Category: aromaG company talk

Nashville Witchcraft and Wicca Supply Store

Our nashville store has been in business since 1999, supplying both witches and curiosity seekers everything they need in their magickal practice. Whether you choose from our selection from over 300 herbs to mix your potions and sew your sachets or browse through our candles in every style, shape, and color — we have something for the witch that resides in everyone.

We have a large book selection catering to beginners in Wicca to the seasoned practitioner. Books on Celtic magic, Druids, Asatru, Norse magic, Goddess worship, Voodoo, Hoodoo, Santeria, the Orishas, Witchcraft studies, Cabala (Kabbalah), and Egyptian magick. Well known authors such as Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, Christopher Penzcak, are staples in witchcraft along with titles by Buckland, Aleister Crowley, and Judika Illes. Candle magic, poppet crafting, herb lore and magick, spell casting, the Sabbats, and so many more titles.

For your ritual practice, we carry tools of every variety:
Books of Shadows
Athames
Silver chalices
Goddess statues
Egyptian statues
Orisha statues
Norse statues
Pagan Gods, etc….
Altar cloths,
Altar tables and chests
wall hangings
cauldrons
crystal balls
over 100 types of incense including our in house blends
anointing oils
candles of every style, shape, and color
Spell kits
over 330 types of Tarot cards
Runes
Jewelry and amulets – Wiccan and Celtic
Magical soaps and spiritual washes
And so many other tools you will need for your journey into the art of Witchcraft.

We offer classes on wide variety of topics including witchcraft, spell casting, american folk magic, hoodoo, reiki, and so much more.

aromaG’s Botanica
223 Donelson Pike
Nashville, Tn 37214
615-360-8089
HOURS:
Mon: 10:00 to 7:00
Tues: 10:00 to 7:00
Wed: 10:00 to 7:00
Thu: 10:00 to 7:00
Fri: 10:00 to 7:00
Sat: 10:00 to 7:00
Sun: 12:00 to 7:00

New soap packaging

we have finally come up with a retail packaging for the soap bars that we are happy with. Each bar is shrink wrapped with the ends left open for smelling. The label is glossy white – something I’d been looking for for a long time in the right size.

can now forego the baskets of soap and line up the bars on the shelf. This gives us the room to display five types of soap per shelf where, before, only three baskets would fit.image

natural soap nashville flea market

nashville flea marketWe were permanent vendors at the Nashville Flea Market for almost three years before opening our store. Once the store opened and we shared in the weekend duties of running a retail shop, attending the flea market was no longer possible. Also, our girls were younger then and it sometimes interfered with our weekends with them.

But now, over five years later, we’re happy to announce they we are returning to the Nashville Flea Market. By the way, the fairgrounds property is now renamed by Nashville Metro as: The Nashville Expo Center. The girls are all grown up, Roy has retired from his job with the State, and our schedule in the store has freed up the weekends.

Went shopping today for new fabric for tablecloths (vibrant purple this time) and bought a FOLDING six foot table since we no longer have the van we use to. Also, some great wooden box for carrying the bottles of essential oil to the market for sale. Lots of natural soap being made in the soap shop for the flea market, the store, and our wholesale customers.

Our booth is number 70 in the Agriculture Building, close to the Cafe. Hopefully, it will become our permanent space but it does take going consistently for a year for a vendor to have a permanent space.

Ordered the new banner for the table and booth and it should be on its way to us any day. Four feet wide and two-and-a-half feet tall. See pic below.
soap company banner

2013 Show Hours

March–November
Friday 8am–5pm
Saturday 7am–6pm
Sunday 7am–4pm

December–February
Friday 12noon–5pm
Saturday 7am–5pm
Sunday 7am–4pm

2013 Flea Market Dates

  • WinterFest January 25–26–27
  • Spring is in the Air February 22–23–24
  • Spring Fling March 22–23–24
  • Spring Extravaganza April 26–27–28
  • Summer Sneek a Peek May 24–25–26
  • Summer Fun June 21–22–23
  • Hot Swaps July 26–27–28
  • Back to School August 23–24–25
  • Fall Fest September 27–28–29
  • The Big One October 25–26–27
  • Holiday Preview November 22–23–24
  • Last Chance December 20–21–22

Two Men equals more soap, less stress

Roy has finally retired from his stress-laden job at the State of Tennessee after 28 years. We’ve been talking about it for years, planning for the day when we could work side by side in the company. Two men equals more soap production, faster turnaround times, and time to return to doing fairs, markets and special events. It is also the beginning of having more time to actually work on our vegetable garden, take day trips when the mood strikes, or have a coffee shop office day.

Of course, he’s also working out in our home studio where he takes clients for Reiki and Shamanic healing sessions. His website for sessions is http://www.royhamiltononline.com

It’s nice to throw away the alarm clock and wake up naturally. No more ironing of work clothes that require ties and stiff shoes. Today is one of those coffee shop office days at Bongo Java in Nashville, TN across from Belmont.

Green Pergola Soap

What happened to Green Pergola Soap and Aromatherapy Company?  We’re still right here with an old and new name – Aromagregory Creative Inc.

From 1999 to around 2003, our original company name was Aromagregory Botanicals.  When Gregory met Roy and they decided to work on the business together, they renamed the company Green Pergola.

In 2012 when we decided to incorporate, we reclaimed the name Aromagregory.  Why Aromagregory Creative Inc. ?  Simple – our soaps and bath products are not the only things we do. Gregory takes aromatherapy clients, does chakra alignments and readings. He also designs websites for other small businesses.  Besides being the chief candle maker, Roy is also a Reiki Master and performs shamanic healings.  So, the word “bath” or “botanicals” did not quite cover everything. Creative (the way we try to approach everything we do) did.

green pergola

Why ditch the Green Pergola name after having it for so long?  Well, for one reason, customers couldn’t remember the name.  They also reported back to us that they couldn’t find us on the web when they looked for Green PAGODA.  Also, it was a long, drawn-out speech about how we came up with the name.  Green was supposed to signify the need for more natural products.  A pergola (where vines grow up, across, and back down again was supposed to signify to growth of mind, body, and spirits by using more green (natural) products.

We did, however, maintain the dot com. When customers go to www.greenpergola.com, they will land on the aromagregory.com website.

So, Green Pergola and Aromagregory are the same company. The same people who started the company still make and ship out your soaps orders.

Greg and Roy

Homemade Soap

homemade soapHomemade soap means different things to different people – mainly defined by those who actually make home made soap.

For some soap makers, it means exactly what it says – it is a small batch of soap made in the home for personal use.

But I think it can mean much more than that. To me, homemade soap is a soap that is artisan crafted in small batches where careful attention is given to each recipe. To me, it must be made by hand – not by large machines where the ingredients are poured into giant drums.  That is definitely NOT home made!

SHOP OUR HOMEMADE SOAPS HERE – OVER 25 KINDS

So, does the soap have to made inside someone’s house to be called homemade?  Not necessarily. While it is true that our soap making operation moved out of our personal kitchen many years ago, it didn’t go that far. Around 2006 we purchased a soap making shop – one of those quaint barns that most people use for storing bicycles, old furniture, and Christmas ornaments. We then proceeded to insulate the entire barn, install drywall, counter tops, flooring, and electricity. In the picture below, our soap shop may not look very large but it is very well organized with work stations on either side, drying racks for the soaps, an oil melting station, and a shipping area. The barn lofts are great for store bottling and packaging.

home soap shopMy point is, our soap shop is still located at our home, just 15 feet from our back door right beyond our studio and the goldfish pond.  In front of the shop is our herb garden where there is: oregano, thyme, sage, Asiatic lilies, lavender, catmint, beebalm, yarrow, and green peppers.

To the side, you will see my hydrangea bushes on either side of the door.  In the summer months, there are hanging baskets of petunias and impatients. An old elm tree shades the soap shop, helping to keep in cooler during the summer months.  But, yes, there is air conditioning in the shop.  Soap needs the humidity pulled out of the air in order for it to dry and cure properly.

I went surfing the web trying to find other soap makers that made soap in barns or outdoor workshops but wasn’t very successful in finding any pictures.  I did, however, run across another soapmaker with the cutest little shop. Their store reminded me of an upscale version of our barn with the rustic appearance and the landscaping out front.  So, here’s a nod to Rosner Soap of Sugar Loaf, NY. Great looking shop!

Now, back to homemade soap. Just being made on our property isn’t the only factor in calling our soap homemade. It also has to do with the fact that it is made in small quantities – only 36 bars at a time, sometimes only 12 bars at a time. True, we may have to make soap more often than our competition but this attention to detail and quality makes me secure in the notion of calling our soap homemade.

 

Vegan Soap

We have been making vegan soap since 1999, completely by accident, I have to admit. I’d like to think it was some sort of inner voice that led us towards ingredients that made our soaps vegan and vegetarian friendly.

Out of the 27 natural soaps we make, 25 of them can be considered vegan soap. The other two are Garden Gate (which has honey added) and Oatmeal Milk and Honey (which includes powdered milk and honey). So, you might call all of our soaps, including those two, somewhat vegetarian friendly. At the current time, we are working on two more soaps that really focus on vegetables – a carrot soap and a tomato soap.

So how is a soap classified as vegan? For starters, we use absolutely no animal fats as the base. Our soapmaking oils consist of: olive oil, coconut, soybean and shea butter. They are scented with real essential oils from plants and the coloring comes from minerals. Unlike many soap makers who make it the norm, we do NOT include goats milk in our formula – just vegetable oils, essentials oils, herbs, roots, flowers and minerals.

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products. Ethical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans (or strict vegetarians) eliminate them from their diet only. Read the full Wiki Vegan article here.

The sad thing is, I don’t think most vegans realize that they commercial soap they are using contains the fat from a cow. This is because the industry invented to word sodium tallowate (the mixing of sodium hydroxide with beef tallow) to disguise the UNanimal-friendly ingredient.  Who would know what this ingredient was unless someone told them.  So, a lot of vegans out there are buying cheap soap from the big box stores and have no clue that they are rubbing beef fat on their bodies every morning.  My mouth is curling up right now just thinking of how disgusting that sounds.

If you are interested in becoming vegan, there is a lot of interesting information and recipes found at www.vegan.com.

In the meantime, at least attempt it in the shower or bath by shopping our vegan soaps at www.aromagregory.com

vegan soap

Melt and Pour soap base

All melt and pour bases are not created equal. If you are wanting to get into melt and pour soap either just for yourself or to sell in your business, you need to start with a high quality base first.

While we have been using our cold processed handmade soap for years, there are times when I turn to a melt and pour soap for my personal use, mainly when I want to scent a soap with a really expensive essential oil such as sandalwood or jasmine absolute. Unlike cold process soaps, melt and pour soap bases can take very small amounts of fragrance or essential oils. I’m not saying that soaps you make from scratch needs enormous amounts of scent – but why try to make an entire loaf of jasmine soap and use a full two ounces of essential oil that would cost you over $300, when you can just add a few drops to a single bar of melt and pour?

So, what type of melt and pour base should you use and where should you get it?  That depends on the look and feel you are trying to achieve.  The white bases have more of a handmade look, while the clear bases allow you room to get creative with color and soap inserts such as toys or even photographs.

One of the most used suppliers for melt and pour soap base is Brambleberry.  They have a large selection of bases including: white, clear, aloe vera, goats milk, hemp, honey and olive oil.  They even stock a few specialty melt and pour soap bases like: organic, shaving, shea butter and a low-sweat version.  The prices are good and comparible with many suppliers. Most are priced around $37.50 for 25 lbs (at the time of this writing) but they also have 1 lb quantities and even a melt and pour soap sampler kit that you can order with 1 lb each of seven different types.  But even better, the quality is one of the better choices out there for melt and pour. You can go directly to their melt and pour page here.

Another high quality supplier is SFIC Corporation.  However, be prepared to order high minimums.  Unless you are a professional mud wrestler, or, have already been in the business of selling melt and pour soap for a while and know your market, you won’t need this much soap at one time.  There minium ordering amount for their soap bases is five, 43 pound tubs OR seven, 35 pound boxes of one-pound wrapped soaps OR five, 50 pound cases cut up into logs.

However, if your heart is set on wanting to try the SFIC bases but you don’t want to order in large quantities, Kangarooblue.com carries SFIC melt and pour bases in small quantities, as little as 2 pounds.  Currently, they carry the shaving and the shea butter melt and pour.

Another choice is Soaperschoice.com, also known as Columbus foods.  I’ve ordered a twenty-five block of the clear base before and while it did perform well in the melting process, the soap didn’t feel as nice as the bases that come from Brambleberry or SFIC.

Another option when you are first wanting to experiment with melt and pour soap is to try your local craft store.

No matter where you decide to buy your melt and pour soap base, keep in mind the one thing I say all the way through this website – quality is king when it comes to building your business.

Waterproof Labels

Several years ago when we started carrying bottles of essential oil, we went in search of a good waterproof label. We had tried regular labels but the oils smeared the ink, most of the time removing our company name or the website – and that sure isn’t good for business.

We use the weatherproof labels from Online Labels. The exact one is found here – http://www.onlinelabels.com/Products/OL175WJ.htm
These are the full sheet waterproof labels, meaning, we print several labels on a sheet and cut them out by hand. I know, it sounds like a lot of extra work but we found that so many products looked better by using these vinyl weatherproof labels that one size just wouldn’t do. We use them on any product where wet hands may come in contact with the container. They are great on essential oil bottles, bubble bath and shower gel bottles and even bath salt bags. They are even smudge proof when it comes to carrier oils, so we also use the waterproof label on bottles of massage oil.

The cost is $59.95 for 100 sheets, lower if you order higher quantities. Shipping is usually around $5.00.  Total of $64.95 or 65 cents per sheet.  Seems like a high amount but not when you do the math in regards to how many labels you can get from each sheet.  Twenty essential oil labels fit to a sheet, bringing the raw cost (without ink and your labor) down to less than 4 cents per label.  Not bad for a quality waterproof label that will make your products look more professional.

We have always used the Weatherproof Matte for Inkjet.  The labels also come in Weatherproof Polyester for laser printers and Weatherproof Glossy for Inkjet.  However, if memory serves me correctly, I tried a few sample sheets of the inkjet glossy label once and it didn’t perform as well, taking quite a while to dry and did smear a little versus the matte finish.

Tip on using the waterproof labels – only CUT OUT the labels that you need at the moment, leaving the rest you have printed on the full sheet, preferably with a slight border around it.  A fresh cut into the vinyl label peels more easily than a pre-cut label that has sat in a folder for months.

Also, keep the new sheets in the hard plastic container they come in.  Over time, as you use up your labels, the edges begin to slightly curl up.  I simply curl it back the opposite direction before feeding into the printer tray.

Nice to be noticed

Gregory White

So, I was wandering through out site statistics and found a site linking to us found here – http://homemadebathproducts.blogspot.com/2011/02/face-scrubs-recipe.html

I’m glad they did because I was unaware their site existed.  It appears to be a really comprehensive blog about making homemade bath products.  From what I can tell, since 2007 the site has created over 1500 blog posts on the subject.

There you will find lists of suppliers, reviews of classes, articles on homemade bath products, as well as a generous listing of other related blogs and websites.  The blog host also teaches classes on the subject of making bath products and soaps.

A toast to homemadebathproducts.blogspot.com for over 1500 posts to date!

Gregory

Welcome to the soap and aromatherapy blog

Welcome to the aromagregory blog, mainly dedicated to learning about natural soap, soap making and aromatherapy. We like to call making your own soap and bath products a “bathroots movement”.  Here you will find soap making directions, soap recipes, video tutorials (coming soon), soap making recipes and everything you need to know about making soap and other handcrafted products. From how to make soap, how to cut it, cure it and package the soap – we will guide you through the entire process so that even the very basic beginner can start a soap or bath and body company. Not looking to start a business? That’s okay. All of the bath and soap recipes can be used at home for personal use or to share with friends and family.

We have been making soaps, lotions, candles and bath products since 1999.  Our soaps are found coast to coast, mainly in small boutiques – from a New York natural pharmacy to a Spa in Los Angeles.  And it all began with an investment of $50 for supplies.  Our soap company is  Aromagregory where we make and sell handmade soaps, essential oils, shea butter, aromatherapy candles, bath salts and natural liquid soap.  Our site for wholesale bulk soap is SOAP BY THE LOAF where customers may order loaves or blocks of soap for resale with their own labels.  So, as you can see, I’ve had over a decade to collect and test bath and body recipes.  More about me, our company history and how it all started can be found on the ABOUT page.

For the past few years I’ve toyed with the idea of teaching others how to make soap and bath products, ruminating over exactly how I wanted to do it.  I have even taught hands-on soapmaking classes in our retail store and recently started to offer classes on a larger scale.  While teaching is a lot of fun, it cannot reach as many people as it could by placing recipes and directions on the web. I hope you enjoy how we have opened up our aromagregory company to include bath recipes, aromatherapy education and information on soap making.  Gregory.

 

MAKING HANDMADE SOAP

soap making instructionsWe hope that over time our blog will become your number one source for soapmaking instructions.  We will continue to add soap recipes to our site as well as a number of soap making tutorials about a variety of soap making methods.  This website is our outlet for teaching soap making.  So, if you have been looking for someone to teach soap, we hope you will browse around our site and learn all you can.  Here you will find information on how to make cold process soap, packaging soap, selling handmade soap as well as techniques like – how to make soap swirls, how to identify trace, making liquid soap and more.

Supplier Review – Specialty Bottle

Supplier Review 

I’ve been using Specialty Bottle for years, mainly for glass bottles for essential oils.  Other items that I have ordered from them in the past and been pleased with are their brushed aluminum bottles and their candle tins.

I only wish they were closer.  Shipping from California to Tennessee can take a few days.  Of course, because of the distance, I always order a few extra bottles to allow from breakage.  And there is usually one to three glass bottles broken out of the pack of 160 I order.  But hey, should I insist that the buy more bubble wrap than they do?  In the long run, that will only increase the costs of the products.  No, I’d rather order a few extra bottles as insurance just in case I might need them.

One thing I really like about the Specialty Bottle website is that your order begins totalling itself in the right column.  There, you can also check to see how much shipping is going to be before proceeding to checkout – which is really terrific for those days when you go a little wild and order glass jars you really don’t need, only to discover that you’ve upped your shipping 50% with that impulse to shop!

Recently, I ordered 250 cobalt blue bottles and 25 amber dram bottles.  Unfortunately, the drams arrived with no lids.  When I called, they were immediately on the problem.  When I checked my email a half hour later, there was already a tracking number for the dram lids that were on their way.

Their prices are hard to beat, EVEN if you’re shipping across country.  And it is such a convenience to find a bottle supplier that INCLUDES the lid in the cost!  There’s nothing that gets on my nerves more than going to a website where I must go to another page on the site to buy lids for bottles.  And, those sites rarely sell the lids in the same quantities as the bottles.  Not so with Specialty Bottle.  Bottle and lid, one page and one price.

How many years have I been ordering from Specialty Bottle?  Without getting up and digging around old records, if I had to venture a guess I would say since 2003, maybe longer.  Eight years and I’m still loyal?  They must be doing something I like!

Shiny Shower or Healthy Skin

Gregory White

Customers amaze me sometimes. Okay. I admit. I get amazed by them on a weekly basis.

Recently, a customer came in complaining about itchy skin. I asked her what kind of soap she used. She said DOVE and a variety of shower gels from the mall. I went on to explain to her how our soaps are made with oils of olive, soybean, shea and coconut. That they were only scented with real essential oils and the coloring either came from spices or minerals. Nothing unnatural for her skin to disagree with.

And what do you think she said?

“I’ve tried using good soap before. But, you see, I have this really nice shower with shiny tile. When I use real soap I have to wash it more often.”

At first, I just sort of looked at her, searching for the right words. “There’s a reason for that,” I said. “The tub is staying clean because you’re washing YOURSELF with detergents. And what do you usually use when you clean the tub?” I asked in a leading tone.

“Detergent?” she said.

“So, you’d rather have a super shiny shower that people hardly ever see than to take great care of your skin which people see all the time?”

“I know. But I love my shower.”

“Do you have a second bathroom? With a shower or tub?” I asked her. (Her husband is laughing at the entire conversation)

“Yes,” she said.

“Good.” I told her. “Trust me. Just buy the soap and it will help with your itchy skin. Just use it in the OTHER bathroom.”

She bought three bars. Sometimes, you really have to work for a sale.

– Gregory White

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