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      For the love of Maine- The Story of Shower Shots

      For the love of Maine- The Story of Shower Shots

      We are at the hallway point between winter and spring which seems an ideal time to share our love of Maine and the story of shower shots.  Shower shots are small nuggets filled with pure essential oils and topped with our flower confetti.  They are simple, sustainable self care.  Perfect for someone who is looking to add a bit of ritual and thought into everyday activities- like taking a shower.

       

      When we started Dulse & Rugosa our focus was on our seaweed rich shampoo bars.  I discovered the power of seaweed while searching for a long term solution to my chronically itchy scalp.  Our shampoo bars are work horses and last a long time.  We realized we needed to expand our product line to help that annoying bottom line.  We have bills to pay.

       We wanted a product that served many purposes.  First, it needed to be of value to our customers.  We also needed a product that fit our environmental standards. A product that’s a joy to create.  Finally, our creation needed to reflect our love of place, the state of Maine.

       Folks often ask how shower shots work.  Simply place a “shot” on the floor of the shower.  As the water hits it, it will dissolve.  Quickly with a heavy stream of water or slowly under a trickle.  As it dissolves, it melts and releases a specific scent.  Aromatherapy in the shower. 

       We have a variety of scents, some to relax including lavender and feel better.  Others to uplift including peppermint and sinus relief.  PMS or Balance is our most quirky scent, when you most need it it can be quite powerful but if life is fairly balanced it can be a bit UH.  We package all our shots as sustainable as possible in compostable not plastic bags.  Individual shots are available as well as curated gift boxes. 

      The actual making of shower shots is production work.  We are small assembly line.  We use vintage shot glass molds and a lot of muscle power.  Each individual shot is topped with a mixture of dry flowers that relates to the scent.  Once the shots have dried out they are packaged and ready for sale.

       

      Last summer in particular I noticed how pollinators loved our flower gardens.  Many moments were spent outside simply watching pollinators in action.  We don’t have to add dried flowers to our shower shots.  Most companies that produce them do not.  We do it simply because we love flowers and want to add a bit of beauty and love to your shower ritual.

      We use a wide variety of flowers.  We look for hardy species that can take the changing Maine climate.  Wet springs and fall with dry almost drought conditions in the summer.  Being able to reseed is an added bonus and we love sunny Calendula for its resiliency. 

       

      My favorite story from last summer is a customer visiting our sweet shop noticed all the bees in our front garden.  He was memorized and mentioned he hadn’t seen so many bees for years.  I encouraged him to sit in the nearby chair and simply observe.  I often wondered  while sitting if the different species would be able to share a blossom.  They can giving me hope for the future.

      We’ve noticed since Covid that our quality can be erratic. Occasionally a shower shot will “melt”.  We’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the problem.  One easy solution would be to switch our packaging to plastic which would also save us money.  This wasn’t even considered.  After quite a bit of observing and tinkering we discovered that we sometimes get wonky batches of baking soda.  Being super frugal we try not to waste ingredients but now if we see the baking soda is off we don’t use it.  However, because of the compostable packaging, storage conditions, humid summers you might get a melty shower shot.  Simply let us know and we will gladly replace it.  You don’t have to toss the defective shower shot, use it as a toilet bowl cleaner.  This is especially effective before company arrives. 

      Maine shops that support Dulse & Rugosa and sell our shower shots.  I know I’ve forgotten a few and I’ll update as my memory from the summer kicks in.  And word of mouth is by far the best way to grow a business, if you have a favorite store where our shower shots would fit please mention us to the staff.  XXOO

       

      Bell Farms in York

      Maine Homestead in Lyman

      Heritage Seaweed in Portland

      Portland Food Coop

      Rising Tide in Damariscotta

      Archipelago in Rockland

      Good Tern Coop in Rockland

      Tiller & Rye in Brewer

      Granite Hall Store in Round Pound

      Sheepscott General in Whitefield

      Belfast Coop

      Vignettes of Maine in Hallowell

      Seven Years of Zero Waste

      Seven Years of Zero Waste

      I’ve written about my zero waste journey beginning in 2017.  Mostly in the forms of lists ‘cause that’s how I roll.  Each year, I added an action until Covid.  We all know how challenging that was!   

      If you are wanting to start 2023 by reducing a bit of your trash- go back and read any of the blogs.  All the info is valid, you will have to makes tweaks to fit your life style.  Please remember going zero waste is like any goal or accomplishment, it’s a dance.  Two steps forward, one back, a bit of spinning in the same space and then two steps forward.

      I’m not going to add to that list but I’d love to hear your suggestions and strategies.   Instead I'm sharing another list with ideas about how to help address the imbalance in our economy.

      I believe if you want to help heal our planet one step you can take is to “buy local, shop indie”.  Sure I’m biased because I have a small business but I have a small business because I want the world to be a better place. 

      Here’s my list of ways to support small and indie businesses-

       Word of mouth really matters- take the time to tell others about your favorite businesses and why you like them.

       Sign up for emails- in the ever changing word of social media an email list is a godsend to a small business, it’s where they can actually connect with people who are interested in their product or service

       Unsubscribe from emails you never open.  In order to sent out batches of emails you need to subscribe to an email server and you pay for the service.  If you are on someone’s list but never open an email you still count in terms of payment.  It’s very helpful for a small company to have you unsubscribe because they safe money and you will stop getting an email that you’re not interested in.

      Post a nice comment on social to help the algorithms used in social media sites.  The way this works is a site limits access to how many folks can see a post because they want to make money.  Liking, sharing and commenting on a post makes it more “popular” and visible.

      Post a picture and tag a business to help spread the word.

      Use locations and hashtags, another way to help a business be visible on social media. 

      Write reviews and share your positive experience.  If your experience was negative contact the business first before posting on social media.  Social media thrives on negativity so post with caution and kindness.

      Say “thank you” whenever possible and be understanding with problems.  Chances are if you have a problem you’ll get way better service and results than with a big business.

       Buy gift cards especially at busy holiday seasons.  It can be quite challenging in today’s ever changing world to keep items stocked and gift cards do help.

       When it’s time to make a purchase investigate options and if possible buy small, local and indie first before giving all the big boys your money.

       Consider a subscription service.  Similar to a CSA for farms a subscription service helps weather the year during slower times.  Subscription services are also a great way to support a creative that you admire.  The way social media works makes it easy to expect information and inspiration for free but it’s a lot of work and a subscription helps someone stay creative.

      Enjoy your zero waste journey and share your success.

      Seaweed Social

      Seaweed Social

      We are having a Seaweed Social at our sweet farm shop.

      Friday August 12 from 4:00-6:00, PM before the popular Delicious Drag Divas Show at Gouldsboro Town Park and and Saturday August 13 from 12:00 to 6:00. 

      What is a Seaweed Social?  It’s a gathering centered around eating and appreciating Maine seaweed.  Explore our “grazing table” with seaweed dishes both savory and sweet.  On our menu we will feature a wide variety of unique seaweed products from many of Maine’s seaweed producers.

      Our menu-

      Sea Deviled Eggs with Smithereen Farm Kelp Pickles and Vitamin Sea Smoked Dulse Flakes

      Nori Flatbread made with Vitamin Sea Nori Flakes

      Cheesy Kelpy Popcorn made with Springtide Seaweed Cheese Kelp

      Kelpy Humus made with Ocean’s Balance Kelp Puree

      Downeast Spring Rolls made with Nori Sheets

      Good Karma Cosmic Dumpling Dipping Sauce

      Ocean’s Balance Mariana Dipping Sauce

      Maine Homestead Pickles

      Spicy Edamame with Ariel’s Hot Pepper Infused Honey and Ocean’s Balance Spicy Seaweed Sprinkle

      Turkish Pide made with Curio’s Supeq Spice

      Irish moss Pudding made with Maine Coast Sea Vegetable Irish Moss Flakes

      Original and Ginger Kelp Krunch Bars from Maine Coast Sea Vegetable

      Pirate Brownies made with Ocean’s Balance Dulse Flakes

      Jamy Cookies made with Maine Homestead jams and Springtide’s Table Kelp

      Iced Emerald Honeybush Tea from Cup of Sea

      The Fog Iced Coffee from Precipice Coffee

      This event is free and open to everyone who is interested in discovering ways to incorporate seaweed into your diet for taste, nutrition and sustainability.  For more info email us at dulseandrugosa@gmail.com

      Vintage Clothing Sale

      Vintage Clothing Sale
      Vintage Clothing Sale July 8,9,10 337 RT 1, Gouldsboro ME Our sweet farm shop will be turned into a fashion destination. Vintage in many sizes and inspiration for "upcycling" to keep garments out of the landfills. Be inspired to turn a "meh" garment in a loved garment. Loved clothes last.

      Read more

      Conscious Ingredients- WHAT? And Eat Flowers

      Conscious Ingredients- WHAT? And Eat Flowers

      Recently I decided my brain needed a news break and I’ve been listening to Spotify- the free version.  I’ve enjoyed how their playlist or "radio" takes you from a familiar artist to a new one but the ads can be super annoying.  One in particular that I've heard a thousand times is pitching a hand sanitizer designed in an aerodynamic bird shape.  It’s a plastic bird that squirts sanitizer.  The sanitizer is made with only “conscious ingredients”. WTF is a conscious ingredient?  To be conscious is to be aware of one’s environment.   We pick flowers and dry them to use in our skin care products but I never think of a dried flower petal as being a conscious ingredient. 

      When a company sits down and makes a list of adjectives that appeal to a certain type of customer it’s called “green washing”.  It can be very effective.  When we hear certain words- reusable, refillable, clean fragrances we use our frame of reference and values to make a decision about a product.  Green washing happens in the world of beauty and fashion, and its insidious.  When you are getting ready to make a purchase, pause, because how we spend our money is a vote for the world we want to inhabit.

      We had the chance to shop European awhile back.  That’s how we discovered Ritonka Chocolate from Austria.  I’m guessing the chocolate will only be available for a limited time due to world circumstances and while the ingredients aren’t “conscious” they are extraordinary.  The bars are beautiful and have unique garden based flavors and include many of our favorite flowers.  Rose, Marigold, Bee Balm, Cornflower and more.  We have dark, milk and white chocolate bars.  Honestly, I am not a fan of white chocolate, in general, it’s just too sweet.  Ritonka’s white chocolate bar is yummy!  It’s topped with lavender buds- it's not an overly floral, soapy taste but instead a delightful crunch. The dried black currents  give the bar a cool sour explosion in your mouth. 

      We take time and care with our products but also with researching products made by other companies.  We love to discover new brands that are making  thoughtful decisions when creating.  It’s quite a bit of work because we have high standards and values.  We know you will enjoy this chocolate, it’s a perfect Easter or spring basket goody or just a treat for yourself. 

      Let us know what you think about "conscious ingredients" or your favorite way to eat flowers.