I became interested in herbs and aromatherapy because I have fibromyalgia and painkillers were just not working out. Once I started really learning about stuff, I realized I could make my own products. I realized I could make my own lip balm! Exciting stuff for somebody who just couldn't seem to find a decent balm.
My first lip balm ever was my "Lemon Pledge Lip Balm." For the most part, I started making lip balms a couple years ago because I was very prone to cold sores and wearing store-bought brands (especially lipstick) seemed to make things worse. They also felt like wax -- YUCK. So I made my own balm and infused it with healing herbs. I added some lemon balm and bergamot essential oils for fragrance and for their properties, and voila -- lemon pledge lip balm (I joke about that because without anything to balance it, it really smelled like Lemon Pledge). It actually worked; it didn't irritate my lips, and I actually started getting cold sores a *lot* less often. Other people would use my lip balm and tell me they wanted me to make them a pot of it (my first one was in a 2oz jar -- that's a LOT of balm!). Then they started asking if I sold it... so I was like... Hmmm! Not a bad idea!
The vanilla-infusion balms were the second balms I ever made, and they were my favorite. Aside from Mama Coco's, which I only recently stumbled upon thanks to the LJ community, I haven't seen many balms infused with vanilla beans. The ones I get are from Madagascar, I believe. I loooove vanilla. :-) I've also made my own vanilla extracts. *g* I still use a balm from the original batch, which was a little too jelly-like to sell (especially 'cause it gets melty more easily) but I absolutely adore it and keep it by my nightstand. It doesn't have the same healing properties as the original herbal infusion balm, but I found that it didn't matter -- the mere fact that I was using natural products and not store-bought petroleum-based balms seemed to make the biggest difference, and now the only time I have problems is when I've been sick and my immune system is down.
Last year I started shopping around for bulk products so I could make them in larger batches and start selling the balms at reasonable prices. I found a few soapcrafting stores that also carried lip balm products, and I started buying en masse. I also bought a few unflavored lip balm bases to get myself started out; my plan was to replicate them with my own ingredients. I treat balm making like I treat cooking, which means that even if I have a recipe, I rarely follow it precisely. So I figured I'd hone my skills by matching the bases. But even though I liked the bases, I liked my own balms better and I started adding ingredients to some of the bases to improve them. Since I bought them in bulk, some of the balms on Indigoddess are still made from premeasured bases, though many have extra ingredients.
Most of the balms for sale right now are flavored with lip balm flavoring oil or essential oils, but they're not infused with herbs. My goal is to continue the line of yummy flavors and solid perfumes and also to have a line of herb-based balms that are scented only with herbs and essential oils. This may or may not include salves and body balms -- and eventually body butters and lotions. The lotions will probably appear this summer and at least in the beginning, they'll be bulk lotions that I've scented, colored, and bottled; until I have the money to get a decent scale and a better blender I don't think I'll be making creams and lotions myself, since they require precise measurement of ingredients and preservatives.
I picked the name "indigoddess" because it's a combination of "indigo" and "goddess" (I like combining words, as lizzamayhem readers can attest). I have a fascination with the color indigo and with the idea of the indigo generation. I also took a class on ancient goddesses and heroines, and the class changed the course of my academic career and inspired me to study history and women's studies. So Indigoddess seemed like a perfect blend of words. I may keep the Indigoddess name attached to the lip balm line and have a larger site at indigostore.com, but right now that site is just parked. I'll keep you posted!
All orders, starting with the last round, will include samples of products I'm working on, and the ones with positive feedback will start to appear on the site. So let me know which ones you like!
Thanks for reading!