Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Getting Close.....

Less then a week until I leave on my Tour Around America or my 60/20 Tour or Trunk Tour.....it's had a lot of names this past week....my 5 week car trek to a wedding in Los Angeles via Santa Fe, Sedona, Yuma, and Huntington Beach.  Then North to Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa (where MoonMaid was born), Ashland, Portland....and then parts East as I journey home.
Mom's Head Gardens where MoonMaid was born!
I am taking my business back to it's roots - where I use to walk into a store, smile, put out my hand and begin a conversation.  That always ended with a few products and a price list left in the hands of someone I was sure to have to speak to in the future.  That's hard to do these days in the world of Whole Foods.  I'll focus on the "little stores" dotted across this landscape.
Store Demo
I am super excited!!! The TravelKits have been selling well...I still have 5 more bundled up to mail our or take with me.  You can support the journey and check them out here.  It's the "group" of MoonMaid products I am taking on my trip, offered at a 50% off price, all sales go directly into my travel fund.
Trek Across America Kit
I feel like this trip is my opportunity to "reset" my business.  Who am I?  Why do I do this? What is my "overall" goal?  That is a "huge" topic and will require a continuing flow of blog posts - developing as I go along.  I clearly know, at this moment, that one of my missions is to "connect with women."  To "empower" women to "take charge of their health."  So often we simply "follow instructions" because they come from a "professional."  Maybe - just maybe - there are other ways to deal with the many "health concerns related to chemical toxicity" and how can I be a part of that answer.
Herbal alternatives to bio-identical hormone products
I got in to this business out of concerns for horses.  Regarding how Premarin is produced.  It is amazing how one "point" can lead one to a life path - as it has for me.  20 years in business AND  60 years old - a milestone to be sure.

I am in the midst of figuring out how to load up the car - needing camping gear, doggie gear, products and luggage enough for me.  Not to mention how to operate a "small business" from the road.  Thankful for my co-worker Shirley who will produce and ship products as I send her the orders I receive.  I should have sufficient time to journal this journey, and blog it out to my loyal customers.
Shirley on a production day.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts on MoonMaid's Trek Across America
Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

60/20 Tour........trekking across America

My trip begins in less then 2 weeks.  I couldn't be more excited.   If you need any wild yam products, I have put together a travel kit and it is a great deal.  It includes a ProMeno Wild Yam Cream and a Vital "V" Wild Yam Salve plus some other things I will be taking on my celebratory journey.    Yes....I turned 60 and my business turned 20 this year!!  Can't believe it.....and the success of this business is thanks to you, my loyal customers.If you'd like to contribute to my 60/20 Trek Across America. the kit is the way to do so.   All sales of this kit go towards my travel budget.

60/20 Trek Across America Kit

First night out I will be in Bebee, Arkansas to stay with a friend I met on my last journey to the West.  Then on towards Amarillo Texas for a working night in a hotel somewhere on I40.  Then on to Santa Fe where I will be doing a customer demo at LaMontanita Co-op.  I will be in the store on Thursday, September 3rd.  If you'r in the area, please stop by and say hello.  I look forward to adobe and chili's!!  I love mexican food and I expect I will find the finest.

Then I am on to Sedona AZ to spend some time with a friend I have known for 30 years!!  Passing through Flagstaff to visit Phyllis Hogan @ WinterSun.  It is one of the oldest herb shops in the country and I love visiting it and the wise woman who founded it.  Then on to Yuma AZ where I will meet, in person, two gals I have been working with for years.

Lisa and Nancy of  Big Blend Magazine and Show.  They are a hilarious mother and daughter team and incredible historians.  I look forward to checking out the historic Coronado Motor Hotel and hanging out with the ladies.  There is a museum where I can check out the history of Yuma - and I look forward to that!

Then I am off to Lake Arrowhead for a wedding in Twin Peaks California.  I find that kind of quirky, I loved the show on years ago, and I never realized there was really a town of that name.

Then heading to the Pacific Coast, still creating the plans!  Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid

Thursday, August 6, 2015

August Travels

This month is "screaming" along isn't it?  As has the entire year!  August is my favorite month for many reasons; my birthday, mid-summer weather,  the bounty of harvest of our herb and vegetable gardens. Not to mention the gorgeous Ginseng in berry.  It is still hot and buggy but things are shifting and you can just feel that "hint" of autumn in the air.
Ginseng (Panax quinqefolium)

I have been making great use of BugOff Soothing Insect Repellent.  It is my blend of jewelweed, vitex leaves, lemon balm and a touch of mountain mint.  All of these steeped in witch hazel for a month or two with some added aloe vera juice and essential oils, makes one soothing remedy that repels bugs too.
BugOff Soothing Insect Repellant
It is one of the items in MoonMaid's Trek Across America Kit.  This is a "grouping" of products that I am taking on my journey across America on September 1.  It is over $150.00 of products that are on sale for $75.00  All monies from the sale of this Kit help fund my trek. This is my own way to "crowdfund" to assist in making this trek possible.  More details on the "kit" here

 Trek Kit
MoonMaid's Trek Across America Kit
I look forward to connecting with MoonMaid customers and hope to make connections with new co-op and privately owned stores.  I plan to check out the "sharing" economy by staying in Air B & B's.
My travelling companion Nissan has a new collar and tags and a fresh pillow for the car.  We both look forward to the journey.
Of course, I'll be posting regular travel notes on this blog.Until then - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Friday, July 17, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years in Business

20 years ago MoonMaid Botanicals was born.  I travelled around California...and then across country marketing my wares.  It was easy to engage buyers and managers because I have always been extremely passionate about herbs and women's health.  I want women to know that menopause is a life transition, not a sickness, not a dis-ease.  It is fun to talk about herbs, lifestyle and menopause.

To celebrate - I am taking MoonMaid back on the road this Fall.  There is social networking, there are cold calls but there is nothing like talking to a person face to face, handing them a product and information.  Nothing at all.  Of course, there is the footwork of a follow-up calls, more engagement, and I really like all of that.  If my products are already represented in a store - I will be spending time with the staff and chatting with customers.

Of course, one does not just walk into Whole Foods and get time with staff or time on the floor.  One cannot just drop off products - and get anywhere.  There is a corporate ladder that must be climbed one step at a time.  Hence, I intend to focus on privately owned stores, owned by a real person, or small chain community focused stores or Co-ops.  It is where I got my start. I am heading back to the roots of how I started my business, just after I have celebrated my 60th birthday.  I have come to realize that rather then children, I birthed MoonMaid and she is quite a beautiful creation at 20 years strong.  An excellent reason for a celebration.

To raise money for this 5 week journey - I have created a product bundle I am calling my TravelKit.  It includes all of the items I will be taking with me; ProMeno, Vital "V", Nettles, BugOff, BathBliss Soap and my new face serum (that is still in development), a bundle valued @ over $150 and on sale for $75.00.   All sales will be used for my travel fund!!  I most certainly appreciate the support.  It's a big trip for me, for MoonMaid and for Nissan, my travelling companion.  We are looking forward to seeing new places, new roads, and making new friends. We will be staying in Air B and B's, eating light, and enjoying as much of this wide wild USA as possible.  If you are on the I40 route and have suggestions of places to see - please let me know.

Additionally I am featured in a book - What do Raw Fooders Eat.  Yes....I eat raw a lot.  Not totally but I am fond of veggies, juices, fermented foods and things like that.  Check the book out here.  I think you will find it very valuable.   http://whatdorawfooderseat.com/?ref=29

                                                    Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hitting the road

I feel a little restless.   I have a big birthday this year.  I have entered menopause - something I have been talking to women about for 20 years.  How herbs can be so helpful.  How simple our menopause should be, how we have to protect our environment that grows the plants that are our medicine, how delicate the balance is.  Sometimes I can really get on a "bandwagon" because I hear the same stories over and over again.  How women have been "troubled" (to be kind) in trying to treat the symptoms of menopause with drugs.

When I first started sharing my products, that is "marketing" my products to stores - you could walk in, find the happy department manager, leave them some products and info and follow up later.  No more. My my how things have changed in 20 years.  Now - it is sometimes, dare I say, "forbidden" to market directly to a floor manager.  Or, the chain of command is so long - it is an act of God to get a spot on the shelf.  The popularity of "local" has made some difference - even in large chains like Whole Foods.  For me - though I sure would not say "no" to a large market - I have had much more success with small, local, privately owned natural food stores.  And, I love doing one on one consultations, demo's in stores and community events.

As I mentioned, I have been in business 20 years!  Wow - how time has flown.  In celebration I have decided to go back to the roots of what I do and hit the road.  I may be in your area!! Here is a short list of some of the markets, co-ops and other stores I will stop by.
La Montanita Co-op, Santa Fe, NM
Food for a Healthier Life in Woodward, Ok
WinterSun in Flagstaff, AZ
Five Flavor Herbs in Oakland, CA
Barbara Hoffman @ Better Health Naturaly in Corona del Mar, CA
Dale Figtree in Santa Barbara, CA
Staff of Life in Santa Cruz, CA
Restoration Health in Redding, CA
Ashland Food Cooperative, Ashland OR

If you are on this Interstate 40 corridor or the California to Oregon route and would like to see me and MoonMaid - just let me know.  moonmaidbotanicals@yahoo.com Leaving on August, 28, 2015.

Monday, July 6, 2015

In Memory of Burt Shavitz

Burt's Bees died today.  No...really.  The company, as it exists is the complete opposite of anything Burt Shavitz would have endorsed.  So I feel like, it has come to rest.  The name is out there, but Burt is gone.  He was the only thing that gave the company the tiniest little bit of "natural."  At last he won't be there to talk about his bees and amaze folks by approaching hives completely unprotected.

The fact is, I don't like Burt's Bees, the product line.  It's owned by Clorox, and to me, it is absolutely everything about what can go wrong when ethics are set aside and greed takes hold. This is not a "clean" product though it touts itself as such.  It has some "natural" ingredients, but it is not at all, in my mind, what it started out to be.  I had thought it was Mr. Burt who sold out to "bit pharma" and it just so happens, I had the story all wrong.

It turns out that Burt helped Roxanne Quimby, a girl he picked up hitchhiking, a single mom on the road.  She had some recipes, he had wax and a bunch of business sense.  The business became a "machine" and he knew they needed people and space. They grew, and then as Burt was getting a bit older, Roxanne bought him out, for $130K.........and then sold it for millions.  And then Clorox bought it.  Seems Clorox knew what they had in Burt - the "brand" of the product.  They had him doing appearances and speaking gigs - so he lived a comfortable life.  As I understand it - he just preferred to be on his land with his dogs.

To me - this is an example of an entrepreneur gone haywire.  I have no issue with making money.  I do have issue with taking "natural" and tweaking that definition so much that you can market a product with very little "natural" about it, that is produced in mass by a company that has some questionable ethics, to say the least.  This product, that started out as small batch, handcrafted, made by locals with local ingredients.  It is a sad sad story......Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Thursday, June 4, 2015

June Classes

June is a busy month of classes starting with Household Herbals @ EcoVillage in Charlottesville Virginia.  Can't wait to be there!! My yoga teacher from Miami, Joanie, has created this space and I look forward to the Air B & B, yoga classes and sharing my knowledge with her group.  More about EcoVillage, Charlottesville Here  What an amazing community resource.

Here's one from a class sometime back in Miami

June 14 from 4 - 6 PM at the wonderful, whimsical and magical Curiosities in Knoxville, TN, I will present Menopause with Herbs.  I will share from my 20 years of experience working with women in menopause or some other kind of hormone imbalance like PMS, infertility etc.  It is a huge problem in our world AND the "remedy" is really quite simple.  I'll share my "3 point" protocol to help you experience this powerful life transition with grace and some personal comfort!!!  It doesn't have to be this bad.....really.

I offer consultations if you need personal focus.  This service is 1/2 off for this entire year - as my "introductory year special."  The consultation fee includes your first month's herbs and products!!  Check it out while it is a mere $45.00

June 20th I am teaching my favorite class The Art of Simpling @ my office/production facility in Cosby, Tennessee.   It is the spot where we create all of MoonMaid's products for a healthy menopause and a great space to share how easy it is to make household "freshness" items and bodycare stuff, all in the comfort of your own kitchen.  And likely using stuff you already have. With a few herbs added, of course.  This class is presented in two parts - from 11 - 1 we will talk about product making, what you can make, what you need for tools, what types of herbs to use.  Dry herbs, herbal oils, essential oils, floral waters and powders are just some of the forms we will explore.  Then we are off to my Woodland Sanctuary for a simple organic lunch and a walk about the medicinal trail.  I have many endangered herbs growing here in a natural woodland setting.

Cabin in the Woods

Have a great week and weekend ahead.  Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals