Monday, July 18, 2011

"Made With Love" Event: The Orange Owl Review and Giveaway Ends 7/24 (US/CAN)

~This post is part of the handmade "Made With Love" event. All giveaways run from July 18th-24th. View all 29 sponsors on my blog and visit additional co-hosts for this event HERE~

About the Designer...
I was born and brought up in India and came over to the US in 2003 for my Master of Science in Biochemistry. My topic of research during this period was the effect that environmental toxins, allowed by regulatory standards, have on our immune system. This was my first introduction to how chemicals can really have a lasting effect on our genetic makeup. From there I moved to upstate NY where my husband chose to go to chiropractic school at New York Chiropractic College. While he was at school, I worked at the University of Rochester in their Center for Neural Development and Disease studying the evaluation, diagnosis and lasting inflammatory effects of traumatic brain injuries. Though all this work was satisfying in the sense of being innovative and novel, I still didnt feel like I had achieved my main goal of being able to help people on a very basic level. This is when my husband's mentor suggested I give their Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition program a try. All the years of biochemistry finally clicked into place in my head. Overall, I realized that we are what we put on and in our bodies. Hence came about the two businesses I am involved in - The Orange Owl which offers people options for skincare products that are good for them and the environment, and Alternative Roots Wellness Center (www.alternativerootswellness.com) where my husband and I offer chiropractic and nutritional counseling services.

What do you make? I make 100% natural skincare products - no chemicals, no fragrance oils, NOTHING BAD! All our products, except the lip balms are 100% vegan. The Orange Owl is ecofriendly with all packaging made from either post-consumer recycled or completely recyclable materials. Starting ingredients are purchased from vendors that practice sustainable harvesting methods and are of the finest quality. The company is setting up to be carbon neutral which should be achieved in the next few months. This actually started out as an easy answer to one of the projects I had to work on in nutrition school. Since I was studying part time and working full time, I needed a project which would fit in with my philosophies as well as not be too difficult to work on. So, I made a soap infused with ginger which is supposed to help increase extremity circulation for diabetic people. I was hooked! This was also a time I had set a challenge up for myself - replace all cleaning solutions etc in the house with more ecofriendly versions. This included all the skincare products I used and I couldnt believe how effective something I made with my own hands was. Needless to say, I haven't stopped since!


How did you get started? As I said, it was for a school project. I have to give credit to my aunt here - growing up I never believed I had any creative bone in my body. In fact a lot of my friends from school are now amazed at all the projects I have come up with! It was just not anything I ever participated in. When I got married and moved to upstate NY, I was busy applying for jobs but didnt hear back anything for a few months. It wasn't the best time self-esteem wise and so I went to visit my aunt, figuring that it would be more fun to hang out with her and waste her time. She saw through my plan and instead introduced me to making beaded jewelry. I first laughed at her belief that I could do something like that, but was quickly shocked by the fact that I was making pretty nice things! If it hadn't been for that experience, I dont think I would have tried to make soap for my class project. That gave me the confidence to think a bit outside what was normal for a biochem geek like me. 

Who or what inspires your products? My products are mostly associated with various memories and that makes them all very personal to me. Aunt Z's Lemon Bar is a tribute to my aunt who makes the world's best lemon bars. She tried to teach me how to make them, but I am terrible at baking (you would think someone who has run science experiments for 6.5 years of her adult life would be able to follow a baking recipe properly!). So, I made a soap for her. Masala Chai is a thank you to a very close friend of mine in India. Our ritual when I go back home now includes a steaming cup of spice tea over which we catch up on our lives. The flower I chose for our wedding in India was the marigold or calendula which gave rise to the Festive Suds. Until I met my husband, I had never truly appreciated the outdoors and our hikes along some of the best trails in New England inspired the Walk in the Woods. The body butters and lip balms are an offshoot of these memories. Some, like the Cinnamon and Spice lip balm, were just complete serendipitous events - I was trying out a bunch of spices together and drops of cardamom and cinnamon essential oils just happened to fall in the same spot and I fell in love with the smell. I am a big foodie, so recipes also influence me - I cant wait to try out two soaps - one after an apple coleslaw I ate on my trip to Toronto and another one after a particular Creme Brulee I had in Vermont.

How long have you been doing this? I started making soaps for my family about 2 years ago now. The Orange Owl came together in fall of 2010, so it is fairly new.

Anything else? Yes, the fact that I know how lucky I am - I have two jobs and I get to make people happy through both of them - I love the feeling. I help out people with their health issues individually through my wellness center and people smile when they try out any of my products :) I have the world's best family that has supported me unconditionally through this. One of the aspects that I am truly proud of is the collaboration between The Orange Owl and The Schooling Project, run by one of my closest friends in India. 5% of all sales go directly towards funding the education of underprivileged children. When I was working on The Orange Owl, I knew I wanted to give back to society as I moved ahead - but I was not really sure of which direction to move in. Then I remembered my grandfather telling me that education is the basis of everyone being able to live to their best potential. My friend had just set up The Schooling Project which was doing wonderful work with children who are not as lucky as all of us and so we decided to work together.

Review...
Using simple ingredients, The Orange Owl has a lot to offer for those looking for natural skincare products. You'll find fabulous scent combinations, luxurious lathers, and a company with an eco-friendly bottom-line too.

Here's a little more about their products (from The Orange Owl website):

"Care is taken to use only essential oils, spices and herbs to scent and color the merchandise – no synthetic fragrance oils, scent blends, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, dyes, petroleum products or silicones here."

I received a bar of Sugar & Spice soap and also a tube of Citrus Splash lip balm. The soap smells so delicious, I could almost eat it! You can definitely smell the undertones of chocolate. To me it actually smells like spicy chocolate milk! The ginger is a little more dominant, giving the bar it's spicy scent. The bar gets quite slimy, allowing for a great lather to occur. My hands feel soft and somewhat moisturized after washing too. The bar is a little small at only 3 ounces, and maybe a bit pricey at $5.99, but The Orange Owl certainly cares about using only the highest quality ingredients, and bringing its customers a luxurious, natural product.
The lip balm I also received is fantastic! It goes on very smooth, and has a wonderful orange scent. There are no unnecessary ingredients in this lip balm either, and includes beneficial ingredients like organic jojoba oil and vitamin E. I LOVE this lip balm and would love to try some of her other scents like Cinnamon & Spice, or Minty Fresh.
I really like the interesting and creative scents The Orange Owl has for it's soaps. They are very different and most have a personal story behind their creation. Their website is beautiful, and each product's photo really drives home the scent and feel of each one. I also love their commitment to natural, chemical-free bath and body products. That's become increasing important to me over the last year as I've researched ingredients more and more over time. The Orange Owl also has Bath Salts and Body Butters that look heavenly!

Using eco-friendly packaging is very important at The Orange Owl. The soap is wrapped in paper made from 100% recycled material, and can be recycled by you too. The packaging is also printed using non-toxic inks.

Win it!
One winner will receive TWO soaps and a lip balm of the winner's choice from The Orange Owl! ($15.47 Value!)



How to Enter:
I'm using Rafflecopter to facilitate this giveaway! Simply click on "Click for Instructions", complete the task, and then click "I Did This." Then enter your name and email address. Do this for each task you wish to complete! Please note: if you clear your cookies, the form will reset and you will not be able to do daily tweets/votes.

When you're done, go HERE to view all giveaways in this event!





Thanks for entering and good luck!

56 comments:

Brittney said...

I would choose Sunshine Blast and Aunt Z's Lemon bar soaps and Citrus Splash lip balm.
babybensmama at yahoo dot com

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

I would get the rooty grapefruit and naked moisturizer soaps and the citrus splash lip balm

Andi B said...

i'd get the zesty splendor lip balm and one naked moisture and one masala chia bar of soap.
andrealeighb@live.com

Joy N. said...

i would choose aunt z's lemon bar & naked moisturizer
and the zesty splenor lip balm
newlanjoyatgmaildotcom

Steph Enright said...

In the soaps, I would like the Good Morning Brew and the Sugar and Spice. For the lip balm, I'd like the Zesty Splendor.

orangefukurou said...

I would choose the Rooty Grapefruit , Aunt Z's lemon bar ad Citrus Splash Lip balm.
tomokofive at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

citrus splash lip balm
jcwga@hotmail.com

tlcrum06 said...

I would choose Cleansing Soother & The Naked Moisturizer soaps. For the lip balm I would choose Simply Naked.
tlcrum06 @ att dot net

Simplicity Cosmetics said...

The Herbal Refresher and the Rooty Grapefruit soap sound awesome! I think the Minty Fresh lip balm would be great too.

jill24295 said...

I would choose the Rooty Grapefruit and the Herbal Refresher soaps and the Minty Fresh lip balm
jill24295@yahoo.com

hedgerhousehold said...

I would choose the Sunshine Blast and Naked Moisturizer Soaps and the Citrus Splash lip balm
jenhedger at hotmail dot com

Jyll Ethier-Mullen said...

LOving the MINt butter lotion, I am addicted!!

Elyce said...

I would pick the Festive Suds and Sugar & Spice soaps and the Citrus Splash lip balm.

Linda R. said...

I would choose the Sunshine blast & Rooty grapefruit soap and the Minty fresh lip balm

lyromero77 at yahoo dot com

Becky said...

I would pick the grapefruit and the lemon soap and the orange lip balm!

Melody said...

I would want the Sunshine Blast and the Rooty Grapfruit soaps and the Citrus Blast lip balm

Alyssa said...

The two soaps I would choose would be
Sugar & Spice and Sunshine Blast.

The lip balm I would choose is Citrus Splash.

All of the smells seem so wonderful! :]

Alyssa Dannettel
ckian.cw.blog@gmail.com

Katy~The Country Blossom said...

I would pick the Sugar and Spice soap, Sunshine Blast Soap and the cinnamon and spice lip balm!

thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

eclairre said...

Citrus Splash lip balm.

Mrs. Martinet said...

I'd try the Neembu Paani soap, the Sunshine Blast, and the Citrus Splash lip balm.

carriethegood(at)gmail

kiddo said...

Walk in the Woods and Squeaky Clean soap and Citrus Splash lip balm.

kiddomsg at gmail dot com

Mandy said...

Masala Chai and Klaytopia soaps, Citrus Splash balm! Mmmm!

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

Maybe . . . sugar & spice and sunshine blast soaps; and zesty splendor lip balm

ann said...

sunshine blast is the one i would choose and for the lip balm would be citrus splash

amhengst at verizon dot net

BrendaLea, the Prpldy said...

For the soaps I would choose: Good Morning Brew and Cleansing Soother and for the balm: Simply Naked

BrendaLea A. - Purple Lady
prpldy (at) comcast dot net

Justine said...

i owuld shoose both soaps for aunt z's lemon bar and citrus splash for the balm.

Kerrific said...

i like the cleansing soother and naked moisturizer
A. Kerr
kerrificonline.blogspot.com
kerrific5@gmail.com

Leanne said...

simply naked lip balm, naked moisturizer soap and sunshine blast soap

Marija said...

I would choose the Neembu Paani and Sugar & Spice soap and the Minty Fresh lip balm!

marija.majerle at gmail dot com

ElfRenee said...

Cinnamon and Spice Lip Balm, Walk in the Woods Soap, and Good Morning Brew Soap!

Anonymous said...

Sugar & Spice Soap, Rooty Grapefruit Soap and Citrus Splash Lip Balm.

I filled out the form.

Melody J
melodyj(at)gmail(dot)com

christy said...

i would choose: soap- rooty grapefruit and walk in the woods, lipbalm- simply naked
yanuzo at hotmail dot com

Jaclyn said...

Squeaky Clean & Cleansing Soother for me :)

Jaclyn said...

Ooh, and the minty fresh lip balm!

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

masala chai and sunshine blast soaps!

citrus splash for lip balm =)

hancoci_s at msn dot com

Amy P said...

zesty splendor sounds wonderful!

Christine said...

Sugar and Spice, Sunshine blend and the citrus lip balm.
Thanks for the great giveaway!
Christine

Small Footprints said...

If I were lucky enough to win, I'd choose Aunt Z’s Lemon Bar, Cleansing Soother and Zesty Splendor Lip Balm. Thank you for this opportunity!
reducefootprints at gmail dot com

polly said...

i would choose the citrus splash lip balm.
i would choose the rooty grapefruit & sunshine blast for my soaps.
pkeintz@gmail.com

Cerrisse said...

I would love to try sunshine blast and rooty grapefruit for the soap and the citrus splash for the lip balm :)

curtishascerrisse07@yahoo.com

Caitlin said...

I would like to try the zesty splendor lip balm, the cleansing soother soap, and the festive suds soap.

Caitlin

Sherry said...

I would choose Aunt Z’s Lemon Bar & Sugar & Spice soap and Cinnamon & Spice lip balm.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

Jaime said...

Minty fresh lip balm.
Soap: Good morning brew and Herbal refresher

Diana said...

I would chose the Cleansing Soother and Festive Suds soap and the Zesty Splendor Lip Balm.
goldiez at hotmail dot com

cyndi said...

I would choose Aunt Z's Lemon Bar and Sugar and Spice soaps; and Citrus Splash lip balm! Yummy!

celebrie2(at)ymail(dot)com

Erica said...

I would pick Festive Suds for both of my soaps, sounds amazing! And Cinnamon and Spice for the lip balm.

SweetShenanigans said...

I'd choose 'goodmorning brew' and sugar & spice
and for the lipbalm: citrus splash
girl23rocks at hotmail dot com

Brag All About It said...

squeaky clean and minty fresh lip balm

bragallaboutit at gmail dot com

Jacqueline said...

id get the naked bath salt jmmccarr@gmail.com

Ashley said...

Masala Chai soap, Sugar and Spice Soap, and Zesty Splendor lip balm.

mrs.marcus2 at yahoo dot com

LindaHnub said...

I would choose walk in the woods, good morning brew and minty fresh.
lindanuhawes@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I would chose Sugar & Spice adn Masala Chai Soap and Minty Fresh lip balm
twinkle(at)optonline(dot)net

Armada Volya said...

I'd chose herbal refreshner and Klaytopia soaps and citrus lip balm

Raven In A Blue Room said...

I would choose the Rooty Grapefruit and the Neembu Paani soap and the Citrus Splash lip balm

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

Louis
pumuckler {at} gmail {dot} com

Jeniffer said...

I'd love the Walk in the Woods and the Good Morning Brew soaps and the Cinnamon and Spice lip balm!

elwingarwen at yahoo dot com

h. mcnaron said...

they sound so good- I would get the walk in the woods and herbal refresher soaps and balm in minty fresh!
hmcnaron at gmail dot com