Pay it Forward Giveaway Contest

Do you know someone who is always giving to the community? Each holiday season we like to honor a person or family who is particularly giving, grateful and inspiring by sending them a free surprise gift box. If you know just the person for this, send us an email or fill in the contact info below. If your nominee is selected you will win a special gift as well! Entries welcome any time before Dec 10th.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Description of the person’s character

  • Description of their community involvement (could be volunteering, civic engagement, holding political office or a general do-gooder

  • Be sure that if your entry is selected you can provide an address for your nominee

Then, don’t forget to check your email! We will notify you if your candidate is selected.

Candidate will be chosen Dec 11.

You can also get entered to win a free gift by sharing our post promoting pay it forward campaign. Multiple shares are counted. Share on Facebook or Tag 3 friends on IG to enter.

You can enter your nomination HERE.

surprise gifts

Business Spotlight

Art Cards United: A Inspiring Local Story

Part of an ongoing series, we have been bringing you stories of local artist and entrepreneurs that inspire us with their stories. This month, we would like to introduce you to Angela Taylor.

Angela is a survivor of both epilepsy and brain surgery. As a teen life was hard, but what kept her going were the arts. There were good things, and bad things about the arts like with anything. The good outweighed the bad though, and gave her reasons to get up each day.

After waking up from surgery her left side was temporarily paralyzed. Surprising everyone including herself she did what rehearsals taught her to do. She was repetitive and due to this relearned to walk, talk, eat, etc. This experience taught her how much of a blessing life is.

 The artists that she worked with and met inspire her even today. Due to her health, she turned to visual arts in 2004. 

She had her first show "TurnOfMind" with artist Mary Atkins in Savannah, GA.

There she sold her first painting and was published in an article written by Lynnette Spratley. 

She also sold her first self-portrait in the “I Have Marks to Make show” held at the Telfair Museum in 2005. Angela was in the I Have Marks to Make show every year since that time.

Painting became very therapeutic for her. Painting and giving it away, helped her learn to let go. Helping others gives her so much satisfaction, that it helps her in return.

Over the years she has donated art to the United Way, Tybee Arts Association, Interfaith Hospitality Network, The American Legion Auxiliary, The Savannah Children’s Theatre, American Diabetes Association, Hospice, Young Survival Coalition and many more!

She became a contributing writer and editor for ACEO Magazine on July1st of 2007.

She had her first solo show held at the Jewish Educational Alliance in on Feb 4-29th of 2008.

Seeing how little this inspired others, she turned back to donating and created “Touch and See” (a feel for the arts) in 2010. She also owned ACEO Magazine by this time and decided to give others the opportunity to feel the reward found from giving as well.

Having been bothered by the feud between ATC artists and ACEO artists, Angela created Art Cards United in March of 2014. Giving each artist the opportunity to choose for themselves if they trade or sell and how much they sell for. While giving them the chance to donate and help others as she does.

ArtCardsUnited motivates Angela to get going each day and not dwell on negative things in her life. Seeing others motivated to create gives Angela a satisfaction that can’t be put into words. ArtCardsUnited is also a constant reminder not to give up, and that you can too. Due to that ArtCardsUnited is Angela's love, giving others the opportunity to create awareness and help as she does with AngelasArtArea™. 

Most of the artists in ArtCardsUnited are female. Angela is proud to stand up for the right women have to create art! 

     ArtCardsUnited is a place where artists from around the globe have the freedom to sell, trade, and set their own prices on their 2.5” X 3.5”art cards. ArtCardsUnited is sponsored by AngelasArtArea™ and due to that creates awareness of many different issues. ArtCardsUnited does have some male members, but mainly helps women in the arts. Due to the owner being female, disabled, and bi-sexual these are some of the things ArtCardsUnited stands up for.  

If you wish to have political conversations respectfully we ask you to find a political group that does so. ArtCardsUnited is mainly about art and wishes to bring joy to the world through art. 

The ACU fan page is: https://www.facebook.com/Artcardsunited/  

The ACU Instagram page is: https://www.instagram.com/artcardsunited/

The ACU Twitter page is: https://twitter.com/ArtCardsUnited

AngelasArtArea fan page is: https://www.facebook.com/AngelasArtArea/

AngelasArtArea Instagram page is: https://www.instagram.com/angelasartarea/

AngelasArtArea Twitter page is: https://twitter.com/AngelasArtArea

To learn more go to: www.angelasartarea.com  

If you would like to volunteer your services, which would look good on any resume! Contact: acu@angelasartarea.com 

All visual artists and musicians want an opportunity to be published? You got one! Want an opportunity for your music to be featured in a video you got one! Need details on how contact: acu@angelasartarea.com 

AthFest

So last weekend we went to AthFest in Athens GA. It was great we had a great time. It was a 3 day event. It was very scorching outside so alot of our products were starting to melt.

The first day we left Savannah at 7 am went straight to the festival and setup our products. It was about a 4 hour ride. We had a great spot.

 Setting up!

Setting up!

We went to the hotel freshened up and was ready for the festival. It started at 5pm and ended at 10pm the first night. The 2nd night it started at 12pm and ended at 10pm. The last night it started at 12pm and ended at 8pm. It was an exhausting trip but we had a great time meeting the locals of Athens. 

 

 

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My Grand's Hands (by Sharon Stringer)

 My Grand's Hands by: Sharon Stringer

My Grand's Hands by: Sharon Stringer


Hand surgery on December 16, 2015 left me unable to do things I was accustomed to. Things as second nature as bathing, cooking, doing my own hair, or even using a fork to eat became difficult and painful.
 
 
This was not what I wanted or expected when I retired. I had hopes, dreams, and aspirations for my retirement. Some of those included::
♣ Cooking at least one new recipe every week
♣ Trying new natural hairstyles
♣ Learning to quilt
♣ Knitting for my grandchildren and others
 
The healing process has been longer than I anticipated, therefore I had a lot of time to ruminate…
 
I remembered what the job description for Grandma was when I was a child:: care for everyone in the family and neighborhood, cook, clean, budget, wash and hang out clothes..then iron them all, can foods grown in your own garden, make rugs from rags, quilt…. the list went on and on. 

   Photo from the Who Remembers This? Facebook community…


Photo from the Who Remembers This? Facebook community…


Of course grandmothers today do many of the same things except with modern technology it is a bit quicker and easier. Now many grandmothers do all that plus hold down a job. 

 I also thought about where we are as grandparents today…
Today many grandmothers are more active, look younger, many are younger and more vibrant than our grandparents were. So if you are thinking of leaving the grandkids with grandma…you'd better call first because she may not be at home. When you want to learn the newest line dance or Zumba steps call grandma. Or if you want the quickest way to reserve a cruise, airline ticket, or cross-country trip…ask grandma because she has done that several times. Recipes from grandma are a snap, but don't stop over for a meal without checking first, grandma might just be out on the town.

  My sisters and me (all grandmothers) in Savannah, Ga. with Khi (center), co-owner of Kainat Josephine`   My sister Lillian was recovering from an illness, or she would have been there as well.

My sisters and me (all grandmothers) in Savannah, Ga. with Khi (center), co-owner of Kainat Josephine`
My sister Lillian was recovering from an illness, or she would have been there as well.

I thought of my journey from there to here (youth to grandma-hood) and realized that I've forgotten more than most folks have learned, and yet I still have so much inside me to share. Sharing what I have learned (and still remember ) is what I should be doing at this stage in life. I realized that a grandma's hands, heart, and advice are still the most important support and gift I have to offer. 
 
Many folks say I was born old…as a child I was always thinking about grown-up things like fire insurance, heaven and hell, elderly caregiving. I feel that the life experiences of an old soul were meant to be shared. 
 
I've been praying about a way to share these life experiences for awhile now. After much prayer and research, I've decided to start my own personal blog. I plan to share my wisdom, my world travels, my recipes and menus, my research, my crafts, my organizational skills, and my love for the people of God thru His word. I've always been a talker, but I know and believe that our ear is the most important thing to share with our children, grandchildren, family, and friends. My blog will be a place where we will be able to chat about what concerns us most. What I hear in my spirit from God, from my friends and family, from researching the web, I will share...except secrets
 
You will soon see "Grand's Hands" website and blog. 
 
Will you join me as I navigate thru this time of grand parenting, retirement, and working the vineyard in which I have been placed? What topics would you like to discuss? What discussion format or social media platform are you most comfortable using?

Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV   Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. 

Sharon Hines-Stringer….Grand's Hands….

Pursuit of Craft (by Samuel Polis)

The current trends are irrelevant, the real pursuit is purpose in craft and passion for longevity, allow me to explain:

A few years ago I was transitioning out of what seemed to be a permanent career, it was a surprise to myself as well as the people around me, although to be truthful I had not been happy for some time. I have had over fifty jobs ranging from janitorial duties, bar-tending, restaurant management, grocery management, building custom motorcycles, multiple construction jobs and finally my current renovation business and leather bag brand. (a lot of little weird jobs in between all these). I wish I could say that any of these jobs gave me a feeling of completion, they did not. Obviously we are not designed to get fulfillment from our job alone, but what we DO for the bulk hours of our day definitely contributes to some of these feelings.

When I was a kid, growing up in rural WV, the options for amusement were not large, I spent hours sewing little backpacks and clothes for my tiny soldiers and action figures, this should have been a clue as to some of my passion but sometimes these things go unnoticed and time eventually will bring it back to the forefront. Speed up to current day...I was in a store that my wife and I like to frequent, it is boutique (name left out to protect the innocent) and does an excellent job of capturing the work wear style of women that was a norm in the 40's and 50's. They had a large amount of bags, boasting an "old world style" I picked one up and was disappointed by the quality, which did not match the price tag. I suddenly determined to make a quality bag that truly did capture the feel of that era as well as more modern feels.

Any of you that have pursued a new craft understand that it can be very daunting, thread selections, leather weight, tools, work-space, etc. all play into the learning curve and in my case took time to accrue as I wanted to build this thing with zero debt. I have currently made dozens of bags represented across the east coast and now the Midwest as well as California. My goal is to flood the market with handmade leather bags that are not intended to be "throw away" but rather heritage pieces that will reflect the owners life and then be passed on.

The reason I started this stream of content with "trends are irrelevant" is to emphasize that longevity is more than just being fluid with trends, it is possible to build a good brand by keeping up with the ever evolving whims of the general public? Yes, but it is also possible to build something that has a defining style and purpose, that targets a certain group of people who are looking for a brand that they believe represents them. I liken this to my favorite men's scent that is a mixture of spices, and can only be sourced from a few places. I wear this because I feel like it best represents my self perception. It is the same for my bags, not every one will like them...they are not going to appeal to all of current trends or fashion, but they most certainly will to those that are looking for permanence in a constantly changing society. (of course this is all subjective for all of us as each person has a different pursuit and passion)

The bottom line is:
1. What really motivates you?
2. How does the motivation benefit not only you but those around you?
3. Can it be translated into a product that generates income? 
Many of you (like Khi) are already successful and have been working your craft for longer than I have, I celebrate and thank each of you for inspiring the rest of us to do something beyond what social norms dictate, it is possible that some of you are "Multi-Potentialities" (there is an excellent TED talk on this) and you may be able to balance multiple career tracks, whatever we each may be we have a commonality in chasing what we think is important.
My favorite quote is from Steve Jobs, he said "I don't make for people what they want, I make for them what I think they need." Seems a little brassy and arrogant, but there is a little arrogance required to believe that your product is desirable...Believe in you, that is actually all you need to make it. Cheers and respect!

Samuel Brand bags
@samuelpolis
 

Being Acceptable to Myself, Naturally Free (By Gmelyn Grant)

The other night I was watching my guilty pleasure, "The Real Housewives" a franchise on Bravo network. The newest franchise, "Real Housewives of Potomac", was on. As a Maryland resident, I was particularly interested in this franchise since Potomac is located in Maryland just outside of Washington, DC. The first episode was full of the "shade" that is expected of a RH show. These self proclaimed wealthy ladies whether it's old money or new money, what’s the difference anyway, were so full of "shade" that I needed sunglasses. I was totally here for Gizelle Bryant, who grew up in Potomac and was now living there again after divorcing her high profile pastor husband. I liked her because she seemed to be the most down to earth cast member whom seemed to not allow status to interfere with how she treated others. The next episode, though, left all kinds of questions in my head about how these women view themselves as black women in America. Not black women in Potomac, but black women in America. Now, I would not question someone's blackness or lack thereof (Rachel Dolezal) but it gives pause when their blackness is criticized or questioned as not being black enough. 

 http://giphy.com/gifs/jenner-rachel-dolezal-caitlyn-IoSE0hXjv5voc

http://giphy.com/gifs/jenner-rachel-dolezal-caitlyn-IoSE0hXjv5voc


In the second episode a new cast member was introduced named Ashley. Who is of mixed race, and with a head full of beautiful, curly natural hair flowing in all of it's curly goodness. While watching, as a natural girl myself, I kept thinking how beautiful her hair was. Then, in one of the candid interviews, Gizelle makes a comment about Ashley’s hair. Something along the lines of “when I look at Ashley all I see is hair,” and referring to Ashley’s hair as a “big bush.”

 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3415267/She-s-little-ratchet-Gizelle-Bryant-slams-Ashley-Darby-new-cast-member-makes-debut-Real-Housewives-Potomac.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3415267/She-s-little-ratchet-Gizelle-Bryant-slams-Ashley-Darby-new-cast-member-makes-debut-Real-Housewives-Potomac.html


Although I’m here for Gizelle, those comments absolutely rubbed me the wrong way. Not to mention, this particular episode was full of enough racial comments to discuss for a lifetime. But the hair comments kept playing over and over in my head. I began to think of how we as black women are so quick to criticize other black women on the basis of hair. It has always been difficult for me to understand why the black community has so many hang ups about hair. I remember when I was a teenager and I would grow my hair just to cut it off again. It wasn’t a big deal to me. I recall my grandmother being extremely upset and hurt when I chopped my hair aka Toni Braxton style. I have tried to return to my natural curls three times before deciding to never put relaxers in my hair again in 2010, after the birth of my second daughter. Each time I chose to “go natural” I was greeted with unsavory comments. In 2000 I had a TWA. My mother was getting remarried and she told me that I couldn’t be in her wedding with a TWA, my reply, I will get a weave. She said that wouldn’t work either, and I felt forced to perm my hair to please my mother. Perming of the hair was thought of to be more acceptable to the mainstream. The relaxer would give us more of a European look.
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-31438273
Some still feel as if straight hair is more acceptable. But it begs the question to whom is it more acceptable? Are we looking to be accepted by the mainstream, our African American community or ourselves?

 http://giphy.com/gifs/lol-antonio-fargas-cleopatra-jones-elzMZRSRy1vNK

http://giphy.com/gifs/lol-antonio-fargas-cleopatra-jones-elzMZRSRy1vNK


When I decided to give up the creamy crack to never return in 2010, I transitioned by gradually growing out my relaxed hair. I received so many negative comments at the time, one friend said I looked like a young Michael Jackson, I was often asked if I got caught in the rain, and if I was really wearing my hair that way. Well in my opinion Jackson 5 Michael Jackson was cute when, if I did get caught in the rain my hair would just be curly, and yes I was really wearing my hair this way all day every day. I finally decided that I wanted to be acceptable to me and only me. That’s part of the beauty of being a black woman in America. We have so many choices for our hair. Our hair is our glory and adds to our #BlackGirlMagic. We have to stop judging one another on the basis of hair. It’s self choice. I can rock my natural or a weave and I will still see myself as the baddest woman in the building. The only one who was made or broken by their hair was Sampson.

 Gmelyn Grant 

Gmelyn Grant 

You Only Get One Shot So Take It! (By Kelly Horton)


As a young girl growing up on the South-side of Chicago you never know what to expect (enough of that I am suppose to be giving you some inspiration) lol. You wouldn't believe what happened next. This city girl moved to the wild and wonderful hills of West Virginia, now that's a culture shock!  I remember getting out the U haul, I said to myself "Alright now Kelly lets do it". Though I had no idea what I was getting myself into. My dreams didn't stop there they got even bigger. This young girl living in the big country hills wasn't just raised by a mom, but a whole community. We all know the saying, it takes a village to raise a child, well Fairmont, West Virginia was my village. I was raised to know what was right and wrong and that God would see me through and he did.

 

I made it through elementary, middle, and high school with great success. I knew I had a problem, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I made it to college and that's when it got tough for me. I would wonder why I couldn't understand. I wondered why I didn't feel normal, what I later found out was that I had a mental disorder. I had allowed it to control me for so long and good thing I had a God that was much bigger than my problems.

I got the help I needed and became a success story over night. I had wonderful mentors that had followed their dreams and wanted me to do the same. I decided to finish college, because a lot of people told me I wouldn't even make it past high school. I showed them, I was the graduation speaker of my college. I was the first Liberal Arts graduation speaker and graduated with a 3.5 GPA.

I knew I needed to do more. I made up my mind I was going to travel the world. I worked hard and it paid off. I went to the Dominican Republic which was amazing let me tell you lol. You would've thought I had it all, that everything was peaches and cream.

But when it's good it goes bad sometimes. My health was not the best at that time. I went through a big depression period, I didn't know my self, things were changing before my eyes. I needed something to uplift me. I found out that President Barack Obama was coming to West Virginia. I really wanted to meet him , he is my hero. I wrote letter to the local press and they sent my information to The White House. I then received an email saying I was invited to meet him. I was in shock. I couldn't believe my dreams were coming true, which lifted my spirits since I was so depressed. I didn't have a ride to get there. I became more depressed which made me feel helpless. I found a ride and got there, my dream was coming true. I was escorted by secret service. It was awesome, I was siting with the higher up in politics from West Virginia. I couldn't believe it, I was one of the youngest African Americans to be there. I had given my U.S Senator Joe Manchin my newspaper. I had written a letter to the President in 2009 and received a response, the West Virginia Times wanted to interview me. Which the next day I was in the Newspaper. President Barack Obama signed my newspaper article from 2009 it was remarkable. The President had wrote on there that he was proud of me. I couldn't believe the President of the U.S. said he was proud of me. The young woman who who made it from nothing and was becoming something.

The moral of my story is your Testimony is bigger than your Test. I want to inspire you to never allow your life to overcome you. You never know what God has in store for you. I am a living example from being suicidal for more than 2 years. I didn't know that I was my worst enemy. I now know if I would have taken my life, I wouldn't have met the President. I wouldn't have been the speaker for my graduation class of 2015. I wouldn't have been asked to be apart of the many support groups and clubs to help people's lives.

I enjoy telling my story because you never know who you can touch. I want each and every person to follow their dreams because you only get one shot so take it. P.s. I now live in Ohio and pursuing my bachelors degree in Communication. I know for a fact I will be on your television screen one day.

Endings are New Beginnings

Okay Everyone, So let me introduce myself. My name is Khiara Washington. Growing up my family called me "Khi-Khi" and as I got older they dropped one of the "Khis" and now I just go by Khi (Kai).  I was raised in an environment that was really inspirational. My parents always spoke great things into my life, so i'm like a walking "Inspirational Quote" at all times lol. 

I've been in the hair care business since a child. My family from siblings, cousins, parents, aunts, and community pretty much groomed my talent. As a child my parents would buy me the barbie doll heads with hair accessories, and my friends and family would come over to let me do their hair. I was born pretty much knowing where my talent would lead me.

So after I graduated high school I was so burnt out with doing hair. I did not want to go to beauty school, I wanted to study something else. I felt like that's all people thought of me was "Hair" I wanted to prove that I was more than just a self made stylist.

When I attended college I took a bunch of classes that didn't really compliment me, my talent, my personality, or my destiny. I still kept attending because that's what your taught to do. You're taught to get out of high school and go to college. 

With such mental programming it's hard to really determine what's right for you as person, and what society says is the best career path you should be going down to be successful. 

Towards my 2nd year of attending college unexpectedly some issues happened with my funding and I wasn't able to attend any longer. Feeling confused, dismayed, and frustrated I had no clue what to do next with my life. It seemed like from that point everything that I did crumbled in my face. Every door closed! I felt like I was at the very bottom of life as I seen it.

My parents were in Savannah, so since everything was shutting on me I decided this would be a great opportunity to move to another location and see what life has to offer somewhere else. So I started my journey to Savannah Ga. I spent a month searching for employment and trying to discover who I am and what I have to offer the world. Living on a blank canvas I decided this is the best time to be who I wanted to be and who I was designed to be. 

I decided to go to beauty school. Everything about my being is bundled up into a creative ball of fashion, beauty, and wanting to give back to the community. As soon as I applied for school it seems like everything started falling into place. I found a job that worked around my school schedule and I was making enough money to cover my classes and materials. Also at the job I met my business partner. Who knew that we would even be friends from such different interest and backgrounds. We developed a product line and have been really great friends and business partners ever since. This is called when destiny meets opportunity.

Although life can have it's difficult times, I believe the toughest times in life are preparing you for the biggest experience that you have ever seen happen. When things are so bad that everything is just blank (meaning your mind, spirit, self worth) is the perfect time to begin a new story. Some people like to call it devastation, destruction, at a stand still, a hiatus, failure, the end. I like to call it a new beginning.

Experiencing that "emptiness feeling" is erasing the old and getting you ready for the new. If you are experiencing that right now. Know that you are an instrument that is being groomed to lead something that's bigger than you. Stay encouraged and embrace your new beginning!

The Buzz on Sudz

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IMG_2906

We are pleased to announce the official debut of our beloved all natural soaps! Made with high quality oils essential oils, and organic fragrances your skin is sure to love. We are currently offering our 4 most popular bars to meet your specific needs.

Our most popular bar by far is our African Black Soap. Made with real potash, it is slightly exfoliating, full of potassium, and great for your complexion. We fragrance it with sandalwood, so it is a lovely bar for men and women alike. Potash is a mixture made from minerals and plant ashes soaked in water. Black soap has gained a lot of popularity over the last decade, but most soaps do not actually contain potash, and are instead colored with activated charcoal. Although activated charcoal has its own benefits, it's just not the same as the real thing. From the authenticity to the fragrance, you'll love our African Black Soap.

My personal favorite is our Citrus Salt Bar. Made with sea salt, lemon and grapefruit, it has a light citrus fragrance and is a great facial and full body bar. This bar is made with mostly coconut oil, so it is great for sensitive skin. This soap helps bring balance for those who tend to have oily skin. This bar cleared up my acne within days.

Our Green Tea Bar is a wonderful addition to your bathroom and medicine cabinet. Tea tree oil is an anti fungal and antiseptic, it's used to treat wounds, heal dry skin, and makes a healing bath. This bar is scented with green tea and cucumber. It has a nice light earthy fragrance that is neither too floral or perfumey.

Lastly, but certainly not least is our Thieves Oil Bar. A favorite especially for moms, thieves oil is a natural disinfectant made from a combination of therapeutic grade essential oils. It is an immune system booster as well that makes a wonderfully soothing bath, especially for runny noses and sore throats. Love this soap!

Best of all, our soap is all natural so you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals or artificial preservatives. Try our bars for face or full body, you'll just love them.

All Purpose Miracle Cream

Healing Balm Uses and Benefits

Kainat_LoRes-8
Kainat_LoRes-8

Close to our hearts, and still one of Kai-Jo's favorite products is our multipurpose moisturizing cream for skin and hair. This miracle creams packs a big punch, full on intensive moisturizers, wax, honey, and essential oils, it meets the many needs in one product. It was Kai-Jo's first product, and is still the most loved.

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For the skin, it is an intensive hand and body salve. It works best when you really need moisture, like dry cracked feet, or hard working hands, or use it on the cuticles to transform them. It is a favorite for people who suffer from eczema and skin irritations, usually clearing the problem up in a few days. You can even use it on bug bites!

The All Purpose Moisturizing Cream is a throw back to the balms our grandparents used to fix everything, brought to you in biodegradable packaging with a sophisticated urban design, and delightful fragrances.

The real reason we love the All Purpose Moisturizing Cream is because it is how Kai-Jo first began. Katy Jo Holton, bee keeper, and Khi Washington, cosmetologist, created this product so people with locks could have an alternative to commercial chemical locking creams. In addition, its holding power can reduce the frequency in which the locks need to be re-twisted, plus it leaves them healthy and shiny.

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mail-17

Shortly after the formulation took place, we sampled it out, and to our surprise, customers were coming back with more ways to use it than we even imagined. From perm rod sets to hold and protect the hair, to pomade styles to spike the hair, to a beauty cream to shape the brows, and slick down edges, people loved how many ways they could use one simple product. Plus, we loved that people of all different backgrounds and ethnicities were using it.

It wasn't long after that Kai-Jo realized its calling to produce high quality, 100% natural products, that were long lasting, multipurpose, and beneficial to people of all races. So often today, our beauty products are not only racially profiled, but watered down and marketed as many different products that quickly drain the pocket book and fill the landfills with needless packaging, all to make an extra buck. At Kainat Josephiné, we are working hard to keep our products all natural, with high quality ingredients, and an affordable price.

Time for Gratitude

This time of year is the time that everyone makes a point to declare their gratitude and appreciation for many splendid things. Naturally, the list of thanks is endless. This year we want to focus our attention on two places. First, we of course, want to give many, many thanks to the friends, family and customers who have given us so much support over the last year. As with anything, we wouldn't be what we are if it were not for the greater community. We, at Kai-Jo, feel that rebuilding our communities is one of the most important projects we currently face. This means beginning to shift the focus of individual responsibility back to collective responsibility. That means well fed and educated children, prospering local economies, healthy lifestyles and clean environments are not the result or responsibility of a select few, but of all of us, the big Us.

We hope that as you come together with friends and family this year, you take a moment to recognize how your community has helped you and how you in turn have given back. Recognize that when you are aligned with your deeper purpose, it means you are also aligned with the greater purpose of your community. We are so thankful we have not had to go it alone and hope we can share that prosperity with others!

Lastly, for those of you who have been practicing natural health, internally and externally, or for those of you have just started to cross that path, give yourself thanks! Nothing can help the community more than when we take care of ourselves. We believe much of that can come from making choices that are natural and safe. Cheers to us! May we be lifted up even higher from here.

Breast Cancer Awareness

pink ribbon shampoo bar
pink ribbon shampoo bar

  October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it is close to our hearts for many reasons. When Kai-Jo began, part of it's ultimate goal was to help inform and educate our communities while offering economical alternatives to questionable products. We believe our businesses should work to empower and uplift communities. Healthy communities create healthy business and completes the circle. Unfortunately, we as Americans know little about how the chemicals found in many products, from food to cosmetics actually affect our health. The American Cancer Association says:

Because human studies of the long-term effects of most cosmetics (except, perhaps, hair dyes) don’t exist, there is little evidence to suggest that using cosmetics, or being exposed to the ingredients in cosmetics during normal use of these products, increases cancer risk. Still, because there are no long-term studies, little is known about the health effects of long term exposure to many ingredients in cosmetics. This means that we cannot claim that these products will not cause health problems in some people. 

We don't support the approach of fear mongering, but we do believe the public has a right to be informed about the unkown saftey of consumer cosmetics. This being said, we understand that we still too have many questions about cancer and the more we understand it, the more we can do to stop it.

Which brings us the the other reason that Breast Cancer Awareness is deeply close to our hearts. We have a dear friend whose support and enthusiasm has is many ways kept us going on our journey with Kai-Jo. This beautiful woman's spirit and energy has uplifted us both as entrepreneur and as friends. Her involvement with our work has meant so much to us that we wish to give back as she now is in the physical, emotional and financial struggle that too often accompanies breast cancer.

Thanks for all you have done, we hope we can help give back! For Breast Cancer Awareness month, we will be donating 50% of our shampoo bar proceeds to the cause. Your support is greatly appreciated.

(http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/cosmetics)

The Shampoo Bar Craze

People everywhere, once again are revisiting the benefits of shampoo bars. Shampoo as we think of it today was largley the result of a desire to improve the lather in shampoo. This was one of the major pushes to create Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS), a chemical in many bath and body products from shampoo, to toothpaste, to sunscreen. Much debate has turned up over this chemical that has a way of slipping into many products, even those that suggest they are natural. Whether you agree with the dangerous allegations of SLS, the one indisputable fact is that SLS is anything but natural. In fact, around the same time SLS began to creep into our body care, conditioner became popular because our hair was being stripped of its natural oils from the harshness of our new and “improved” shampoos.

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This is one of the beautiful benefits of shampoo bars. They are created with added moisturizer already in the bar so your hair is moisturized as it is cleaned. Many people find they no longer need conditioner once they switch.

Which brings us to the other great benefit of shampoo bars, money. Finding all natural shampoo can be difficult, not to mention expensive. With shampoo bars you are spending less to do more for your hair, plus you may stop buying conditioners all together.

Some Tips:

Lather bar in your hand, or directly on the hair. You can also mix it with water (2 or 3 water to 1 soap is recommended).

Because often our water is slightly acid, some find a vinegar rinse is beneficial. MIx 1 part white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to 3 parts water and rinse. I recommend this step while transitioning to the all natural bar. The vinegar smell dissipated fairly quickly.

Also, keep in mind it takes time to see results when switching from any shampoo to another. That is because it take a few washes to remove residues left from the old shampoo in order for the new shampoo to fully function.

As always, good hair starts with good health. The best way to improve hair health is by drinking lots of water, and eating a balanced diet. Start from the inside first, then work from the outside.

For more information on shampoo bars,

check out NaturallyCurly’s write-up:

http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/curlchemist-shampoo-bars/

For more info on SLS, view this article.

To check out our bars, click here:[catalog-product id="524"]