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Bailey Poolman - Girl on Fire

Small business matters

For those of you who know me well, you know about my obsession with Lush bath and beauty products. Lush is an England-based company that makes various soaps and bath bombs, hair care products, makeup and more, and they are all as environmentally conscious as possible.

I love Lush products. The bath bombs are great to relax with, the shampoo I buy is a bar no bigger than my palm and travels well and their “Hair Custard” tamer and styling cream smells like warm caramel.

I also like the products because a lot of them are what some people would call “naked:” they don’t come with a container. You put the product in a small paper bag and pop it in your shopping bag after purchase. The shampoo bars, when purchased from the store, are the most noticeable for me because I just put it in my shower caddy and that’s that. When I first started using their bars, I noticed my trash output decreased drastically.

While this is a huge, international corporation, there are also some homegrown businesses that follow similar principles.

I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Blake and Kimberly Lauffer, who own Berly and Blake Lavender Company. I’d seen Kimberly out at the Creston Farmers’ Market several times selling her products, so I would stop and sniff the various bars. Eventually, I just asked if she and her husband would be interested in doing an interview with me for our Ag Mag, and she agreed.

We met at their home and talked, then Kimberly showed me her work space. The air was thick with the scent of lavender, and it was so relaxing just walking through. The next time I saw them, when I needed more photos from the stall at the farmers’ market, I had to purchase some of their products.

The couple make various face wash bars, bar soaps and lotions. I bought some charcoal face wash, which feels so nice on my skin, and the chamomile soap bar, which I’m nearly out of after less than a month.

I love being able to support small businesses, especially those run by people who have thoroughly decided what their end goal is and their products are well thought out, such as Nathan Hamilton’s wonderful handmade rugs, who is still selling out of his home. I can already tell you, Kimberly and Blake, that you’ll be seeing me again at your market stall, and Nathan, you’ll be hearing from me soon so I can begin purchasing some rugs as gifts.

As a small community, we really need to support our local businesses. Thrums Up and Berly and Blake aren’t the only two around; they are two businesses of many in such a thriving community as Creston, and we need to support business owners like them to continue our economic development.


Contact the writer:

Twitter – @iowafiregirl13

Email –

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