwort & nettle to name a few, are used world round throughout time for healing. Most people pay to have these removed from their property, while others understand and benefit from the connection we have with these plants.

5. I am one of those people that doesn't have time to relax in a nice hot bath as often as I would like. What product(s) of yours would you recommend for someone who wants to destress, but doesn't have time to do so in the tub?

Great question and I often fall into this category, not able to find/take time to relax. For a quick pick me up I use essential oil blends as a perfume on my pulse points before I head out for the day or before bed. Also essential oil diffusers, facials, foot soaks and a shower with a body scrub are quick, easy and do the trick just fine!

6. I noticed that you make bath bombs. I freaking love these things!!!!! For those who don't know what a bath bomb is, could you explain what it is and someone might want to use one of these as opposed to bubble bath or bath salts?

If you like soaking in a warm tub, bubble baths and bath salts are both great ways to pamper yourself. Bath fizzes (bombs) are another fun way to do so. When you drop one in the tub they release fragrance and color as they fizz, creating a fantastic scented, skin softening experience. Mine are made with simple natural ingredients that help soothe and relax your body, same goes for my bath teas and bath milk soaks.

7. I saw that your shop has something that many bath and body shops don't have and that is a section specifically for men. I think that so many times, especially when it comes to these sorts of products, men are an often over looked demographic. What type of products do you make and sell that are for men?

Men should and need to take care of their skin as well, maybe even more than women do since they’ve probably overlooked skincare for most of their lives. I make a shaving soap, an aftershave splash, beard oil, scalp oil & foot powder. They are all soothing and not overbearing in scent like some traditional products made for men, nor are they “flowery or feminine”, but bring a refreshing, clean scent to men’s grooming. I’d be interested to know what other items readers think should be available for men.

8. This is more so a question that I have, but I am sure I am not the only one. What is the difference between a salt scrub and a body polish?

There are so many terms for bath & body products, but in my experience salt scrubs are a bit harsher than a polish would be. I would say that my salt scrub is for weekly exfoliation while my sugar-based scrubs are great for daily use.

9. Something that caught my eye was your Eco Laundry Soap Powder. My sister has recently gotten on the white vinegar kick when it comes to laundry. Why might someone use your product versus white vinegar?

Actually they can be used together, I also sell a cleaning vinegar. Used during laundry vinegar removes static, whitens clothes and boosts the power of cleaners. My soap powder would be the cleaner in this case. It is made without the harmful chemicals found in traditional laundry soaps that linger on our clothes and pollute our waterways.

10. Are you working on anything new that you would like to share with my readers?

I’m bringing out a few new items this month, an herbal foaming face wash and an oatmeal facial mask; I’m also thinking about adding items for pets and natural health remedies such as mature skincare products, ointments, powders, hair care & feminine hygiene products.

11. These days there are all sorts of “green” and “natural” products for sale. What advice would you give to someone looking into more natural products without any harmful chemicals? What are things they should be looking for or to stay away from?

First off it’s great to start with small easy changes instead of major changes across the board. Maybe choose an area of life first: bath & body, home cleaning, food or lifestyle habits. As for the chemicals to avoid, check out the links here.

Now onto some sweet and twisted questions!

12. I was creeping in your favorites on your Etsy profile and saw some Divine items, one of which is a buckle I made with a still from Pink Flamingos. Being a Baltimore girl, it is in my blood to be the John Waters and Divine fan that I am. How does someone that likes natural things come to like something so unnatural and even filthy!?!!

What’s unnatural about expressing all aspects of our being?! John Waters & Divine are legendary examples of outright freedom. The first time I saw one of their flicks was a liberating experience for a young girl of color, who was raised in a “children seen but not heard” household. I sought out more and found my way to classic B movies, rock and alternative music, body modifications (only tattoos and piercings for me but appreciate the look of some extreme forms), pin-up and burlesque and other art forms where it was okay to express what society normally tries to keep quiet.

13. I also noticed you seem to love Tim Burton. What is your favorite Tim Burton film and why?

I love the fantasy genre, aside from sci-fi, this is where I send most of my time reading & watching. These stories are wonderful ways to escape and dream of the unlimited possibilities in our creative imaginations. From Edward Scissorhands to Batman to Planet of the Apes, whether he is writing, directing or producing, Tim Burton films have a magical quality that appeals to my sense of adventure.

14. I also saw that you have a lot of Halloween themed items from costumes and home d├ęcor to vintage Halloween art. What is it about these types of items that you find so appealing?

Again, the idea of fantasy and imagination. Costumes are so much fun to wear and see, I often attend events where costumes are favored. Sometimes I just wear things around the house.

15. What is your most favorite scary movie and why?

My favorite scary movies are from my youth in the 80’s, Phantasm, Hellraiser, Poltergeist, psychological scary, not the gory scary stuff popular now. I guess because there was some thought to them, they made people feel creepy by telling a good story and pulling on our emotional-intellectual responses instead of just plain fear.

If you would like to know more about Beazer's Garden, please check out some of these links:

About Beazer's Garden                    Like Her on Facebook   

Follow Her on Twitter                      Read Her Blog

Have a HEART, Add Beazer's Garden to your Etsy Favorites!

Girly Ghoul readers can save 15% off your next purchase at Beazer's Garden with code: Ghoul15 So take advantage and try something new!

If you liked what you read, have any questions, comments, or any ideas for a new post, leave a comment below! 

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