Summertime…

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Happy Summer Solstice!

The day is longer.  Time to be outside, enjoying the weather, warmth, and everything good about summer.  It’s when we can emerge from our four walls and converge with the earth and each other for more hours before nightfall.

One thing that’s good about summer, especially in areas of the world where all four seasons are felt, is the opportunity to shower outside.  Not just to wash off sand after being at the beach, but to do the daily cleansing ritual in the yard, not the bathroom!  The experience of feeling the water and smelling the soap while looking at the sky or greenery is like being in your own personal paradise.  Eden, if you will.  Au naturale using all natural products with nature surrounding you.  In the raw with raw ingredients.  Now we’re getting silly.  But Bliss!

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We can dream, can’t we?  Even if we can’t afford a luxury set-up like that, we can still have the aromatic products that remind us of such a scenario.  CatSoCo’s Cucumber Coconut soap, for example, or Cucumber Melon Slather, would be perfect for freshly-showered skin.  First the soap, then sit outside on the porch while rubbing the cream all over you.  Or if you’re sitting near woods or among trees or grass, No Deet’r Skeeter Spray would be ideal for keeping pesky insects away from you.  See, they’re repelled by the very scents we’re attracted to, and there aren’t any chemicals whatsoever to irritate your skin.  Effective and safe;  how could it get any better than that?

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Another favorite part of summer is going to the farmer’s markets and buying fresh produce.  Oh, there’s nothing like the scent of tomatoes on the vine or just-picked citrus.  Biting into a peach so juicy, it runs down your neck!  (always remember napkins)  Speaking of peach, CatSoCo has a lovely Ginger Peach fragrance that smells like you’re actually at a farmer’s market!  Which is great, because we’re going to be at one this coming Friday, June 23rd from 3-6pm.  In fact, we’ll be at Liberty Farmer’s Market every Friday for the rest of the summer!

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There’s also the Monticello Farmer’s Market  Mondays from 11am – 2pm EST.  More yummy freshness and goodness to be had:

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CatSoCo just goes hand-in-soft-hand with farmer’s markets!

We also go well with The New York Renaissance Faire, which is coming up in 6 weeks!!!  That’s always a big event, and a day full of fun, beauty, awe, imagination, inspiration, and delectable aromas from food cooking as well as from our booth.  Heh.  YUM!

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Oh yes, summertime and the livin’s easy…  or at least it feels and smells good, with our products!

Have a great time, whatever you plan to do!  Enjoy every hour of the enchantment this season brings.  Life’s a gift, and the best things come straight from the earth on which we all stand.

 

Til the morrow, be well, dear brethren,

 

Team CatSoCo

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Calendar of Events!

“we could take a bath… “

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Hello, again!  So, as promised, here is a schedule of where we’ll be selling live and in person over the next couple of weeks.

The events listed here on our Eventbrite account are all free admission:

Monticello Farmer’s Market
Monday, June 19th;  11am – 2pm EST
211 E. Broadway
Monticello, New York 12701

Liberty Farmer’s Market
Friday, June 23rd;  3pm – 6pm EST
25 Darbee Lane
Liberty, NY 12754

A Gathering At Bethel Woods
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
Saturday, July 1st;  3pm – 9pm EST
200 Hurd Rd.
Bethel, NY 12720

Farmer’s markets are always a treat, aren’t they?  Plenty of fresh stuff at reasonable prices, goodies for everyone to take home and enjoy, be they for ingestion or only skin deep.  There’ll also be live music, children’s reading circles, and other surprises!

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And the Gathering at Bethel Woods is going to be a festival of Peace, Love, and Music, right on the same site where Woodstock took place in the Summer of 1969!!!  Don your tie-dye and get your hippie on with us, it’ll be great! ☮ ✌

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The following events carry a small admission fee:

Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival
Friday – Sunday, July 7th – 9th; start times vary
Barton Orchards
63 Apple Tree Lane
Poughquag, NY 12601
Click here for—–>travel directions & info

Clearwater Festival
Saturday & Sunday, June 17th & 18th;  gates open at 9am EST
Croton Point Park
1 Croton Point Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
Here are—–>travel directions & info

Clearwater will feature concerts with performances by Arlo Guthrie, Joan Osbourne, Los Lobos, Josh Ritter, Nick Lowe, among many others, and other types of performers.  All right on the edge of the beautiful Hudson River.

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The Hudson Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival will also offer visual delights.  Who doesn’t love watching a bunch of big balloons set sail into the air? And you can ride in them, if you want, too!

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As with all of our events, there will be free samples so you can experience the product before buying.  And you really haven’t felt anything like a good slathering from Annie!

We hope that you will come out to one of these and make our acquaintance, if we don’t already know you.  Sincerely, we enjoy meeting new people, especially at fun, happy events such as these.  And to those we know, we wanna see you again! ❤

Thank you for helping us kick off the Summer of 2017!

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Til we meet again,

Fare thee well, dearest brethren,

Team CatSoCo

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Monticello Farmer’s Market

Just a quickie update to mention CatSoCo was at yesterday’s farmer’s market in Monticello, NY.  What a glorious sunny summer day it was!

Here are some images of products sold:

 

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We’ll be posting a schedule of events very soon… watch this space!

 

Fare thee well,

Team CatSoCo ❤

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You’ve Been Slathered!

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What does it mean to be “Slathered”?

 

Maryann here!  Hi. I’ll tell you what it means. Funny story, true story:

It had been several years since Annie Adams, owner of the Catskill Soap Company, and I had last seen each other, and we reconnected through Facebook (how else?).  We got together with Laura and Karen, two other friends we hadn’t seen since the olden days when we used to romp the same grounds together, and had a fantastic chicken curry dinner at Laura’s.  Annie brought along some gifts for her old friends, which were some of her products, as she filled us in on her goings-on through the years.  I’ll never forget this.  When she was describing her body cream, called “Slather”, she took my hand in her velvety soft hands, and began working the cream into my skin.  I felt my entire body relax immediately, as she expertly massaged my hand, and as I sank into the heaven that was having someone massaging my hand, I also drank in the aroma of the cream.  Oh my Lord, people, I tell you I haven’t been the same ever since.  I felt like I became part of Laura’s couch.  She explained to us that she came up with it after she got sick and tired of having her hands burn and hurt from the alcohol and chemical content in commercial creams she’d been using, so she decided to whip up her own.  When she stopped, she looked at me and said,

“YOU’VE BEEN SLATHERED!” 

As was mentioned in a previous post entitled “Spotlight: Donna”, the name given to her special hand & body cream is “Slather”, because when Donna was first treated to it, she told Annie she had taken it home and slathered it all over.  This tickled Annie, and she thought it was the perfect name for it, so it stuck.  The dictionary calls it a verb, meaning “to apply liberally and generously”, but to us, it’s a noun and the definition is simply what one must do with a delicious product like this awesome cream. It just makes sense!

CatSoCo’s Slather, like everything else, is made with only natural ingredients, and is totally handmade at home by Annie. There’s a touch of preservative so that it’ll have a shelf life and not go rancid within a couple months, but it’s undetectable.  Here, take a look at some photos she took of her inaugural batch since the Kickstarter campaign:

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That’s her kitchen and her pots on her stove!  She makes it in small batches so that whenever you buy some, you’ll know it was made very recently.  It comes to you as fresh as can be.

The photos below show the mixture when it’s just been combined and heated, the instrument Annie uses to churn it, a shot of it being churned, and then the last shot is how it looks once it’s fully whipped and beginning to coagulate.  You don’t really get to see this when you purchase body creams from a store in the mall or from the supermarket.  This is as down-to-earth as you can get, folks!  Take a look:

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I’m practically salivating looking at this.  I’m not even kidding, you should smell the fragrances she adds to it.  I once wore Cucumber Melon to work and somebody asked me if I had just been eating a Jolly Rancher candy *LOL*.  I’ve also worn the Eucalyptus Spearmint and it’s helped boost my mood considerably, every time I sniffed my arms;  the scent does last, especially if you also roll on the corresponding body oil to pulse points like you would perfume.  I could go on and on about the fragrances, alone, but instead, I’ll show you the list of choices you have when you order.  I wish someone would invent a way to translate sense of smell through the internet.

Having said all that, let me also point out that for people with sensitivity to fragrances, Annie makes her entire product line fragrance-free by request!  (And it’s still yummy in its creamy way).

Here is the menu:

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Have I mentioned how unbelievably SOFT your skin gets when you Slather thyself?  Oh man… When I meet people, I often get remarks about how soft my hands are.  Even people I’m meeting for the first time have reacted to it, surprised, because you generally don’t go to shake hands thinking, “I wonder how soft her/his hands are”.  You find out in that brief moment.  Some of those brief moments can impact the rest of your life, if you think about it.  A potential boss at an interview, a first date, meeting someone’s family for the first time.  What an impression to leave them with;  nice-smelling and soft skin.  And with that, no doubt a confident smile. These can take you pretty far.  And you can feel good knowing that the products you’ve chosen didn’t harm any animals, don’t contain harsh alcohol that can burn your skin, didn’t benefit a huge impersonal corporation but a Mom & Pop (literally!) as well as the locals Annie buys her goat’s milk from, and the packaging is environmentally friendly, as well.  Seriously, even if I didn’t know this woman personally, I would still crow about this stuff, I kid you not.  I’m passionate about it because it’s a winning product, period.  In fact, after I post this blog, I think I might rub some on my feet;  it’s flip-flop time, you know!  No dry, crackly heels for me!

Anyone interested in ordering some and experiencing the awesomeness of being Slathered, can do so here—> Ye CatSoCo Etsy Shoppe

We’ll also be selling at upcoming events, which will be posted here, as well, so you can come out, meet us, and test the products for yourself.  You’ll agree with everything I’ve said here, I’m sure.

 

Until next time, dearest friends and kindreds,

Fare thee well, keep calm, and Slather on,

Maryann for Team CatSoCo ❤

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Spotlight: Loo

 

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We recently caught up with another friend of the Catskill Soap Company, Luis, aka Loo!

Loo, too, was kind enough to indulge us and respond to our questions:

 

1. How did you find out about CatSoCo?

I found out about CatSoCo by attending faire. When I first started going to faire in the early 2000’s it was such a new and wonderful experience that I had to see it all. That and my wife Elizabeth would never had allowed us to skip a shop with all natural body products!

2. How long have you been using their products?

I believe we’ve been using CatSoCo’s products since 2009.

3. Which is your favorite fragrance?

My favorite fragrance would be the eucalyptus spearmint. The eucalyptus is good for opening up the nasal passages and the spearmint is energizing!

4. What is your favorite product?

My favorite product used to just be the soap(s) but now it’s the no deet’r skeeter spray. Not only does it work but it smells great too. It’s definitely an annual purchase.

5. How much do you enjoy Ren Faire?

Faire is one of my favorite places. And I used to look forward to going at least a few times every year. Buying a home in Monroe in 2008 was intended to get us out of the hustle and bustle of New Jersey but for me it was just a way of getting closer to Faire. 🙂

6. What’s your sign?

🦂 <—(that’s a Scorpion, not a lobster)
As far as astrology goes I’m not an expert in it. But when I talk to Elizabeth sometimes I realize that people’s astrological signs really do fit their personalities.
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So if ya get to know me and know astrology and how it pertains to horoscopes and such you’ll agree with most people “Loo is definitely a Scorpio.” And I’m proud of it.

7. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

We have three cats. I’ll probably always want a feline in my life. So personality wise I’m cat person. But we both yearn for the day when we can have a pup of our own. Whenever we get together with a friend that has one, it’s all about that dog!

We have some friends with really great dogs. It just makes us want one even more. I think we refrained because of the commitment. Cats are easier.
And going away of course is tougher when you have a dog.

8. What is your second favorite product?

My second favorite product is definitely the soap. I like the coconut soap. Most of the soaps smell like they’d be edible but the coconut soap is especially so.

9. What did you have for lunch today?

A hummus and falafel gyro and a bag of jalapeño chips. 

But I also bought a small turkey chili for mid afternoon cause I work out and need more protein for muscle building.
I gotta eat every three or four hours cause I have a tapeworm.
At least that’s what my boss thinks cause he doesn’t know where all the food goes.

10.  How did your nickname, “Loo”, get to be spelled the way it is? 

Loo is the way I’ve spelled my nickname for about 30 years now. When I wrote it out I would make it a smiley face by putting the “smile” under the o’s and then putting dots in the o’s for pupils to make them eyes. I kept writing it out that way so it stuck. I realized that Loo is what people in England call their bathroom/toilets but I didn’t care. What’s funny to me is that even people at work spell it this way when their referring to me in an email. When I tried growing up “professionally” a few years ago I tried going with Lu and no one caught on and I knew my personal life friends would never accept it so I gave up on it.

Thank you, Loo!  You’ve been an interesting subject here on the CatSoCo blog. We look forward to seeing you at the NY Renaissance Faire starting August 5th!

And thank you for being a friend!

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Loo!

Til next time, dear brethren,

Fare thee well,

Team CatSoCo

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MORE STUFF!!

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BEHOLD!

THE ESSENTIAL OILS

WHICH WERE DELIVERED

TO OUR FAIR WENCH’S SHIRE!!

 

Annie is already starting to get to work on her first batches of product in too long!!  The supplies keep coming in, much to her delight! This is happening, folks!  This was all Kickstarted by YOU!!!
There will be more photos as things progress!
That is all!

 

Team CatSoCo ❤

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Spotlight: Red

 

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Welcome back to our blog!  Our next friend to introduce is Red.  She was kind enough to answer silly questions that were thrown at her, and here is what resulted:

 

1. How did you find out about CatSoCo?

So funny story, the first time I ever shopped at CatSoCo was at NYRF back in 2011 when I bought 3 rubber duckies, which I still have, back when Annie sold them. My then boyfriend and I befriended Annie, and one afternoon I voluntarily alphabetized the body oils for her and next summer I was a soap wench!

2. How long have you been using their products?

Since back in 2011, my first CatSoCo product was a bottle of Ginger Peach lotion mist.

3. Which do you love: Harvest Ale, or Bite Me?

Between those two choices, Harvest Ale, but I am definitely an Apple Jack and Peel girl or Caribbean Coconut…or Lemongrass… don’t make me choose!

4. What is your favorite product?

Cappuccino Sugar Scrub. Oh man it’s just…the best. Softens my hands and elbows without being abrasive and smells like brown sugar and coffee. Perfection.

5. Have you ever been to Ren Faire?

2017 will be my Twelfth Year at NYRF!

6. What’s your sign?

Pisces, isn’t it obvious? 😉

7. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person, but my heart is big enough for all the animals

8. What is your second favorite product?

My second favorite is a solid tie between Slather and Soap.

9. What did you have for lunch today?

Lunch was half a box of Cheez-its, extra toasty flavor and an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts. Super healthy I know.

10. I just left the doctor’s office 5 mins ago. They called in 9 new prescriptions. The doctor said they’d be ready when I got here. Are they ready?

Only three are fillable we are working on them, two need PAs, two are too soon to refill, I need to verify one with your doctor because he wrote it for a strength that doesn’t exist and the last one is for Asprin 81mg which is in aisle 13.

 

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The lovely Red at Faire (l), with her dog Jameson Rose (c), and in the Faire parade (r)

 

We hope you enjoyed meeting our friend, Red.  She’s a delight, and a good sport, and you can meet this lovely lady at the New York Ren Faire come August 2017!

Thank you for your participation, Red!

 

Til next time, dearest brethren,

Fare thee well,

Team CatSoCo

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Bottles ‘n’ Jars ‘n’ Boxes

 

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Our supplies are starting to arrive!!  Look at the packages Annie received! WOOHOOOO!!!!

 

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We can’t wait to start filling bottles and jars again!!

It’s so exciting!

 

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It’s a holiday weekend, our last official weekend before our season starts. We’re relaxing and getting ready.  Let the soapmaking begin!!

 

 

Fare you well, fare you well…
— Team CatSoCo ❤

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The 12 Houses of the Zodiac Wheel

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Hello, and welcome back to our basic Astrology lessons.  Today we will be discussing the House system.  Those who aren’t familiar with Astrology have probably at least heard of the houses, like in the song “Age of Aquarius”, which begins with the lyric: “when the moon is in the 7th house“. Ever wonder what that means, exactly? Well, read further and you’ll understand!

Many practitioners, past or present, believe the birth chart shows this lifetime’s karma, with a “blueprint” for the native to follow in order to achieve their goals and fulfill their soul’s mission this time around. Others, who don’t subscribe to the belief in multiple lives for one soul, still glean enough information to have better understanding of himself and other people. It’s considered a “snapshot” of where the planets were at the moment of birth; the signs and houses they were in.

The zodiac wheel is divided into 12 sectors, or Houses, as they’re called, like a bigga pizza pie! Each house corresponds to a different area of life, as well as a sign and the sign’s ruler. Any natal planets appearing there signifies that there’s energy focused in that area, and the planet and sign describe that energy. It hints at how or where something might play out in the subject’s lifetime, be it a gift or an obstacle (sometimes both; life can be contradictory and complicated, right?)  In order to know which houses a person’s planets were in, as well as the position of each house, we need to know their time of birth, as exactly as possible. It can also work within a two hour period, since there are 12 signs and 24 hours in a day, however, it’s best to know the precise time.

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The 12 Houses and the Areas They Rule

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1st House:  The beginning of the zodiac, and it deals with beginnings, “firsts”. This is the house of birth, the self, the appearance, initiations, and the cusp of this house is also known as your Ascendant, or Rising sign. Whichever sign is on the cusp at the moment of birth, is the “mask” one wears when meeting people. The first impression one gives, our defensive mechanisms, as well as the filter through which he sees the world. (Ruled by Aries/Mars)

2nd House:  The house of finances, earned income, values, self-worth, material, physical environment, the five senses. (Ruled by Taurus/Venus)

3rd House:  The house of communication, mental agility, thinking, writing, speaking, technology for communicating, neighbors, cousins, siblings, our interactions in our immediate environment, errands, short trips, small moving parts, media, language. (Ruled by Gemini/Mercury)

4th House:  The house of home and family, roots, security, parents/mother, children, nurturing (given and received), the soul/past lives, privacy, instincts, moods, emotional needs, feelings, ancestry, the past, real estate. The cusp of this house is called the Immum Coeli (IC), and is a sensitive point in Astrology, located at the bottom of the wheel. (Ruled by Cancer/Moon)

5th House:  The house of creativity, play, self-expression, drama, color, romance, love, affairs, the heart (physical and proverbial), attention, acting, fun and games, pleasure, entertainment, gambling and speculation, hobbies, costumes, storytelling, vitality, pride, ego. (Ruled by Leo/Sun)

6th House:  The house of health, work/job (not necessarily career), daily routines, service to others, pure intentions, helpfulness, schedules, organization, fitness, diet, exercise, pets and small animals, criticism, details, analyzation, refinement.  (Ruled by Virgo/Mercury)

7th House:  The house of partnerships (business and personal), marriage, Others, art and beauty, companionship, the alter-ego, one-to-one relationships, competitors, lawyers, mediating, peacekeeping, contracts, formal agreements, the “shadow side”, significant other, art, beauty, musical taste.  (Ruled by Libra/Venus)

8th House:  The house of mystery, transformation, sexuality, joint resources, other people’s money, insurance payouts, alimony, death, taxes, addictions, psychology, inheritance, regeneration, rebirth, crisis and change, intimacy, merging, deep emotional bonding.  (Ruled by Scorpio/Mars & Pluto)

9th House:  The house of philosophy, international or long-distance travel, other cultures, publishing, religion, belief systems, higher learning, college/university, adventure, exploration, foreign land or people, personal truths, commerce, luck, fortune, publishing, optimism, expansion, big parties, sports.  (Ruled by Sagittarius/Jupiter)

10th House:  The house of career, public reputation, status, responsibility, profession, contribution to society, authority figures, paternal figures/father, bosses, governments, attitudes toward abiding by law, desire for achievement, ambition, social or professional climbing, structures, corporation, tradition, time-sensitive issues, fame, honors, rules, discipline.  The cusp is another angle called the “Midheaven”/Medium Coeli, aka MC.  (Ruled by Capricorn/Saturn)

11th House:  The house of friendships, communities, groups, clubs, organizations, aspirations, personal goals, teams, society, networking, social justice, rebellion, humanitarian causes, originality, eccentricity, genius, sudden events, surprises, reversals, invention, astronomy, astrology, science, the future.  (Ruled by Aquarius/Uranus)

12th House:  The final house that rules endings, it is the house of soul growth, self-undoing, sacrifice, hidden agendas, secret enemies, karma, separations from society such as institutions, jails, hospitals, prisons, homes. Final stages, tying up loose ends, old age, dying, the afterlife, surrender. Also rules imagination, creativity, arts, film, TV, dance, poetry, journals, dreams and the subconscious mind.  (Ruled by Pisces/Neptune)

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As you can see, there’s nothing simple about this stuff!  It encompasses so much, and we haven’t even scratched the surface.  Next time, we’ll discuss the Sun in each of the houses, just to make things more interesting and to further illustrate how the house system works.

Until then, have a wonderful day!

Fare thee well,

Team CatSo/ZoCo

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To Our Backers, From Mother Annie

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Mother Annie wants all of her backers to know that she hasn’t been sitting around knitting since the campaign closed.  Oh no, she’s been cleaning up her work space, organizing it, working on new designs, labels, and there’s a lot to do. We wanted to let you know we haven’t forgotten about you. After all, we wouldn’t be here without you!! We’ll be updating as we go along. In the meantime, the blog is up and running, so we can keep in touch here, if you’d prefer. Annie will be continuing to post on Kickstarter until she’s completed the rewards.

We also have accounts on FacebookTwitterGoogle Plus, Instagram, and can always be contacted through email at: CatSoCo2@Gmail.com.

(Make sure you add the “2” after CatSoCo, because an elderly lady owns the original because it’s an acronym for her name).

(I bet she doesn’t even make soap).

(Or live in the Catskills).

(Hmph!)

And of course, there’s still Kickstarter.

As mentioned here in previous blog posts, we’re also preparing production on our new line, CatZoCo. That will feature handcrafted keepsake boxes with your zodiac sign on it, as well as Astrology readings, crystals, soaps in the shape of each sign’s glyph, and more. We’re so excited that we’re on the verge of action, you have no idea!! Your support has enabled us to do what we love doing, and that cannot be rewarded enough. But we’ll do it the best way we can, as much as we can!

Here’s an example of what you made possible – this is the new design and decal for the zodiac boxes:

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It’s an exciting time for us, and we’re looking forward to coming through for you!

Stay tuned for more blog posts coming soon.

Til then, fare thee well,

Team CatSo/ZoCo

 

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