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.

                                                    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. 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

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wild Yam


Aren't these beautiful shots of wild yam growing in my woodland medicinal gardens.  It is in the woods, in the formal beds, and right in the center of my medicine wheel.  It has wrapped itself around the crystal ball that sits in the center.  I find it magical!!

Wild Yam, Dioscorea villosa  is commonly used in creating bio-identical hormones.  Progesterone specifically.  It just happens to be the main herb in my herbal alternatives to bio-identical progesterone.  Women who have had cancer often don't want to use hormones, even if they are "natural" and reasonably safe.  With all the synthetic estrogens in our environment, hormone related health issues have become extremely problematic; not only for women, for whom estrogen is our dominate sex hormone.  If these synthetics are causing us problems, imagine how devastating the health effects on men, children, and our pets.

Wild yam is also on United Plant Saver's endangered plant list.  I have adopted wild yam for 5 years as part of a fundraising program to help protect this valuable plant.  I am also a part of the Botanical Sanctuary network.  I am blessed to find many endangered plants growing here including ginseng, echineacea, bloodroot, black cohosh, blue cohosh, goldenseal, trillium, pink lady slippers and lots of other medicinals too.

I have written a bit more about wild yam and how I use it in my products.  Here are links to my herbal alternatives; ProMeno Women's Wild Yam Cream, Vital "V" Wild Yam Salve and ProAndro Men's Wild Yam Cream

I hope you find this helpful in making informed choices for your health.  Herbs are, innately, helpers.  I use them whenever, and as often as possible.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Silver Bells and Dogwoods....

Silver Bells are delicate trees with a bell like blossom, they are so delightful...and brief. The appearance of the flowers lasts only a week or so....and then they are gone.  We had a tragedy here in my neighborhood of the felling of an old tree by a road thoughtless.  I am grateful for the three I find here @ MoonMaid's Woodland Sanctuary.

And then the lovely Madam Dogwood.
Dogwood in Full Moonlight
The trees create canopy that protects the herbs growing below - wild yam to be precise.  MoonMaid would not exist without this wonderful woodland medicinal that is the main herb in our products; ProMeno Women's Wild Yam Cream, Vital "V" Wild Yam Salve and ProAndro Men's Wild Yam Cream.

There are flowers of many colors of course....but there do seem to be an abundance of white varieties.

Tulips and daffodils give way to Silverbells and Dogwoods.  It is shaping up to be a very beautiful Spring here on the mountain.

Until next time - Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Spring has sprung @ MoonMaid...

Spring has sprung!!!!!  Winter was a little bit hard and I find myself especially grateful for the flowers that are everywhere.

It has been an absolute cascade of colors.

I have been taking lots of photos of the flowers and a whole bunch of medicinal plants that I will write about as the days go along.

Many of the woodland medicinals that are native here @ MoonMaid Botanicals Medicinal Plant Sanctuary, are the very ones we use in our products.

Vital "V" Wils Yam Salve

ProMeno Women's and ProAndro Men's Wild Yam Creams


I trust you had a beautiful day......I look forward to writing about the abundance of beauty that will emerge each and every day.       Cynthia @ MoonMaid Botanicals