Inspired by Nature, Made with Love

Monday, July 14, 2014

Label Appeal....Really?

Over coffee this morning I concluded that I am a "bitchy soap maker" with a "superiority complex" ONLY because I choose to be truthful, moral, ethical, purposeful and educated. Note: I do not feel my worth is more superior, I feel I have higher business ethics.)

I was researching an ingredient for a new soap recipe and I read something that threw me for a loop, something I still can't fathom. It's sneaky, manipulative, unethical & frankly it makes me sickening mad.
A Board Member of a top International Soap Guild and successful soap maker told someone to add something to their recipe at the lowest percentage possible (1-2%) just to put it on their label as an ingredient - not for any benefits, purpose or reasoning ONLY to have it listed.. she called it "label appeal" 


Label Appeal?


And while I'm quoting, she also said (quote) "Can't hurt... but not sure if there is a huge benefit... other than label "ooh and aah"!" (end quote)

(respect lost totally. 100% shot.. GONE)

I buy some of the most expensive ingredients to put in my products for their benefits.. NOT label appeal. I create products to help people's skin ailments.. NOT label appeal. I create products that do not use ingredients that have proven disastrous to the environment or associated with animal cruelty. Not just to throw cruelty free on my label for APPEAL. I buy Organic, Virgin, non-GMO ingredients- some which cost up to $35.00 an ounce, for their benefits, not fricken label appeal.

Reading crap like this and knowing a respected member of the soaping community suggested this practice to another soaper makes me sick and I am quickly losing faith in the "handmade" soap industry. 

Sadly, I'm learning that if it isn't made by me or a trusted friend I will NOT believe the label, ever...

So this leads me to wonder.. what do people look for when buying handmade soap?  Is it the shape, color or claims of improved skin?  Please take a few minutes to share with me what your deciding factors in choosing a soap are.. the curiosity is killing me.

(multiple answers accepted & answers are anonymous)

What characteristics do look for when you purchase handmade soap? free polls 

=) Kristina

Friday, May 2, 2014

Busy Start of a Busy Weekend Planned..

I know I've been quiet and I haven't posted here much, but to be honest I simply have not had the time to keep up with all the media sites I share information on.

I have been posting on our FaceBook page, but have decided to keep the Etsy storefront closed, b/c frankly the fees I was paying a month were ridiculous.  I was paying more fees than what I was ultimately selling overall through them.  Most of my sales come from emails and PMs and paying $50/month for Etsy fees THEN paying PayPal fees on top of that simply has not been worth it to keep it open.  SOOOO.. if you want to place an order.. SHOUT ME OUT an email..  OR PM me on FB at: MasqueradeMarket

So... this morning was extremely jammed pack full of soap making..  we went from:

to THIS in 5b short hours!!  * Go ME!

(TOP LEFT): Au Naturelle, (BACK MIDDLE) Royal Rose Bud, (fFRONT MIDDLE) Org. Shea Lavender, (TOP RIGHT) Phoenix, (BOTTOM LEFT): Org. Shea Mystique with Rose Kaolin Clay, (BOTTOM MIDDLE) Org. EVOO w/ Act. Charcoal & Pumice & 
(BOTTOM RIGHT) Org. Hemp Seed Oil French Quarter Fig w/ French Green Clay. 

I simply can not wait to cut into these babies tomorrow - keep your eyes peeled for some soap porn ;)

But in the meantime, here is a picture of a beautiful rainbow.. ENJOY!

As always.. Blessings from me & mine to you & yours!
=) K

Friday, October 18, 2013

Quietly Planning ..

I've been quiet lately, but if you listen closely you might still be able to hear me shuffling around behind the scenes.

Even though I've been extremely busy and my time is limited, I'm still dreaming of our next big event for our wonderful cottage store. I am still making soaps, lotions and potions for our next big announcement. 

I just don't make soap to make it.  I don't follow trends or jump on the latest craze bandwagon.  I don't copy recipe's, I create my own (however I may have been inspired by some that I have seen.)   I haven't just made a couple "good" batches of soap then slapped a label on and started selling it.  This venture has been YEARS in the making.  I truly LOVE making soap... soap that I designed and created from my hours extensive research over the course 3 years. Soap that is top notch quality! NOTHING makes me happier then when a customer shares with her friends that my soaps are the best they have ever used.  THAT is my goal and THAT is what I strive for .. with each.. and ..every... batch.

Masquerade Market creates it's own pathway and carves it's own reputation of being ONE OF A KIND. A One of a Kind business that not only creates for EACH established customer, but for future customers as well.

There is NOTHING I love to do more than to create products for an individual, to meet THEIR specific needs. That is why I created specific product lines like our Phoenix and Nuthin' Nutty lines.  Those products were inspired by people I had just met along the path's life took me as well as extremely important people in my life. You ALL are my inspiration and I pray that I can continue to be inspired, to design, create and offer products that meet the needs for all of you.

From the bottom of my heart.... THANK YOU ALL for your continued support and inspiration.  Masquerade Market wouldn't be as successful as we have been without you all.

<3 Kristina

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Dedication..The Phoenix

I am exhilarated to share with you all our newest product line called  "PHOENIX."  Now, you are probably saying to yourself.. "Kristina has done gone and lost it! What kind of name is Phoenix for a soap and lotion line?"  Well, let me explain before you jump to any conclusion of my sanity (or lack thereof.)

What is a Phoenix? 
A Phoenix is a mythological bird that symbolizes immortality, resurrection, regeneration and whom can heal itself.  It is believed that the bird will burst into flames and will rise from the ashes with renewed youth and will live another life cycle. 

I have always loved the Phoenix. I have always felt drawn to it and can associate with it from my own personal battles and experiences where I too have risen above the ashes, renewed.  But this product line has nothing to do with me, I created this line for people that are as uniquely remarkable as the mythological Arabic bird. 

Someone that is rising or has risen from the ashes of despair and destruction with renewed life. A person who is or has fought one of the hardest battles of their lives and has or will rise above it stronger.  A person who is or whom has suffered from medical treatments that has left their skin sensitive, sore, burnt and extremely parched for moisture that nothing seems to comfort it.   

Out of all of our products I feel the most fulfilled with this one. The completion of this product line has brought over me a sense of joy and accomplishment that nothing else has. I poured my heart and soul into the design and creation of this line. Truly a "Made with Love" product. I spent 25 hours (if not more) studying, researching and designing the perfect products for this new line up using the best ingredients available. 

These products simply had to be perfect - there was absolutely no room for error. I always strive for perfection but with this line, I put additional pressure on myself to create the best product I ever had. 

So without further adieu, I want to introduce "Phoenix - Our Skin Renewing Formula"
1) Bar Soap 2) Renewing Skin Formula Balm & 3) Renewing Skin Formula Lotion Bar

And a close-up of the labels graphics.... 

I tried to find one that had a "rainbow" effect so it coincides with ALL the ribbon colors. 

And because this line is dedicated to ALL types of cancer, we included the ribbon circle to our labels as well. 

If you know of someone who is suffering from extremely dry or sensitive skin due to medical treatments and could possibly benefit from this product, please send me an email.. I will gladly send out a free sample of each of the products to them, all I ask is that you cover the cost of shipping.

My Dedication:
I dedicate this product line to my family members and friends that have proven to be like this unique mythological bird - my grandmother who had a mastectomy, my mother who had a hysterectomy and breast lumps removed, my father who fought bravely for 18 months, my dear friend Debbie P. a 2year breast cancer survivor (you keep fightin girl!), our 14 year old neighbor who was just diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, my lifetime friend and bridesmaid Heather who is fighting her 3-6 month life sentence diagnosis, a new friend in Colorado who is a whipper snapper of a fighter  and to all the men, women and children who has the spirit of the Phoenix and are fighting one of their bravest fights of their life.   

As Always,
<3 Kristina

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Creating Symmetry

I wanted to share with you some thoughts that have been fequently crossing my mind and while I have written this post many times in my head I just haven't shared it.  But I feel that I need to explain before any confusion sets in and in doing so you may understand why I am going to be making the changes to certain aspects of my business. After a few unexpected turn of events I feel that I must allow my creativeness to expand a bit further and make a few changes with Masquerade Market's products.  

So here goes...  my thoughts:  I am constantly creating - thinking of my next new adventure in soap making, essential oil blending and/or making moisturizers and because of the constant creativity I find that as an artist I am also evolving. Even while I'm landscaping, Im being inspired by my surroundings, constructing ideas of a new creation..  proving that my motto. "Inspired by Nature, Made with Love" is genuine.

So where am I going with this?...  well after much thought, I've decided to change the name of one of my best selling soaps. PLEASE understand, the formulation is NOT changing..  I created this soap base  3 years ago and is tried and true, ONLY the name is changing.  

Why? Well, it was created after having fun experimenting with layering colors. Giggling, I lovingly called it my Franken-soap and I gave it the name as I saw it.. "Zebra"... but now I feel that the name is too unoriginal and does not set apart my product from the rest. After all, this soap was created out of pure creative curiosity and should be named something notable. Something as unique as my 'One of a kind creation' because while other's may look similar, but are by no means the same."

"Zebra" as it was first introduced. 
Our new named and patterned.. "Symmetry" 

I don't want my products to be stuffed with the prevalent grouping. I want to stand out as the unparalleled product. After all, my products are beyond comparison to most of the products that are being made available. My products stand in an unequaled league all their own.  Maybe this sounds egotistical - possibly even smug- but until you try my products you will question the high quality.. b/c after all.. soap is soap and lotion is lotion.. right?  um.. sorry to say.. wrong.   I would no sooner smear the lotion from the dollar store on my skin than I would that of a $50.00 cream from a department store or a bottle of motor oil.. why?  check the labels..  (we have already touched base on that on previous posts)

Why "Symmetry"?  While Zebra first came to mind when I first made the original batch, the thought of opposites,  dark and light, yin and yang also came to mind.  I simply love the thought of Yin and Yang.. the theory that opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one other.  How the two entities are complimentary, not opposing, forces interacting to form a dynamic system.  

Symmetry explains this soap down to a "T", it's dynamic, it's yin yang, light dark characteristics compounded together creates a mutual whole. Symmetry for the name just makes sense.. it means balance, equality, conformity and it IS this soap. 

So I want to introduce you to "Symmetry"....  Masquerade Market's one of a kind Organic Golden Jojoba based soap infused with Activated Charcoal and Finely Ground Pumice. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

So.. what is REALLY in your body products?

We have already touched base on some of the no good, very bad chemicals in most store bought, big name brand company products.  BUT I found this graphic and thought this was exactly what I was explaining in previous posts that I just had to share.

I always remember what my mom always told me, "If the ingredients look like you can build a bomb with it and you can't pronounce it,  you shouldn't eat it or put it on your body."  I remember her telling me that 30 years ago and how true I am putting that to use today.

Alas, the graphic that explains it all... It really doesn't get any more clearer or scarier than this.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

We reached 250 Likes!! Check out our GIveaway!

Come on over to Masquerade Market and enter our giveaway!

Good Luck!