Monday, December 29, 2008

Erlanger's Commitment to Women

Good Fortune is honored to be a part of Erlanger Health Systems Cancer Support Services gift baskets. It is obvious that Erlanger is committed to treating the person, not just the illness. Janet Kramer-Mai, a Breast Health Educator (and cancer survivor herself), knows that high quality natural products are very good for sensitive skin. She called Good Fortune to help her fill these very special gift baskets. Recovering patients need to pamper and nourish their skin while they are healing. Good Fortune prays that our products not only help them feel better, but also helps lift their spirits.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Private Label Celebration

After looking high and low for a company that offers natural, custom, and affordable body products, Blue Sage Spa in Breckenridge, Colorado finally called Good Fortune. This fabulous spa wanted a high-quality private label spa collection, and together, we created a wonderful collection.
  • clary sage & orange mineral salt soak
  • coconut lip balm
  • clary sage & orange element spray
  • lavender & sandalwood element spray
  • clary sage & orange lotion
  • applejack soap
  • lavender & sandalwood soap
We created the custom essential oil blend of clary sage and orange especially for Blue Sage Spa, and delivered their order in record time. Check out the Good Fortune website to learn more.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Good People, Good Products, Great Deals

I know times are hard, but now more than ever we need to take care of ourselves and support local businesses! Like you, I'm on a budget, and I'm excited to share some of my favorite people, bargains, and products.

First up is Kristy Sue Brown, owner of The Body Remedy. This young lady has a huge heart and really strong hands! I treated myself to a massage at her salon last week, and was more than satisfied. If you are looking for a knowledgeable staff, and don't want to spend a fortune, then look no further. They are offering $20 off any service(s) of $60 or more for new clients for services such as massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, hair cuts, color, waxing, and more.

Hair A Go-Go is another place I like to go, hang out, and get my hair done. Their goal is for you to leave with the best hair of your life, and I've never been disappointed! You go in, grab a cup of coffee, meet with an expert stylist, and leave with an amazing cut and style for only $36-$52. Head turning hair with a rock and roll edge, I love it!

World Next Door offers interesting, beautiful, and useful handmade products from all over the world. They're passionate about exploring the beauty of the developing world and offering fair trade merchandise to our local market (and at a great price). You have to visit their website and store in downtown Chattanooga for a fun global experience and good conversation. There is something for any body! Such as boxer shorts for dad ($15), a ring for your sister ($10), and an eco-friendly shopping bag for mom ($25).

Umbra Essence Candles is another Chattanooga gem that is off the beaten path, and filled with hand crafted goodness. At Umbra Essence's store in St. Elmo you will find fine gifts from all over the United States and you might even get to watch them make candles. Jamie Floyd Mosey hand crafts each candle one at a time combining the highest quality fragrance oils and highly refined clean-burning paraffin wax. All of you candle fans must visit them today and see for yourself why these should be your new favorite candles!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

affairs of the heart

I'm back in the lab, and I'm getting more creative than ever! My newest tasks are to learn melt and pour soap making techniques, test eco-friendly cleansing recipes, and find the most decadent spa recipes you can imagine.

My motives are not to start up a new Good Fortune line, but to educate you. Good Fortune will be launching a series of eco-friendly DIY classes in 2009, and I want to give you a wealth of knowledge and a ton of fun recipes.

My first batch doesn't look so bad, huh? I made these sweet soap hearts using layering, swirling, solid, and transparent techniques. I can't wait to have you all come to my studio, so we can make beautiful products together!

Monday, December 8, 2008

And the winner is....

Good Fortune is constantly giving away prizes and doing free drawings for free stuff. I recently took a survey of 100 people, and 30 people responded. 1 in 30 are pretty good odds! The winner of that drawing was Josh (#20) from Chattanooga. Whoo-Hoo! Congratulations!

Next time you see a link or email for a survey, please take a quick moment to fill it out. You will be helping us to help you, and the odds of winning amazing products are great!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

local, handcrafted, and fabulous!

Mom and I wanted to take the day off after Thanksgiving, but we couldn't bear the thought of fighting the city crowds. Instead, I grabbed my camera, and we visited several local artists and attractions within miles of Good Fortune's studio. We found good conversation, inspiring art, and fun loving Alpacas!
Lowell Axley, a retired pilot, turns wood and builds
beautiful custom cabinets at his home. Lowell is an amazing artist and I couldn't resist his unusual style. Graciously, he offered up several pieces for my studio. If you are interested in purchasing any of the pieces, then call me 423.715.2647. Prices are: 1. $50 (food safe platter), 2. $35, 3. $95 (food safe bowl), 4. $85, 5. $85, 6. $60, 7. $95. I'll ship it out to you before Christmas.

Harmony Wools Alpaca Farm is just down the road and has been raising and showing alpacas since 1993. Our friend Jennifer Bennett gave us a tour of her farm and weaving studio where she spins, weaves and knits her own alpaca fibers into soft, warm garments and fabrics. Mom is planning on taking one of Jennifer's knitting classes after Christmas. I really wanted to snuggle up with an Alpaca, but they weren't feeling the love.

Lastly we dropped off a Good Fortune display at
the Englewood Textile Museum. One half of the museum is an antique & gift shop, and the other half is an amazing "off the beaten path" museum. The museum traces the history of the area's textile industry from 1850 with special emphasis on working-class women in the mills. It is run by dedicated volunteers filled with enthusiasm and plenty of southern charm. You check them out one afternoon at 17 S. Niota St. in Englewood, TN 37329. Don't forget to pick up a bar of Good Fortune soap why you're there!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

winter is here on the farm

My mother and I can't get enough of our expansive views, ever changing leaves, moon size, and the way the sun dances on the mountains. Yesterday she called me as I was busy working in the studio and said I had to go outside and see how the sun was illuminating the fresh snow on the back mountains. As my 3 fabulous employees and I took a break to enjoy the view, we just stood in awe of what seemed like a foreign place. We felt like we were on vacation and wanted to hit the slopes! This is Tennessee, and this is Good Fortune. God has blessed us with the most beautiful and peaceful place to live, work, and relax! Won't you come visit us some time?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

in the spirit of giving ... giveaway

My friend Christy is giving away some amazing Good Fortune products to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave her a comment on the giveaway post of her blog and answer the following question:
what are you most thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving! We are thankful for great friends and family!

If you missed the deadline on Christy's blog, then check out Memory Makers blog for another chance to win more Good Fortune products & get inspired! We love their magazine. Pick up a copy on news stands, and see for yourself!

Monday, November 24, 2008

custom lip balms

High Country Outfitters in Atlanta, GA knows well made products when they see them. All natural & high-quality fit the bill when they were shopping for a new product line. Check out our signature refreshing peppermint & island coconut lip balms with the custom High Country logo. We even hooked them up with custom displays. High Country takes pride in housing the very best gear, so you can also find Good Fortune Shea Butter, Faucet Soaps, and Element Sprays. Stop by their Buckhead location today and check them out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Custom Organic Blend!

My studio smells amazing thanks to an amazing assignment from Joyce at Coco-Zen. They wanted an edible-organic-chocolate-lip scrub, and guess who they called? You got it! Here at Good Fortune, we're more than happy to roll up our sleeves, and get serious about chocolate!

In fact, we can give you what ever you need, such as:
  • gift favors for weddings or showers
  • a complete line of body products for your spa or shop
  • an amenities line for your bed and breakfast
  • or any delicious product you can imagine

Monday, November 17, 2008

Handmade Gifts Are the Best!

If you are like me, you want to give unique gifts to your loved ones, and one way to show them you care in a personal style is with a handmade gift. Gift cards are nice, but I personally admire gifts that come from the heart! But who has the time to manufacture personalized gift baskets, goodies, and the like?

Great news! Good Fortune has handmade gift sets (in case you don't have time or desire to be crafty), or you can piece together Good Fortune with your own creations! Here are some suggestions using our favorite scents:

Spicy Pumpkin: Bake some bread or muffins, package them with your handwritten recipe, and include a bar of our pumpkin soap, massage candles, and Element Spray. Your gift basket will give immediate satisfaction with a lasting scent.

Chocolate: Home bake (or break-and-bake) cookies packaged in a Chinese take-out box with your handwritten recipe, a jar of handmixed hot cocoa (or cheat and use the store stuff), a Mocha Meltdown Massage Candle, and a Kiss Me Kit (or a Chocolate Peppermint Lip Balm). Who doesn’t need an indulgence?

Apples: Toss a few apples, a jar of apple butter, and a bar of our best selling Applejack Element Spray and soap!

Peppermint: Pot a fresh peppermint plant in a cute (handpainted?) ceramic pot, or use a store-bought herb garden starter kit, Element Spray and Faucet Soap for your favorite gardener.

Hand stitch (freestyle) your friends’ initials on a cute hand towel for the kitchen and bathroom, include a 3-pack of our natural lavender dryer bags, and a Lavender Element Spray.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Open For Business & Tours

Good Fortune originated in my heart, started in my kitchen, and has grown to my grandfather’s dairy barn in the Appalachian foothills in Athens, Tennessee. My mother and I have been renovating the barn since November 2007, I moved in July 2008, and we opened for business this November! We've had a successful launch and look forward to greeting new faces and repeat customers everyday!

All Good Fortune products are mixed, poured, and wrapped by hand—and they are all created in small batches for exceptional quality. Visit us today, and see first hand why Good Fortune's natural soap and body products stand out from the crowd!

Visit our website for directions!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back To Basics

Unscented products are finally here! Unscented soap and lotion is available for people who have extremely sensitive skin or don't like scented body products. You'll love our luxurious soap, even without the fragrance! The lotion has a light silky texture that isn't too heavy and leaves no odor what so ever. Your skin may be irritable and flaky, but we still love you!Why wait? Make your skin happy today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grab Bags

Who doesn’t love a grab bag? It’s an inexpensive, instant, incredible gift! All grab bags are worth at least $10—but just cost $5! Each contains a surprise bar of soap with basic packing (no quote card), and either a nail brush, pumice, lip balm, or various other goodies. We have been selling grab bags in record numbers to people wanting to try something new, or need quick gifts.

You can't beat a handcrafted gift in a hand stamped gift bag for only $5 each. Stock up for all your teachers, coworkers, baby sitters, secret Santas! Or start a gift drawer—keep several inexpensive gifts and cards on hand for that “oops-I-forgot” gift or just a get well. Good Fortune grab bags are perfect for a quick pick-me-up to a friend.

NEW Lavender Dryer Bags

Dried Lavender Buds in reuseable cotton bags will enhance your laundry and dresser drawers with the soothing aroma of Lavender. Place 1 bag in with wet laundry and dry up to 10-15 times. Store bags wherever a fresh scent is desired.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Massage Candles

A chill in the air and there are traces of color along the edges of leaves —a telltale sign of the new season. Autumn is here, and along with it, an exciting new line of products!

Arouse your senses with our new Light and Ignite Massage Candles, Four limited edition flavors made with soy wax and shea butter in a 2-ounce votive tin. Wake up with smooth Mocha Melt, or warm your home with – our signature fragrance, Apple Jack! Relax with the fresh scent of Lavender Vanilla, or greet the coming season with Spicy Pumpkin, just in time for fall! When melted, the soy and shea make a smooth, sensual massage oil for you to enjoy.

Careful, the tin gets hot!
1. Light candle 15 minutes before use. Extinguish candle, dip fingers into oil, and then apply like a lotion.
2. Place on a heat resistant surface only.
3. Trim wick to 1/4" before every ignition.
4. Burn no longer than 2 hours each time.
5. Remove all burn debris before lighting.
6. Enjoy!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Give a Bar of Soap

We are a blessed company, in fact, that is where we got our name! We want to pay it forward, so we take pride in giving globally and locally by partnering with various charitable organizations to provide soap to the needy and build character and confidence in people.

I recently learned that the people of Zimbabwe are in a crisis and do not have enough food, clothes, money, or even the basics such as soap. Through my church, Calvary Chapel in Chattanooga, and a mission called Zimbabwe 911, I was able to connect with a team of people filled with God's love, and help fill a 40 foot container full of the essentials to ship over seas. My contribution was primarily soap and wash clothes of course! What a joy it is for me to use the talents God gave me to be a blessing to families half way around the world. I pray that the work of my hands will touch people's lives in significant ways and they'll know they are loved. Please visit their website, pray, and help however you can.

I made a special recipe, emailed to me from Africa, called Sunshine Soap. It was hard, gritty, and didn't smell so great, but it's what they use for everything. I also sent about 100 bars of our lavender-vanilla-cinnamon-patchouli soap for them to really enjoy! It is interesting how we take having clean bodies, dishes, and clothes for granted in America. For $5, you can send a bar of Good Fortune soap and a wash cloth a charity of your choice. Partner with us and help spread some Good Fortune!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New and Improved Foot Therapy Packaging

What could be better after a long, hard day than a snuggly bathrobe and a long foot rub? Okay, having someone hand you the robe and rub your feet would be ideal, but you have to start somewhere! Add Good Fortune Peppermint Tea Tree Foot Therapy to the mix, and you've got the perfect recipe for stress relief!

We want you to be able to enjoy this tingly treat down to the last scoop, so we changed the packaging to make it easier to use. No more banging the Skin Therapy container on the table to try to get that rich, thick cream to come out. No more clogged flip tops from the chunky Foot Scrub adding more tension to your day. No more wasting product because it’s trapped at the bottom of the container. Now both products can be scooped out of reusable and recycle-able (#1 PET) plastic jars! The new design also provides easy stacking and storage. We've found the perfect combination; the same great recipe with even better accessibility.

We love your feedback! Keep it coming, and you will continue to see product improvement to meet your needs, down to the last detail. In the meantime, pamper yourself and enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

custom gift favors

We specialize in custom favors and gifts for weddings, showers, and parties! Have your cake and eat it too with no minimum order, and no extra charge for custom labels! My friend Christy, graphic designer & scrap booking genius, ordered plain bars of soap and wrapped them herself. Check out her blog to see how beautiful they turned out. If you don't want to do them yourself, we can help. Either way they make great gifts and everyone uses soap!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

my first soap in the new studio (with mom)

Good news and bad news...Let's start with the good news first. My dream became a reality last Tuesday when I finally made my first batch of soap in my new studio (while also training my mother). We've both worked so hard preparing the new space, and I forgot for a split second how grueling the process can be (wait, I'm not done with the good news yet). We made 800 bars of soap, learned life lessons, laughed, and didn't kill each other. Yeah! Okay, the bad news is that it almost killed us! We learned we need more outlets because the breaker kept blowing! This is especially terrible when it is really hot outside, you're oily all over, and someone has to run with slippery shoes to flip the switch. We learned paper towels and garbage cans need to be at every corner, the winch needed a handle, humidity makes the soap thicken faster, the area isn't laid out just right, and mom learned that lye burns!!! Yikes, but all-in-all we had a victorious day! Hopefully this inside look at our lives will make you re-consider when you excitedly ask, "When can I come watch you make soap?" Ha! I will put you to work!

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Sexy New Winch

I was walking my mother through the soap making process recently, and realized we need man power to lift the heavy oils and molds. A good man is hard to find, but winches aren't! Ha! My gears started churning and I sketched out a horizontal monorail system with a winch lift system. Within a week I had a full team of experts who stopped what they were doing to pitch in on my endeavor. My grandfather, Millard Vincent, used to own Vincent Machine Shop in Athens, TN, and was the real implementing force on this project. My grandfather and I have built many things together and we both get really excited about stuff like this. So he called his old competitor and good friend, Donald Powers of Powers Machine Shop in Athens to get the job done right. Don shut down his shop, came and took measurements, and then built the coolest (and sexiest) monorail system ever!! I am so incredibly Blessed to have people who love and believe in me. Here is a photo of the crew installing it. I'll post more photos soon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My First Market

I had a great turn out at my first Chattanooga Market. The day was long, hot, and I talked all day long! You won't hear me complaining though, because it is always a pleasure to share Good Fortune with everyone! Check my website for more upcoming shows and be sure to look for my "bubbles" at Market on Sundays. See you soon!

I'm moving ya'll

I am surprised that I am moving back to Athens, TN. This is the city I was born, graduated high school, and then promptly left behind. I am now older, wiser, and excited to explore all that life has to offer. I don't feel like this is a permanent move for me, but for now, I love it! I am able to run in the country, relax in the hammock, cook with mom, and enjoy my new studio. Here is a picture of what I see while sitting on my deck. Can you see the beautiful mountains, baby cows, and the moon? I think I'm starting to find that balance and return to nature that I've been missing!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Read my latest interview in The Chattanooga Times Free Press

How exciting! I was interviewed, photographed, and filmed earlier this week. Brian Lazenby and his counterpart did an amazing job with this article, especially considering the circumstances! True to country living, we had to rough it with out any electricity, because of the terrible storm the night before. For them it meant no air conditioning, but for me, it meant no blow dryer or hair straightener (aaaahhhhh!!!!) Oh well, I'm grateful for them telling my story and being so wonderful! Click on the link to enjoy!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Studio...Before and After

Please enjoy watching our vision come to life. Trust me, there is more to come!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

We Finally Have Internet Service

Living and working in the county has it ups and downs. Can you believe it? Even in 2008, I'm finding it hard to get good internet service at my new studio? Oh well, that wait is over, I'm trying out the Verizon Wireless Internet Card this month. Yeah! I'm finally connected, and I promise to post pictures of the studio soon!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Planning Yet Abiding

In preparation for our flight to South Africa last summer, our pastor told us a joke: "How do you make God laugh? You make a plan." He was simply trying to say, go with the flow and don't get stressed out when things happen, because God is sovereign.

Now more than ever, plans seem to be an important part of life. Self employment means you have to be, do, talk, make, drive, or communicate practically 24/7. People look at me like I have all my ducks in a row and all the answers. Truthfully, all I have is faith that some how it will all get done, the clients will keep coming, and the checks will clear. Hardly ever do I freak out, because I have faith that God has a plan for me, and I'm walking the path He has set before me. But still, there is the dreaded 5 year plan people keep asking me about.

Humm...Will I still be making soap? Will I be married? Will I live in Tennessee? Will I have children (scary!) I don't know the answers, but I have big beautiful dreams of how it will look. Dreams have been good enough for me, but plans are important to the world, so God gave me a verse to hold on to. Proverbs 16 has many wise words, but here are the two most relevant. (16:3) "Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed."
(16:8) "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."

Pretty cool right? I'm still a little confused, but I believe we can determine our own destiny! The future holds everything sweet and pure for those who are willing to abide in the Lord. I say bring it on! I like good things!

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you are a dreamer or a planner. As long as you love what you are doing, you will be successful!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

50 Uses For Faucet Soap

I was in the lathering up in the shower earlier today, and I realized how amazing Faucet Soap truly is. I know...I invented it and I use it every day, but today was different. After seeing people's faces light up and hearing them go on-and-on, I'm finally convinced! Faucet Soap just might revolutionize the way we bathe! Starting today, I'm going to list a new way faucet soap can rock your world every day! It might get silly, after all, finding 101 ways to use soap takes creativity! Your suggestions are appreciated!
1. I like the big fluffy bubbles
2. The bag it is packaged in is waterproof
3. I can stuff all of my little pieces of soap down in the bag
4. You can leave it outside year round
5. It's portable
6. Men love it too
7. The peppermint tea tree is great to shave with
8. Once you are done shaving, you can exfoliate for an even smoother shave
9. It lasts a long time
10. It makes your skin soft
11. The nylon bag is re-useable
12. The peppermint is tingly
13. Kids can use it and hang it up to dry
14. Perfect for camping
15. It is great to scrub feet
16. Earth friendly recipe
17. People keep coming back for more
18. I get messages from people who say they smell apple jacked up
19. It is a really great idea
20. They make great gifts
21. The Red Apple Lavender may make you scream because it smells like the soap your mom bought as a kid
22. The plastic bag is re-useable for your various storage needs
23. It is great to scrub poison ivy
24. They look really cool

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Have you ever had your check engine light come on?

Yeah, me too! It is frustrating, confusing, and a huge pain to most of us. But this week I met Jarrett Langley, a mechanic who started his own business near Chattanooga, called Mobile Diagnostics. He specializes in fixing the dreaded "Check Engine Light" on "96" and newer cars and trucks, and you don't even need to leave your house!! What an unbelievable deal! Jarret will come to you, diagnose your issue for a flat rate of $35 (50% less than the dealership), and then he may be able to fix it for a much less rate than the dealerships. I am such a sucker for a good deal, but more than that, I love dealing with good people. Call the man! 423-504-3709

Friday, May 9, 2008

A New Chapter

May is a very exciting month for Good Fortune. I just got back from a week long adventure in New York and Vermont. I enjoyed hiking, skiing, and the 2008 Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Conference in Burlington. The conference inspired me to start a blog to share pieces of my life, my business, and my heart with you all. This should be fun!

Things are always crazy around here, but especially right now, as I'm packing and getting ready for the big move. My production studio is moving from Cleveland, TN to Athens, TN. I love change but can't stand moving! I am sad to be leaving my soap princess behind (baby AJ), but I'm excited to expand my business and make more fantastic products!

Be sure to keep checking back. I'll be posting photos from my trip, the new studio, and other interesting things for you all to see. Also, be on the look out for improvements to our newsletter, website, and products in the coming weeks.