Soon after our wedding, my husband brought me to his home on the farm. His mother showed me a recipe for “Relief Society Healing Hand-cream”. I really had fun making it. I found that she and other ladies in the valley did not like to make it but did like to use it. The dairy had provided well for the family and the hand cream had kept their hands healthy for years. As we worked in pre rubber glove days, the hand cream was essential for healthy skin.
1979 – 1991
Time marches, right? And waits for no man or woman. We were blessed with 6 children, 1 boy and 5 girls. There was no gender work. They all participated in everything that the cows, farm, household, school, music, some sports, academic extra curricular, community, 4H, FFA, BSA, and Church had to offer.
By this time 4 of our children had left home to go to college. Our son said to me, “Mom, why don’t you quit whining about farm prices and do something.” Well, as our children all smarter than me, I listened. He thought I should sell my home bottled pickles, salsa, sauces, jams, and jellies. However, to comply with food standards and regulations, we would have to build a separate facility. We already had more than enough farm debt and were not willing to add more.
So, he suggested marketing the skin cream. I didn’t know where to start and said that I wasn’t aware of where to get containers. His wife had access to some post project containers. We looked up the company and found Majestic Mountain Sage® in Logan Utah, only 2 hours from us. ( thesage.com ) So we went there and found that we were able to purchase ingredients, container, and custom labels. The owner visited with us and suggested that the harsher ingredients be replaced and said that she and a colleague would try and figure it out. They did, quickly and at no charge. I took the formulation that they came up with and worked with it until I liked it.
In researching the FDA requirements, I learned that the cosmetic world is very hazy. I even called a department in Washington DC. I was told that I didn’t need to comply with any specifications to sell the cream, but would have to if I sold the cream. ???? I know! I was also told to watch out as no one would care much about me unless I became a big enough competitive threat to large companies. As If. I located a bio lab in California to test my cream and the preservative that was actually required. But, I had no cash to pay for the test.
Providence smiled on me. We had a Californian family purchase the land ‘next door’. I loved the wife. She was so interested in our DIY way of life. She had a seamstress friend in CA who had a lot of scraps cut into squares and said she would send them to me to make quilts. I forgot about it until one day a coffin sized box was delivered. Pretty exciting? Well, the scraps were all synthetic fur. From cuddly puppy to long gorilla. She was so excited about the ‘quilts’ that I could make. I shoved it aside until she called and said they were coming up for a while and couldn’t wait to see what I’d made. So I hurried and put together one with black and white and one with browns. By the time it was 60″ x 60″ it was heavy enough that I thought I should stop there. I put fleece on the back and thought I would tie it and float the threads between the two layers. It required pliers. The first stitch that I pulled through took the eye right out of the needle. Lions, and tigers, and bears, Oh My! Then I pin basted the two layers and machine sewed along the seams just in time for her visit. She loved them so much that she wanted one for her interior design, hard to please, mother in law and the other for herself. She paid me very well and I could pay the lab fee. Long story. (Above is a Gryffindor furry ‘quilt’ blanket)
The test results showed that my cream was made clean and the required preservative was a good one to prevent any bacteria or fungus that would be introduced post purchase.
We called the business “Mean Monster Mommy”. Yep that’s me. The kids had to do chores, get good grades, pull weeds (I gave them 5 gallon buckets to fill), clean, help with younger children, do 4H, etc. etc. When they went to bed I would do silly Mean Monster Mommy impromptu songs about the Monster (namely Me). It turned into a lot of giggling and tickles. It was a family thing.
I was able to get the cream into 3 stores. However, I was emailed by someone from the south east about it. She was not only offended but was also concerned about my child abuse.
We changed to Dairy Maid skin cream. The thought was that I am the dairy maid and use the skin cream. Wrong. Animal rights people were offended. And, men, boys, dogs, teen age girls and children ate it! It looks like 7 minute frosting or whipped yogurt. With fragrances like vanilla, raspberry, fruit slices, and orange; of course it looked edible but did not taste edible. Interestingly enough though, no one got sick.
About this time we also started going with essential oils.
- We had a grand baby that wouldn’t sleep and made Lavender. It’s very calming and mosquitos don’t like it. (Note:See the description under the Lavender cream button)
- A niece requested Mint foot cream. (Note:See the description under the Mint cream button) She was a new mother, expecting again, adopted her husband’s infant niece, and was doing her student teaching in Arizona.
- Our oldest daughter had an herbal shampoo that she liked so we tried to imitate it. All the oils in it are anti inflammatory. (Note:See the description under the Nature’s Magic cream button)
- We used a small amount, .15 oz, of orange on top of .31 oz Fruit Slices fragrance oil. Crushed Orange is very cheerful and energetic. In the years that we have sold it, all but one person smelling it smiled involuntarily. (She hated orange before she got there.)
- There was a request from Bear Necessities of Montpelier LLC (Idaho) (find them on Facebook) to make something for circulation. The Frankincense & Myrrh have amazing properties themselves and the Cinnamon really helps the circulation.
- And of course we won’t forget Unscented. It tops all of our sales. It is truly unscented. NO fragrances needed to cover up the icky smells of other ingredients. (Note: Some super noses can smell the preservative and the cocoa butter.
- Our oldest daughter was living in Hawaii and said that we really needed to use Kukui Nut oil. Right. And just where was I going to get that? Yep. Majestic Mountain Sage. We use Apricot Kernel oil, Jojoba oil, Kukui Nut oil, Vitamin E, White Cocoa Butter, Bees Wax, and Aloe Butter. Our sweetened Vanilla, Raspberry Dessert, and Huckleberry have flavor oils in them. The Mint and Fruit Loops have 5 citrus oils and are unsweetened.
Third time? We live in Geneva, Idaho. Our water is piped in from mountain springs about a mile away. Hmm. Environmentalists, animal rights people, anti farm and ranch people, back to nature purists? Check. It seems to be acceptable to most people. The label and presentation are so important.
I am retired from my job at the BLMH hospital as an office manager for the Counseling Services. Now I have time to work the skin cream, lip balm and handmade items.