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ANOINTMENT BABY X CHAPTERS INDIGO

Exciting News!

Select Anointment items, namely Baby Skin Care Essentials Gift Set, Postpartum Recovery Set, and Postpartum Bath Herbs are now available ONLINE ONLY at Chapters Indigo.

Chapters Indigo is a popular shopping stop (both online and in store) for the holiday season. A convenient way to get your Anointment fix. If you’re a regular (thank you, we are SO grateful for each and every one of our customers), please feel encouraged to leave a product review!

 

 

 

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How did Anointment transform from soap to a best-selling New Mom & Baby skin care line?

Anointment Original Branding

Anointment began as a stall in the Halifax Brewery Farmers’ Market in 2002. Selling bar soap, Anointment did brisk business with customers who came weekly to buy multiple bars of soap packaged simply in hand-stamped paper bags secured with twine. Herbal baby products were a side idea for a booming soap business. Fifteen years later, the tables have turned and soap is now a smaller focus for a business known more for its New Mom & Baby products. How did that happen?

Anointment left the Farmers’ Market in 2008. After a brief hiatus and a change of ownership, Anointment re-emerged at a Halifax natural parenting store then owned by new Anointment owner April MacKinnon where local customers were relieved to find their beloved bar soap. For the next few years, soap remained the top selling category.

In 2011, after relocating from Halifax, NS to Sackville, NB and the birth of her third child, April worked with a handful of local families to provide postpartum doula support until her own family obligations forced a re-prioritization. April was also struggling to find direction for Anointment. One day, while having a lengthy telephone conversation with a fellow baby industry business owner, it was suggested that Baby Balm be submitted for a PTPA Media Award for best new product – and Baby Balm received that award! The lightbulb went on! What if Anointment New Mom & Baby products could embody the postpartum support of a doula in the products themselves? What might that look like?

It started with product formulations. Every ingredient was scrutinized and evaluated. Parents have a lot on their plate, it’s important that Anointment create products with intentional ingredients and product formulations that are pure, simple, and effective. We made changes, we found new suppliers with organic certifications.

We continued with packaging and new label designs. How could we impart a welcoming, supportive feeling into our packaging? We went through several iterations of designs, including lighthouses, whales and other Maritime imagery before bringing it really close to home: using the designs pressed into the doorknobs of the century Farmhouse I call home with my family. It fit like a perfectly warm hug.

That was just the beginning. As interest and product love grew, so did our New Mom & Baby line. We added more products to support moms in the immediate days postpartum when our body and spirit are raw. We tucked well wishes into the flaps of boxes, recipes into the insides of gift sets. Adding the intangible into a tangible item.

Anointment continues to grow and evolve, but today, our New Mom & Baby Line continues to be our best-selling line of products, and we couldn’t be more proud!

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Inside Anointment: Making Baby Balm

Anointment has been making Baby Balm for 15 years. Many things have changed since then: in 2003 ago I carried a Palm Pilot, listened to 50 cent’s “In Da Club” on repeat, and rented “Lost in Translation” at the local Blockbuster for Friday night entertainment. One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to pure, simple, natural recipes that work! In that time, Anointment has moved provinces from Nova Scotia to New Brunswick, changed our business model from Farmers’ Market stand to serving the wholesale market, and now has coast to coast Canadian distribution! Our workspace has evolved, our team has grown, and our batch volumes have doubled, but we still do things very much by hand.

We use minimal processing to maintain the quality of the natural ingredient benefits.  Learn how Anointment Baby Balm is made.

We begin with the best ingredients. We source certified organic herbs from a trusted supplier in Ontario. We now purchase certified organic extra virgin olive oil by the DRUM (produced in Tunisia, it is beautiful oil), and use Canadian beeswax from a lovely farmer named Tom in Manitoba. Each ingredient is carefully weighed and all of the product details are recorded for our batch records.

When the herbs are weighed, they are added to a heated infusion pot (not shown) along with the measured extra virgin olive oil and heated over low heat for several hours. This allows the natural (oil soluble) soothing properties of the herbs to be extracted into the oil.

After the heating period, the oil and herbs sit for several more hours (sometimes days) at room temperature to continue steeping. The oil is then double-strained to remove all of the dried herb material.

Fragrant Canadian beeswax is weighed and added to the oil. Beeswax is the thickener that creates an ointment (see what we did there with our name?) texture.

When the beeswax has melted, the Baby Balm ointment is ready to be bottled.

Poured hot, each bottle of Baby Balm is poured by hand and filled by weight.

Each bottle is labeled using a semi-automatic labeling machine. It operates with a foot pedal like a sewing machine. This photo shows Lavender Body Wash & Bubbles, but we use the same labeling machine for Baby Balm. We had to send the machine for customization because of the lips on the jars we use (notice the notches cut in the silver and black rollers).

The end result is a bottle of double-award winning jar of Baby Balm, ready to fulfill its diapering destiny.

Do you have a story to tell about Baby Balm? Let us know, we’ll add it to the website!

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Hubba Personal Care & Beauty Launch to Include Anointment

Hubba Personal Care & Beauty Launch
Hubba Personal Care & Beauty Launch

Since 2014 Anointment been part of Hubba, a place “where buyers find the info on products they care about and discover new stuff to love from the world’s most interesting brands.” For industry insiders, Hubba is like a LinkedIn for your products. This week Hubba is launching their Personal Care & Beauty categories and featuring a number of artisan brands, many of them Canadian. We’re thrilled that Anointment has made the cut – stay tuned for more this week!

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Anointment WINS BEST BOOTH

Atlantic Craft Trade Show Best Booth 2014

Anointment participated in the 39th annual Atlantic Craft Trade Show in Halifax, NS this past weekend. This was our third time exhibiting, our second time as a stand-alone booth (our first year was as an exhibitor in the New Brunswick Craft Council booth). With a few trade shows under our belts, we’ve devised a display that is easy to assemble/disassemble but still contains lots of interest and details. These photos were all taken with my phone and unfortunately in large convention centers glare is a problem so my apologies for the poor photography.

ACTS 2014 Halifax, NS

With a 10′ x 10′ corner space to work in, we angled our vinyl backdrop to invite people into our space. A table was positioned in front of the backdrop to hold our product. Using lots of props including antique fish boxes, a vintage cardboard suitcase, a vintage child’s chair and some antique books, we created lots of visual interest and height variations.
ACTS, Halifax 2014

Our tablecloth always gets lots of attention. It was purchased at fabricworm.com several seasons ago and is from Japanese fabric designer Etsuko Fuyura. It is a combination of 45% linen and 55% cotton which gives it a lovely drape. The colours just work perfectly with our branding.

With every trade show we add a few more lights. It seems you can never have enough. Using six high-impact halogen lights, the backdrop and table were lit to avoid any shadows and to highlight the look of light filtering through amber glass.

Our backdrop was decorated with hand stitched forest animals that I made using wool felt on rug hooking burlap. Each one depicts the animal from each of our New Mom & Baby products.

The remaining white generic pipe and drape was decorated with large flowers that repeat the floral patterns on our labels in a variety of bright colours. These flowers are copied onto card stock, cut out with an Xacto knife and then hung with monofilament thread (fishing line).

card stock flowers

This year I was so pleased to learn that we were voted BEST BOOTH by a panel of judges from the Craft Alliance. Visual merchandising doesn’t come easily to me and I will admit that I set up our booth over a week in a spare room in our home so I could evaluate, change, and re-arrange until I was happy. Presentation is so important to how a business is perceived in a highly competitive trade show, so it is important to put your best foot forward, even if it sometimes seems like more effort than it is worth.

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Red, White and GREEN – terra20

Lemon Lip Balm - Summer's perfect flavour!

We’ve been working with Ottawa-based retailer terra20 for just under a year. This incredible store lives in the vacated premises of the original IKEA store at the Pinecrest Shopping Centre and despite its impressive square footage has a cozy and friendly feel. In February I made a visit to wintery Ottawa to host an in-store event with them and had a great time meeting customers face-to-face, checking out the store and speaking with the amazing staff! I’m thrilled to see they love Anointment as much as we love them! Have a look at their blog post!

One minor detail: We’re no longer located in Halifax, Nova Scotia but in beautiful Sackville, New Brunswick on the Tantramar Marshes.

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The Storefronts of Anointment: Cuddly Bunny Co.

Cuddly Bunny Co.

{Photo by Cuddly Bunny Co.}

At 191 Queen Street in Port Perry, Ontario you will find Cuddly Bunny Co. Carrying a selection of our mom & baby care line, Cuddly Bunny operates a retail store filled with baby clothing, supplies, gift ware, party supplies and balloons and even feature a gift registry. Stop in and say hello!

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What IS an Om Shanti, anyway?

Om Shanti Soap

Om Shanti. Our most popular soap with a sweet, intoxicating smell combining pure cinnamon and patchouli essential oils with the decadence of certified organic and fairly traded coffee grounds and cocoa powder. It holds its scent forever and I’m told it can be habit forming. Case in point: people present themselves to me at craft fairs and my Farmer’s Market booth with their remaining slivers in a baggie so they can ‘compare’ scents and get the right soap when they’ve forgotten the name.

A question I get asked a lot is “what is Om Shanti?” My lovely mother-in-law (also an Om Shanti lover) refers to it as “Chianti“, but that’s a type of wine. Not the same thing.

The “Om” is a meditation sound used in yoga practice and many Eastern religions including Hinduism and Buddhism. Om Shanti is a phrase that means “to bring peace”.

Patchouli essential oil is derived from a member of the mint family grown in India. Its earthy scent is often associated with the 1960s – the decade of swamis and enlightenment. Cinnamon is also grown in India and Sri Lanka, making Om Shanti soap heavily influenced by Indian traditions.

The Om symbol is popular in jewelry, clothing, and accessories – and of course, our soap!

Om in the world

1. Om Belt Buckle, Pip Robins
2. Keep Calm and Carry Om, adropofgoldensun
3. Om Mug, ThrowingShop
4. Om Necklace, Perini Designs

Ironically, the t-shirt I reserved for my Grade 10 Phys. Ed. class had a beautiful blue and purple Om symbol embroidered on it. As a 15-year-old, I had no idea what it meant but looking back, perhaps I hoped I could be at peace with my lack of basketball skills.

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Anointment + Bummis = A Match Made in Heaven


:: A photo of April, Owner of Anointment and Jolyn, Owner of Nurtured at the Toronto Kid Show January 2013.

Bummis and Anointment have entered into a fantastic partnership – beginning this year Anointment Baby Balm samples will be included in every Organic Cotton Diaper Kit and BeautifulBASIC Cloth Diaper Kit distributed in North America. We are SO THRILLED about this partnership, and we wanted to share with you a little blog post written by Betsy, co-owner of Bummis about the new relationship!

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The Storefronts of Anointment: Bogside Gallery

Bogside Gallery
Barbara Roberts, Owner of Bogside Gallery

{photo by eyecandy SIGNS INC.}

Bogside Gallery in the Hydrostone Market (5527 Young Street) in Halifax, Nova Scotia’s North End is a treasure in itself. Built post-Halifax explosion, the Hydrostone Market has a uniquely European feeling and is a great neighbourhood for a leisurely stroll, a delicious coffee and croissant from nearby Julien’s European Bakery.

Barbara carefully curates the selection at Bogside Gallery and features Atlantic Canada’s artists and artisans. You’ll find a great selection of gifts and art for yourself and anyone you might be shopping for. Bogside stocks our wet shaving kits, a selection of soaps and baby care.