News – Bon Air Naturals

Ready To Shop Local?

Posted by Jennifer Phillips on

A new month and a new blog post!

I love to shop.  I hate to say it, but I do.  However, I try to make wise choices.  Such as supporting local or small businesses.  

We've compiled a list of our favorite local shops, eateries, artisans, and just some awesome people doing some awesome things....which also proves what an awesome city we live in!

So grab your beverage of choice and get that bank card out.  

Besides the local stores where you can find us (PapeterieBuford Rd Paharmacy, South of the James Farmers MarketOutpost Richmond & Richmond Integrative Psychiatric & Nurtrition Services)

Need something shiny?

Check out The Inspired Spirit!  Gorgeous wearable art using crystals and other treasures to inspire the spirit.  I love the moonstone and amethyst pieces.

If you love jewelry but not as shiny, I'm loving all the simple but colorful pieces that Clarissa B Design Co has.  I'm ogling one of those necklaces that includes navy blue!!  One day it might be chilly enough to order one of her knitted or crocheted pieces.

A different kind of wearable art.

Looking for a more personalized gift of wearable art?  We are digging Trails + Shores screen printed tees and more.  Super fun designs consisting of simple images or words all printed here in VA, but you can customize for any city or state, making this, the perfect gift!

Hang it up!

I love being at home.  And I work hard at making my house a home.  A warm and inviting place that people feel comfortable in, whether they are staying over, eating or celebrating!  That means surrounding my space in things that make me happy.  Like art!

I've been crushing on Joy in the Midst for a few years now.  Unique hand painted signs (and more) on salvaged wood, covered in color and words that will help you find JOY in your midst.

I found Sherri Conley at Gallery in 2013.  She covers a little bit of everything in her photography.  Black & white.  Pastel or bright colors.  Animals, nautical, farms, and ocean.  Absolutely stunning.  My first piece was of Richmonds famous train station clock.  It hangs in my dining room and I LOVE it. 

This year at Gallery, my daughter is the lucky recipient of a Dandelion Studio original.  Simple & whimsical mixed media art.  They are fun and full of color.  I wanted several pieces because in each one I found myself saying "that's so C".  

Now that you've worked up an appetite, lets talk Food!

Thinking of You Creations, baked goods and edible gifts.  Granolas, cookies, cakes, brownies, tarts....count us in!

We couldn't write this post without mentioning Perk!  First they are in our neighborhood.  They are always giving back to local schools, community events, charity auctions and more.  They have a friendly staff, a childrens play area and delicious coffee and treats. They also have lunchboxes that are made from more local favorites like Bon Air Seafood, Ellwood Thompsons and RVA staple, Sally Bells Kitchen.  So we consider it a double dip in the spending wisely department!  And let's not forget it's a fabulous place for hiding giveaways.

For an incredible and comfortable dining experience you have to check out Shagbark. Named to the Taste of the South magazine’s Taste50, the annual round-up of the best in Southern food, and recently honored for its outstanding wine program in Wine Spectator's 2017 Restaurant Awards.  And here's the disclosure...I'm partial.  My talented brother made all the pottery for this restaurant.  So your incredible meal is plated perfectly on a handmade, one of a kind local piece of art.  Boom. Check him out at Tree Hill Pottery.

For dining at home we love Hummingbird Gardens.  Cut flowers, herbs, salts and edible flowers!  Decorate your plates and table!  Take a look at her blog for some fun adult popsicles using fresh herbs and citrus!

For a yummy on the go treat, check out MaloKin Popped Amaranth Treats.  Brittles and bars made from delicious ingredients like honey, molasses, and marshmallow!

Obviously, this isn't everyone!  Keeping up with all the great local people and places in Richmond would be a full time job in itself....and we've got soap to make!

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Giving Back

Posted by Jennifer Phillips on

"To move forward, you have to give back." Oprah
With the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, giving back has been weighing heavily on our minds and hearts.  Every ten seconds there is a celebrity sharing their charity of choice.  It's super easy to text "Donate" on your cell phone.  But where is your $10 going?  By the time it makes it out the door is it still $10 or has it been reduced to $1 due to administration fees, marketing and fundraising expenses, liabilities etc.
We wanted to take a shallow dive in and tell you about: 
  • What we do with our product overages
  • Top 3 ways to investigate where your money is going
  • Easy ways to give back...WITHOUT writing a check
  • Some of our favorite brands that give back
  • Tell you why it's actually good for your health
What we are doing at Bon Air Naturals?
Bon Air Naturals has been donating our soap overages or imperfectly perfect products to The Unforgotten Fund.   UNFF undertakes various projects to provide aid for women and children living in impoverished and unsanitary conditions by providing food, education and micro-loans. They also execute capital projects to support the overarching mission, which is to work towards the UN Millennium Development Goals. These include implementing rainwater harvesting systems, drilling boreholes to provide safe drinking water and building school houses for providing primary education.
Where is your money going?
I don't know about you but I like to know my money is getting put to good use.  Transparency is key.
1) Charity Navigator  A nonprofit that breaks down all the ins and outs of being a non profit, their accountability and their transparency.  Not all Non profits are listed but you may nominate anyone at anytime.
2)Charity Watch  They also educate the public on the importance of wise giving.  Providing information donors need to make informed decisions. 
3) Better Business Bureau  There is always the Better Business Bureau.  
There are numerous ways to give back without spending any money!  Time and talent can be greatly underestimated!  
  • Did you know they have Neonatal Intensive Care Units across the country where you can go and rock and hold babies?!  Yes!  Even right here in Richmond at Henrico Drs Hospital.  They have NICU Cuddlers! 
  • There is a free app for your phone (for Applpe & Android)called Charity Miles.   It allows you to earn corporate sponsorship and pays you for every mile you walk, run or bike! 
  • What about giving blood?  
  • Pull the pop tops from your soda cans and collect for your local Ronald McDonald house.
  • Play with the kittens at the humane society.
  • Write a note for a soldier overseas.
  • This time of year there are multiple 5 & 10ks.  Speaking of running Girls on the Run is a phenomenal program to empower girls to get healthy & confident.
  • What about singing or doing puzzles with seniors?  Take them for walks and talk to them.
  • Can you knit?  Crochet?  Hospital delivery rooms would love your skills for hats for new babies.
  • Clear your pantry, closets and kids rooms!!
Check out Volunteer Match. A great website that matches you with your talents and abilities to various organizations in your area!
Some of my favorite brands that give back:
Kingstons Kreatures:  This little company was started by my friends son.  Her mother sews creatures from donated fabric, (new) stuffing and notions.  Kingston and his sister Marlow handpick each piece for each Kreature.  They are $20 and all proceeds are used to buy toys for the children in the hospital at Christmas  
Bixbee:   A childrens backpacks and accessories with a buy one give one approach.  For each school bag purchased Bixbee will donate a school supply filled yellow backpack to a child in need around the world.  Read why yellow is important on their site!
Bombas: I fell in love with Bombas (& their socks!) last year while trying to fill Christmas stockings with local, handmade or meaningful items.  Socks are the most needed and least donated article of clothing.  Like Bixbee and Toms, Bombas has a buy one give one approach.  From kids socks to dress socks they have you covered.  Since 2013 they have donated over 4 MILLION pairs of socks to homeless shelters.
Doing good is good for you?
When UnitedHealth did a study of more than 3,300 US adults it revealed that 76% of US adults who volunteer say volunteering makes them feel physically healthier, and 78% report that volunteering lowers levels of stress, which results in feeling better than adults who do not volunteer.  
We at Bon Air Naturals are committed to giving back within our family, communities and around the world.
"We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
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Summer 2017!

Posted by Leslie Arthur on

To market to market to buy a fat hog...Home again, home again jiggity jog. 

There is a party in our booth, and everyone is invited!! Tomorrow we open up our 4th season with South of the James Market, and they Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of this wonderful community gathering spot. Come join us for BOGO Solid Perfumes, and a beautiful morning surrounded by some of the community's best farmers and artisans. I cannot imagine a better way to spend my Saturday Morning.

Market Hours are 8-Noon every Saturday, at the Forest Hill Park. 

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The Most Wonderful Place on Earth...

Posted by Leslie Arthur on

After a long hiatus, we are back at South of the James Market starting on April 1st!  Looking forward to heading back to my roots and to the place that has helped my business thrive. We love our market friends and customers.  The vibe of all the vendors and patrons is unreal.  See you soon!

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5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Powder Room

Posted by Leslie Arthur on

We all want a cute little powder room that we can show off to our friends and family.  A clean and put together bathroom just makes folks feel at home. But that sort of clean, comfy environment can be tough to create when life is whirling all around us.  Here are a few secrets to spruce up the bathroom, and keep things looking really well put together.

Tip 1:  Offer up a room spray that is accessible to folks.  It is nice to have the option to freshen the room! Try this Basil Spray from Martha Stewart!  Yummo.

Tip # 2:  Keep a stash of decorative towels under the sink, and change them out every day or two.  A fresh and fluffy towel is inviting and comforting. Spritz the towel daily with that room spray for an extra fresh aesthetic. These simple but cute towels from Pier 1 could be perfect!

Tip #3:  Find an interesting soap dish and buy a cute soap.  Something with a little character that will make folks almost excited to wash their hands. Bon Air Naturals has lots to chose from and each soap is unique with its own fun swirls and pops of color! Lemongrass is one of my favorites!

Tip #4:  Find a handwoven waste basket.  Cheap plastic containers don’t do much for anesthetics, and often stain easily. Neutral wooden tones will warm up the room. Amazon, as always has lots to chose from!

Tip#5: Remember that less is more…Hang one small piece of art, or one beautiful plant in the room.  Refrain from overly decorating your sink, and don’t store items on top of the back of the toilet. Towels, soap, extra toilet paper and access to a plunger or toilet brush are all you could possibly need. And even those tools used  for the icky, but necessary moments can be cute too. 

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Why I'm Writing

Small Business Owner. Mom. Wife. Friend. Me. Oops, did i write "Me" last?

If you are looking for a blog purely about soap, stop reading. Running this business is an elephant sized juggling act. Some days are sweeter than anything, others are a giant mess. This is where i just might let it all hang out. Life is like that, isn't it? Everything has a good, a bad, an even keel. Chime in when you can...

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