Shop: lebotanicals or Living Earth Botanicals
Owners: Ginger and Amanda
The studio for Living Earth Botanicals is located in my home (Amanda) in Virginia Beach, VA. We're fortunate to live in a diverse city, filled with unique makers from all corners of the world. It's a proud military town with gorgeous beaches and lots of history. Our studio is converted from the office that my father once used for his business before he passed away. His perseverance in business has been a big inspiration and has provided us with the drive it takes to keep pushing, even when we're tired, and will continue to carry us further in our success. Our office furniture (the desk and the work center) are made from old doors! We love to reuse as much as we can!
History and Inspiration:
It would seem that everywhere you look these days, there's a health issue being spawned from what we put in and on our bodies. Our passion for natural skin care began first with our children. In an attempt to teach them to lead the healthiest lifestyles possible, we began purchasing overpriced body products that we now know, still have harmful ingredients. Before Ginger moved to the US from the Philippines several years ago, she worked for a company that made many of the most popular fragrances on the market. She eventually branched out on her own and started a company making body and linen sprays. She gave it all up after meeting her husband and relocating halfway around the world. As for me, I've long been an enthusiast for aromatherapy, often making bath salts as gifts for friends. My work has primarily had me in retail sales over the years. We were able to use our combined knowledge to make the earliest line of our products, and branching out into new frontiers. We've found ourselves pushing the limits of our comfort zone time and time again, creating products that we never thought we would. We seek out unique ingredients, sometimes purchasing oils or extracts few are familiar with, and finding out a way to incorporate them into our line.
We are nothing without a constant supply of pipettes!! They are absolutely essential for EVERY product that we make. Also, our scales take quite a bit of abuse- being used to weigh out newly cut soaps, raw butters, powdered extracts... Oh, and our packages, of course. The third most important, and probably the most dear to us, would be our Kitchen Aide mixer. Our mixer was handed down from my grandmother and is as old as I am! As a child, I used to watch my grandmother use it to make baked goods, and always knew I would purchase my own some day so I could make all the cakes and cookies that I wanted! I never did buy one, and when my grandmother passed on, I held on to hers forever before Ginger and I started our business. I bought new attachments for it and we use it CONSTANTLY (though I've never actually used it to bake)!! Ginger took care of my grandmother in the final months of her life, and both of us would like to think that she'd be so proud of the good use we've put it to.
Music or Silence:
MUSIC is our everything!!!! Every time we get ready to work, we bring out the laptop and turn on Pandora! We both have a pretty wide range of musical preferences, so it's hard to say what we'll be in the mood for when we get started! No matter the genre, you can be sure that what we're listening to is upbeat. I've been known to dance and pack orders at the same time!
Rewards of Handmade:
The overwhelming sense of pride that we get from a repeat customer has been known to move us to tears! As much as our friends and family will buy from us, you always wonder if maybe they're just a little biased. But when a complete stranger makes a purchase, and then orders again no matter the shipping cost, you realize, "Wow. We really are creating something great." A friend once gave me a book that asked, "How will you make the world beautiful today?" Years later, Ginger and I can finally answer that question.