Botanical Teas Align with the Moon Phases from this Growing Business

Tune in as we chat with the owners of Moon Bath Ritual Teas. They are a new and growing business out of Boulder Colorado offering up a variety of botanical bath teas, salts and more. They infuse their products with the ancient practices of Ayurvedic wisdoms, and collaborate with artists, and business leaders while continuing to grow their products, and brand. 

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[00:00:00] Announcer: Welcome to the Stickers on the Mic podcast brought to you by stickergiant.com. If you're joining us for the first time, welcome and if you're a regular listener thanks for your continued support. In this podcast we interview our customers to hear their founder's stories. We talk business, marketing and of course stickers and labels.

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[00:00:51] Andrew: Hey folks welcome back to the Stickers on the Mic podcast. Andrew here today from the marketing team sitting down with our friends at Moon Bath smiling and waving at each other, getting their social media on right now as we start the podcast. We're going right into it which is super fun and I'm going to just turn the mics over to them.

We have two folks with us. We have Sierra and Dakota, they're going to give themselves a little introduction and then we're going to just talk about how Moon Bath came to be, the products they specialize in and peel back a little bit from the label of their sticker story.

Again thank you everyone for listening to the Stickers on the Mic Podcast. Without further ado can we start with-- they're pointing at each other deciding who is going to start. [laughter]

This is great. I am going to say out to both of you, thank you very much for coming on the show and tell us a little bit about Moon Bath and how it all got started.

[00:01:50] Sierra: All right. Hello Andrew. Thank you for having us today. Moon Bath curates earth integrated bathing rituals with the intention of aligning ourselves and our world community with the rhythms of nature and the elements of nature. We got really excited about a year ago around our first product line that was a line of botanical bath teas.

A botanical bath tea is basically an herbal infusion that you would brew just like a tea and then you pour it into your bath so that you can absorb all of these amazing medicinal qualities of the herbs in through your skin. Our idea with that was originally to-- is to have four blends and each one aligns with a different phase of the moon so it helps us to harness the energies that are available to us during each of the phases.

[00:02:50] Andrew: I love the moon as a Cancer myself, I'm just all moon.

[00:02:52] Dakota: Today is a new moon worth mentioning. True, perfect.

[00:02:58] Andrew: We're going to get far on some of the stuff for our listeners, we talked a lot about like if you listen into the pod, you've heard about like brining cucumbers or graphic design and today this is a very different sort of focus that we have especially when you look at their website, you see how folks are using these products and just visually and what it does physically to you.

There's a very like whole body experience with what you're providing and I've never thought myself of brewing a French press of tea and putting it in the bath, that's just to give folks who are listening sort of a context what that's all about.

[00:03:35] Dakota: Yes. The idea is that your skin is your body's largest organ and when you submerge yourself on warm water you open up your pores and then you actually drink the tea through your skin.

It's a really beautiful way to experience hydrotherapy which is an ancient healing modality from long ago and our intention is just to hope to inspire and reignite a modern bathing renaissance and that entails a practice of self care.

[00:04:08] Sierra: The idea with the French press, a lot of people might think, "Just pour the botanicals right into your bathtub", but you really need hot water like a tea to extract all of those medicinal properties of the botanicals and so we thought of a lot of different ways of how to do that and we didn't want to create a bunch of waste with tea bags and things like that.

Ultimately we landed on brewing it just like you would a tea in a French press and then straining it and pouring it in. That way you just get a really strong concentrated bath tea.

[00:04:37] Dakota: Blast of botanicals.

[00:04:40] Andrew: Nice alliteration, I hear the blast of botanicals from Moon Bath. Speaking of Moon Bath though, what's with the name other than you said the lunar time and the bath? Other than the bath name, you have other products, how does that all come together in the constellation of your brand?

[00:04:58] Dakota: Moon Bath is a really beautiful name in our opinion because it's literal and figurative. You take a Moon Bath which is bathing with any of our luxurious bath products including the infused salts; the botanical teas but you can also figuratively bathe or literally in the moonlight.

That is also an ancient modality for healing and it's a way to cleanse and restore and it's very celebratory and so full moons people love to go out and party and be in the moonlight and so the concept is really to be--

[00:05:36] Andrew: especially if you've been to Thailand.

[00:05:39] Dakota: Yes, exactly.

[00:05:41] Sierra: Our whole brand actually is inspired by and informed by Ayurveda which is the ancient Vedic medical science. In the ancient Vedic medical texts they actually prescribe moon bathing for a number of ailments so that's why it also feels really like aligned for us.

[00:05:58] Andrew: Nice. That's awesome.

[00:05:59] Dakota: It's an easy website to remember so that's a total win.

[00:06:07] Andrew: All that stuff plays in. What other products do you have?

[00:06:10] Sierra: We actually just are launching two more products in addition to the infused salt that Dakota just mentioned along with our botanical bath teas, we also just came out with two products. One is called Moon Dew which again aligns with our name, but it is tulsy and rose hydrosol, and so it's a spritz that you can spritz on your face or around your whole body really.

[00:06:37] Andrew: Very portable, and you don't have to draw a huge bath.

[00:06:38] Sierra: Exactly. Yes. It's cooling and it's very great for summer. Hydrosol for anyone who doesn't know is basically a plant water, so it is different than an essential oil it's a plant water. Then we also just came out with a botanical and clay face mask and so that one includes a number of Ayurvedic botanicals that are very pittas soothing and then Moroccan Rassool Clay and that one is called Cosmic glow.

[00:07:06] Andrew: [laughs] It's good to see your enthusiasm. Who makes and mixes and does all the recipeing, so to speak?

[00:07:15] Dakota: Sierra is definitely our recipe master. As an Ayurvedic practitioner, she is formulating all of the blends for our products. Of course we all work together to talk about things that we like and need in our own self care practice but she is the mastermind behind the blends.

As far as putting them together, we do about half and half. For some of our bigger sellers, we work with a women run co-packer here in Colorado that's really awesome that works with organic products. And then some of them we do produce I guess on a very much smaller scale ourselves but the idea is to work with the co-packer and be able to scale.

[00:07:55] Andrew: Nice. You mentioned working with a women owned business in Colorado and you mentioned sustainability and waste earlier as well. That very much seems to be in line with some of the stuff-- again folks if you're following along you check out their site, their, about us, page.

There are some very interesting pages on your site talking about the mission you have as a business and I'm not going to give away the old thing I'd rather have you talk about it, how did you come together with all those things? How do they align with the brand? Tell us a little bit about that mission and how you're trying to grow as a business as well.

[00:08:31] Dakota: We have looked through. We're calling it the B Corp lens for all of our decision making along the way whether it's where we source our raw material or what kind of packaging we're using or what kind of businesses we're aligning with. We always want to work with underrepresented populations and just weaving that into the fabric of our business has been our mission from day one.

From the very beginning we knew that our values were aligned. Those three co-founders Kaitlin is not here with us today but we all feel really passionate about our impact in the world. That lens was what we used for the decision making process from day one.

We also are 1% For the Planet members which means we donate 1% of total gross sales to an environmental nonprofit of our choosing and we're partnered with Delaney Community Farm which is based out of Colorado here and it's a farm that employs refugees to do organic agriculture and also community building.

It's a really beautiful way for us to donate 1% of our total sales to a local organization that we're also passionate about and then also to educate our consumers around something that we think has a lot of meaning and value and speaks to what's important to us as a brand.

[00:09:46] Sierra: Yes. I think we all three of us see our company as a platform to actually make a difference in the world that we can use that voice and we can use our buying power and we can use the whole thing as a vehicle for engaging with issues that we care about. That's foundational to why we're even doing this in the first place.

[00:10:07] Andrew: Nice. You've had to grow your brand. How long? When were you founded?

[00:10:14] Dakota: We came up with the idea in March of 2017, we spent much of 2017 really incubating the idea and being really thoughtful and intentional before our Launch. We wanted to have manufacturing down and be in a place when we launched where we could go to retailers and we would be in a position to grow.

We launched our soft launch locally here in Boulder Colorado on holiday 2017, but I would say for the most part at the beginning of 2018, so we're babies.

[00:10:47] Andrew: Right. There's the growth aspect?

[00:10:51] Sierra: Yes.

[00:10:52] Andrew: Especially when it comes to trying to grow business you have to do marketing and advertising right? What kind of marketing and advertising are you doing for Moon Bath?

[00:11:00] Dakota: We use a lot of social media. I call it guerrilla media. I'm sure a lot of people do, but the idea is basically to create a lifestyle brand that people want to get behind. Through that, we have chosen to collaborate with a lot of other women in business that we look up to. I've been really passionate about the boutique brand female run businesses for a while.

This was a really cool opportunity to reach out to a lot of those women that I have been following for the past few years and just ask if they want to try our product and give us feedback. We're really open to hearing what people think and if they have any comments on the packaging or our instructions or anything they want to share.

Just by reaching out to people that we look up to and offering them to try our product, we've gotten a lot of collaborative marketing that way. I think that traditional marketing isn't working as well anymore with the end consumer, it just feels staged and forced to hear somebody that you respect recommend the product goes a lot further.

One example would be our lunar calendar we came up with, we partnered with this beautiful Canadian artist. I believe is how you pronounce her name, she has a really awesome genuine Instagram following, we just reached out to her and commissioned a really beautiful collaborative lunar calendar with her that was color coded.

[00:12:27] Andrew: That is on the site right now? That is one of the gifts that you can get.

[00:12:30] Dakota: Yes. It's a functional piece of art. It's beautiful, it comes with a little wooden hanger, but it's also informative because it tells you which Moon phase and which bath to take. We partnered with her, she blasted it out on her Instagram and we immediately had 500 calendar sales just from her following.

[00:12:47] Andrew: 500?

[00:12:48] Sierra: Yes.

[00:12:49] Dakota: Her following was really excited about it. She never done a lunar calendar before so things like that where we're just collaborating with other women and helping to elevate each other I think just feels more genuine to the end consumer.

[00:13:01] Andrew: Yes.

[00:13:02] Sierra: Something else that we're incubating, we've started on our website but we're going to work on more this summer is the blog. The blog is a really great opportunity for us to share information that's valuable to our customers.

Because we're rooted in this ancient Vedic wisdom which is Ayurveda there's a lot to share about Doshas, about the elements and about how to care for ourselves. We're going to be rolling a lot more of that out this summer.

[00:13:33] Andrew: Nice. Again you say you're focusing on social and friends if you hear me smiling very wide it’s because we have two Moon Bath fur babies here in the studio - very special guests. They've been very good, we're enjoying having them here with us. They're saying Hello to all of you.

[00:13:53] Dakota: Very important part of our business

[00:13:55] Andrew: What Boulder Colorado business does not like dogs - StickerGiant is very dog friendly.

[00:13:59] Sierra: If you follow us on Instagram you'll see a lot of them.

[00:14:02] Andrew: Exactly. There you go. Right, you're like, "We brought our props."

[00:14:07] Dakota: Mascots.

[00:14:07] Andrew: Mascots, exactly. You've got the product, we've talked about that, you've got the marketing, now let’s talk a little bit about how you package that product and how that has evolved for you.

As you're growing, thinking and testing because you're still very much in incubation phase like you said, you have to try out different products or launch new ones, what kind of labeling and promoting are you doing around packaging? Does that make sense?

[00:14:30] Dakota: Yes. Packaging is a rabbit hole.

[00:14:34] Sierra: Dakota's been amazing going down that dark hole.

[00:14:35] Dakota: I've been down, going down that dark hole.

[00:14:37] Andrew: Researching work with package labels?

[00:14:39] Dakota: Yes. Sustainable packaging. The psychology around packaging is really important when you're marketing a product. You have to balance the fine line between luxurious packaging that speaks to the quality of the contents, but also doesn't look laborious and wasteful. I personally don't like receiving a product that comes with a ton of packaging that I have to throw away or recycle or figure out a way to reuse.

We were really trying to be very cognizant of the impact our packaging would have. There were a lot of things we weighed there with regard to where we're sourcing in the world, what material would be made of, how much it weighed for carbon footprint when shipping. I would say that it's probably going to be an ever evolving process. Right now we're currently using glass jars with lids that are all produced here in the United States.

It was an obvious choice to go with, a really beautiful StickerGiant label on those jars. That's for our main botanical bath tea and salt. Then when we came up with these two new products the botanical facemask and mist, we used glass as well, then we used the StickerGiant label on it.

I feel like it's an ever evolving process, balancing quality with sustainability, but as of now, we feel really proud of what we're offering because it showcases the contents inside which is really important if your products are really beautiful whole botanicals like ours.

[00:16:08] Andrew: Yes. They actually look nice.

[00:16:10] Dakota: Yes.

[00:16:10] Andrew: As opposed to just clever clear liquids.

[00:16:12] Dakota: Exactly.

[00:16:13] Andrew: You're still testing and you're still evolving, which is fun. That means you're also testing out where the business could go. You said you're launching this two new products that's great. Other than that what's next and how do you plan for the next year?

You have quite a long list of vendors on your site where you can find it. Are you looking at new markets? What's does that look like?

[00:16:38] Dakota: Yes. We are going to a wholesale show in New York in August, which is different than your average trade show because you're going to meet bigger buyers and distributors. I think what's important to all of us as owners is flexibility in our lives and schedules, being able to travel and work remotely.

What we really want to do is get the machine to a well oiled place where we can work remotely and work on the things that we're most passionate about and then not be doing as much of the everyday nitty-gritty. It's all about work life balance and delegating tasks.

We're all very aligned with our understanding of working towards that goal. Yes, we would love to find a distributor that could--

[00:17:25] Andrew: Scale you a little bit?

[00:17:25] Dakota: Yes exactly.

[00:17:26] Andrew: Naturally yes.

[00:17:26] Dakota: That's how we positioned ourselves knowing that we wanted to do that.

[00:17:31] Andrew: Nice. Trade shows and getting in front of people.

[00:17:34] Sierra: They're out there listening.

[laughter]

[00:17:36] Andrew: We went and visited one of our event sponsorships just last week to see-- it's called Small Business Expo. People like yourselves could find some value in an experience like that. The point is it's just it's great for networking especially when you're a young business, you've got to get out there and keep boot-- feet on the ground.

[00:17:56] Sierra: Our plan is to be discovered by the big guys.

[00:17:58] Dakota: Yes.

[00:18:00] Andrew: No. That’s a good plan. At the same time you have to offer that really quality experience for your customers which is a big part of your philosophy obviously. That is part of your plan there, that is exciting for you. As far as-- where can people find you though, like I said you have that long list, but give us your website, your social and any of the spots especially for our listeners who are not in the Boulder Colorado area. What options do they have for Moon Bath?

[00:18:33] Dakota: The number one place you find us is www.moonbath.com. We also have a list of stockists around the country, you can find them on our website as well. We have a couple online retailers but for the most part, they're small boutiques in different towns.

It's not entirely updated because it's hard to keep up, we've just been to-- it's a good problem.

[laughter]

[00:18:55] Andrew: [laughs] Growth problems.

[00:18:58] Dakota: Yes. We just went to West Coast craft out in San Francisco this past weekend and exhibited there it was incredible. It was an opportunity to be around a bunch of brands that we love as well. We definitely met some people, some retail shop owners out there that wanted to carry Moon Bath as well. Coming soon to a small town near you.

[00:19:21] Sierra: Our social media, if you would like to follow us on Instagram we have a beautiful page that is mostly curated by Dakota here. It's at @Moonebathritual. Our Facebook is @MoonBath. Yes.

[00:19:34] Dakota: Yes. Facebook is played

[00:19:37] Andrew: Played. That’s like whole other episode of another podcast about how we could advertise Facebook. But you are focusing on Instagram?

[00:19:46] Dakota: Instagram @MoonBathRitual, yes.

[00:19:47] Andrew: Like I said, that was the first place you mentioned and using Influencer Marketing a little bit. A little bit of in person networking to just to recap some of the highlights folks. For listening to this point, thank you very much for doing that.

Thank you very much for that information too, just as far as--

[00:20:04] Dakota: Yes, @moonbathritual is our Instagram.

[00:20:04] Andrew: @Moonbathritual. That's the spot if people really want to see what Moonbath life is all about.

[00:20:08] Dakota: What we're all about.

[00:20:09] Andrew: Exactly. We did talk a little bit about how they're testing new things, and talking a little bit around how you have to try new labels and new designs, and researching that. These are all the pitfalls, especially as you're entering new product launches.

[00:20:24] Dakota: The joys.

[00:20:25] Andrew: Yes. Those are the tips we want to give out to folks. Thank you again for coming up from Boulder, and bringing the hounds and letting them stroll about the marketing studio here. For all of our listeners out there, you can check out those handles, like they said. For those of us at StickerGiant, we'd like to thank you for listening in, and you know where to find us on all the social handles.

We'll be seeing you for our next month's podcast. We'll get that guest out to you. Thank you very much for following along, and don't forget, every sticker has a story. What's yours?

[00:21:09] Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Stickers on the Mic Podcast, brought to you by stickergiant.com. You can download us on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts. If you enjoyed, please leave us a review. It helps us reach new listeners and share our customers' sticker stories.

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