The last show of the season…
Coffee cup and thermos in tow, we set up shop and waited…and waited…and waited…
It would seem that there were not too many souls willing to brave the -30 some temperatures in a quest for Christmas gifts.
Rather disappointing really.
My crafting partner in crime, Amelia (E.A.R.T.H Jelly and Sisterhood of the Craft) is a real pro at these sorts of things and doesn’t let a bad night get her down. Her hot pepper jellies (ALWAYS a hit) and the majority of last nights sale involved sock monkeys…usually, it’s the crochet caps that sell the fastest…go figure.
There are a few things that I have noticed over the last bit though – and keep in mind, these are strictly my own observations…
When it comes to the foods that are sold at these fairs…and there are ALWAYS tons fine local goods (from home made fudges, to cookies, cupcakes, canning…the list is almost endless…) people tend to ask a lot of questions. Did you make this? How much sugar is in it? Did you grow them yourself?
To a point, this is wonderful! Quality ingredients, crafted with care and attention to the smallest ingredient. The customers are quite willing to pay top dollar (myself among them) for quality foods. There was one lady in particular that eschewed trying Amelia’s jelly based on their sugar content…claiming she was trying to lose weight. I found this odd – but then again, she most likely had a tin of diet soda behind her table thinking she’s going to make a difference in her health by consuming DIET everything…but, I digress – that is for another topic.
However, of the dozen or so folks that stopped to peruse Hippie Ways products last night – only ONE actually asked what was in it. I found this somewhat sad.
To my Hippie mind…what you put ON your body is equally as important as what you put IN it. Your skin is your largest organ. It breathes, it detoxifies, it absorbs. Pick up a package of pretty much ANYTHING in the average bath room these days and you will see list after list of things that 99% of people can’t pronounce, let alone fully grasp WHAT the ingredient is.
Bubble & Bee Organic (a small Utah company) has an excellent article on commonly used ingredients – and why you should avoid them. Here’s a quick rundown:
1. “Fragrance” can be one or more of 200 chemicals. Companies don’t have to disclose the actual components of each fragrance, under the guise that their fragrances are trade secrets. Fragrance has been known to cause many side effects, including headaches and allergic reactions. The Environmental Working Group has an extensive database of cosmetic chemicals and their corresponding danger rankings. “Fragrance” recieves one of the highest rankings possible in their score system.
2. Methylparaben, or anything ending in “paraben.” These preservatives act like estrogen in the body, throwing off hormonal balance. Parabens have been shown to accumulate in cancerous breast tumors.
3. Tetrasodium EDTA is a preservative that’s made from the known carcinogen, formaldehyde and sodium cyanide. (see how) It is also a penetration enhancer, meaning it breaks down the skin’s protective barrier, going right into your bloodstream. Many companies trying to be “natural” will use Tetrasodium EDTA instead of parabens to preserve their products.
4. Diazolidinyl Urea readily breaks down in the product or on the skin and releases formaldehyde. It’s an endocrine disruptor, a possible neurotoxin, a known immune system toxicant, and has a possible link to cancer.
5. Propelyne Glycol, among other things, is a penetration enhancer, meaning it’s a carrier for other chemicals, bringing them into your skin and your bloodstream. It’s a known skin irritant, it has been shown to cause cancer in lab tests, a possible endocrine disruptor, and a possible neurotoxin. You can find it in over 3000 products, including lotions, deodorants, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner and body washes.
I also find that a lot of “natural” body care companies use many of the same ingredients. Personally, I think that’s dirty pool.
I’m exceedingly proud of these items I’ve crafted. Here’s to hoping that the next round of “show season” will bring more questions, more answers and whole lot of information sharing. One hippie at a time.