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Dallas CHIC recommends No Tox Life aluminum-free deodorant

Some of the most amazing people stop by our booths at local farmers markets and other events. Recently we met Quinn from Dallas CHIC at a market in Venice. Besides having a ton of fun talking about some of our favorite topics, soap making and deodorants, we found a kindred spirit.

Read her review of our aluminum-free deodorant on her website.

Or, read it on our website!

NO TOX LIFE aluminum-free deodorant review by DallasCHIC

Quinn also mentions our podcast interview on That’s So Retrograde. That was such a blast! Sandee gives a LOT of info about deodorants and aluminum and how it all works (or doesn’t). Listen to it on SoundCloud.

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No Tox Life Aluminum-Free deodorant — That’s Normal digs in deep

Nikki from That’s Normal has a BFF who knows she wants natural deodorant for her birthday — and No Tox Life was the brand chosen. We are LOL’ing reading Nikki’s reviews of many deodorants. And the pictures. OMG girl. They are amazing.

Read Nikki’s review on That’s Normal.

Or on our website!

The Trials and Tribulations of Wearing Natural Deodorant: Natural Deodorant Review, it’s the Pits! – That’s Normal

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How we transitioned a creative idea into a full-time career

Can a handmade business be more than just a hobby?

We started No Tox Life two years ago on Earth Day and we’re taking time to celebrate our journey.

How did you get started?

Short answer: Sandee taught herself to make soap in Fall 2013 and gave them as Christmas gifts. More and more people started asking for them and suggesting she make a business out of it. Reading the labels on store-bought soaps, she was appalled to realize how many unnecessary chemicals were added to most commercial soaps. She got fired up about helping people start a non-toxic body care routine, and No Tox Life was born.

No Tox Life Making Soap Swirls Vegan Soap1

Callie had a full-time job elsewhere, but would give suggestions on design or packaging, and helped with weekend market sales. By mid-2015, she was working full time in our new business. Callie is the creative director and works with all aspects of the business, from product development to package design to photography & social media, ensuring the brand message is consistent.

Where do you sell?

We started online, since we both knew how to build a simple website. We were first accepted to the Hollywood Farmers Market and began selling there. By Winter 2015, we had expanded to 5 local markets a week in the LA area, and had occasional weekends of 7 markets in LA and San Francisco.

No Tox Life Co Founder Callie Ferman

Where else do you sell?

We have online shops on Etsy, Amazon, and of course our own website! We are in some boutiques and grocery stores, and are growing that area this year.

Do you hire anyone?

Yes, we do now. We didn’t for more than a year, and eventually realized we really needed help to grow like we wanted. We started hiring sales assistants, which allowed us to expand into San Francisco. We had a couple part-time production assistants, and now have a full-time production assistant helping us make products.

No Tox Life Handmade Skincare - Diana Aitken

What are your sales numbers?

In 2014, we sold just over 2,000 units of product. Some of our most popular products were our Vegan Body BarsDETOX Charcoal Facial bars, Aluminum Free Natural Deodorants & Vegan Lip Balms.

Units sold 2014

2015 brought a whole new dimension to our business. We sold more than 12,500 units. We expanded our skincare line to include more than 100 different products, which really set us apart from other bath & body vendors.

Units sold 2015

First Quarter 2016 we’ve sold more than 5,300 units, a third of it online. We began shipping internationally, including to customers in Australia, Sweden, Canada and the UK.

Is social media important to the business?

We try to be very active on social media, posting on Instagram, Facebook and even Linkedin multiple times a week. Social media is the only “advertising” we do – and we get tons of customers ordering online and showing up to our markets as a result of social media postings.

One of our biggest opportunities actually came from a Facebook post – we were featured on live TV (Good Day Sacramento & Bay Area). It was a really fun interview and DIY demonstration live in San Francisco, and we drove back to LA to discover we had beat our highest ever online sales in a weekend.

no-tox-life-Good-Day-Sac---Callie

What other press have you gotten?

Sandee was interviewed on two podcasts last year — That’s So Retrograde hit #1 on iTunes and Food Heals was #1 in Health on iTunes for our podcast. They are worth a listen.

We’ve been fortunate to have bloggers, actors and models as our loyal customers, and they have spread the word about how much they love our products. We’ve also had our products highlighted in a few magazines including Into the Gloss (interviewing Tracee Ellis Ross, who says our deodorant is her go-to), and Handmade Magazine.

Handmade Magazine feature1

We’re not shy, so contact us if you have PR or media opportunities we should check out.

What’s the future?

In 2016 we’re moving to a larger production facility because we have outgrown our little workshop!

We’re also getting into more retail and grocery stores, so let us know your preferred places to shop.

And there are some ideas we’re considering — such as a subscription box, more DIY workshops, and more skin care products for men.

Big dream — establishing storefronts in several states. Maybe next year …

Do you have a special skin care routine?

Sandee:

Sandee Ferman No Tox LifeCurrently I use a Shea Butter Exfoliating Facial Bar, a Konjac sponge, and an Illuminating Facial Serum daily. (The Shea Butter Exfoliating Facial Bar and the Illuminating Facial Serum will be released as new products soon.) For showering I prefer mild soaps; one of my favorites is the Peppermint Pine Body Bar, it’s so refreshing! Weekly, I shampoo with our Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar, use Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioning Rinse, and finish with a few drops of Lavender Hair Treatment. That’s it! I like to keep things simple.

 

Callie:

Callie Ferman No Tox LifeI am a soap addict so I’m switching it up each time my soap runs out. My favorite scents are probably the Desert Sage Body Bar and the Grapefruit Mango Body bar. For good exfoliation, the Blacktop Coffee body bar is my go-to.

For shaving my legs I use the Charcoal Spirulina body bar because it has this amazing “gooey” texture that is slippery and perfect for keeping my skin moisturized. Way better than commercial shaving creams or shaving gel.

I wash my face with the Dry/Combo Charcoal DETOX facial bar, it has a nice creamy lather and cleans off my makeup. During the winter when my face gets super dry I will use the Face & Body oil to clean off my makeup. To moisturize, I’m using our new Illuminating Facial Serum, which is incredible.

I recently got my hair bleached and dyed grayish/lavender, so our 3-In-One Hair Treatment has been a lifesaver. I use about 5 drops every day after I get out of the shower and it gives my super dry hair the hydration it needs.

Anything else to say?

Thank you to our unpaid volunteers (Sandee’s husband, Callie’s boyfriend!) for helping us with late nights and early mornings. And to all of our customers for supporting us on this journey, and helping make our business a success. We love connecting with each one of you at the markets and hearing from you!

No-Tox-Life-Customers-at-the-Markets

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No Tox Life on Live TV

no-tox-life-Good-Day-Sac---Callie

We were on live TV this weekend, Good Day Sacramento, talking about living a more non-toxic lifestyle and demonstrating a DIY.

How did this all happen? We were already going to San Francisco for the Urban Air Market Holiday Boutique, and getting ready to make the drive, when we were contacted by the reporter and asked if we could be ready for an early-morning live interview. Of course we said “yes” and then got ourselves packed up and out the door. Can’t be late for your own TV show!

We couldn’t be more pleased with the reception we’ve received from this segment. Roqui (reporter) and Scott (cameraman) were so nice and easy to work with. Danielle (Urban Air Market event producer) graciously let us set up early. Fortunately, we got there before the morning rainstorm. As you’ll see in the video, we still had some pretty gusty wind to deal with — even inside the building!

http://gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com/video/category/spoken-word-good-day/3332967-no-tox-life/

Hope you enjoy watching! We’d love it if you’d share this with everyone.

No tox life good day sacramento - sandee

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Artists and Fleas in Los Angeles – by Stevie Katz

LOS ANGELES, Calif., — In the mood for a corndog? Need new clothes? Or soap bars? There are many different flea markets throughout the world ranging from food to clothing to picture frames and much more. This particular flea market in downtown Los Angeles presents much more than you would expect to find.

Handcrafted bags designed and sewn by Michael Reynolds of Swing-Dash bags (photo by Callie Ferman)
Handcrafted bags designed and sewn by Michael Reynolds of Swing-Dash bags (photo credit: Callie Ferman)

 

While walking through the all outside market your eye would be caught by the many different buses, trucks, stands and tables offering a different piece of themselves.  Many of the stands were located in a bus.  To look at the items, you walk up the stairs and stand in a narrow hallway looking at what the buses had to offer.

The people working stands at The Artists and Fleas Market were either wearing their clothing to show off how it could be worn, or hauling bystanders in to tell potential customers about what they have created.

Sarah Krueger of swing dash bags (photo by Callie Ferman)
Sarah Krueger of swing dash bags (photo credit: Callie Ferman)

 

Artists and Fleas opened in Downtown L.A. in the summer of 2014 in the Arts District. Here, there are studios, workplaces and an emerging culture of urban arts.  The market only comes on the third weekend of every month but never fails to bring many different unique aspects together to create a rich city that is surrounded with arts, craft shows and fairs.

Pottery from Lustered Walnut is 100% handmade in California (photo by Callie Ferman)
Pottery from Lustered Walnut is 100% handmade in California (photo credit: Callie Ferman)

 

This market differs from the rest in more ways than one.  Since L.A. is known for the home of celebrities and having a more up to date style than the east coast, it helped that the people selling their items were displaying how to use or wear them.   Often, the clothes hanging on the rack did not seem fashionable, but the women selling the overalls wore it in a certain style to show off how it could look up to date.

“It made me realize that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover because you may think that something you see on a rack is ugly but you never know until you try it on,” Jaclyn Fishler a student at the University of Arizona and a flea market spectator said.

At the market there were many people from the east coast such as Fishler who have been to a market before but still seemed shocked and interested in what a market on the west coast had to offer.

“A lot of the clothes and other things were presented in buses and I’ve never seen that in a flea market,” Fishler said.  “I liked the west coast flea market better because it seemed like more of the fashion was up to date.”

Every time the market sets up again, there is always a combination of new and old stands.  One of the new stands this month, called No Tox Body-Home-Life started to allow people to have natural, toxin-free vegan body care for those who want to live a cleaner and greener lifestyle.  No Tox sells lips balm and soap bars ranging from a facial detox to a regular bar to simply clean yourself.

Sandee Ferman, Founder of No Tox Body-Home-Life (photo credit: Alwin Sumirat La Pietra)
Sandee Ferman, Founder of No Tox Body-Home-Life (photo credit: Alwin Sumirat La Pietra)

 

“I normally am at farmers market where people are looking for high quality organic fruits and vegetables and they are also looking for high quality artist and handcrafted items,” Sandee Ferman the founder of No Tox Body-Home-Life said.  “I make high quality artist and handcrafted, creams, lip balm, deodorant that sort of thing.”

Ferman, chooses all of the ingredients and makes all of her products by hand.  She does not quite know why certain ingredients are good for the face and why others are good for the body but she does a lot of research to find out.

Vegan, natural hair treatment made by No Tox in Los Angeles (photo by Callie Ferman)
Vegan, natural hair treatment made by No Tox in Los Angeles (photo credit: Callie Ferman)

 

“I spend probably at least half my time researching and learning and continuing to educate myself in the area and the other half of the time making products and selling them,” Ferman said.

She got interested in living a non-toxic lifestyle after she ended up with red welts on her arms from using a perfume she got as a gift over 50 years ago.

“I obviously had a reaction to whatever chemical was using to fragrance that perfume bar, then that memory stuck with me for awhile,” Ferman said.  “I started doing a lot of water conservation and recycling and all of that so it really got my activism genes going.”

Sandee became interested in a natural lifestyle 50 years ago after having a reaction to a perfume she used on her skin.  (photo credit: Juan Carlos Nerio)
Sandee became interested in a natural lifestyle 50 years ago after having a reaction to a perfume she used on her skin. (photo credit: Juan Carlos Nerio)

 

Everyone at The Artist and Fleas market had a positive attitude whether they were the seller or the buyer.  The market has a very different unique style to it such as having trucks and buses with the items in them, which is different to many people such as Fishler.

Flea markets are a great experience for everyone to try at least once with great deals that go along with a fantastic time.

Story by Stevie Katz, University of Arizona student

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Luxury Beard Oil Tames Scraggly Facial Hair

Beard Oil with Kukui Nut and Argan Oil Natural

No Tox Body-Home-Life’s newest product — Beard Oil made from six luxurious “dry” oils (the oils absorb rapidly and don’t leave a greasy residue). With the addition of three essential oils for a fully-natural product, this new beard oil is popular with the bearded customer AND his significant other. (read the full article …)

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No Tox wins soap contest for Earth Day

upcycling containers for soap

I love products from Bramble Berry. And I upcycle a lot of containers to make a variety of soap molds, which keeps things interesting and also helps the environment. Win-win, right?

Well, when Bramble Berry said they were having a contest for Earth Day, and to show them pictures of how we are participating, I couldn’t resist. So I sent them several pictures of my setup, my safety equipment, my products, and the results. Many of those same photos are featured on this site for the products they are part of creating.

And much to my surprise, I won! I am so happy / gratified / surprised / humbled by this. I saw so many wonderful photos of amazing soap designs. Really creative people are out there making soap and I love to check in and see what’s new each day (actually, several times a day, to be honest!).

Here’s a link to the contest page. Please check it out and like their Facebook page. They’re a great company and I support them with a lot of business. 🙂

http://www.soapqueen.com/bramble-berry-news/results-winners-bbearthday-showmomlove/

Here’s a PDF copy of the site: 2014-04-22 Soap Queen – Winners of #BBEarthDay