This is the website for my little, local gift shop called Diana's Gift Shop
(It is known as Hubbard Ohio Gift Shop on facebook)
Located at 6177 Youngstown-Hubbard Road in Hubbard, Ohio 44425
Wednesdays and Sundays from noon to 5:00pm
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10am to 5pm
Here are the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about a few of my handmade items
How did you get started in making all natural products (perfumes...)?
I suppose I was always a natural perfumer, organic gardener, recycler, all-around creative and "Green" person before there these titles were thought of - as I have always done these things.
My two Grandmothers were a huge influence on me.
Both raised their family through the Depression and so were frugal and had to be creative - and both loved nature.
Since I was little, I was always experimenting with flowers and herbs... to see how they could be used in cooking and in natural body care and to scent a person.
It has only been a few years that I have been offering my blends for sale to the public.
It was tough (and still is) to let something leave me that I have spent so much time developing.
I am slightly over that feeling with my perfumes and balms now as I have many batches under my belt.
I do take the time to make sure folks have read the descriptions on them though because it is important for them to understand that a natural product (especially a natural perfume) does not behave in the same way as do the fake ones.
I want my customers to have a good experience with my perfumes... because to me, wearing a natural perfume IS (or should be) an experience - it must become one with the wearer as I say in my descriptions.
You do not just put it on and go without thinking or feeling.
You apply it and warm it to your skin and massage it into your skin and then allow it to meld with your own scent.
It is still tough to part with my hand-sewn items because each is one-of-a-kind and takes such a long time to complete.
When one sells, I have to envision that it is going to a good home - much like I would if it were a pet - LOL
It is similar to when I painted in college, I could not imagine parting with one of my paintings because it was "me".
Now, mind you, I was/am far from a good artist with paint, but I enjoyed it and hope to find the time to do more of it.
I'm sure that I and my methods sound strange to most folks, but then - I am not most folks ;)
Thank you so much for your interest in little ole me.
Writing this all down for was therapeutic.
I had no intention of writing a "book" - but, It helped me to distill some of own thoughts.
I have several pages where I write mainly about organic and natural living.
Here's the one about natural perfumery:
I have had others ask similar questions, but I had not the time to sit down and really think about before, but I could not sleep and was up at 5am today and so I had a little extra time today.
What makes "Diana's" handmade soap so special & why is the weight approximate?
Due to evaporation, some loss of weight is to be expected of handmade soaps. It is difficult to gauge as you have to factor in your soap formula, humidity, amount of time, etcetera.
The store-bought soaps don't have the ingredients - qualities - nor the benefits of a good handmade soap so they don't have to worry about shrinkage and can state the exact weight of their products. That is their only claim to fame however.
One of the reasons that store-bought soaps tend to strip the skin of its natural oils is because these commercial "soaps" (more aptly called detergents) have the natural glycerin removed from them. This is why these products are sometimes very irritating (and aging) to the skin. These "soaps" also usually contain artificial ingredients such as fragrance oils, "perfumes" and dyes.
My handmade soaps are left intact and do not contain artificial additives. My handmade soaps are loved because of their extra oils, their luxurious qualities, their herbal combinations, and the fact that they are usually well tolerated (even welcomed) by our sensitive skin.
For those with extra sensitive skin, I even offer an unscented soap.
What can I do for dry skin or itchy skin ?
I am not a doctor - so I cannot advise like a doctor. But, I would say to check what kind of soaps, shampoos, clothes washing soaps, colognes, shaving soap/gel, fabric softeners, hair products... that you are using. These things are FULL of chemicals and irritants.
I have gotten rid of most of these and use my own now.
I have many customers who use my soaps as a shampoo bar too and they love how their hair and skin feels so clean without getting dry and itchy the way regular soap makes it feel.
Many folks think that because they do not have an allergy to a product - that it is not affecting them. But, someone can have a sensitivity to these chemicals and just not realize what is causing it until they get away from it all together and then they notice a difference.
Ask a doctor if there is an allergy or parasite such as ringworm... that needs treated.
Switch to all natural products either way as it cannot hurt and it is better for the earth. I would stay away from commercial perfumes, soaps, air fresheners... anything with "fragrance oils" or artificial perfumes and colors, foaming agents, etcetera.
As we all know, many companies call their products "unscented" - but if you look at the ingredients, you usually will see so-called "masking" fragrances (or some other nonsense) added. For those with sensitive skin and/or noses, this seems unacceptable and deceptive.
Many folks love my "Rescue My Skin" balm and the soap too. They say it feels good to them and that do not need a lotion anymore.
Of course, I cannot make any claims about it other than it has no chemicals in it. I use many herbs/flowers/butters/oils... in it and it gets rave reviews.
Check the ingredient list on my products to make sure you are not allergic to anything in it.
Just because it is all natural, does not mean it wont bother you if you have an allergy to something in it.
I do not sell my homemade cleaning products. I just make them for me, but there are some decent ones in the stores that are pretty good at cleaning and use very little chemicals.
For laundry, I use my own soap grated up and mixed with lots of hot water and let it sit overnight to dissolve and get goopy. Then, I use a tiny bit in the wash cycle. To rinse, instead of fabric softener - I use a little vinegar about a 1/4 cup I guess.
So, get away from all chemicals if possible, see what the doctor says about allergies and parasites.
To get you started on a more natural way of living, I have several other pages where you can read more about organic and natural living.
Here is my profile page there :
I have had many customers comment on how pleased they were to finally have TRULY Natural products and they return time and again to buy more : )
What is included in your gift baskets ?
Gift baskets range from $5.00 - $25.00 or $50.00 or more - depending on what you want included.
I can make gift baskets with just about any combination of: my handmade and/or vintage items plus home spa gadgets, teas, books, and gift certificates for my local gift shop "Diana's". I can also include goods from the other vendors here at my gift shop.
If I have it in my shop, I can probably add it to a gift basket to suit your needs.
Why do commercial brands use so many preservatives - if we really don't need them ?
Any product that is sold to the public besides handmade soap that is water/liquid based has to have some in it for your protection.
We choose to not make lotion any more as it requires a preservative.
We do not use any artificial ingredients in our products because we feel it is not the healthiest course of action.
Commercial OTC products are designed to sit on the shelf for years with no ill effects.
These manufacturers also choose to add extra of these and to use other artificial ingredients to their products so that can produce large quanities and therefore make a larger profit.
Whereas, the following is true of my products:
I use all natural ingredients in our products.
My products are not meant to have an extremely long shelf-life once opened.
They are made in small batches and packaged in sterile air tight containers.
Please be sure that only clean hands touch my products. Also, be sure to keep the lid tightly closed after each use.
* I hope to offer facial/body mask kits for your home use. This way you can avoid the use of preservitives.
You can have a wonderful facial at YOUR convenience. My kits will contain the basic mask ingredients allowing you to add a few extras of your choosing such as mashed fruits, egg whites or milk... .