A little bit of background about how, why and when I got started.....

I made my very first “body balm” when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter, Elizabeth, in 1993. I combined my Dad’s homemade carmex recipe and my Grandma Swank’s homemade utter balm recipe, put my own spin on it and made it my own. I enjoyed it so much {and so did my family} so I began making them as “gifts” for family and friends. It was long before people began asking to “buy” it. So in 1996, when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, Hannah, I began researching and making other products. {which is why I say, “Established in 1996”}

 

I started making my own candles and bath & body products primarily because money was tight so I couldn't always afford to go buy "Yankee Candles" or shop for bath & body products at Victoria's Secret or Bath & Body Works. Another major reason was because two of my three children "inherited" my super sensitive skin. Pretty much everything we used, made us breakout into rashes or hives. So I wanted to know exactly "what" was in the products that I used on my children and myself. I began making these products using old fashioned family recipes, recipes from books/magazines that I purchased and recipes that I found at our local libraries. {We couldn't afford an in-home computer back then, but I am not sure that recipes were "as available" online back then as they are now.} I still use most of my original recipes, however; I am constantly doing research into other ingredients that I test and use in our products. So, even though a lot of the recipes are still the same, others have been modified to help improve our products throughout the last 21 years. Once my kids became active in school sports, city sports and travel sports; I no longer had time to make products as often. Just within the last 2-3 years, as my kids “out-grew” their sports, I began making products more often because I wanted to help supplement our income and now I have more time to do so. I just love making products. It is very soothing for me. Not only do I LOVE what I do, but I absolutely LOVE making people happy with our products.  


About our products.......

I make everything in our home here in Silvis, Illinois. {Quad Cities area} I even design and print our labels here. We do not have any employees, so everything is made, packaged and labeled primarily by me, but of course, my husband Bill helps as well. Even our kids and our 5 year old granddaughter all like to help out sometimes....which is why we called it, "Smith Family Olde Country Market". Our youngest daughter {Hannah} actually came up with that name, which is suiting since I began researching and making other products while I was pregnant with her. All of our products are 100% handmade. We make hand-poured mason jar candles & melts. They are made with 100% soy wax, dye-free for cleaner burning and our 16oz. mason jar candles have approximately 90 hours of burn time. {*we even use zinc & lead-free wicks} 


We also make homemade Vegan-Friendly Bath & body products for the whole family including: oatmeal soaps, coconut oil sugar scrubs, coffee scrubs & soaps, non-greasy body butters & lotions, bath bomb in a jar, multi-purpose salve, sore muscle bath soaks, body sprays, coconut oil lip balms, natural hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap, beard & aftershave balm, shaving soap, aftershave and our “BUZZ OFF!” collection of bug repellent sprays and lotions. I even make handmade laundry soap without all of the chemicals and dyes. What is unique about our products is that they are vegan-friendly and most of our products are dye-free.  


Testing.....

When we test products, whether it is a new recipe or an original recipe; we conduct and extensive testing period of anywhere from 1-2 weeks and even as long as 6 months to a year depending on the product. Since I still have such super sensitive skin, I am my very own best "guinea pig"....so I start by using the products myself. After using it for a week or more {depending on the product} if it passes my own strict testing process {meaning, I had no reaction to it and I like the way it makes my skin look/feel} then I offer the product to at least 4-6+ people outside of our home to test it as well. All different people, not the same people over and over again. I have them test it for a couple of weeks {or months in some cases} and I have them get back to me as to whether or not they liked it, if it caused a reaction, how it made their skin look and feel, how light/strong the fragrance was, how the product held up over time, etc. So in some cases, we could very well test a product for anywhere from 6 months to a year before we actually begin producing and selling that product.  

 

Where and how we sell our products......

Currently, we sell out of our home {to our family & friends ONLY} and we also sell out of two locations in Fulton & Galena:


1.)     Great River Road Antiques - 23080 Waller Road, Fulton, IL {Case & Booth #211}

2.)     Galena Antique Mall - 8201 US Hwy 20 W, Galena, IL {Case #12A} 

3.)     Our goal {this year or next year} is to find a third location to sell out of in downtown Galena as well. 

4.)     We have recently been accepted into the Galena Farmer’s Market. We just began selling there on Saturday, June 10th.

       The Summer Market takes place on the lawn of the Olde Market House on Commerce Street {downtown} from 7am-noon every Saturday

       May-October. The Winter Market moves indoors to Turner Hall on the second Wednesday of each month November-April from 4pm to 6pm.

5.)     We have been selected by a committee to sell at the River Ridge PTO Autumn Craft Fair in Hanover, IL the first weekend in October.

       {10,000+ customers} This event was voted the 2017 “Best Craft Fair in Illinois” by the readers of Illinois Country Living Magazine.   

6.)     We have also been selected by a committee to sell at a The Quad Cities Christmas Arts & Craft Fair at the QCCA Expo Center in

        Rock Island, IL on Thanksgiving weekend. {10,800 customers in 2016}

 

A few additional things you should know.......

-- I am always constantly doing research and learning. Over the last 21 years, along with the countless books and articles that I have read, if I had to guess, I have taken over 100+ classes, workshops and seminars online.  

 

-- We abide by all FDA rules and regulations to the best of our knowledge. I do check their websites every six months to make sure that we are still compliant. And I have been in contact {directly} with the FDA to make sure that we are labeling our products correctly. 

 

Objective…..

Our main goal is to help provide for our family. Family is everything to us. We want to sell great products with quality ingredients and sell them at reasonable/affordable prices. We want to grow, however; we are very adamant about remaining a “small business” that is family owned and operated.

JAM Envision

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Empowering Wellness