Sunday, March 4, 2012

Etsy Pick of the Week: Baltimore Edition, Volume 1

Inner Harbor


The Legg Mason Building is where I go to work everyday. Awesome view of the city from the 14th floor!
Oh Baltimore. Sigh.

I love everything about you. You are probably best known for delicious crabcakes, National Bohemian beer, or the scene you set in The Wire. Maybe people think of you when they hear about the Ravens or the Orioles. But I love and know you for other reasons. Discovering new local bands at the Ottobar, having dinner at Peter's Inn, and shopping all of the unique "can't find anywhere else" shops like The Double Dutch Boutique. There are some things about you that I am not thrilled with like the traffic, an excessive amount of one way streets, and your 
unpredictable weather. I can let all of that slide though. The good outweighs the bad.

Another thing that I love about this town is that there are so many super talented, creative people everywhere. Musicians, artists, writers, and film makers. EVERYWHERE. When I started thinking about the Etsy Pick of the Week it was only natural for me to search for Baltimore sellers on Etsy first. Lucky for me, I was able to find four amazing sellers who were happy to participate. I am so grateful to them and know you will love what they have to offer.

Every Etsy Pick of the Week you will be introduced to a new seller on Etsy. You will learn about what they have to offer, and hopefully you discover something new that you need to have. I certainly have just by conducting research!

So let's get this party started!

In this week's edition you are going to meet Elizabeth. She is the brains (and beauty) behind Raw Olive.

Have you ever been disappointed by an all natural beauty product? I know I have. The founder of Raw Olive, Elizabeth, shares this frustration as well. Her frustration began after learning that a lot of products on the market that claim to be all natural actually contain ingredients that could end up being harmful to you. Things like parabens, sodium laurel sulfate, and petrolleum. This realization inspired Elizabeth to experiment in her kitchen using natural ingredients from her pantry. She created bath and beauty potions out of everyday items like cold-pressed olive oil, raw sugar, and raw honey. The results were all natural, effective products that she could feel good about putting on her family's skin.

Over email, I asked Elizabeth a few questions....

How long has Raw Olive been open?

The concept for Raw Olive has been around for several years, but I just began selling seriously on line and in local stores this past year. I am completely passionate about creating natural skin care products that everyone can afford.

I know how beneficial natural products can be for your skin, and you have a great selection. Even though natural skincare has risen in popularity recently, there are still  a lot of consumers who doubt their effectiveness. How would you convince skeptics that natural skincare not only works but is better for your skin?

Most people don't realize that 80% of what they put on their skin ends up inside their body. Basically, if you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin. Sadly, most large skincare manufacturers are using a lot of chemicals because they are extremely cheap. If you don't recognize the name of the ingredient, you should probably avoid the product. We all know that unprocessed food is better for us. The same applies to our personal care products. Simple, pure ingredients are all that your skin needs. I always say, "when in doubt, use plain, extra virgin olive oil on your skin."

Which Raw Olive product could you not live without and why?

I can not live without my Rosehip Carrot Facial Serum. This serum keeps my skin looking youthful, hydrated and I'm convinced it's removed a few years. Rosehip seed oil is so high in vitamin C that it's known to regenerate scar tissue. I'm banking on that!

What is your favorite thing about living in Baltimore?

I love the seasons. Having lived in several other cities, I can appreciate the renewing and regenerating arrival of each season. Well, and maybe the crabs and beer. 

Elizabeth was generous enough to send me some of her yummy body scrubs to sample.

Crabs and Beer Scrub

Crabs and Beer Scrub
I can think of no better product to start off my first Baltimore Etsy Pick of the Week than with this scrub. Crabs and Beer Body Scrub is a sea salt based exfoliator that captures the essence of Baltimore's hot and humid summers. The sea salt is blended with coconut oil, citrus and Old Bay Seasoning. That's right. The seasoning that is slathered all of the crabs you eat. Sounds weird but it is a pleasant and totally perfect scent. It absolutely reminds me of summer. Sundresses, Corona with a lime, crabs, picnic tables and suntan lotion. Amazing. I have only been using this on my hands since usually the skin on my legs can't handle a salt based scrub. It is a perfect balance between scrub and oil. After using, my hands have been soft and moisturized.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Scrub

Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Scrub
The Pumpkin Spice Cupcake Sugar Scrub smells heavenly. Like the sweetest pumpkin cupcake topped with gooey cream cheese frosting. Drool....It is a warm and spicy blend of caramel, cinnamon, clove and vanilla. The formula is similar to the Crabs and Beer scrub. The only difference is that the Pumpkin Spice Cupcake uses sugar as the exfoliator. Therefore, I have been using this all over my body all week. It is divine. I apply the scrub as the very last step of my shower, on freshly shaved legs, and there is zero irritation. It leaves behind the smallest amount of oil, and makes my skin so super smooth.

Bourbon Vanilla Scrub

Bourbon Vanilla Scrub
Finally, I tried the Bourbon Vanilla Sugar Scrub which is a blend of creamy vanilla with a hint of toasty bourbon. When I smelled this I wanted to pour it into a glass and drink it! My thoughts on the performance of this scrub are exactly the same as what I told you about the Pumpkin Spice Cupcake scrub. Just amazing!

I loved all three of the scrubs that Elizabeth sent me, and I highly recommend them. If you like a scrub that smells good enough to eat, contains ingredients so natural that you could eat it, (literally) and doesn't leave you feeling irritated or doused with oil then you should most certainly check them out.

In addition to scrubs, Raw Olive carries multiple other bath and beauty products. There are body balms, body oils and lip balms. Raw Olive also offers a gorgeous collection for your skin. Standouts include the Oatmeal/Honey Facial Cleansing Grains and Olive Face Balm

So....what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Raw Olive store and discover all that Elizabeth has to offer! 


elizabeth said...

Thanks for the glowing review, Kathleen!

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