Back from the Dead Part 3: On Shifting my Focus

NOTE: This is the final installment of my “Back from the Dead” series but if you haven’t read part 1 or part 2, it might help so get a little bit of back story.

So this blog post feels a little bit like a cop out. At least it does for me. I had content that I actually wanted to blog about and believe me it is coming, but I feel like this post is really important to get out of the way before we go any further.

This blog is actually pretty old. Like, I made it 5 or so years ago, old. And if you scour the meager archives, you’ll see how few posts I made during the first few years of my blog. And there are a lot of reasons for that: I had severe Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I wasn’t dealing with it, I went through a very tough break up in the midst of the beginning stages of my therapy, and truthfully, I wasn’t nearly as motivated to see my blog succeed as I am now.

Getting my Anxiety settled and shifting my blog focus helped tremendously with that. The truth is: I’m not an influencer. Yet, when I started my blog, that’s what I thought I wanted. But, I don’t like the pressure of always being “on”, I’m not super social and I HATE taking pictures of myself (which is a self image issue I know I have to work through). I thought I wanted to be someone who got exclusive invites to soft openings of businesses so I could share the juicy details with other locals, but I quickly learned A. How much work goes into getting to that point and B. How much I prefer doing things a little more on my own terms, at my own pace and would rather not be the “blogger that breaks news”.

The truth of the matter is, I love local businesses and I love developing a connection with every maker and business owner I meet. I like learning how they got started and where they want to take their business next. The local scene is filled with passionate people that want to disrupt the “big box” industry by developing a better product/business model or developing a better product/business model at a more budget friendly price point. It was all the makers that I connected with that inspired me to create this blog in the first place so when I decided that I was going to get serious about my blog, I wondered why my blog wasn’t about them all along.

I want to live a completely local lifestyle and that sounds like a radical mission, but I found that when I was really serious about my blog, I was already doing it anyway. I recognize that there are some cases when it’s not always possible to shop completely local, but the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to be a more conscious consumer: What am I putting in my body? What am I putting on my body? Is there a reason for buying this product or has blind consumerism struck again?

We as a society are in a minimalist fad; We love Marie Kondo and her idea of keeping only that which sparks joy. And while I’m not 100% onboard with this philosophy, there is a very important point that I took away from this concept. In Marie Kondo’s show, “Tidying Up” on Netflix, she makes the family she is working with participate in a ritual where the family is meant to thank their home for all the memories and protection it has provided. And if we are meant to honor our home in such a way, why shouldn’t we implement that same concept when we are making a purchase whether it be something as small as a bar of soap or a piece of furniture? There should be a level of conscious choice when making a purchase. We do it with big purchases, but the small things are often overlooked, but it’s the small purchases that build up the quickest.

It was all of these thoughts swirling around in my head, and my ultimate desire to this full time, that lead me to the conclusion that it was time to shift my blog focus to blogging about and lifting up local—primarily KC local, but there will hopefully be some other local feature from my travels—businesses, how I incorporate their products into my daily life, or how I look for local businesses to fulfill a need or want in my life. The fact of the matter is, Kansas City’s local-ecosystem is strong enough to where it is totally possible to stop buying things from companies that pump our products full of things that we know are bad for us, but we still keep buying it and we can’t always pinpoint why. It’s time to get back to basics, shop small and support local businesses.

Have you ever felt similarly when you’re at Wal-Mart or perusing Amazon? Do you have a favorite local business that inspired you to stop buying a product from big box stores? Do you want shift away from buying big box brands and shop small? Tell me everything.

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4 KC Candlemakers that will Leave You Feeling #cozy this Fall

Fall is slowly making it’s way to Kansas City and we are all rushing to pull out our flannels, scarves and cozy sweaters. But Pumpkin Spice Lattes and sweaters aside, I am always building up my candle collection for fall in hopes of capturing that craft store smell in my own home. Sure, I could go to White Barn or Yankee Candle Co. for my favorite fall scents, but Kansas City is home to so many candle makers, you’d be crazy not to try a few local candles. There are in fact so many candle makers around the city, I will not get to all of them, but I will share a few of my favorites that I have been using throughout the summer and will likely use into fall and winter.

Crumble Co.

Crumble Co. has come a long way since I first stumbled upon them at a craft fair on Swift St. in North Kansas City. It has perhaps been three or four years since then and Crumble Co has expanded beyond making wax melts to products for the bath and body. Throughout all this exponential growth, Crumble Co. has remained committed to founder, Brandon Love’s mission of providing hope, happiness and community to those who struggle with depression, suicidal ideation and other mental health issues. Crumble Co. routinely gives back to several non-profits, both locally and nationally and hosts the largest 24/7 staffed mental health focused community on Facebook. a wealth of free in-house support groups.

The fun thing about Crumble Candle Co. is the whimsical collection of scents they provide. From scents as quirky as “Frootie Loopers” and “Gummy Bears”, uplifting scents like “Depression Relief” and “You Are Oh So Very Loved” and, of course, the seasonal fall staples we’re all craving: “Pile O’Leaves”, “This is Boo Sheet” (for those “Spook-ooky” fans) and “Cranberry Sauce”

5B & Co.

5B & Co is a magical little wonderland that combines the kitschiness of Hobby Lobby with the scents of White Barn. Except it’s local and the candles are made in house so it’s exponentially better. 5B & Co has it’s roots in Weston, MO before moving to their current location in Brookside. The shop is absolutely adorable and offers several traditional, seasonal and unique scents in various forms from room sprays to votives to car fresheners to tea lights to wax melts to candles in various sizes. You can even recycle your used candle container and get it refilled with your favorite scent. In addition to their more eclectic scents like “You Bet your Sweet Grass” and “Tomato Vine”, 5B & Co. also creates scents that are uniquely KC, such as Brookside Bungalow, the Plaza and KC Showtime, based on Chiefs Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes.

Last time I stopped into the shop, it was the beginning of summer and I ended up buying the Ginger Grapefruit room spray. It’s fresh and very summer-y, but right now I’m ready for something crisp and cozy. I haven’t decided whether or not I want my home to smell like a Brookside Bungalow or an apple orchard. Maybe I’ll get both and rotate the scents as the mood suits me or I’ll try out their subscription box, the possibilities are endless.

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5B & Co room spray in Ginger Grapefruit

Untamed Supply

Untamed Supply is all about earthy scents that remind you of the great outdoors without being outside, which is great if you’re not an outdoorsy-type. Founder E.J. Wood says it best, “We have a knack for capturing nature’s pheromones.” Untamed Supply is also another company that also donates its profits to a worthy cause; 3% of all purchases go to National Parks. Untamed Supply also works to make create a sustainable product by sourcing renewable soy wax and lead free cotton wicks. Capturing scents like your S.O.’s favorite flannel, your first campfire or the first chai tea of winter, you’re sure to feel the fall vibes with these candles.

Let’s Get Lit

I recently learned about Let’s Get Lit candles while at the Strawberry Swing Craft Fair this year. Let’s Get Lit is committed to sourcing ingredients from the Midwest and giving 5% of all profits to local organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas city, Human Rights Campaign, KC Pet Project, Planned Parenthood Great Plains and Rose Brooks Center. Carefully crafted using Kosher-certified, all natural soy wax, phthalate-free essential oils and fragrance oils, lead-free cotton wicks and recycled jars, Let’s Get Lit is committed to reducing the amount of waste their company contributes to the environment. Their candle names are cute and sassy to boot; featuring names like, That’s Bae and This House is Bitchin’ which is a confusing yet refreshing mixture of mint and bubble gum.

As the weather gets cooler and move further into winter, I know I’ll find myself collecting more candles to remind me of pumpkin rides, spiced cider and the first bonfire of the season. What are some of your favorite candle scents? Where do you typically like to get your candles from? Tell me everything.

Washing up with Mixture & Indigo Wild

Since I recently went on a clothing bender, which includes my clothing haul at Do Good Co.’s Yard sale, I figured that I should probably make a point to take care of my new (and slightly used) threads. Sure I wash my clothes, but, A. my detergent is from Wal-Mart and isn’t exactly local (branding and all) and B. I don’t even know what’s in my detergent. The ingredients aren’t, in fact, listed on the bottle, you’re generally referred to the website if you are wanting to know what’s in your detergent.

The ingredients in my current laundry detergent

While the ingredient list isn’t particularly long (at least it isn’t if you use Arm & Hammer like I do), but it is filled with lots of ingredients I can’t pronounce. Not to mention that your commercial detergents are made with petrol-chemicals which are often linked to various health problems, including, respiratory issues, skin irritation, even cancer. 

While it seems weird to care about what you wash your clothes with, consider which products you use when you’re in the shower.  The bottom line is, if your conscious of what you use to shower with, it might be time to consider what you wash your clothes with too. Your skin is your largest organ and you live in your clothes on an every day basis. With that thought in mind, I scoured the city for a laundry detergent that would be a little healthier/safer, eco-friendly and locally made. Continue reading