The Blessed Beard – Grooming products for the modern man

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to The Blessed Beard, a business created and managed by David Pendergrass. The Blessed Beard came about by David’s own desire to cultivate a stronger, healthier beard, and the results were too great not to share.

pomade

Looking for some natural hold for your luscious locks? Look no further than The Blessed Beard’s pomade. PC: The Blessed Beard

David began The Blessed Beard as a way to deal with his own beard care needs, but also as a second source of income when his wife was on maternity leave in 2016. Fast-forward to 2018, and David is bursting with new product ideas, with his wife and parents helping out with branding, packaging, running events, and more. It’s definitely become a family business!

brotherhood

David clearly labels all the ingredients in his products. Check out all those natural, nutrient-rich oils! PC: The Blessed Beard

The Blessed Beard certainly has a wide variety of products for beard care, but they offer many other products for general body care. Conditioning balm, conditioning oil, body wash, hair pomade, aftershave tonic, and more are all available.

styling spray

Here’s something you don’t see every day: styling clay spray. Great for a strong hold, without all the chemical gunk in commercial hairspray. PC: The Blessed Beard

The Blessed Beard’s products stand out not only for their effectiveness, but for the unique blend of scents David develops. Looking for a “symphonic” fusion of different aromas, David blends essential oils (anywhere between seven to twenty different oils!) with a variety of base oils (all selected carefully for their skin-healing benefits) to create the perfect scent.

conditioning oil

“Using the product consistently infuses your skin with fatty amino acids, vitamins (A, E, D) and other proteins and nourishing factors that keep your skin healthy,” David explains. PC: The Blessed Beard

While men are an obvious target clientele for The Blessed Beard, David encourages women to try his products as well. The scents are appealing to both masculine and feminine preferences, and the benefits apply to everyone. “This is why I say my oils are ‘conditioning oils’ and not ‘beard oils’—ANYONE can use these products: men, women, or children!” David explains.

body wash

I have The Blessed Beard’s natural wash in David’s “Refresh” scent (think citrus and mint), and I love it. I’m eager to try all his other scents! PC: The Blessed Beard

David’s an active participant in local markets and vendor events in Upstate South Carolina. In fact, he runs a group called GVL Makers & Artisans, which “exists to help other small businesses grow and flourish.” This group shares information about events and offers encouragement to one another as fellow craftsmen and business owners. Be sure to follow The Blessed Beard on social media (Instagram and Facebook) so you can learn more about David’s journey as a maker, and join the events he hosts and attends!

iVIVA Salt – Himalayan salt & more

It makes me really excited when I come across a business that is a little out of the ordinary. iVIVA is one of those businesses, as owner Katie White sells something you may not come across at every maker’s market: Himalayan salt and essential oils.

finegrainnosize

A pound of iVIVA edible pink Himalayan salt is just $5, an AMAZING bargain, especially considering the product’s exceptional quality.

If you tune in to the health and foodie world at all, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about Himalayan pink salt, and for good reason. It’s more than just a trendy seasoning— it’s an incredibly rich source of minerals. For a quick comparison: sea salt (yes, the oh-so glorified garnish of gourmet caramels) has 10 minerals, whereas Himalayan pink salt has 84 minerals. Yes, you read that right! There are a ton of other health benefits behind Himalayan pink salt that make it superior, but Katie really explains it best herself in her blog. Read up on the numerous benefits here.

iviva handcrafted lamps group setting resized

I love the warm, cozy glow of Himalayan salt lamps. Katie offers lamps in various sizes.

Katie offers more than just edible pink salt. She transforms whole blocks of Himalayan salt into some incredible products, like salt lamps, salt massage balls, bath salts, and soaps.  I’m a particular fan of her salt lamps and bath salts, which I can personally vouch for. Salt lamps have many mysterious benefits, from purifying the air (a plus for folks with asthma/allergies) to improving anxiety. Do your own research— this is an article I’ve found that summarizes different benefits and theories— but regardless of whether you buy into the health benefits, salt lamps make a beautiful, calming home accent.

Calming Oils

You’ll find single essential oils as well as unique iVIVA oil blends on Katie’s website.

Beyond salt, you can also purchase high-quality essentials oils from iVIVA. Katie studies aromatherapy and is in the process of receiving her aromatherapy certificate, so you can feel good about incorporating iVIVA essential oils into your home and family. Again, Katie does a great job informing her customer base on the quality behind all her products, so read more on her blog.

iviva citrus blend eos

Katie incorporates essential oils AND Himalayan pink salt into her homemade soaps.

Katie has a real passion for holistic health, and one of the primary reasons she began iVIVA is because she felt astounded at how expensive high-quality Himalayan pink salt and essential oils were. After finding a fair trade-compliant salt mine, becoming a certified aromatherapist and SC Certified (all of Katie’s products are made right here in Greenville county!), Katie now has a wide variety of incredible, natural products that won’t break the bank. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

Bar Soap – A worthy conversion

Over the past six months or so, I’ve discovered a product preference: bar soap over liquid soap. Specifically (of course) handmade bar soap over store-bought liquid soap. Seems like a simple switch, but let me share with you some reasons why I’ve switched almost entirely to bar soap.

Liquid soap is drying

Something all soaps advertise: moisturizing properties. But, especially in the cold months when I’m washing my hands more frequently and having issues with dry skin, I noticed that my hands were especially papery after washing my hands. By contrast, every handmade bar soap I’ve used has been noticeably moisturizing (note: some commercial bar soaps I’ve used in the past had the same drying issues as liquid soap. Not all bar soaps are made equal!)

Bar soap encourages good hand-washing

Confession time: recently I realized that, when I use liquid soap, I’m actually not washing my hands well at all. When using liquid soap, I realized that most of the time I got a dollop of soap on my fingertips, which immediately slid off once I put my hands under running water. With bar soap, you actually have to handle and rub the bar in order to stimulate the lather, which in itself creates a good hand-washing technique. Sounds trivial, but you’ll be amazed at how much more thoroughly you wash your hands when using bar soap.

Bar soap lasts longer

Most bar soaps from Etsy shops and local makers cost a few dollars each, and they last for MONTHS. With liquid soap, it’s easy to pump out a big ole squirt that’s way more than you need. Bar soaps last longer and are a better value in the long run, not to mention better for your skin.

So, now that I’ve shared the big three reasons why I’ve converted to bar soap, let me introduce you to some soap makers I’ve been using (and loving).

Muddy Mint

Muddy Mint

Pictured here is chamomile and lavender soap, with Simi’s signature gorgeous decorative finish. PC: Muddy Mint

Though based all the way out in Colorado, Muddy Mint was the first soap/body care shop I tried way back in the summer of 2017. Simi, the soap-making hands behind Muddy Mint, makes some incredible body care products (still dreaming about her cocoa butter cashmere body butter), and besides her soap being lovely to use, I also think she has some of the most beautiful soap on the market. Follow her on Instagram, if only to marvel at her gorgeous creations.

Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

gh artisan

Black tea and patchouli soap: clean, elegant scent to match the design. PC: Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

I met Javela, the owner of Gifted Hands Artisan Soap, at a farmer’s market last year and purchased some of her soap to try. I was so pleased with the product, and also enjoyed perusing the variety of scents she had on display. Gifted Hands Artisan Soap features some luxuriously feminine scents, like honeysuckle & almond milk, but also stocks a wide variety of man-friendly scents (think lemongrass & rosemary; peppermint; cedar wood, orange, and clove).

ILY Soaps

ILY soap

This bar is currently residing in our bathroom, where my husband and I both use it regularly. We’ve been using this bar for about a month now, and see how bulky it still is! Bar soap goes a long way.

My most recent discovery is ILY Soaps based out of Easley. Besides soaps, ILY Soaps also has a wide variety of bath and body products, from bath bombs to facial care. The bar pictured above is a garden mint soap that I’ve really enjoyed. It has a rich mint smell and a really robust lather, which I love.

Good Juju Herbal

Good Juju soap

I received Judith’s Rose Clay and Geranium soap for Christmas, and it smells divine. PC: Good JuJu Herbal

If you’ve followed my blog, then you’ve seen my review of Good JuJu Herbal and how much I applaud her all-natural approach to body care. I’ve used several of Judith’s products and have particularly enjoyed her soap. Judith infuses her soap with gentle, all-natural scents, and her soaps have a uniquely soft and gentle texture. Ideal for sensitive skin types!