Finding handmade beauty products can seem like a challenge. Until last year, I didn’t even know that they existed. Besides rounding up the usual online suspects, where can you go to find artisan crafted beauty products?
Farmers Markets – Farmers markets always have food. But they often have soap, candles, shampoo, and even cosmetic products. I would never have imagined a bath surrounded by all natural, hand crafted bath products procured before noon from the local farmer. But it happened.
The CSA - Like the farmers market, you can always count on the CSA to have food. But you might find bath salts and other spa items. If you don’t, ask the farmer. Farmers are often members of guilds. And in those guilds might be other farmers who have goats whose milk gets used in soaps. This is especially true during colder months when products that keep well like beeswax get more attention.
Local Extension – I grew up in suburbia. Until ten years ago, I had never heard of a local extension service. The local extension is typically supported by a local municipality, and in turn supports 4-H programs, local agriculture, and community environmental services. The staff of the local extension can provide a wealth of information, from who makes all natural soap (often the beekeeper, goat herder, or maybe your neighbor) in your county to how to test the soil in your garden for ph.
Wineries - Yes, wine is an agricultural product. And I have found beautiful handmade beeswax candles and lavender salt scrub sold in the store of the vintner. And if you happen to enjoy wine, this gives you another reason to visit.
Fairs and Festivals – Artisans abound at every kind of fair from the traditional county fair to the craft fair to music festivals. If you want to know before you go, check the web site for that event, or contact the organizer and ask. Many of these fairs and festivals are juried – which means that artisans will only be able to present their products for sale if they meet a high standard of quality and organization.