It's my pleasure to introduce Christina from Binabelle for this Q & A session. She has answered all of your questions as well as mine. Here is what she had to say:
1. How did you decide on the name Binabelle for your company?
It's my nickname. My sister and I nicknamed each other "Bina", many years ago and her husband who is one of my favorite people, calls me "binabelle".
2. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of how Binabelle came about? How did you decide on selling botanical salts and soaps and when did you start the company?
As a kid, I would actually create "bath time" for my older sisters and put in salts, special soaps... Over the years I've always made my own facial scrubs, body washes and salts because I knew they were 100% pure + it was cheaper. Then about a year ago, I had the genius idea of offering my bath salts to my Chiropractor-husband's patients to help them relax after their treatments. My first batch of 50 jars sold in a day and they are still selling to his patients like hotcakes. My husband sells 30-40 jars a week, still. I am a fanatic for beautiful paper, collages and bath and beauty products. My soaps smell and feel awesome, but because I personally wrap each bar of soap in cool paper and beautiful ribbon, they're also gorgeous and make great gifts!
3. Is Binabelle and online only company or do you have a store location?
No brick and mortar store, just the website + I sell alot to friends and family to give as gifts.4. Where do you buy the ingredients to make your products from?
The various ingredients come from all different sources - salts, Vitamin E, aloe vera and essential oils from a supplier of natural products in San Francisco, and a local wholesaler for baking soda and Epsom salts. I mix it all together in my "factory"(kitchen).5. How often do you use your own fabulous products?
Every day. If I'm not taking a bath, which always includes my salts, I'm using my bar soap(or body wash which I also make but don't sell on my site) in the shower each day.6. What makes Binabelle stand out when looking to buy botanical salts and soaps?
I'm not the only one selling "all natural" products, but mine certainly are - no sulfates, dyes, parabens - none of that stuff you can't pronounce. Plus, mine are scented only with essential oils, and alot of products say they are "natural" yet contain fragrance. Also, the packaging of all my products, is beautiful which make it a great gift - for yourself or another.
7. Which products are your bestsellers?
Both the Lavender and Eucalyptus & Peppermint Healing Soak, Lavender Rosemary soap bar probably sell the best.
8. Are the scents very strong? When I buy products like this, they don't usually smell strong enough! I love fragrances like mint, lavender, and eucalyptus...especially when the scents fill the whole room (and beyond).
All of my products are considered to be "extra-scented", because I like to really smell that good smell also! You can definitely thoroughly enjoy the aromatherapy experience with my products, though they're not strong or heavy as with a man-made fragrance which I NEVER use. I use only pure essential oils for scent. My favorite scent of all is Lavender Rosemary. It's hard for me to work some times, because I'm surrounded by these incredible scents of hot cocoa, lavender and citrus and I just want to quit and take a bath!9. Is there a difference in healing properties for the healing bath soak between the lavender and the eucalyptus and peppermint? Is one better for certain things?
Ingredients for both scents are the same, other than the essential oils used for scent. Eucalyptus & Peppermint is very good for soothing sinuses and helping with any respiratory problem or a cold, and Lavender is incredible for relaxation and helping one to sleep better. They are both incredibly soothing.
10. How many baths does the healing bath soak last for? How much do you put in the bath?
I'm personally addicted and use ALOT of salts in each bath, but it's only necessary to put about two handfuls in warm running bath water. A 16 oz. jar should last for approx ten baths, depending on how much you're using each time.
11. Do you make your own products? Have not had the chance to view your website in full. If so, Are your soy candles hard to make?
I personally make with my hands The Healing Soak. The bath bombs and soap bars are made for me by another, using my "recipe". The candles are made by Michel Design Works, a company in Paris. (I've recently discontinued sale of the candles as they are often hard to get...).
No current plans of creating any perfumes. If I did, they would also have to be made with all natural, pure essential oils. We'll see...13. Will you be coming out with any new products for Binabelle?
Hadn't thought about it! ...maybe adding more soap bar scents.
14. Could you tell me where you get your printed glass containers? Those are so pretty, and I especially love the lavender container!
The candles I sell are not made by me, but Michel Design Works.
15. You mentioned that you have another shop on Etsy. Can you tell us more information about that and the site where your products can be viewed and purchased?
I have 2 Etsy sites: www.binabelle.etsy.com which has bath products similiar to what is offered at binabelle.com and I also have www.charmingbina.etsy.com which has my decoupage charms. I've done decoupage and collage art for a very long time, and recently sold some to a local gift shop and she asked me, "could you make these into jewelry...? and Charming Bina was born! BTW: I also create incredible "baskets of gifts" which are like a small treasure hunt in a basket, with jewelry, soaps and salts, teacup, picture frames, chocolates... I make these especially for friends to give as gifts. I have a motto, "When it comes to gift-giving, I believe in overkill!", and that carries over with my jewelry, bath products... everything!
16. Is there anything else you would like to mention?
Thank you Christina for participating in this Q & A session with Bookish Delights and also for sponsoring a lovely lavender rosemary soap bar as the bonus gift for the second dream book giveaway(Christina has chosen the winner! I will announce in the next post). It was wonderful having you. I definitely learned a lot of interesting new things about Binabelle and am also excited about your decoupage charms!
If any of you are interested in purchasing relaxing and beautiful gifts for yourself or for someone you know, I highly recommend giving botanical salts and soaps from Binabelle and/or her lovely decoupage charms, which are also sold on Etsy. For more information you can visit the following sites:
For Botanical Salts & Soaps visit:
www.binabelle.com or www.binabelle.etsy.com
For Decoupage Charms visit:
charming bina, llc.