“What if today, we were just grateful for everything?” That is a quote from the very wise Charlie Brown. Ok, so I’m quoting a cartoon, but the message is important. The reminder to be present and give thanks is all around us. Just open Instagram and everyone is #grateful. But to post a picture while on the beach with #grateful is very different than being grateful for even the hard times. But there is opportunity to find gratitude in everything.
Today, my husband and I are having 10 guests over for dinner, so 12 people total, plus to wild dogs. My mom’s side of the family will be here, including my 89-year old grandma. My husband’s mom and sister are also joining us for the first time. Amongst us are 2 vegetarians, a celiac, and a non-drinker. Sounds like the beginning of joke, but the punchline is just that we have to make a lot of accommodations to please everyone.
I’m anticipating the chaos of the day and the momentary frustrations that inevitably happen when family come together. But more than anything, I’m grateful for everything and feel truly blessed to spend time with my family.
If today is about family and eating, for many people tomorrow is about crowds and shopping. Black Friday has been a Thanksgiving tradition for almost as long as the turkey, and both unnecessary for a holiday of giving thanks, but that’s just me. I know for some people it is an extension of family time, tradition and entertainment. So, I wanted to do something a little different for today’s episode and encourage you to buy small, local and/or sustainable brands. And, I hope to inspire you by introducing you to brand that encapsulates all of these.
Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Marisa with m+a naturals.
How Love Becomes the Secret Ingredient
Marisa Kompar is tiny. She only 4’11”, but her laugh is big and her smile bright. Marisa is a minimalist at heart, she is intentional, spiritual and a natural beauty. And, that’s exactly how I would describe her brand of organic bath and body products, m+a naturals.
I first met Marisa when I was organizing Sustainable Fashion First Friday event in Scottsdale, AZ last June. After seeing her products on display at a local retailer, I knew I wanted m+a naturals to be a part of the event. They were inline with everything Amare stands for: clean, locally sourced and made, and eco-friendly. But it wasn’t until I got to know Marisa and heard her story that I recognized the magic ingredient in their products – love.
That may sound corny, so to understand that statement we need to go back to 2016. Marisa, her husband Richard and their 2 young boys Finnegan and Teddy were living in New York. Marisa was teaching pre-K and Kindergarten at a progressive school that built curriculum around the collective interest of the children. Richard with the entrepreneur spirit was a chef until he decided to follow his dream and opened a skate shop. Then, Richard was tragically hit by a car and died. Her world stopped, and then she found her breath. With one son only 3 and the other less than a year old, Marisa moved back home to Arizona to be near family and her sister, Alicia.
Alicia, a registered nurse, was also in the need for something healing. Her job was demanding, both physically and mentally draining. She needed to find an outlet. With her younger sister home, Alicia suggested they start making bath bombs at home as a way to connect and have fun.
The Power of Intention
The sisters both grew up with naturopathic doctors and believe in the power of healing our own bodies. When Marisa was pregnant with her oldest, Finnegan, she went all organic and natural. Those principals made their way into their products. What started off as a hobby turned into m+a naturals.
“I got rid of all the unwanted chemicals. It’s like our products, there are no chemicals. No fillers. We handcraft everything with specific goal or need in mind. Everything is clean and simple ingredients.”
It’s not often you hear a product called intentional, but intention runs deep with m+a naturals. Locally owned, formulated and produced in Arizona the sisters take a lot of time researching their ingredients. They try to buy local when possible. For example, their honey is from South Mountain (Arizona) and they grow their own lavender and florals when able.
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Connection to the Customer
The global bath and shower product market is valued is over $15B with companies like Johnson & Johnson, L’Oréal and PNG dominating the space. Of course, m+a naturals is all organic, cruelty free and non-toxic, but I was curious to hear from Marisa why consumers should consider m+a naturals over the big brands.
“Those are large companies that are too huge to have an intention and connection with every product,” she explained. “We didn’t enter into the market with 100 products, instead, we got to know the consumer. We wanted that connection to the consumer and their needs. We personally test our products on ourselves, friends and family and we listen to their feedback. We put tons of love into each and every product. And we take our time with everything.”
Remember that magic ingredient I mentioned, love? There it is. At the Sustainable First Friday event, m+a naturals put on a workshop where people could make their own bath salts. But the workshop was more than choosing salt and florals putting them into a cute glass jar. As participants created their bath salts, they were to assign an intention, and then, enjoy them with a bath during the next full moon. Marisa confirmed that is something they do with all of their bath salts. They give it an intention. This November m+a naturals has a new product line that hopes to help the consumer get more in tune with themselves. They will even include mantras to inspire positive and intentional thoughts.
Now that’s a product that promotes and enables self-care!
This is what makes shopping small and local so incredible. The personal stories behind the brands. You can support and buy m+a naturals by going to their website manaturals.com. Everything is made to order which also reduces their environmental footprint. And, if you want a couple product recommendations – definitely try the Refreshing Mist. It’s hydrating, balances your PH and is a great toner and makeup setter. Marisa calls it their jack-of all trades. Another best seller is the lip kit, which includes a lip scrub and balm. With all the research, love and intention, this is a perfect gift.
You can also get 20% off using coupon code Amare20. Click here to shop!
I am not getting commission from these sales. Just helping promote a truly wonderful brand.
Marisa is an inspiration. I not only love what her brand stands for, but her as well. She’s mom, a yogi and a business owner, and I know she’s grateful for everything.
So even if the turkey is overdone, or the pie falls on the floor, or your significant other is annoying, “what if today, we were just grateful for everything?
Wise words, Charlie Brown, wise words.
I’m so very grateful for each and every one of you who listen to the podcast and support me. I’m also grateful for my sweet husbands who encourages me to follow my dreams. Listen to this episode here.