Friday, January 23, 2009

Indie Beauty Blog Tag Party

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. I am presently burning the midnight oil as I write this post. Donna Maria with Indie Beauty presented me with a challenge and now I am stepping up to the plate.

This post is part of Indie Beauty Blog Tag Party. dM tagged me and 4 other indies who must write a post on the topic "Ten Things I Love About Being Indie". Once we've written ours, we then tag 5 other indies. So, let's begin.

1. Freedom
Owning my business has given me the freedom to spend time with my family and friends. I make the decision as to when I take off from work. My schedule can be rearranged if a family member or friend needs my help. It's very liberating!

2. Creativity Is Not Harnessed
My creative juices are free to flow without the fear of being harnessed by an over bearing boss or co-worker. I don't have to worry about someone cutting my idea down. In the end, it is the consumer I am here to please!

3. Woman of Mystery
There are still many people in my town that don't have a clue what I do. They assume I am a kept woman. Hahahaaa! Oh sorry, I couldn't help myself. It's not because I haven't donated products for just about every function in town when asked, or the word of mouth not getting around, I just think some people don't think you can make money making soap so they don't take me seriously. That's ok. I like being mysterious.

4. Introduced to Fabulous Women
Wow!! The world is filled with vibrant, fascinating, exhilarating, intriguing, talented and wild women! Whether introduced online, on the street or a Cactus & Ivy customer, I am a better woman for meeting them! Now guys, I have met some awesome gentlemen too, but this part is reserved for the ladies!

5. Work On My Time
I am often accused of not having a real job because I don't go to a 9 to 5. Nope, my shop is about 100ft from my house. And, my hours could be 7 to 12, depending on what I have going on. That's 7 am to 12 midnight! Yep!

6. No Glass Ceiling
There is absolutely no glass ceiling when you own your business. The rise of my business is determined by hard work and discipline. I've been an Indie for 9 years now and there's no turning back!

7. Giving Creations
I'm a giver. Always have been and always will be. I love to create products that I think will not only appeal to the consumer, but also to my family and friends. There is nothing more rewarding than to have someone tell you how much they love something that you created with your own hands. Also, bath and body products are awesome gifts and I know someone who makes them!

8. Change The World
Being an Indie gives me an opportunity to change the world. After leaving a micro-managed sales job 9 years ago, I vowed that if I ever had my own company, I would never allow my employees to feel what I felt. If I have learned one thing all my years on this earth, it's all in how you treat people. My parents also raised me well! Thanks Mom & Dad!

9. I Decide My Worth
It isn't up to someone else to tell me what I am worth because I set that standard for myself! My parents raised me to be a caring individual with drive and determination. Only I can hold myself back!

10. Life Is Good!
I think that pretty much sums it up!

Now,'re it!

Heather Tallman
Marla Bosworth
Kristin Cotte
Jill Jones

Regina Mowrer

Thanks for stopping by y'all!! Have a great day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History In The Making

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. It is actually snowing in my neck of the woods!! Yep, it is snowing in the state of South Carolina! Can you believe it?

Today marks a historic event in our nation's history. Almost 46 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke the words, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal."

Today, at 12 noon local time, the Unites States of America is swearing-in its first African American President, Barack Hussein Obama, the 44th President of the United States.

The United States
Constitution mandates the President make the following oath before entering the office of the Presidency. "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." Traditionally, "so help me God" is added by newly elected or re-elected Presidents.

The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 begins, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

I am proud to be an American and to witness a monumental change in our nation's history. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud of "We The People" and what we have accomplished this day.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fabulous day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cactus & Ivy - Valentine's Day Products

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well and you had a fabulous weekend!'s here! The new line from Cactus & Ivy for Valentine's Day!

Soothing, captivating and sensual were the inspirations behind our Valentine's Day line. Each product contains ingredients to nourish, moisturize and hydrate dry and damaged skin. The essential oil blend of vanilla, patchouli and rose all have sensual properties that are sure to relax your mind, body and spirit.

Cocoa Vanilla Body Polish
Regenerate and rejuvenate dry skin with this soothing combination of mango butter, virgin coconut oil and sweet almond oil. The addition of sugar cane, salt and raspberry seeds provide exfoliation to remove dead skin while the aroma of vanilla, patchouli and rose fill your mind.

Macadamia Vanilla Body Melt
The smoothness of macadamia nut oil, penetrates and hydrates the skin leaving it nourished and moisturized. Vanilla, patchouli and rose blend well to lend a light and pleasing aroma to capture your senses.

Chocolate Bliss Bath Grains

Soak away your troubles with our bath grains, containing coconut milk powder, cocoa powder and shea oil, creating a creamy and chocolaty environment to relax. Comforting, yet spirited aroma of vanilla, patchouli and rose.

So, there ya have it. Our Valentine's Day line will only be around for a limited time, so get yours while you can. I can't wait to get Andreah's feedback, especially since she had a hand in choosing some of the ingredients!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, January 16, 2009

And The Winner Is.........

Hey Y'all!!

Woo-hoo!!! I hope this post finds y'all doing well. For those of you in the warmer climates, I am so jealous of you right now! And, for those of you that are freezing to death, I say boo......hiss to the weather and hope you are warm! I am so ready for Spring!

We have a winner in the Design A Valentine's Day Line contest with Chic Shopper Chick!! Drum roll please............

The winner is Andreah, a wife, mother and blogger who loves to review products and host giveaways on her blog. You can follow Andreah on Twitter at simplyandreah

A big thanks goes out to Erika with Chic Shopper Chick for partnering with Cactus & Ivy to bring this contest to life! The amount of feedback the contest generated is greatly appreciated and I have already made a few changes to the website. Thanks so much for posting your comments about the Cactus & Ivy website and/or blog. Feedback ROCKS and so do y'all!!

Andreah has chosen the ingredients that will be incorporated into the Body Scrub, Body Melt & Bath Grains. The aroma Andreah chose just happens to be my favorite between the selections. You ROCK Andreah!!

On Monday, January 19th, I will reveal the Valentine's Day Line, so stay tuned! In the meantime, don't fry anything naked!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fabulous day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fabulous Cocoa Butter

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well and my apologies for not having a post with words in a few days.

Working with ingredients for Cactus & Ivy creations, Cocoa butter has to be one of my favorites! It is a natural, edible vegetable fat, pale yellow in color, and is extracted from the cacao bean to make a variety of products, such as cosmetics, ointments and oh yes....chocolate.

Theobroma Cacao, the botanical name of Cocoa Butter, is from the Mexican word "cacauati" meaning cacao and the Greek word "Theobroma" meaning food of the Gods.

Cocoa trees generally grow in Central and South America and produce a brown fruit with about three dozen long seeds or cocoa beans. The seeds are ground into chocolate liquor and then pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, which is also referred to as cocoa powder.

Cocoa butter has a low melting point of 34 to 38 degrees Celsius, is solid form at room temperature but melts easily at body temperature. It contains natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity and has a shelf life of 2 to 5 years, which makes it a highly popular ingredient in skin care products and cosmetics.

You can find Cocoa butter in our Body Scrubs, Butter Me Up Body Balm, Shea & Soy Body Melt and Lip Balms. Cocoa butter protects and softens dry skin, helps to reduce stretch marks, is a super emollient and aids in reducing wrinkles and fine lines around eyes, mouth and neck. Cocoa butter is just plain fabulous and smells heavenly!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a wonderful day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Feedback Indeed!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a spectacular day! Normally, my posts are delivered before now, however, I was hoping to get word on the winner of the Design a Valentine's Day Line contest over at Chic Shopper Chick.

This contest has really been an eye opener for me. As I've stated in numerous posts, I love feedback. All types - good, bad or indifferent. Part of the contest was to leave comments on Chic Shopper Chick as to what you would change about the Cactus & Ivy site or The Southern Accent Blog.

WOW, and comment y'all did! I am blown away at the amount of feedback that came in over the course of a week! Woo-hoo!! Ask and you shall receive!

I have already made a few changes to the Cactus & Ivy site. Many posted comments that the products page needed thumbnail pictures. I totally agree and now it does! There were a great number of posts indicating customer testimonials or feedback. We have always had a page dedicated to our customer feedback. The page is Raves & Reviews. Now I see the problem is that it was located in the wrong area of the home page, especially if it wasn't noticed.

It will take some time, however, there will be numerous changes coming to the Cactus & Ivy site, and it's thanks to all the valuable comments. 299 to be exact. Well, not all were directly related to changes or improvements, but hey.....what a response!!

As soon as I know who the lucky winner is, I will post their name. Thanks again to y'all for stepping up to the plate and providing me with the one of the most important areas of Cactus & Ivy! That would be feedback! Love it, love it, love it!!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fabulous day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It's A Conspiracy!

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. This post was inspired by an email I received from a friend. It's a conspiracy!

"This is happening right here in our own country! We must put a stop to this immediately! Have you noticed that stairs are getting steeper? Groceries are heavier? And, everything is farther away?

Yesterday, I walked to the corner and I was dumbfounded to discover how long our street had become! And, you know, people are less considerate now, especially the young ones. They speak in whispers all the time! If you ask them to speak up, they just jeep repeating themselves, endlessly mouthing the same silent message until they're red in the face! What do they think I am, a lip reader?

I also think they are much younger than I was at the same age. On the other hand, people my own age are so much older than I am. I ran into an old friend the other day and she has aged so much that she didn't even recognize me!

I got to thinking about the poor dear while I was combing my hair this morning, and in doing so, I glanced at my own reflection. Well, REALLY NOW......even mirrors are not made the way they used to!

Another thing, everyone drives so fast these days. You're risking life and limb if you happen to pull onto the freeway in front of them. All I can say is, their brakes must wear out awfully fast, the way I see them screech and swerve in my rear view mirror.

Clothing manufacturers are less civilized these days. Why else would they suddenly start labeling a size 10 or 12 dress as 18 or 20? Do they think no one notices? The people who make bathroom scales are pulling the same prank. Do they think I actually "believe" the number I see on that dial? Hah!! I would never let myself weigh that much. Just who do these people think they are fooling?

I'd like to call up someone in authority to report what's going on, but the telephone company is in on the conspiracy too! They've printed the phone books in such small type that no one could ever find a number in there!

All I can do is pass along this warning.........We're under attack!! Unless something drastic happens, pretty soon everyone will have to suffer these awful indignities.

P.S. I am writing this in a large font size, because something has happened to my computer's fonts. They are smaller than they once were".

Ahhh......I needed a little laughter today. The sad thing is, I can relate to a few of the above mentioned items. Ugh!!

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to enter the Design a Valentine's Day line contest at Chic Shopper Chick. You have until 11:59pm CST tonight to get your entry in!

Have a fabulous day and good luck!!!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Monday, January 5, 2009

What Our Customers Are Saying!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well and having a fabulous Monday. The mini vacation over the holiday has left me rested and ready to face the New Year head on!

Just a reminder, the Design a Valentine's Line contest ends tomorrow, January 6th at 11:59PM CST. Go to Chic Shopper Chick for the rules and entry.

I am taking this opportunity to celebrate some of the comments from our customers. Feedback is so important to me. Good, bad or indifferent, they all play a role in how I create products for Cactus & Ivy.

When I teamed with Erika, Chic Shopper Chick, to do a contest, one of the things I asked for was feedback on the Cactus & Ivy website as well as The Southern Accent Blog. I am still overwhelmed at the amount of feedback received. One of the comments that appears frequently is they would like to read reviews/testimonials from customers. Now, I thought it was a good idea to post comments/feedback from our customers, so I dedicated a page to them. However, the link is in the wrong location on the site if it is not getting noticed. Duly noted!

Read Raves & Reviews from our customers! Here are just a couple that can be found on the page:

Lisa - "I seriously, truly love the Cactus Nail Balm. My hands are a mess from soapmaking and in just one day, noticeable difference. I can't stop using it, I love the concept, it's so clever, it smells amazing, and my hands feel so much better. I would heartily recommend your stuff to anybody."

Michelle G.

Cleveland Heights, OH


Hi Lisa, I picked up my package from the post office this morning; everything I tried was great. I especially like the new packaging for the Nail Balm. This is the first time I've ordered from Cactus & Ivy and I have to say based on the products I've tried and the customer service, which has been truly great, I will definitely be back to order again.



Miami, FL


Also, to read reviews we've received from beauty blogs and sites, visit our Press page. Feedback is awesome so feel free to leave me a comment here!

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cactus & Ivy on Indie Shopping Vignette

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well and having a fabulous start to 2009! I wanted to fill you in on something awesome. As you may know, I am a member of the Indie Beauty Network. Donna Maria, or dM as we refer to her, has created the Indie Shopping Network.

Just a little background on dM, from my perspective. Donna Maria is a true champion of the Indie Business owner. She works tirelessly on keeping on top of legal issues related to our industry, providing cost effective products for our business, as well as creating other avenues for the cosmetics/toiletries small business owner to participate.

dM has been doing vignettes, or short highlights of 3 companies, in between her full blown shows, and above is the vignette dM did on December 31, 2008. I feel so honored to have Cactus & Ivy included with the creative talents of Bidwell Botanicals and Soapylove. Thanks again dM!! You rock gal!

Subscribe to dM's Indie Business Blog to keep up with what's happening on Indie Shopping Network, as well as joining the site.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a fabulous day and a relaxing weekend!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year Y'all!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well and you had a wonderful holiday season! As 2008 has come to a close, I welcome 2009 with open arms!!

I look forward to this year bringing ideas, discoveries, more sustainable and eco-friendly changes to Cactus & Ivy. I will be working hard on new cruelty free and vegan creations, all while keeping them natural. I can't wait to see what unfolds in 2009 and I hope you will hang around to find out! Any and all feedback you wish to provide is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

Here's to you and all the success, hope and happiness this new year brings. Have a fabulous day and I look forward to many more tomorrows with y'all!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Cactus & Ivy