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How It All Began

by Deborah Michel July 04, 2019

How It All Began

When we began, I believed that our packaging was just as important as the gift itself. I wanted the boxes that held our books or stationery to become beautiful keepsakes as well. So I developed our own unique style, drawing upon my lifelong love of French and English art from the 18th and 19th centuries. As an art history major, I always thought the best illustrators were from that period of time, and, for as long as I can remember, I constantly traveled to art shows and antique fairs collecting original art, old letters, magazines and all sorts of ephemera.

Those images became my inspiration, forming the bones of our packaging designs. I would layer several pieces together, enhance or change the faded colors, draw on top of other images, and more. Sometimes, I would add my own elements, like putting birds that never hung out together in the same nests. Creating each new design was, and still is, like playing on a playground.

Originally, we developed keepsake books for weddings, babies, favorite bread recipes, etc., but the Internet changed everything. When people began journaling and keeping their photos online, we quickly realized that our products, especially our journals and Victorian-style photo albums, didn’t make sense in the new world. So, I turned to my other passion.  I’d always been interested in fragrances, soaps, and lotions. We began to make a very natural progression, taking the beautiful packaging from our book business into the world of personal care products and fragrances.

At the time, there weren’t any great-smelling, beautiful soaps wrapped in stunning packaging, so I thought, why not be the one to make them? Wouldn’t it be fun to wrap soaps in wonderful packaging? And it wouldn’t it be equally fun to give them as gifts? I found this wonderful fragrance house and an equally wonderful soap-maker in England, and I took the opportunity to learn a whole new field.

Two of our initial fragrances are still with us today - Lavender Rosemary and Beach. I knew that both fragrances were scents that people could easily imagine and would love. For Lavender Rosemary, I kept it simple, combining just two fragrances that are well-known and easy to imagine. My desire to do a sea fragrance comes from my own personal love of the beach, and I envisioned something that smelled like the sand and the sea spray. We created a fragrance that really captures those notes – you can smell the stones, the salt, and even a little bit of kelp. And from there, we kept going.

Don't Forget to Try:

Today, our best-selling items are our foaming hand soaps. We spent a very long time perfecting this product, and it works really well. The delivery is just the perfect amount, it doesn’t stick to your fingers, and it smells good for the perfect amount of time after you’ve washed your hands. Plus, the packaging is really pretty so you can leave them on your counters. Once you use our foaming soaps, you really can’t imagine using anything else.

If you’re trying our foaming hand soaps for the very first time, I recommend the Lavender Rosemary.

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