Friday, June 3, 2011

why I do what I do....

I guess I should start out by explaining why it is I do what I do. I've always been somewhat of an environmentalist.  I try to recycle, compost, garden and buy organic.  Yes, I've been to a rally or two.  I went to college in the Ann Arbor area of Michigan; it's very liberal and if you care about the environment you can always find a cause, movement, or event to go to.  Then a few years ago I moved to a small town in West Texas and married my husband.  What I noticed is that people down here are a lot different than what I'm used to.  They are all good people, don't get me wrong.  However, if you try to talk to them about recycling programs, community gardening, or heaven forbid pesticide use (this is cotton country after all) they look at you like you've grown a second head.  So I thought to myself, "what can I do to change perceptions and promote better living?"  This is what I came up with.

One of my passions has aways been beauty and bath products.  I'm like every American woman; trying every new product, amassing a bathroom full of different shampoos, conditioners, masks, gels, lotions and more.  Then I got to looking at some of the ingredient lists on these products.  How is it that the ingredient list takes up half the bottle, and why is most of it unpronounceable?  Why is it that I care so much about what goes into my husband's dinner but not about the 20 different products that we cover ourselves with every day?  So after a few days of research I was astounded to discover the beauty industry's dirty secret.  Lots of the chemicals/substances that are in the products that we use every day do serious harm to us.  Most of these chemicals do things like cause cancer, organ toxicity, skin sensitivity, reproductive problems, and more.  Some of these ingredients have even been banned in other countries like Japan and the UK because of their harmful effects.  This totally freaked me out.  Now I know a lot of people are going to say to themselves "it's no big deal, conditioner is only on my hair for two minutes.  That can't give me cancer".  What people don't understand is that you are applying these products daily.  Some of this stuff sits on your skin long enough to absorb; what about all the stuff that is left behind?  What are the effects of these trace amounts building up in your system over time?  What about lotions, skin creams, lip balms, cosmetics and more that sit on your skin all day?

A few years ago I made some soap as a fundraiser for Relay For Life, a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  So I got to thinking why can't I do this on a larger scale?  Why can't I make products that people can feel good about using?  That is how Swan Creek Soap was born.  I started selling through my website in 2009 and haven't looked back since.  My products are all natural/plant based and although I'll be honest and say that no product is without some fault (they can all be improved upon) I'm very proud of what I have accomplished.  Not only do my customers buy products they can feel good about but they also get an education  on what is going on in the world and what they can do in their own lives to be healthier and happier.  Now with a brick and mortar store I can bring those ideas to West Texas.  I believe that by using natural products along with scents and colors we can make huge differences in our lives.  More about that next time......

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