December 12, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Heather Armstrong, blogger extraordinaire behind the fiercely-loved blog Dooce, included the Chivas Starter Kit in her ‘Holiday for Her’ gift guide. As regular Dooce readers, Heather’s keen eye for style, design and craftsmanship has introduced us to many amazing independent artists and designers. We are honored to be included in her wish list.
Looking for a holiday gift to surprise the beauty-conscious women in your life? Packaged in a simple kraft box which requires little to no wrapping effort, our Starter Kit includes one each of our best sellers: Sweet Nothings facial creme, Original goat milk soap, Sweet Nothings bath salt sachet, and an Original vegan lip balm. We’re happy to customize your soap scent and/or include a hand-written note if you’re shipping it directly to the recipient. Please just note that in the comments section of your order.
November 16, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
As we now have 14 goats in our Chivas herd, I wanted to write about what makes each of our goats unique.
Sugar Muffin is the first goat that comes to mind because she was one of the first two goats I bought from a breeder in Southern California just over five years ago. When I first decided to raise goats, I started looking for Nubian goats, which are the most common breed in California. However, when I laid eyes on Sugar Muffin and her sister, it was love at first sight.
Sugar Muffin and sister, Precious, are Chamoisee French Alpine goats having tan, brown and white with black markings on the head, a black stripe down the back, and black stripes on the hind legs. To me, they look like antelope or impala and since I have visited Africa a few times, there was no doubt I wanted these goats because they are truly beautiful, majestic, and stately. Quite honestly, I bought them just because they were the most beautiful goats I have ever seen.
Sugar Muffin (Sugar for short) did not have a huge udder like her sister, who we later nicknamed Dolly Parton because she was so well endowed! Ironically, the two does produced about the same of amount of milk. Just proves the point that “size isn’t everything.”
Over the past five years, Sugar Muffin has given birth to twins or even triplets and has been the best mother. Her kids are always extremely good looking with good dispositions. Since Sugar Muffin is the oldest in our herd now, she is the matriarch and she definitely rules. But she is still sweet and loving with me and is still my favorite. I love her.
With the abundant milk that Sugar Muffin and Precious produced, I was able to begin making the goat milk soaps that now are the foundation of our goat milk skin care line. If you’d like to learn more about how Chivas Skin Care came about, please take a look at our story here.
“Musings from Mamacita” is a column written by Donna Johanson, Chivas Skin Care co-founder. As the mother half of this mother-daughter venture, Donna often signs emails to her daughter Lauren as “Mamacita,” which is the diminutive form of Mom in Spanish. As the team grows, Donna will now sign emails to the rest of the Chivas team as Mamacita.
In her column, Donna will share stories about cooking, gardening, caring for her animals, and other news from the Chivas homestead.
November 2, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
The Daily Grommet, once of our favorite shopping sites, recently reviewed cajeta (goat milk carmel sauce) from Fat Toad Farm, a small family-run goat dairy farm located in the central mountains of Vermont. Our co-founder Donna has made cajeta before with milk from the Chivas goats, and it truly is delicious.
We love the story of Fat Toad Farm. Beginning as a small raise-your-own-food effort, the family soon realized that they had more goat milk than they could consume. While living in Mexico, their daughter Josey discovered cajeta, a goat milk caramel sauce, and encouraged her family to try their hand at making the delicious dessert topping.
Fat Toad Farm now offers their cajeta in four flavors: original, cinnamon, vanilla bean and Fair Trade coffee bean. What a way to take your next dessert from good to amazing.
We love how the story and values of Fat Toad Farm echo our own and can’t wait to give the cajeta from Fat Toad Farm a try. Curious to learn more? You can purchase our own cajeta here on The Daily Grommet.
October 7, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
It is with great honor and sadness that I am writing about our pet duck, Honey. I say this because Honey passed away on September 30, 2009. Honey was one of two ducks that the Easter Bunny had brought to my children 12 years ago. She was the most beautiful duck. She was large and so soft with light honey-colored feathers. For this reason and because of her sweet personality, we named her Honey.
We had built a coop for the ducks and chickens, but I would let Honey free in the backyard whenever my husband went out of town. She loved this and would lay eggs in different spots in the backyard. It was like Easter egg hunting almost every day. And what large eggs she laid! Her eggs were great for baking.
Once in a while, I would let her go swimming in the pool. She loved that – flapping her wings, dunking under water which would drive our dog, Moose, crazy. With enough time in the backyard, she would get so tame that she would venture into the house and play with Moose.
Honey loved our dog Moose and Moose was so gentle with her. It was a beautiful sight to see them together
When Honey was around six years old, she was attacked by a bobcat or coyote. I didn’t think that she was going to survive. My friend, Pat, and I doctored her up and after about two weeks, she was back to normal. She was such a good patient; I think she understood that Pat and I were trying to help her.
I will miss Honey. Twelve years is a long time for a duck and also for me. She was part of the gang. Honey was a great duck.
“Musings from Mamacita” is a column written by Donna Johanson, Chivas Skin Care co-founder. As the mother half of this mother-daughter venture, Donna often signs emails to Lauren as “Mamacita,” which is the diminutive form of Mom in Spanish. As the team grows, Donna will now sign emails to other members of the Chivas team as Mamacita. In her column, Donna will share stories about cooking, gardening, caring for her animals, and other news from the Chivas homestead.
October 1, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Soozie Eastman, beauty expert and reporter for Hollywire, recently came to Camarillo to visit our farm, meet our goats, and learn first-hand what makes our goat milk soap and skin care products unique. Want to hear about the secret Soozie discovered? Check out this video clip to hear from co-founders Donna and Lauren Johanson, see scenes from our farm and factory, and meet Charm, one of our newest goats.
September 21, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Used as preservatives, parabens are a class of chemicals that appear on ingredient labels as Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben and Propylparaben, among others. The next time you’re in the drugstore, take a look at the labels on sunscreen, skin care, hair care, and cosmetics, and you’ll notice that many contain parabens.
Although still used in thousands of personal care products, studies suggest that parabens disrupt the endocrine system, affecting fertility and hormone levels. Another study, published in the 2004 Journal of Applied Toxicology, found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of breast tumors.
Though the full effects of parabens are still unknown, we don’t want to take any unnecessary risks to your health. Adhering to the precautionary principle, every one of our products is proudly paraben-free.
Curious to learn more? We suggest reading up! To start, you can check out The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, an excellent resource for learning more about what’s really in the products you use. Our co-founder Lauren discusses other dangers of commercial skin care here.
September 19, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
We’ve been lucky to meet Danielle Davis through Lauren’s work with Your Daily Thread (aka ydt). In addition to serving as ydt’s Green Living Contributer and Editor, Danielle is the voice behind Less Is More Balanced, a blog about using less and living more. We were delighted to see her article on all-natural soaps… and even more thrilled that she included us in as a brand to try.
Danielle especially praised our essential oil blends, writing, “If you like scents- from sweet to exotic to spicy- you’ll love Chivas… Goat milk is fantastic for skin and the shea butter mixed in is Fair Trade. In fact, the mother-daughter team has partnered with The Nomad Foundation to give goats to traveling tribes who need them.”
To read more, click here.
September 11, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Photo Credit: Myra Vides. Collage Compilation: Paige Appel
Paige Appel owns Bash Eco Events, writes a guest column for Design*Sponge, and plans beautiful, original, and environmentally conscious events in Southern California. On her blog, she writes a weekly B.E.E.s KNEES post about what’s stung her of late.
She devoted a recent B.E.E.s KNEES post to Chivas, calling our goat milk soaps her “absolute favorite soaps on the planet.” Paige goes on to say that our our goat milk bath salts are “so soft and heavenly that I practically fall asleep in my tub.” And she drops our lip balms into her party favor bags. You can check out her complete review here. Thanks, Paige!
August 24, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Last week, we (Lauren, Angie, and Taylor) stopped by Hershey’s Market, our newest retail location. Hershey’s Market is located on Balboa Island, a man-made island near Newport Beach, California
The store is very cheery and tidy! And the owner, Casey, does a great job of maintaining the store’s high-end reputation. Hershey’s has an interesting selection of local brands and products. We mingled business with pleasure by enjoying a bag of locally-made Have’a Chips (tortilla chips flavored with soy sauce) and purchasing some fun dish towels from Blue Q (with sayings like “I adore you” and “I’ll wash. You dry.”)
Later we stopped at Dad’s Donuts for Balboa Bars. If you haven’t tried them before, you must make it part of your next trip. What are they, you ask? Delicious ice cream bars dipped in chocolate and covered with any topping you want, like cookies, nuts, sprinkles and more. A few places sell Balboa Bars on the island, but locals have told us that Dad’s Donuts is the best spot.
We enjoyed our visit to Balboa Island and were proud to see Chivas on the shelves of Hershey’s Market. Apparently so was Mike, one of the employees, who was glad to share in our excitement and smiled for a photo while holding our goat milk soap (see above).
Hershey’s Market, 200 Marine Ave. Balboa Island, CA 92662. (949) 673-0330.
To view our complete list of stores that carry Chivas Skin Care products, visit our Store Locator.
August 17, 2009 Written by Chivas Skin Care
Woo-hoo, we did it! Several months ago, we decided to take the plunge and completely overhaul our website. We wanted something that felt more… us. And so we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Chivas Skin Care’s new site and blog today! Now you can learn more about and shop our goat milk soap and skin care products in style.
What are some of our favorite features? Donna loves that we can now find out how you heard about us (through our newsletter signup). Lauren really likes the rotating images on the homepage. Angie loves that customers can tell us what they think about our products through a review. And our summer interns Taylor and Carrie appreciate that the site matches up with the look of our products and brand… and even our offices! If only we could scent the site with our essential oil blends…
Just because we love the site doesn’t mean it’s perfect. What do you like or not like about it? Are you able to get around easily? Is anything unclear? Any constructive criticism? We have open ears. You can contact us with your feedback or just comment on this (or any other) blog post.
We can’t talk about the site without saying a huge thank you to our web designer, Lennie Appelquist of Free Market Media Group, who was patient, hard-working and creative. It was really important that we could make changes to our new site on our own, and Lennie took the time to think through a very user-friendly design.