Thursday, 28 July 2016

Why Go Green? JOLI Natural Skin Care Guest Blog

 JOLI butterfly logoQ1: Tell us a little about your business.

JOLI Natural Skin Care have their own unique brand of skin care products that can be tailor made to suit individual needs.  JOLI sell genuine natural skin care as apposed to companies who claim to be natural and organic yet aren't.  

JOLI wanted to offer the public a skin care range that truly does not contain hazardous, nasty ingredients, many of which are the cause of skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, skin irritation, rashes etc. 

JOLI have been making genuine natural skin care since 2005 with tried and true natural skin care formulations, and are Australian Made and Australian Owned.  JOLI are also approved by Choose Cruelty Free and are part of the Safe Cosmetics campaign (which means they're animal and human friendly).

Q2: When did you decide you wanted to go green?

After my second child was born I noticed a pattern; that my children were unable to use mainstream skin care products without developing rashes and skin irritations.  I, myself, was also suffering from overexposure to chemicals in my skin care and makeup.  Upon investigating this I found that many products on the market contain certain ingredients known to cause allergies and skin irritation, plus a wide range of other side effects

This was around 2003 to 2005 when my research into the way corporations use chemicals and toxic ingredients began.  I started looking into greener options, primarily for my family, and this grew into wanting to go bigger and larger and help many more people aside from my beautiful children and other family members and friends.  

Q3: What prompted you to make the move to go green?

The move to go green was almost accidental.  After researching skin care ingredients and realising they can be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting and cause young girls to bud and bring on puberty I realised there is something drastically wrong with modern day skin care companies / corporations - who are more concerned about making millions than the care and wellbeing of the population, animals and our earth.  

From there I learned these chemical additions also affect our food, our water, our clothing, our cleaning products, our farm animals, the earth etc. and I knew I had to do something very special (I had a calling you could say) to help save our earth and people from these harmful ingredients.  By creating a product range that does not contain nasty and hazardous ingredients JOLI reduce the amount of chemicals people (who use our products) come into contact with on a daily bases. 

Q4: What difficulties have you found with going green?

Family support, primarily my husband.  Whilst he is very supportive of my endeavors to save the world he just isn't as passionate about it as I am.   From time to time he will still come home with some awful chemical filled product that he is convinced does a better job than green brands (i.e. washing powders, liquid soaps).  Educating him has been one of my biggest challenges because hubby is yet to realise my expertise on the subject.  

Also sharing my 'green' message with the public (especially when it comes to natural skin care vs mainstream products) has also been difficult.  Many consumers love their chemical filled products purchased conveniently from shopping centers and don't want to hear the truth about how damaging those products are to them and the environment.  Though the good news is awareness is growing :) 

Q5: Is there one area you’re still yet to go green?

Packaging!  I have found plastic packaging almost impossible to get away from entirely.  For example we can't purchase a loaf of bread that isn't wrapped in plastic (that flimsy, non recyclable plastic).  Although I have made major reductions over the years by using fregie sacks at the supermarket, purchasing fresh foods instead of packaged or frozen foods, making our own produce at home when we can, I still find (non recyclable) plastic a hard one to avoid. 

Luckily our council offers a great recycling program so much of what we use gets turned into reusable products. 

Q6: Can you list some of the benefits / positive effects going green has had on your life?

Family health would be top of the list plus the savings - never having to go down the cleaning or beauty isles in the supermarket.  What we save on money there we are able to put towards organic food choices.  My children's skin, with their lack of skin irritations and rashes, plus the bonus of having great skin and looking younger because natural is so good for our skin.  Gotta love that! 

Q7: What suggestions would you make to those wanting to go green but not knowing where to start?

Going green is a process.  There are so many areas to go green: skin care, makeup, cleaning products, food, clothing, packaging, menstruation, toys, electronics (not consuming or purchasing things you don't need to survive).  Start small and take one step at a time.  You can try to do it all in one hit, however, I find it's easier to tackle one area at a time.  For example start with skin care (or what you feel is most important to you) then move onto cleaning products, then food etc. 

Consult experts and read and follow green, earth friendly, natural blogs.  A vast many people are making moves to go green and have infinite knowledge to share.  

Q8: Any other advice / comments regarding going green you’d like to share?

Don't think going green is not important and can be put off.  The truth is 'our earth depends on you making good, green, eco friendly choices'!  You can be one of the masses, burying your head in the sand and pretending that purchase you made has no ill effect on the earth or other people... but you'd be wrong in your thinking.  Start now and spread the word.  GREEN is the new black ;)

Author BIO

Jodi is the lady behind JOLI and when she's not busy working on skin care products or pampering people in her salon she is joyfully tending to her garden and veggie patch, teaching and educating her children on sustainable ways of living. 

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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Bad Service - Masseuse

Massages, we all love a good, enjoyable, relaxing massage!  The more enjoyable the better right?

Over the past few years I've been indulging in massages because as I get older I find my body is becoming more stiff and sore.  What better way to unwind than someone working away tension from the body. I've tried a few masseuses: some were very good but too chatty and spent the time talking and talking while I wanted to have peace and quiet; others were outright painful, leaving me feeling more sore and stiff than when I'd first arrived.

One lady seemed promising.  She had advertised her business in a women's networking group and I'd been on the lookout for a new masseuse.  Phoning her I found she charged $90 for a one hour massage which is fairly pricey.  She also did not have a claim number so I could not claim the massage as part of my health care.  Still, I decided to give her a try.

Upon meeting her one of the first things she said to me was a statement about how my husband and I must have a lot of conflict because men like a feminine woman and I'm not feminine enough.  This left me feeling incredulous thinking "Wow, you're going to lead a conversation with an assumption and an insult".  I said nothing about her remark, neither confirming nor denying any potential relationship conflict because I wasn't there for that.  Instead I talked to her about my requirements, a gentle relaxing massage, making sure to point out I wanted no pain.  I got a painful massage.  One of those digging into the knots and working them through thoroughly and painfully to the point where other body parts start to get pins and needles.  Randomly I thought maybe it just feels painful because I've got so many knots and tension.

When the massage was over the lady spent over an hour (I wish I was kidding) talking to me about her husband's new charity work in an attempt to get me interested in supporting his work.  It was like some maddening Seinfeld episode where I'm there trying to cut the conversation short, trying to get a word in that I need to leave, and simply being talked over, and me wondering how I got into this situation, how is this happening and how come she can't see I don't wan to be hearing this?  It was so unprofessional!

She sent me a follow up email during the week (using the title to her email "Awesome *insert her name*" which truthfully made me cringe, feeling like it should be about the customer, not her and her debatable awesomeness) asking me how I was feeling.  At least that is good customer relations.  Again I reiterated wanting a more gentle relaxing massage. 

Call me a sucker for punishment but I continued receiving treatments... briefly...

In between my next visit she found out I run the network meeting group she had joined (where she advertised her services) and realised I manufacture and sell my own skin care brand, requesting that I bring some samples and information at my next session.

The next time I saw her she told me she is also a medium and mindset coach and asked me if I'd had any miscarriages because she was sensing a lot of female spirits around me.  Again I was speechless thinking how inappropriate that statement is.  As a mother of boys how awful would it be to know that any miscarriages I might have had were potentially girls.  Again I neither confirmed nor denied the statement, thinking to myself "This lady really needs to learn some tact and she also needs to learn to read body language".  Again the massage was painful and I lay there deep breathing, thinking "I've had children, I can do this".   She remarked how strong I am compared to her male customers who complain about her rough massages.  At the end of the massage while we were going through product samples she talked to me about what physical activities I enjoy doing, I said dancing, and she said I should go out dancing with her.  The look on my face must have been interesting because she told me she realises I don't trust her yet.  Um, more like we're not friends and I'm there to receive massage treatments, not medium readings, not mindset coaching, not support your partner's business, just massages!

After my third painful massage I reiterated that I wanted a gentle non-painful massages and she said she had been feeling I'd be better suited to that and didn't know why I'd requested a hard massage in the first place.  Groan.  For a mindset coach she isn't all that good at listening to people.  How can you truly help people if you don't listen to them, both verbally and via body language?  After my third (painful) massage we talked about her skin care requirements and what product she'd like to purchase.  On that occasion I paid $100 and she didn't have change, saying she'd give me the $10 next time.

In the meantime, she came along to one of the network meetings I run to collect her product and meet other women in business.  She had told me she would bring the $10 she owed but when she arrived she only had enough money for the product she purchased - so I had to wait longer to receive my change (even though she had my bank details and could have deposited the money).  I know it's only $10 but it's the principle of the thing.  While at the network meeting she spent a great deal of our time talking about herself and her partner's business and other guests were feeling quite frustrated because she didn't pause for breathe or stop to listen to what other's had to say.  We all tried to get her to take a pause, to interrupt her, to have her listen to others... but it seemed she was not overly interested in sitting back, quietly listening to what others had to say or share.  In her mind it was (or is) all about her.

She sent follow up corresponded thanking me for inviting her to the network meeting and placing an order for additional products and we bantered back and forth via email.  Until I sent an email saying I would not be able to make my next appointment for personal reasons.  I sent her details for her order saying she could pay the $10 she owed me via that order.  She did not respond.

A day before my next appointment was due she sent a text saying she looked forward to seeing me and I reiterated that, as explained in my email, I couldn't make my appointment.  She asked if would like to reschedule and I said I needed to hold off (by now I was starting to feel she's not the right masseuse for me).  No response.  A few weeks later I sent her a message asking if she still wanted to go ahead with her order and reminding her she still owed me $10.  Days later I received a random email saying she was unable to access her emails and would I like to schedule another massage.  Nothing about the order she placed (not that I minded by this stage) and nothing about the $10 she owed.  Of course I'm wondering how she is emailing me from her email account if she cannot access emails?

I never responded, I never returned to her for a massage and I was never paid my $10 change. 

Again another well meaning business woman who is skilled in her profession, and no doubt a friendly, passionate person, yet not quite able to relate to customers - and not quite dedicated to one specific area e.g. is she a masseuse, a medium, a mindset coach or promoter of her husband's work?  In this case where she is having face to face conversations and interactions it is not good enough to not listen to what the customer is saying or requesting or look for signs (facial expressions, body language etc.) and see the customer is uncomfortable with her monopolising the situation and making it all about herself instead of the customer.  It could have just been me though I did wonder if other customers of hers had had similar experiences and reservations.

Have you had situations where you've felt the person serving you is thinking mostly about themselves and not you? Are you the type of person to be forward and speak up or do you (like so many of us) simply not return? 

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Starting a Vegetable Garden: Pumkins

At the time of writing my first blog about starting a home vegetable garden I had planted some pumpkin seeds not really expecting they'd do much. I've had so little luck when it comes to growing food (not that I'd previously put in any big effort) that I didn't have confidence in those seeds growing.

To my surprise pumpkin plants sprouted up and soon pumpkins were beginning to grow. At the time of harvest (in June before the cold weather really hits) the plant had supplied 10 healthy pumpkins.

As you can see by the picture the pumpkins we've grown have slight differences, some are squat and round, others are elongated and difference colours. They are JAP pumpkins and the seeds came from a lady who gave me a pumpkin she had grown herself.

One pumpkin accidentally got cut off early in the grown stage and that one was used for roasting, risotto and soup, while the seeds were dried out to snack on.

Another pumpkin was used to make pumpkin pie, the first time I'd ever made pumpkin pie, and it was delicious.

The next stage is preparing the remaining pumpkins for storage. Research suggests sitting the pumpkins on a sunny windowsill or other place where the sun hits and leaving them there for two weeks to harden their skins. Rotating once at the end of the first week.

Then they go into storage in a cool ventilated place out of the sun (I'm still yet to figure out where that will be). Put on a wrack that allows airflow around the pumpkins, not touching so they don't rot. Apparently the skins can be rubbed in oil for more protection.

It's all very exciting to have some home grown pumpkins and to be able to feed the family a number of dishes with food we've grown ourselves.