15 November 2010

Awesome Artist Feature: AngelMade Eco Spa GIVEAWAY!

Calming Herbal Bath Salts - Romantic Flowers
by AngelMade Eco Spa - $6 USD
Having worked in the bath & body industry for 3 years really opened my eyes to a lot of things: fair trade, ingredients & the stories behind the products. 

I was lucky enough to vend at a show with Angel from AngelMade Eco Spa a little over a week ago and have a chance to chat about her fantastic range of products. I was instantly infatuated with her oils, scents & ingredients! I couldn't believe the care & consideration that went into each product and was sincerely thrilled to be discovering more locally produced bath & body products that I could share with my community!

Now, I'd like to share them with my readers!

Three Cocoa Butter Salt Scrubs -
by AngelMade Eco Spa
Angel & I would love to host a giveaway for 3 handmade Cocoa Butter Salt Scrubs (in Mint, Citrus & Vanilla Bean)! Made with ultra moisturising organic cocoa butter & fair trade shea butter, blended with organic essential oils to create delicious aromas, these single-use solid scrubs' Pacific sea salts exfoliate your skin, revealing a wonderfully healthy glow!

These items can be yours, but FIRST - read on to find out a little more about our Awesome Artist Feature:

Angel of AngelMade Eco Spa - Knit One One Craft Show in Berkeley, CA
(Photo by Steph Cortés)

  • Who are you? And what drives to you create!?
My name is Angel Huntington-Ortega and I am a compulsive multi-crafter. I can't describe what drives me to create other than this- I get ideas. They won't go away. I think about them constantly. I think about them so much that I have no choice but to do them . That satisfies the urges until a new crafty idea blooms and then it starts all over again.

  •  When & why did you start your Etsy shop?
I started selling my AngelMade Eco Spa products on Etsy in July 2010. I was too intimidated up until then. I would browse Etsy for hours and drool, thinking that I would never have it all together enough to make my things look as good as everything else on Etsy. I had been making and selling my eco-friendly spa goodies locally for a good 2 years but hadn't taken time to write descriptions, figure out retail/bulk pricing and take photos of everything. Two things gave me the final push, the book Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin, and a couple of good friends who have been my constant cheerleaders. It's been a slow start on Etsy, but only because I am still figuring out all the tricks and tasks (and because of limited time- see below).
Awesome ingredients in one of my favourite miracle products - 
Facial Scrub Crumbs - by AngelMade Eco Spa - $12 USD
Customizable "Every Other Day" scrub for every skin type!
Comes in a cute muslin reusable bag, complete with wooden scoop
 I started making body products about 3 years ago. Part of my massage therapy training at the National Holistic Institute in Emeryville included basic spa treatments. I won't say I was hooked immediately on spa culture because a lot of the things (wraps, scrubs) seemed messy and awkward at first.
What made a bigger impression on me was all our biology/anatomy studies. In particular, the fact that every single product we put on our skin, goes into our skin and is processed as if we ingested it! On average, women use a minimum of 10 products daily. Do you know all the ingredients in your soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, face wash, face cream, deodorant, perfume, make up, make up remover....? I started looking at the labels on things and realized I didn't know what the heck I was putting on my body everyday and started to make small changes to my home routine (for more info on this I highly recommend, "The story of cosmetics" by Annie Leonard).
My first massage job after graduating in 2006 was at an uber fancy spa in San Francisco. There, I got to do lots of fancy treatments, heat wraps, salt scrubs, training in the "wet-room"..., all in all a great learning experience. However, the labels on the products that this reputable spa was using terrified me (parabens, sodium laurel sulfates, and mineral oil in particular because it's a bi-product of petroleum- yikes!). I left working there after 18 months or so because I couldn't justify the excessive (and in my opinion wasteful) use of water and the freaky ingredients in the things I was putting on my clients (and myself through the treatments). I got a new massage job at a low key, local spot that just offered saunas, hot tubs and massage. The owner was very supportive of my interest in using natural products and encouraged me to make my own massage creams/salves. Combining 5 simple ingredients (coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax, essential oils and vitamin E) I came up with something my massage clients and I liked way better then the alternatives. And that's how it all started. I've since added solid salt scrubs, facial scrub crumbs, herbal infused oils and salt soaks for baths. Sometimes I dabble in lip balms, and eventually I want to learn how to make soap.

  •  Describe your creative process
Ok, here's the part where I need to mention that I am not actually a full time crafter. I'm actually the full time mom of two girls, one 8 and one almost 2 years old. They take up, um, about 80 percent of all my (non-sleeping) time, energy and mental capabilities. The rest of my time, when I'm not cleaning, carpooling, cooking, organizing or doing mountains of laundry is spent merely thinking about doing different craft projects. I have millions of ideas that are just waiting for the precious 4 hour blocks of time that will come when my little one is (finally) in preschool.
The process of handmade scrubby goodness
(Photo courtesy of AngelMade Edo Spa
So that said, I get an idea for a product I want to make. I think abut the ingredients that I want to include, and those that I have to include (like a preservative- usually vitamin E will work), and I start to make tiny batches of said product. It usually takes 5-10 tries before I get my formula the way I want it. I re-write the recipe to make a big batch and then package it all up. Given the constraints on my time this could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months.

  • Top 5 fave books, movies, music, artists...
  • Books/Authors

  1. Anything by Roald Dahl
  2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  3. Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  4. Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella
  5. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  • Music...
... really hard to say, depends on the day I guess. But these artists take up the most room on my iPod:
  1. Ozomatli
  2. Yo Yo Ma (especially his collaborations w/other artists)
  3. Madonna (80s and 90's only)
  4. Bob Marley (always makes me feel "irie")
  5. The Beatles

  • Movies
  1. Some Like it Hot
  2. Cabaret
  3. The Corpse Bride
  4. All the Indiana Jones movies
  5. Elf

  • What other favourite hobbies/activities do you enjoy?

Not as Tiny Custom Cranes on 14K gold filled ear threads

by angelinapaloma - $19 USD

I love paper. I have done origami since I was 10. I just opened angelinapaloma on etsy to sell my handmade crane earrings because people stop me on the street all the time and ask me where I got the ones I wear. This fall I started teaching a children's papercrafts class in an afterschool program in Berkeley. It's been a great chance to do all sorts of things I wouldn't tackle at home on my own (pinata, anyone?).
I love to knit, although I just started and haven't got past scarves and hats. And I really like baking/cooking, but especially eating yummy baked goods.
I'm also a life long dancer, and teach children's creative movement/pre-ballet once a week at our YMCA. I have done that for 5 years now and really enjoy the energy of a group of excited 4-5 year olds in tutus. But only for about 2 hours a week. That's enough.
Oh yeah, and about that massage training, I'm also a nationally certified massage therapist specializing in working with pregnant women, BUT, I haven't massaged anyone since I was pregnant myself. I'm on a little break from that, but looking forward to returning.

To find out more about Angel & check out some of her works, feel free to click on the links! 

AngelMade Eco Spa: 


NOW - for the GIVEAWAY...

To enter to win a trio of Cocoa Butter Salt Scrubs sent to your home, you have many options!

After completing your entries, post which items you did (with links) in the "Comments" section of this post. For every item done, you'll receive ONE entry (9 possible entries available)! Winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday, 20 November & announced Sunday, 21st November, 2010.

You can't get anything more heavenly than
the sweet spicy scent of pure Virgin Coconut Oil!
(Photo courtesy of AngelMade Edo Spa
I can personally highly recommend ANY of Angel's products, as I've used them (4 of them!) and can't get enough. 

When I asked my boyfriend which Coconut Oil to get, it was a tough decision - as he wanted to eat both arms up cos they smelled so yummy!

Personally, I LOVE melting on the Organic Virgin 100% Pure Coconut Oil - Infused with Chai Tea Spices (only $9 USD). It literally liquifies in your hands & doubles as a great massage oil or deep conditioning hair treatment! And - believe me - a little goes a LONG way!

I hope you all get a chance to try out these rad products & enjoy them as much as I do!!! 

Thanks & good luck!

The Awesome Artist Feature series will be running every Monday on nerd JERK: Inspire Your Inner Geek. If you'd like to participate, feel free to email me at nerdJERK@gmail.com!


  1. You made a wonderful post about Angel Made Eco Spa. We all need pampering and she has the shop to help us.

  2. I've hearted on Etsy and liked on Facebook. I don't have a real big fan base but every little bit helps

  3. Awesome shop this is!! I really love her products and enjoying your post!!

    I visited and hearted her on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/hearts_me.php?user_id=9618010

    I liked her on FB: I dont know how to send you a link to prove that:)

    I shared on twitter: http://twitter.com/?status=Three%20Cocoa%20Butter%20Salt%20Scrubs%20you%20choose%20by%20angelmadeecospa%20http://etsy.me/cCz7Uq#!/MgsCrochetJewls

    And FB, I also shared your blog with the contest info on FB: http://www.facebook.com/MegsCrochetJewels

    I commented on her blog!;) : http://www.angelmade.net/angelmade-blog.html

    And I am already following your blog:)

    Fingers crossed:) I love her stuff!!:) hehe

  4. Hey Steph! Great post!!!!

    Hearted Angel's shop as SassyBelleWares!
    I already follow your blog!
    Liked Angel's fb page and left her a comment under "just others".

  5. Wowzers! Keep em comin', folks! Getting some great feedback on this post has been awesome and AngelMade Eco Spa has already seen a real difference in her shop!

  6. Thank you so much for doing an honest recommendation of this. I’m always skeptical of reviews when the product was given to the reviewer. I’ve been wondering about these products, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money on them. Looks like I’ll pass on this one.

  7. I'm so proud of you! I'm extremely honored to have you as my friend ;) You are doing an amazing job and the creative juices continue to flow within you. What a gift. I see so many opportunities happening for you in the future. Get ready to be blessed!!!!
    Much Love Angel Dear

  8. Yay Angel! So exciting! I need to get more coconut oil soon, it is awesome!

    Amy Rose

  9. Wow, Angel! You've come such a long way since graduating in 2006 - So great to see you taking what you learned in a direction that really suits your personal interests. Definitely going to share this story!

  10. I'm so happy for you Angel I wish you all the luck in the world
    Mr T Rock NW FLORIDA


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