If you were following my initial concept of producing Banzai Chicks Lip Balm, this is how it turned out. My sister, Annie, volunteered to make the lip balm using all organic ingredients. She had bought a $400 distiller to make essential oils from her herb garden. My sister has always loved plants, she even wanted to be a botanist in college but switched to engineering. Her first samples were sent to me in unused contact lens cases (my goofy idea, but it served the purpose). She lives in Los Angeles and because I moved to Las Vegas, we had to coordinate everything through the mail. One was Chocolate (from the cocoa butter), the other was Rosemary (made from her garden). The cocoa butter one didn’t smell chocolaty enough and it was rather hard and not easy to put on. The Rosemary was kind of strange, like putting a plant on your lips, the consistency of the lip balm was soft and pliable. I asked her to experiment using a more minty flavor or at least melt some chocolate chips into the cocoa butter one to make it more appetizing.
I sent her some .5 ounce tins directly from the manufacturer, Specialty Bottle. And she filled 8 samples for me. I definitely like the more minty flavor (perhaps it is more like the Burt’s Bees). Here are the ingredients: Jojoba (Simmondsia Chinensis) Oil, Sweet Almond (Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis) Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Shea (Butyrospermum Parkii) Butter, Vitamin E (Tocopheryl) Acetate, Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) Oil. All organic and natural, except I don’t believe she distilled the Peppermint oil herself.
I’m still designing the label. I have to determine how small I can make the type and have it readable. I’m also playing with the size of the characters on the label. These are preliminary attempts. I still need to refine them. I also got some plastic wrap to seal the sides. At first I thought they were too big, but then my friend, Alicia, said I’d probably need a heat gun to shrink them. I looked at the website that sold containers, and sure enough, she was correct. I’ll try to use my hair dryer before investing in a heat gun, I hope I don’t melt the lip balm too much. Here are some photos:
Banzai Chicks Lip Balm labeling samples
I am planning to attend Wondercon in Anaheim in March 16-18, so I will test market these lip balms. I will be in Artist Alley if you drop by. : ) I am also applying for a table at First Friday in Las Vegas. I haven’t heard any news of my application. I’m hoping to get into the March 2nd Festival, but perhaps I sent in my application too late. We’ll see.
I am also going to silk-screen some new t-shirts. I found a t-shirt silk-screener in Las Vegas called 3nuts of all things. Unfortunately they don’t use organic ink. I am told nobody uses organic ink in Las Vegas. Something to do with the weather I’m assuming. Right now I can’t endorse them until I see how the shirts come out. I haven’t placed my order yet. I am waiting to get my Las Vegas Reseller’s license (so I don’t have to pay sales tax). Of course I will be responsible for it after I sell my merchandise. Here is a sneak peek at the initial designs:
Second T-shirt idea featuring Izumi the Geisha Chibi and Oreo the Panda
I’ve run the t-shirt designs by my girlfriends at kung fu and they loved them. The first one was the most popular. I think I will print the second one in green and also in red. Oops…I noticed I left out the Banzai Chicks logo on the bottom. I will have to add that in later. I also came up with this design which I think is cute. But there are too many colors on it for a silk-screen. I will upload it to my media files on spreadshirt.com and have it reproduced digitally for print-on-demand. This way, I can replace the featured mascot on the bottom and switch it out with outer animal characters.
Anyway. That’s all for now. I’ve also added some new baby onesie designs at my Cafepress store. They contain Oreo the Panda, Cally the Calico Cat and Mr. Pook the Tabby Cat. I have also sent 5 of my characters to get laser cut in acrylic in England and I am excited to see how they come out. I will keep you posted.
I have to go exercise my dog, Ripley. She went to the vet on Friday and he informed me she has to lose 3 lbs., so I am taking her bike riding!