As I pursue eco-friendly products and researching eco-lifestyle topics, I have met many like-minded souls. It is thrilling to see the eco-community gain strength in numbers. It is inspiring and exciting to learn from each other and grow together. It is a true gift to be able to lift each other up, not only locally, but worldwide.
I have found so much joy in this part of my journey, and I’m eager to share all this goodness with you. I hope you enjoy these stories and the missions of other eco-minded souls and organizations as much as I do.
Making New Friends
One of my favorite pastimes is visiting farmer’s markets, especially for ECO CRATES of America. Meeting local creatives and learning about new products, inventions, foods and ideas in our communities is a royal treat for me. Sometimes I stay local; other times, I venture outside of my city limits. I met Cindy Jantz with Herb Garden during one of these excursions. One Saturday in the Spring of 2021, I traveled a little over an hour to Pickens, SC, for their annual Azalea Festival. Ironically, Cindy lived in my own backyard of Greer, SC.
Meet The Herb Garden
Cindy Jantz is the founder and owner of Herb Garden. While soaps may be a more common commodity at many farmer’s markets, her booth had something extra special. It only took two minutes of conversation to understand why.
As she hand selected various scents made with pure essential oils for me to smell, she casually shared how her business had evolved. From her love of clean ingredients to packaging for minimal footprint, her story had me intrigued. I could see the glimmer in her eyes as she shared her love for her Herb Garden and her journey in transitioning to plastic free packaging.
A swarm of warmth and chills ran through me simultaneously and gave me goose bumps as my excitement surfaced. I know — nerd alert. But you have to have had that feeling before, when you know deep down in your soul something was just meant to be.
This was early in my research for ECO CRATES of America. Although I can be a bit reserved regarding sharing details concerning my business development, I could not stop talking to Cindy. At the time, it was still a company without a name.
Truth Be Told
Since we first met, we have connected several times. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting her home studio and learning even more about her soap making processes. One of my favorite lessons from Cindy was learning why she only sells her masks in powder form. She explained that masks with water required preservatives to stunt the growth of bacteria in the bottle. I was so excited to learn this and many other new things from my new friend.
Truth be told, she is also the first vendor I purchased from in bulk for my Pre-Launch Subscription box: Kitchen Essentials.
When Cindy is asked what her “Why” is, it gets personal. Family brought about the inspiration for this eco-prenuer.
“About 20 years ago, my niece was hospitalized in very serious condition. When she was released, her nutritionist explained that when you put something into your body that your body can’t use (chemicals, etc) your immune system has to deal with it, and hers was already overloaded. She was advised to monitor what she put into her body, as well as what she put on her skin. I was intrigued, and began researching what was in my skin-care products.
I was struggling with skin issues of my own and had experimented with natural ingredients. At the same time, I had planted an herb garden and began learning about the value of herbs. When I first started making soap it was so much fun. I just kept trying new recipes and new ingredients. I quickly realized that we were accumulating more soap than we would ever use, so I gave it away to my friends.
That was the start of my business as friends returned asking if they could buy soap. Making soap is something I love to do. Products that look beautiful are what I love creating. I love how my skin feels. I love helping people improve their skin and clear some of the unhealthy products out of their life.”