On Thursday evenings from 8 to 9pm ET, IBN hosts #HandmadeChat, a Twitter talk show to help handmade and creative entrepreneurs sell more products, have more fun, and be more successful personally and professionally. While the show is aimed mainly at business owners who make and sell handmade consumer products, the topics and discussions can empower and encourage the growth of any small business.
Yesterday’s chat was sponsored by Bramble Berry, soapmaking equipment, fragrance oils, classes, videos and more!
Our guest this week was Kristen Bowen. Kristen is a master soap and lotion maker who produces soaps, lotions, scrubs, lip frostings, and other natural products. Kristen also hosts the Living the Good Life … Naturally radio show. On #HandmadeChat, Kristen shared some of her journey to wellness, along with a few of her best ideas for natural home, health, lifestyle, and energy renewal for 2013.
Q1 WHAT lS THE “LIVING THE GOOD LIFE — NATURALLY” BRAND ALL ABOUT?
Living The Good Life Naturally recognizes that all of your thoughts and actions determine the quality of your health. It's about using uncomplicated, natural modalities to create vibrant energy in your life, one layer at a time.
Q2 WHAT'S THE INSPIRATION FOR “LIVING THE GOOD LIFE — NATURALLY?”
Years ago, my struggle with seizures and trouble walking (while raising 6 kids) lead me to turn to doctors. Doctors had no answers, so I decided to claim my own health. Interestingly, when I was at my worst, a woman said to me, “At least you've lost weight.” But it's not about weight for me. Just because you're not overweight doesn't mean you are healthy. My work is about helping you celebrate the good things you do, not focusing on what you don't do.
Don't get caught up in “doing.” Get caught up in “being.”
Don't just “do” healthy. “Be” healthy! Add one layer at a time. That's how I rebuilt my life and my physical body from the inside out
Q3 WHAT SORTS OF PRODUCTS DO YOU SELL?
I sell whole food supplements (not synthetic isolates), essential oils, bath and body care products and magnesium. I teach classes so people can learn to make their own natural soap and body care products.
Q4 YOU TEACH A CLASS CALLED “THE ZONE,” WHAT IS THAT?
The Zone is the ultimate class on reclaiming your power via hands on modalities. It's similar to reflexology. It helps you realize that you can create much more in your life than you've ever dreamed.
Every thought you think and every bite you take creates what you will experience and who you will become. My teaching provides tools and education so you are creating from that divine place within yourself.
(Side note: Speaking of being in “the zone,” one of my 2013 affirmations was to connect with Donna Maria — how cool that it happened in January?!
Q5 LAST YEAR, YOU MOVED INTO A RETAIL STORE, WHY DID YOU DO THAT? ARE YOU GLAD YOU DID?
When it took me nearly 20 minutes to move boxes around so I could open a door in my house, it was time. I'm so glad I opened my store. I resisted for a bit, but it has given me down time, plus I learned a lot!
Q6 WHAT TIPS CAN YOU OFFER TO OTHERS LOOKING TO LEASE COMMERCIAL SPACE?
Dream big. We never thought we would use all 3,800 square feet of the space we ended up leasing, but after being there for just six months, we are already growing out of it. But we're stuck since we signed an 18-month lease. So that's another tip. Don't sign a long lease.
Q7 HOW HAS HOSTING A RADIO SHOW HELPED YOU BUILD ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Hosting a radio show has helped me define who I am and what brings me joy. As I have defined who I am, I have gotten better at growing my business.
Q8 WHAT ARE YOUR BEST TIPS FOR ANYONE WHO MAY WANT TO HOST A PODCAST OR RADIO SHOW?
Preparation for a show takes time, so be prepared for that. It's not as easy as it looks. Also, evaluate in advance what you are willing to share with the public so you know your personal “put yourself out there” limits. For example, I feel comfortable sharing my struggle with depression. Not everyone will. I share freely about myself, but am more guarded about my children. Someone else may take a different approach. Either way, transparency is important, you just have to know your line.I will say this about having a retail/commercial space — hosting a local radio show drives tons of traffic to the shop.
Q9 WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF “LIVING NATURALLY?”
Doing your best every day, celebrating the victories no matter how minor, forgiving yourself and moving on. We must recognize that we are bombarded on a daily basis with things that degrade our health. We have to offset those things with things that increase vitality, one layer at a time.
Q10 YOU LOST A LOT OF WEIGHT IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT PAST. HOW DID YOU DO THAT? WHAT TIPS CAN YOU SHARE?
I went the easy route (I thought) and used HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injections. I found it hard to keep the weight off after I lost it, so to truly heal my body, I simply turned to real food. Healing and sealing my gut has been critical to the process of working on my depression and auto-immune issues.
I got rid of my scales and focused on vitality. My husband has always loved me no matter the size. I finally followed his example
Q11 WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMALL BUSINESS BOOKS, AND HOW HAVE THEY HELPED YOU BE SUCCESSFUL?
My favorite book tends to be “the one in my hand” – LOL! Right now, I am reading “The Entrepreneurs Trap,” by Tina Forsyth. It's about implementing better systems, which I need to do, so they can be replicated by others. I have too many ideas, and the book helps me fine tune what I really want to do.
For example, I have discovered that I love making cosmetics, but the thought of making them over and over again makes me want to cry. I used to be a “yes woman,” who made products others wanted me to make. Now, I create the business I want.
Q12 AT IBN, WE STRIVE TO BE A SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS RESOURCE. WHY SHOULD PEOPLE JOIN AN ORGANIZATION LIKE IBN?
It's crucial to be a part of IBN, as you can turn to others who have already walked your path. My kids laugh when I say this, but I love to ask people who are smarter than me — “Teach me!”. IBN has created a huge network where members can ask your questions and get feedback right away.
More About Kristen Bowen
Kristen has been an IBN member since 2012.
With more than five years of experience producing natural, organically based soaps, lotions, scrubs, lip frostings, and other natural products, Kristen is known as a Master Soap and Lotion Maker. She is also a graduate of the Nordbloom Institute of Foot Zone Therapy. At her store in Hyde Park, Utah, Kristen offers seminars to groups and organizations and can help you make your world a cleaner, healthier, and more natural and sustainable place. Kristen hosts Living the Good Life…Naturally, a weekly talk radio show that airs in the Hyde Park, Utah, area.
Connect with Kristen Bowen:
When Is The Next #HandmadeChat?
The next #HandmadeChat will be Thursday, January 24, 2013, at 8pm ET, with Emily Caswell, of GCD Spa, Topsham Maine. Emily designs “tiny thank-yous in personalized packages.” From lip balm, to sugar scrub to lotion, she makes lovely gifts for your wedding, baby shower or other special occasion, so you can make your guests and friends feel like they are the most important people in the world.
On this #Handmadechat, Emily will share her take on the growing importance of customization of consumer products, and how she has grown her business while also managing a busy home and family.
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