Author Archives: niemama

Thank You Mama!

We’ve shared pictures of our darling thrivebabies a few times. Did you know that they’re the reason we started making soap on the first place?


The dude.

I’ve always been concerned about the health & environmental effects of beauty products. I was never a big primper to begin with, I’m more of a no-makeup-quick-ponytail kind of girl- but the more I’ve learned about the chemicals in everyday products, the less I’ve used. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, moisturizer with sunscreen… that pretty much covers it.
When I was pregnant with my daughter and after she was born, my concerns grew. Around the time she turned 2, I finally conquered my fear of lye and started making my own soap. I just needed to know what was going on our bodies and down our drains.
Three years later it turns out that lye is not that big a deal, and making soap is really fun and a little addictive. There’s an infinite number of creative possibilities: oils, butters, herbs, clays, colors, swirls. I’m still trying new things with practically every batch.
Here are my product testers:


Making good stuff for these lil muffins is still what it’s all about. Which is why I’m especially pleased that my first retail location in our new town of St. Petersburg is Thank You Mama, a sweet boutique for moms and babies. They have acupuncture and massage therapy too- it’s like a little haven! It’s owned by a local mama, just like us, and we’ll be joining them on Sunday, May 4 for the Celebrate Earth Mama Mother’s Day Market at Thank You Mama. See you there!

April Update

Sweetwater Coffee Soap

No matter how many big plans I make about blogging consistently, I always fall behind. However, with the recent changes to the way Facebook displays business pages (which is to say, hardly at all) I am starting to realize that reaching out here is potentially more fruitful… hmmm… time to do some strategizing! I love to write and I always seem to have a blog post formulating in my head, it’s just a matter of sitting down to make it happen. Preferably without my little guy trying to eat my arm, unplug the laptop, or topple the bookshelf while I’m trying to type. By the way, I also have a personal blog, niemama - because one rarely-updated blog isn’t enough, I’m an overachiever, I need two!

And speaking of strategizing, yes the year is already 1/4 over and I am still planning my 2014, both personally and for Thrive. (There will be a blog post about this soon, no really, there will.) Right now my time is wrapped up in pouring new soaps for spring and summer… made easier now that I have a spacious new workshop!

Here’s what I’ve got coming up for spring & summer:

  • Lavender & Lemongrass
  • Lemongrass & Tea Tree
  • Sweetwater Coffee
  • Lavender Goat Milk with Oatmeal
  • Lavender Silk
  • Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, & Anise
  • Rosemary Mint
  • Goat Milk & Shea Butter
  • Goat Milk & (anything!! What do you think???)
  • Pink Coconut
  • …whatever else we can dream up!

In April & May we will be out and about at a few markets and giving away samples… stay tuned for some big announcements!


Sweet new style

The spring soaping binge has begun!!!
Poured this week…
One batch of Lemongrass & Lavender (no pics yet) and one batch of Lemongrass & Tea Tree, tinted with French green clay:

Lemongrass and Tea Tree soap by Thrive Handcrafts

Today we made a double batch of Goat Milk & Shea Butter Soap, and you know this one makes us all warm and fuzzy:

Goat Milk and Shea Butter soap by Thrive Handcrafts

And it gets better- check out this new look:

Goat Milk and Shea Butter soap by Thrive Handcrafts

Coming up later this week:
. Lavender Silk – our family’s favorite
. Lavender, Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Mint – our most popular soap ever, the first batch sold out in one day!
. Rosemary & Mint with Jojoba Oil
. Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang, & Patchouli
. You tell us! What’s next?

Our Goat Milk Soap is Famous


Click photo to visit my Etsy shop!

This is one of my favorite soaps, as I’ve mentioned before. It’s one of the ones I make most frequently and keep stocked in stores and on Etsy. But to be honest, this is not one of my most favorite soap photos. Maybe it’s because I took it myself, so no matter how beautiful it is it will always look amateur to me. On the other hand, I took it in a really beautiful space – my old massage office – so it reminds me of that room and the gorgeous light streaming in the windows, filtered through oak and magnolia branches and old wavy glass.

My feelings about it aside, this is the feature photo for my Goat Milk & Shea Butter soap on Etsy, and this little cutie has been featured in more treasuries than I can count.

Here are two from this week alone:

Rustic Spring by Patricia

Farm Fresh by Vintage Urban Blue

Better yet, I’m headed to the farmer’s market tomorrow morning to pick up some local raw goat milk and then coming home to make another batch of this soap. Thus far, she has always been fragrance-free, but this time I’m thinking I might celebrate Spring by making an additional batch with French lavender. (If you know me, you know that I can always find something to celebrate with lavender.)

So, dear readers, I request that you visit these treasuries and show them some love- they are handy collections of beautiful handcrafted goodness. While you’re there, visit my Etsy shop and order yourself a bar of soap – I’ll send you a sweet note of gratitude. And celebrate Spring, sunlight, and beauty any way you can.

Where to find Thrive Handcrafts online

The more I learn about running an online business, the more I realize how much more I need to do for marketing my business and educating my visitors! Here is a handy list of all the places you can find Thrive Handcrafts online…

My vision for Thrive Handcrafts is gaining speed… our 2014 is going to be spectacular, and I/we are glad to have you along as we move mountains together. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for supporting mama-micro-business.

Grapefruit, Lime, & Mint Goat Milk Soap



When I’m not posting as the Thrive Handcrafts royal ‘We’, I’m niemama. Here’s where my head is at today…

Originally posted on niemama:

Today is one of those days when I’m trying to project myself into the future and then look back on this day with a sense of humor. You know, like…

 Remember the old days when I had to hold a writhing infant in one hand and type with the other, when I dreamed of writing several blogs and running a business and keeping the family fed and living an abundant life and manifesting all the awesomeness that seemed stuck inside my head with no way out? Boy am I glad those days of struggle have passed.

This is one of those days when the baby won’t nap, my big girl had a screaming fit because she didn’t like her seatbelt, I thought I was going to get a lot done and get out of town but it looks like nope, it’s lunchtime but I haven’t had breakfast yet, I can’t…

View original 97 more words


My day-to-day life consists of running a business while tending an infant who is currently teething AND crawling AND only – ONLY – wants to play with things that are strictly forbidden and/or fatal (e.g. gallon jugs of oil; the kitchen trash; every single piece of dirt on the floor; the cat). This means that at any given time I’m somewhere on the spectrum between “omg how am I going to do this” and “forget it I’m going to watch Downton Abbey all afternoon”.

The culprit.

The culprit.

It’s a good thing I have a cabinet full of essential oils… and can carry the magic with me wherever I go. In my Etsy shop I sell eight varieties of aromatherapy inhaler, each one designed to transport you to a desired emotional state… peaceful, luminous, bold, inspired, centered, energized, rejuvenated, or balanced. Today is a peaceful kind of day for me… how about you?

For one week, January 16 – 22, select an inhaler FREE with any purchase. Because I want you to feel good!!!

Little capsules of aromatherapy magic

Little capsules of aromatherapy magic

2013 in Review

End of the year! Time to reflect on the old, look forward to the new, etc. Here’s our 2013, in a nutshell…

. The first half of the year was dominated by pregnancy-related exhaustion, gestational diabetes, and all around huge whaleness. I was also working part-time until a few days before this guy was born, so Thrive was effectively on hiatus til mid-year.


. I celebrated five years of marriage to this lucky guy (he’s laughing at me, but that’s cool):

and celebrated my fairy queen ballerina’s 4th trip around the sun:

. Although I will always and forever be a Gator/ACR/Gainesville girl, Brian got an awesome new job and we relocated to St. Petersburg. We haven’t been to the beach nearly as often as we should, but we love it here. We’ve joined Keep St. Petersburg Local and we’ll soon be announcing new retail outlets.
. Thanks to We Are Neutral, our business is carbon neutral.
. We enjoyed our most funnest craft show of the year at GLAM, and enjoyed our first St. Pete craft show at ARTpool.

. Of course we made some gorgeous new soaps :) We added frankincense, clove, cedarwood, and rosewood to our collection of essential oils, which allowed for some amazing fragrance blends in our soaps as well as our new aromatherapy inhalers.

. In addition to our Facebook page (like us! we’re nearly to 500 fans!!!), you can now find us on twitter @thrivelove, Instagram, and Pinterest.

This week, I will be working on my annual journaling process of wrapping up the previous year and visioning the upcoming year… which means I’ll soon be sharing my dreams of what 2014 will hold (spoiler alert: more blogging)! As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for supporting Thrive Handcrafts!

We are Neutral’s Global Giving Campaign

We Are Neutral
Compassionate holiday giving is part of the Thrive mission, so we’d like to share with you a donation campaign that we are funding this year.
We Are Neutral is an organization near and dear to us, and they are competing in Global Giving’s Open Challenge. They have until the end of December (that’s less than 2 weeks, folks) to raise $5,000, at which time they will become permanent partners with Global Giving. They money they raise will provide water- and energy-efficient retrofits for low-income families in Puerto Rico, helping to lower their monthly utility bills.

We will announce our donation soon!

Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, & Peppermint Soap

This is a completely natural soap deliciously scented with grapefruit, orange, and peppermint essential oils. The soap is tinted with pink kaolin clay and pink Himalayan salt. If you haven’t tried salt soap you are in for a treat – it is slightly crumbly at first, but once you’ve used it once or twice, it becomes a hard, long-lasting bar of soap with creamy lather that will leave you squeaky clean.