#ZeroWastePackaging

By Corey Breneisen

Rae Marie has reached yet another cross roads in our journey. Our commitment to sustainable living and promoting a zero waste lifestyle has us thinking about packaging for our products. Currently we use recyclable plastic, tins and cardboard. Our labels are made from craftpaper and are nontoxic. However, we know we can do even better when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint.

We have been on the search for biodegradable and compostable containers to replace the plastic we currently use. At events and markets we have done away with the soap boxes and offer our bars in their natural state. (For re-selling with our retail partners, we continue to use the boxes for ease of transport and to extend the shelf-life, but we are considering alternatives—canvas bags, perhaps?)

Our vision is to become a #ZeroWaste Brick and Mortar Store, where you, the customer, will bring your own containers to refill. All of these ideas sound wonderful to us, but we would like to bounce them off of you. If you could please take a moment to fill out the quick survey below, we would appreciate the feedback. Your input matters to us, and ultimately helps us to meet your needs and address your concerns.

Thank you!

Namaste~The Rae Marie Family

HomeMade Days in the Park

By Corey Breneisen

June in the Northern River Valley means HomeMade Days in Brandon Park. From the time I was a little girl, I remember enjoying this two day event featuring local artisans, craftspeople, live music and food. Tagging along with my mom and grandma, we would make our way through the park, my attention always drawn to vibrant hand crochet dolls or landscape paintings reflecting the local scenery.

It’s exciting for Rae Marie to become part of this long standing tradition. For me, personally, I couldn’t ask for a better homecoming. It’s an opportunity for us to establish ourselves as part of the local community of makers, and to maybe catch the eye of a little girl wandering through the park behind her mom and grandma.

Please come out and join us today and tomorrow. We will have all of your Rae Marie favorites plus a few surprises, as well as our new Rum Bar!

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Dear Jamaica, A Love Letter

By Corey Breneisen

Dear Jamaica,

It’s been nine years since first landing on your shores. You offered me a tropical sanctuary at a time in my journey when it was gray clouds and jagged rocks. You gave me mangoes fresh from the tree, an endless turquoise sea, and challenges that stretched me to look deep within to find my strength. I have had spectacular adventures like that time we went to Bath Fountain and covered ourselves in nourishing mud then soaked in the hot mineral springs. Or that time we were coming back from a road trip to Manchester to see double rainbows covering Kingston. Or when we devoured pound after pound of fried lion fish at Hellshire while Bob sang, “in high tide or low tide, I’ll be by your side…” Or the first night in our house when we heard the lion at the nearby zoo roar at sunset then again at dawn the next morning. Or in the Spring when the Poui tree carpeted our driveway in yellow flowers. Or the clouds of butterflies drinking the nectar of the Lignum Vitae trees. Or the abrupt intermissions at the most dramatic part of the new release at the movie theater. Or the spontaneous dance sessions around the jerk pans every weekend. Yes, Jamaica, we’ve had some great adventures!

You introduced me to the poetic words of Velma Pollard, “she turns to darkness/calm and eloquent/and fills it with her/moonbeams with her trees/cool water/slippering over/ mossy rocks/drip gentle/gentle/drip”; the art of Jamaican greats like Albert Huie and Barrington Watson as well as amazing contemporaries like Ebony Patterson, Oneika Russell and Phillip Thomas, Omari Ra- some of whom you gave me the privilege to call colleagues; the designs of Baughaus, Pinto Studios, Reve, Mutumba. This vibrant creative community not only welcomed me, but inspired me to venture in new artistic directions including entrepreneurship and Rae Marie Fine Soaps & Textiles. I will always remember what an honor it was to pitch our company to your prime minister and Sir Richard Branson. Before you, I never imagined myself as a CEO or business woman. You have unsettled me, Jamaica, in all the best ways possible!

I will always be grateful for the gifts you have given me. For a little island, you have quite an impact! One of my favorite things about greeting people on the street here has been the response to the question, “How are you today?” “Blessed” or the equally ubiquitous farwell, “Jah, Bless.” Yes, Jamaica, I am blessed. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Soon come!

Corey

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We are Women

By Amy Ford

It's international Women’s Day! We are so thankful to be women who are in charge of our careers and who have established ourselves as business owners. We are proud to say we are women who can run a business while taking on other various roles in our personal lives. We are grateful to be able to work with and build a team of women who bring unique talent and perspective to our vision and mission. To be able to take control and be in this position is empowering and at the same time nerve wracking. This position of power comes with uncertainty, lots of faith, and a strong sense of self.

But, when your desires become stronger than the unknown or the scary, beautiful things can transform. Establishing Rae Marie comes with embracing our fears, owning our present moment and our present selves, and creating a positive mindset that feeds the fuel to our coming out at the very top. Being brave is scary and it can take many bruises to the ego in order to really start believing that we are capable of achieving what we set out to do.

The initial step is not being scared to be seen or heard.  Vulnerability is the foundation of building any business and as women, we have to prove that our vulnerability is not our weakness but our strength that holds up each layer of each floor. We push forward to climb and build each layer as we cut through the red tape that has told us to give up. When we hear no, we take that as another opportunity to grow even bigger and even better. The years of building Rae Marie has been a time of learning our place, our power, and our chance to live our life within our control. We make no apologies for being women, for not taking no as our answer, for being exactly who we were meant to be.

We are warriors. We are women. Watch out! We are nowhere near done!

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