The Herbaliz™ Philosophy
- We use real ingredients- plants and botanical oils- not complicated synthetic chemicals. Simple works just fine, and has for generations, without negative side effects.
- If any of the new and better ingredients that we've seen advertised each year really did the trick, we'd all be using it and there wouldn't be another new one each year! Herbs have been working for thousands of years. They're not flashy and the latest fad, but they work.
- Our initial goal was to use herbs that grow near where we live, and to grow our own, to control quality and reduce shipping. When we started the business, we had been in northeast Pennsylvania for many years, and lavender was our biggest crop, followed by comfrey, plantain, and calendula. Soon the growth of the business surpassed our ability to keep up from our own gardens. We found some outstanding sources of certified organic herbs, and continued to choose herbs that could be grown locally. In 2012 we relocated to Alabama to help out with our aging family, and found that some of our go-to plants were not so happy here; that we needed to start from scratch in the garden. Since we were primarily buying herbs, this did not impact the products, but we have been less able to stick to our principles! The learning curve has been steep, but we have begun to have some success in the garden, and hope this will be reflected in our products a little more every year.
Small and personal
- There is a Liz. Check out Liz's Story. You can call and talk to her. You can email her and she will email back. She lives and makes Herbaliz products in Montgomery, Alabama. You can call or write and even visit the place if you want. This is not a "storefront" that sells things that are "fulfilled" by yet another company.
- It is not our goal to sell to as many people as possible. (Wow that sounds blasphemous somehow!) We do want to continue to grow slowly, to reach more people who are interested in reducing their exposure to toxic chemicals. And we believe that this can be accomplished, if done gradually.
- Because we make it when you order it, we cannot always ship the next day. Sometimes we can, especially when several people order the same things at the same time. But we ask that you give us a week, if we need it, to prepare your order. We will not dawdle, but we will take the time necessary to make a quality product that we hope you will love.
- Herbs work with the body to help it be at its best. You will not get overnight results. In our experience, immediate results are caused by doing something that also causes negative side effects in the long term. (Great example is stearalkonium chloride. It makes hair and skin feel softer after use, but actually takes away moisture, leaving hair and skin dry and flaky in the long run. (See Ingredients to Avoid )). Herbs provide gradual and lasting improvement, which will help you feel healthier and better.
- Herbaliz has grown, slowly, by word of mouth (and word of net). As a result we have been able to gradually adjust to our larger size without compromising our values (simple, small, and affordable).
- Growing slowly by word of mouth, we have not needed to take out big loans or advertise, both of which the customer pays for. One result of this is more affordable products. We believe that people like us should be able to afford our products! We are not interested in making a killing- we want to make a living- doing what we love, working with herbs.
- We provide small sizes for trying things out. I've always hated buying 16 ounces of something only to discover I don't like it!
- We believe that the stuff on the inside is more important than the stuff on the outside. We think packaging should be attractive, but not the point. This also helps keep the products affordable and honors our value of simplicity.
Honest, Open, Responsible
No spin. This stuff isn't what everyone wants. And it is perfect for many of us. We tell you what's in it, what it does and what it can't do. We follow recommended safety standards for the use of our ingredients and Good Manufacturing Practices as outlined by the federal government for making the products. We are responsible for the quality of the products we make. We are not perfect. We do strive for excellence and believe in learning and improving.
The learning process accelerated when we looked to see if Herbaliz was being run in accordance with the guidelines of Green America. We discovered that we were already meeting many of the criteria, but had not extended our thinking from our ingredients, to the people who created or found the ingredients. So we are adding some new responsibilities to our list.
We want to make sure that workers, from planting to processing of all the ingredients we use, are treated fairly and receive just compensation for their efforts. We want to assure safe working conditions. We want to encourage opportunities and equality for women and assure that children are not forced into work. Common in the USA (though not as universal as one might hope), these practices are not a given in many other countries. And while there are many more inter-related issues to address, this is where we would like to start.
So here's what we will do to achieve these goals: We'll select suppliers that already meet the Green America criteria. We'll ask our other suppliers about their sourcing practices, and encourage them to adopt fair trade practices. We'll look for fair trade certifications for ALL of our ingredients- not just shea butter. And finally, we will switch from suppliers that do not support fair labor practices.
As Herbaliz grows, so will our responsibilities. We'll keep you posted.