Notes from the Sweet Georgia Sugar kitchen

All Natural Skin Care

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The reasons we use Shea in our Body Butter and Eye Cream (Being a buzzword isn’t one of them.)

The reasons we use Shea in our Body Butter and Eye Cream (Being a buzzword isn’t one of them.)

So, I’ve been noticing that Shea butter is having a moment right now. There are new products popping up all over creation for everything from skin cream to cosmetics to hair products. Now, as y’all know, I use Shea as a base for our Sweet Georgia Sugar Whipped Body Butter and also our Eye Cream, but even before I started making products to sell, I used it in all sorts of home remedies. It’s…

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Filed under all natural body butter eczema eye cream shea skin problems

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The mystery of my suddenly growing eyelashes.

The mystery of my suddenly growing eyelashes.

So listen, y’all, something CRAZY just happened to me and I have to share. I will preface this by saying that I am one of those girls who was NOT blessed with long, luxurious, thick eyelashes. In fact, I have been known to apply THREE different kinds of mascara on a daily basis, (thickening, lengthening, conditioning), just to make it look like I even have eyelashes. So, imagine my surprise…

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My review of Baby Face Skin Care, Denver, CO

My review of Baby Face Skin Care, Denver, CO

So, y’all? My skin has recently gone batshit crazy. I mean, I am not exaggerating here. I seem to have developed zits, terribly dry skin, strange patches that feel like dinosaur skin, (I can only assume about this last one, but I’m pretty sure I’m right), oiliness, weirdness, wrinkles…you name it, I have it. Now, you guys know that I take good care of my skin. I use the oil cleansingmethod,…

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Filed under aesthetician baby face beauty denver highliands review skin skincare

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Remembering Nathan and the important lesson he taught me.

Remembering Nathan and the important lesson he taught me.

So I’m departing a little bit from my regular let’s-all-be-hippies-and-stop-using-chemicals thing to talk about something else. Choices.We all have them. We all make them. Some are right, some not so much. I’ve been thinking a lot about choices lately. Did I make the right decision quitting my job to start my own business? This is something I ask myself when I put on my ratty, seasons old strappy…

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Sweet Georgia Sugar profiled in Westword

Y’all! I got interviewed by Denver’s Westword magazine!!

From the article:

After suffering from eczema for most of her life, Sarah Jacobson was tired of getting little or no relief from over-the-counter and prescription options. Taking matters into her own hands, she combined a little research with her own self-taught organic cooking skills and started creating all-natural lotions in her kitchen. The result was astounding — her skin became clear, so much so that coworkers wanted to know what she was doing differently. That’s how Jacobson’s all-natural skincare line Sweet Georgia Sugar was born, and less than a year after it began, Jacobson is seeing big business for her small operation.

You can read the whole thing here: http://blogs.westword.com/showandtell/2014/06/sweet_georgia_sugar_makes_beauty_products_with_all-natural_goodness.php

Filed under denver westword all-natural beauty skincare

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Home Gardening in Denver with Roots Medicine Gardens

So I know that you guys know all about my “clean eating, support your local farmer, grow your own, make it from scratch” lifestyle aspirations, right? I mean, I am on that bus, y’all…except, I have this one tiny confession to make…I have literally killed every plant that I have ever tried to grow. Inside or outside, spring or summer, from seeds or sprouts, I have killed them all. It’s so sad. I want to grow stuff. I want to be good at it, but I’m just not. One problem is that I don’t want to take the time to find out about the soil or what to plant next to what for the best results, I can’t be bothered to figure out how much water is needed for each thing or when to harvest or what to do about garden pests. I even kill flowers, y’all! But this year, I wanted it to be different. In part because I use so many plant-based natural ingredients in my body care line, that I thought how great it would be for me to be able to grow some of that stuff myself, and also because I’m a grown up, and laziness is no excuse to not be able to do something. But I also know that I needed help. And that is where Marla with Roots Medicine Gardens comes in!

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Marla is a certified herbalist and a very experienced gardner. She specializes in assisting her clients with planning, planting, growing and harvesting their gardens as well as offering information on how to use the resulting plants to create your own remedies at home. OMG, you guys, she was the answer to my wanna-be-farmer prayers! She literally came over to our house, looked at our yard, sketched out a plan and told us exactly what we needed to get. And then, when we got the stuff, she came back and planted everything and left us with detailed instructions on how to take care of it all. I didn’t even know that a service like this existed, but it does and I am SO glad. Because I don’t WANT to kill every plant that I touch and I DO want to add to my little urban homestead. I want my kids to learn that food doesn’t come from the grocery store and that it really does taste better when you grow it yourself. And I CAN learn when someone shows me what to do. Marla was extremely patient, (I had a lot of stupid questions, y’all), and she made me feel like I wasn’t a dumb as I thought when it comes to gardening. She showed me how to prepare my garden beds and told me about seed spacing and watering and when I could expect to see my little plants start to sprout. OMG, you guys, I almost forgot…she ALSO informed me that my entire yard was full of something called Lambs Quarters, which is essentially a more nutritious version of spinach. I, of course, thought that it was weeds and have been trying to devise a way to kill it for months. Now, I’m just gonna make some salad, and maybe 37 gallons of pesto…since I have an entire yard full of it and all.

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So it’s been two weeks since we got everything planted and there are actual plants growing in my garden. I’ve got pumpkins and radishes and cucumbers and lettuce and green beans and basil and sage and lavender and all kinds of amazing things. I was so excited when I saw the first little sprout come up that I squealed like a little girl, (and then promptly stepped right in a mound of pattypan squash… sounds about right for me).

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So, what’s the point? Well, part of the point is to tell you all how awesome Marla is, and if you live in Denver, and you have a brown thumb like me, call her and she can help. The other part of the point is that now that I have (mostly) overcome my fear of gardening, I am really getting into the idea that I know where at least some of my food is coming from. I don’t have to worry about whether or not it’s going to be infected with e-coli or salmonella because the farm is unsanitary. I don’t have to worry that my lettuce is dripping with carcinogenic pesticides. I don’t have to contribute to the wasteful process that is required to bring these items to market. I like to think of myself as a rebel, y’all…just a little bit…and this is one tiny way that I can stick it to the man, so to speak. I’m taking matters into my own hands, I’m not relying on the FDA to tell me if my food is safe, I’m not being a sheep. Just imagine what would happen, you guys, if even half of us grew our own food. It would be a revolution. Think on that. Up next? Chickens, y’all! (Have I mentioned that I am terrified of chickens?)

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Filed under naturalremedies all natural Denver brown thumb gardening urban homesteading urban farming

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The Little Company That Did A Big Thing

So, y’all know I’ve been locked up in my workshop for the past few weeks, working on a huge retail order, right? I single-handedly produced, packaged, labeled, shipped and delivered 792 units of lotion to 33 Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, (all the Colorado stores). There’s nothing like a trial by fire to get you going, am I right? Here’s the thing, I thought I knew everything, but it turns out I know nothing…well, not NOTHING, but way less than I thought. There is that moment, or series of moments that every small business owner has, where an opportunity arises for you to take the next step to grow your business and you’d better be ready, or else. I learned a lot from this process, a lot that will help me be smarter and faster and more prepared in the future…in fact, here’s a little list:

  1. I’m not organized. Now, for people who know me, this will sound absurd. Everyone thinks I am organized. In my other, corporate life when we had to take those personality tests to teach us all how to work together and we’d have to make a list of traits for our co-workers, every single list, every single time, always started with “Sarah is very organized”. It’s a persona that I just assumed over the years, but apparently it has no basis in reality. I lost track of orders while assembling boxes, I shipped the wrong thing to the wrong place, I miscounted my order about a billion times, I lost stuff in my own office…see? Not. Organized.

  2. I can’t count and math is hard. I needed to make 18 units for each store, plus three testers and three staff samples. So when I did the math, I multiplied 18 times 33…forgetting about the other 6 units….which means that instead of 594 total units, I needed 792. Ooops. Guess that explains why I ran out of literally everything halfway through and had several very late nights (and also several mini-heart attacks), in order to pull this off.

  3. Stuff costs money, ya’ll….ALL the stuff. It seemed like every time I turned around, I was having to buy something…boxes, (yes, I thought those would magically appear), packing tape, paper for the printer, labels, raw materials, lid liners, and on and on and on. This was an expensive lesson.

  4. I’m a self described hippie, you guys, as I have mentioned many times, and I like to move through life at an easy pace, letting the Universe guide me this way and that. I like to be spontaneous, I don’t like to plan shit out too far in advance, lest I suck all the fun out of life’s little moments…which brings me to…You gotta have a plan, man. A logistical map of what needs to take place and when, so that when the big order comes, you are ready to execute with minimal anxiety and no midnight heart failure. 792 jars of lotion ain’t gonna make themselves. Or package themselves. Or ship themselves. Which I learned the hard way.

  5. STOP BEING SUCH A JERK AND ASK FOR HELP! I suck at this. I want to do it myself. I want to prove I can. I don’t want to take the time to show anyone else what to do. About a billion people offered to assist me during the last three weeks and I said no to almost all of them, and that, friends, was a giant mistake. After all, if this all goes as planned and I grow my little home business into a giant corporation, I won’t be able to do it alone for long. This is a difficult lesson to learn. After all, I am the girl who sports a giant scar on my shin because I refused to let my friend Ken help me over a fallen tree on a hike during my college days. Sometimes, “I can do it myself” is really just me being an asshole. No man is an island, and all that, right?

I know this all seems so negative, but the good news? None of these things will ever happen again. I now know exactly how much Shea butter it takes to make 792 jars of lotion (130 lbs. For those keeping track at home), and how much is costs to ship 24 units to 33 stores, (I won’t share THAT number, it would make you weep), how many boxes I need, how much tape I need and how much time I need. I got to see myself in action. I got to see where my weaknesses are, so that I can shore up those areas for next time. And you know what else, you guys? I did it. I met my deadline, the quality remained consistent, I did not have a midnight heart attack, I did not fold under the pressure, I did not quit. I took my licks, as my Mama would say, and learned my lessons, and I’m ready for the next one! Bring. It. On.

Filed under all natural skincare SmallBusiness work from home womeninbusiness beautiful skin

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Sweet Georgia Sugar is coming to over 30 Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage locations

DENVER, May 07, 2014 – Sweet Georgia Sugar today announced today that over 30 stores across Colorado will be selling Sweet Georgia Sugar All-Natural Whipped Body Butter within the next 6 weeks. Customers will be able to visit any Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage® (NYSE: NGVC), and buy Sweet Georgia Sugar All-Natural Whipped Body Butter in Rosemary-Mint, Rose-Vanilla, and Soothing Lavender scents.

“When I first made my All-Natural Whipped Body Butter, I did it not only in an attempt to resolve some of my own skin issues, but to also give myself some peace of mind when it came to what my skin was absorbing,” said Sarah Jacobson, Founder of Sweet Georgia Sugar. “We’re excited to be working with Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage® and offer their customers our All-Natural Sweet Georgia Sugar skin care products. Customers can purchase our top selling Whipped Body Butter scents at SweetGeorgiaSugar.com or simply go to a store in their neighborhood in the very near future.”

Read more on our corporate blog here.

Filed under skincare beauty natural health Denver all natural

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The Silver Lining

You guys, I’m having a day…or a week…maybe a month. I’m feeling defeated and sad and lonely and like I’m just not “making it”. With my business, as a mom, as a wife, as a person. I’ve been running my little business full time for four months now and have made some amazing strides. I’ve had some big sales, I’ve increased visibility for our brand, I’ve gotten the attention of lots of different people who will help propel us forward. But I can’t shake the feeling that I haven’t done enough. That it isn’t my best.

I left a well-paying corporate job, with full benefits and a great retirement package to run my own business. What am I, nuts? I’m not gonna lie, I’m struggling…financially, emotionally, sometimes physically (damn you, insomnia). Some days I feel like I don’t have anything to do. Some days I feel like it’s too much. I love being able to pick my kids up from school and have them near me, but at the same time, they interrupt me every five minutes. I love being able to work in tandem with my husband and business partner, but the process of learning how to be colleagues has been tough. I feel defensive when he makes a suggestion. I take constructive criticism as confirmation of my worst fears. That I’m not good enough. That I will fail. That I will bankrupt my family. That I will have to go back to an industry that I hate with my tail between my legs and beg for a job.

It’s my first Farmer’s Market season and it’s been going just ok, not awesome. It costs time and money and energy and when there isn’t a big return, I have to ask myself if it’s even worth it. It’s so hard not to get bogged down in the negative, not to get pulled into a spiral of negative thoughts and fears. And as much as I hated my corporate job, it made a difference to have co-workers around to commiserate with, to have other people who understood what I was going through. We lifted each other up, we supported each other, we gossiped together, and now it’s just me.

Except it isn’t. Y’all, I have met some of the most amazing, inspiring, loving, kind people through this process. People I would have never had the chance to know otherwise. I’ve had to train my brain to understand that these are my new co-workers, these are the people I commiserate with, the people I go to when I need to solve a problem, even the people I gossip with on occasion. We are all in the same boat, we are all trying to make it go, we are all trying to create our own destiny. And when we pool that energy, when we create synergy, when we prop each other up, well…you won’t be able to stop us. So, that is my silver lining. And I want to say thank you. Thank you to all of the makers out there who give me the inspiration to keep moving forward, thank you to my friends who have fielded more than a few tearful phone calls, thank you to the strangers who have shared such lovely words of encouragement. Let’s do this, y’all. Onward!

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