I had an AWESOME Saturday at Otion. I was there all day working with Julie from a lavender farm in Sequim, Washington. Though she is already one busy lady, getting her Masters in Horticulture and running her farm and burgeoning toiletries business, she has big plans. Rather than experimenting with recipes for the next year, she decided to get all her questions answered with a custom designed day, including recipes already figured out, at Otion.
Here was the schedule of the day:
9:30 start (lay of the land, coffee, bath rooms)
9:45 – 11:30 – Advanced Lotion with Whipped Butter (includes preserving and shelf life)
11:30 – 11:45 – break
11:45 to 12:45 – lip balms/lipsticks (4 different recipes)
12:45 – 1:15 lunch delivered from Old World Deli
1:15 – 2:15 – Body Scrub (three emulsified scrub recipes)
2:15– 3:15– Soy container candles
3:15 – 4:00 – Bath fizzies
4:15 – 5:15 – Spritzers & follow up questions
We jammed all of that into the day and Julie left with a huge pile of goodies by the end of the day between all the recipes we made. And most importantly, she now has a stable of successful recipes to turn to when expanding her line.
Julie was super smart and brought a store bought lotion that she loved. We dissected the ingredients and created something similar both in feel and performance. It was fun to make similar recipes with and without IPM to feel the difference in slip and feel. We also played with the addition of talc to reduce oiliness in the oh-so-rich body butters.
We made lip balms and lipsticks. We had lots of fun experimenting with manly-man type lip balm flavors and ideas. Julie is a huge fan of unrefined hemp oil so we spent some time talking about the tradeoff with the unrefined hemp versus shorter shelf life for products.
We had a delicious lunch delivered by Erik, the Otion Store manager, from Old World Deli. I got my typical (homemade pickled onions, with fontina cheese & spinach, grilled to perfection) and Julie had a delicious chicken pesto sandwich.
Then we were back in the thick of things (literally!) with emulsified sugar and salt scrubs. We made a variety of recipes and discussed the pros and cons of each. It was fascinating to see how much salt and sugar needed to be added to get any sort of legit ‘scrubbiness’ to the products.
We did have one small mishap. The emulsifying wax/oils/stearic acid mixture spilled a bit on our protective paper towel. We didn’t think much of it and kept using the microwave until we smelled smoke. Whoops! The oil/wax combo coupled with the dry paper towel caught fire in the microwave. That was quite a surprise and we put out the (small) fire quickly, marveling at the strange occurrence and vowing clean up thoroughly after each and every spill from here on out.
Then, with barely a pause, it was back to the races to finish the busy learning schedule with bath fizzies, candles and making body spritzers (Polysorbate 20 is your friend for body spritzers). We did take a quick break to run across the street for donuts for a late afternoon pick-me-up. We were both pretty tired but satisfied when 5:30 rolled around.
Thanks for a fun day, Julie!