Meet Grace and Pepper

May 2, 2010 § 1 Comment

A few people have asked me in the last few weeks, “how did you choose the company name?”.  So, I thought I would introduce everyone to Grace and Pepper.  I experimented with a few different company names, some that had obvious links to organics, some to our mission statement, some geared towards sustainable organic living, but nothing seemed to have the right amount of grace or the proper dash of spice that excited me.

It wasn’t until I turned my search inward, literally to our lives and our home that the light bulb went off.  If you know me, it’s not because I’m graceful, although I have been known to be a bit spicy.  It’s not because I aspire to be something that I’m not, or cook with a lot of pepper.

At the time I founded Grace & Pepper, there were  2 girls that instantly captured my attention, my heart and my devotion.  I was lucky enough to meet both girls when nobody else wanted them.  Grace was really shy, nervous and had these big gorgeous eyes that melted me in the split second it took her to catapult herself into our truck.  Pepper was a loud mouth spice ball that liked to talk, and talk and talk, was obsessed with running and believed anything on the counter was her’s in one silent stealth like move the second my back was turned.

Grace was a stray found roaming the streets of East LA all alone, and Pepper was left sitting at San Diego shelter by her owners who didn’t want her anymore after being tied up in a backyard for 8 years.

Knowing these two personalities, I wanted to create a company that fulfilled my passion for organic skin care and the plight of homeless, neglected and abused animals in the world.  It only seemed right to name our company Grace & Pepper.

Grace has now turned 2 years old, and spends her days with her new BFF Abby who was someone’s backyard breeding dog we also rescued from the brink of death after being mauled by her kennel mate in a Riverside CA shelter.  Our spicy little Pepper girl passed away on September 11th, only 5 short months after being Knighted.  She died of stage 5 Leukemia.  We miss her everyday, often “see” her chasing after her favorite ball and know she is resting in fields of grass with my Lexie girl.  RIP Pepper and Lexie.

10 Tips for Glowingly Fabulous Skin!

April 26, 2010 § 3 Comments

We recently had the opportunity to participate in one of San Diego’s retail sales events – Girls Day In San Diego.  It was a fabulous experience for us and we learned a tremendous amount about the wonderful people within our community.  We were also a little bit shocked and surprised by the seemingly non existent level of basic skin care knowledge.  This is in no way a reflection of anyone in particular, but rather an eye opening experience for myself, and inspired me to write this post.

Here are some top 10 tips for glowingly fabulous complexion…

1.  Sunscreen:  Apply an SPF of 30 or more everyday, but especially if you plan on being beach or pool side.  We don’t need to tell you that baking yourself in the sun is out.  If you want that tanned look, try a spray on, self tanner or bronzer instead.

2.  Switch to Organic beauty products:  Like our very own Grace & Pepper Organics.  They do not contain harmful Parabens, Sulphates, or artificial fragrances that can disrupt your skin and lead to allergic reactions, breakouts and uneven skin tone.  Pick the products that are most appropriate for your skin type.

3.  Your neck and chest:  They need love too, smooth on your products right down to the bust line and give the areas that are exposed the most some VIP treatment.

4.  Wash your face at night:  I cannot stress this enough.  Sure you’re exhausted from your day, but letting your face marinate in a day’s worth of oil build up, bacteria, and environmental toxins can lead to clogged pores and possible breakouts.  Plus it gives your face a leg up on the re-jeuvinating process while you sleep.  If you simply don’t have the time, a little toner on a cotton pad before bed will be better then nothing.

5.  Be good to your body:  Quit Smoking, keep the cocktail consumption in check, get 8 hours of sleep a night and skip the junk food:  We don’t need to tell you why, but if we do, it’s because it’s good for you and your skin will show it.

6.  Be kind to your peepers:  They are your window to the world.  Rubbing, tugging, poking and prodding them can cause dark circles, broken blood vessels and thickening of the most delicate skin on your body.  Also use a quality organic eye cream both morning and night to help minimize fine lines and all those other unsightly peeper issues.  Oh and did I mention getting 8 hours of sleep a night?

7.  Don’t try to kill your pimple:  We’re all guilty of it, but in most cases, the more you try to kill it with harsh cleansers, harsh ingredients, or squeezing it, the more your skin, and your pimple will rebel.  Organic skin products, with calming, clarifying and soothing ingredients are most effective in shrinking a blemish.  Check out what people have said about our Grace & Pepper Clarifying Cleanser.

Grace & Pepper Clarifying Cleanser

G&P Cleanser

8.  Exfoliate:  Use a gentle organic face exfoliating product no more then 3 times per week.  We all love how it feels, sure, but anything more then 3 times per week and you could be stripping your skin and essentially asking it to produce more oil, which could then lead to  more breakouts.  If you like the scrubbing action, try switching to a warm face cloth with a gentle cleanser on the off days you don’t exfoliate.

9.  Clean your makeup brushes:  I’ve been guilty of this myself so I’ve opted for a “finger brush”.  I use my clean dry fingers to apply 90% of my makeup.  When you do have to use a brush, clean them once a week to prevent pore clogging bacteria from growing and transferring to your face, and it also keeps the colors from getting mixed and diluted.

10.  Exercise:  A little or a lot depending on your physical condition not only boosts your mood, reduces stress (which is a skin killer) but it also increases blood flow to the skin making it more flush and plump looking.

If you like these tips and want to know more about us, check out our Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and our Flickr pages.

By, Mel Knight

The Experiment

February 14, 2010 § 2 Comments

My husband and I decided to conduct our own “experiment” this past month and see how we can be more environmentally friendly and save some money around our house.

Here is what we did, and what we found…

I really don’t need to run hot water while brushing my teeth. I now don’t feel like I have to rush my dental hygiene routine because the water is running.  So, I brush a little longer, and save some water.

I’ve started collecting the drips of water that come from our outdoor garden tap into a bucket to use for watering my plants.  My plants love all the extra hydration in our sunny climate and are growing like crazy.

My husband had a beer fridge.  We are a household of 2. 1 fridge for food, and 1 for beer seemed a little excessive (but probably not if you ask most men).  While the fridge was stocked with beer on most days, we’ve decided to combine everything into 1 fridge and shut down the energy hog. We noticed that the “mysterious” humming, rattling, ticking and excessive heat coming from that area of the house has stopped.  And my husband is drinking less beer.

All non essential lights and “ghost” electricity has been turned off during the day.  It’s amazing how many lights I’m capable of turning on and leaving on without even realizing it.  By simply turning off the light or power strip when I leave a room, this saves not only money but the amount of power we as a household are using.

I decided to plant Garlic.  We use it in almost every dish we cook so I figured why not pop it in some soil and see if it grows.  It does!  Fun!

While watching a local news program’s garden segment, there was an interesting idea of using the tops of egg cartons to plant seeds.  Once the seeds have started to sprout, you simply cut the top segments apart and plant the segment in a pot or your garden.  The carton will biodegrade.  Easy and cute!

So the hardcore results after 30 days?

Our energy bill was cut by 80$, our water bill dropped by 30$, my garden looks beautiful, is completely organic, and we are finding more ways every day to help our environment and our personal wallets.

I’d love to hear any other ideas!

By: Mel Knight

Garlic

My Seeds

Beautiful Skin, Naturally

December 17, 2009 § 4 Comments

I wanted to share a preview of the fabulous new editorial that is going to appear in Yoga Magazine FEB 2010 WHAT’S HOT – VALENTINE BEAUTY/GIFT GUIDE SECTION.  A special thank you to Sally Smallwood, a copywriter friend of mine from many companies ago for taking the time to write this piece for us.  Thanks Sal!

Posted by: Mel Knight

*******

With so many products on the market, where does a girl turn for skincare she can trust? The answer is Grace & Pepper Organics, a fresh new start-up from creator Melanie Knight.

Melanie started the line to honor the memory of her Black Lab, Lexie, her faithful companion for ten years. “Lexie taught me that life is short, and you should chase your dreams regardless of those who question how sane you are for leaving a fabulous corporate job.”

At 25, Melanie was diagnosed with adult acne. She spent years trying every over-the-counter and prescription treatment available. When potentially toxic medications still gave her no relief, she turned to organics.

Virtually every commercial skincare product available today, including many labeled “Natural” or “Organic,” is anything but. The more Melanie learned about what’s in most skincare, the more convinced she became that women (and men!) need truly natural alternatives. She decided to create her own skincare line; one designed to calm, nourish and support the skin, without a list of chemicals a mile long.

After two years of researching and sourcing ingredients, using friends and family as human guinea pigs, Grace & Pepper Organics was born.

Grace & Pepper products are cruelty-free, naturally preserved, and up to 94% organic. The line includes a Calming Facial Toner with Lavender and Chamomile, Clarifying Facial Cleanser with Activated Charcoal and Green Tea, Clarifying Facial Moisturizer with Shea and Jojoba, and a Moisturizing Eye Cream with Pomegranate Extracts.

The ingredients are fair trade, and even their manufacturing facility is FDA registered, USDA Organic Certified, and uses renewable energy sources. They’ve also been “Stamped Green” for their commitment to green, eco-friendly business practices.

We think Lexie would be proud.

Grace & Pepper products are available online at graceandpepper.com.  Click on any of the photos below to read more & shop.

G&P Clarifying Cleanser

G&P Calming Toner

G&P Clarifying Moisturizer

G&P Moisturizing Eye Cream

In Your Eyes

October 26, 2009 § 3 Comments

You thought of that 1980’s Peter Gabriel Song didn’t you!  I LOVE that song!

The world is in your eyes.  If you have ever struggled with finding the proper cover up for a late night, an anti wrinkle for the years of squinting lines, or if you have even popped a couple cold tea bags on your peepers, you are not alone.

This is something that I have struggled with, and continue to struggle with.  Those hideous under eye bags, bluish circles, and morning puffiness.Eye Photo

I’ve spent ridiculous amounts of money on eye cream, moisturizers, serums, and anti poof remedies… but what I didn’t realize until recently is that a large proportion of what is in, or should I say under your eyes is dictated by genetics and your lifestyle.

While some of us are blessed with gorgeous under eyes, you know who you are.  I love you and envy you at the same time.  You can stay up late shaking your thing on the dance floor till 3am, sipping a few top shelf cocktails, and slink into the office the next day without so much as 2 hours of sleep and no dark circles.

You are the blessed few.  The rest of us fight those circles, without realizing that we should look at into our genetic makeup bag, and perhaps be a bit more kind to ourselves before we dish out our hard-earned cash on an eye cream that can supposedly impose world peace on our delicate eye area.

Sleep, how much do you get, do you need more of it, how good is it?  Caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, rubbing, poking, crying, salt rich diets, allergies, air pollutants, stress and genetics all play a huge role in your under eyes.  Just some of the things to keep in mind when trying to cover up the circles or shopping for an eye cream.

While we cannot change our genetics, we can do a few things to help combat these horrible circles of darkness. Be good to yourself, make sure you get plenty of rest, and slather on our high quality organic Grace & Pepper Moisturizing Eye Cream twice a day, but especially before bed, and you might just find that your eyes will reward you.

By, Mel Knight

September 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

9214032 Dock Image

Some of the things we like

September 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

In our efforts as a company, as a consumer, and to contribute to organizations that benefit the environment, our local community, animals and ourselves I have come across a few cute and notable items that I would like to share with everyone.

iGive.com. When you shop at over 700 brand name retailers a portion of your purchase (which is tax deductible) will be donated to the charity of your choice. Stores like The Body Shop, Gap, Lands End, Home Depot, Expedia, and Best Buy to name a few. Consider checking it out, and you could also save with coupons and free shipping! We hope to be one of those retailers in the coming months! (Watch for juicy updates).

Whole Foods. Not only do they have a tone of great fun new products, they will not support an industry by selling their product if it does not meet their guidelines. An example of this (which I’m not proud of personally), is Lobster. I went on a search for Lobster this past Fall, only to discover they will not stock it in our local Southern California stores as they do not believe in the methods used to trap/catch/distribute the lobsters. Food for thought, or not.

Local Farmers Markets. Why not support your local farmer? Head out and see what they’ve got, in most cases they’ll barter with you. We have several in our area and every time I go, I find new and fun things I didn’t know I needed!63299459 Farmers Market

Your local Animal Shelter or Rescue Group. I personally volunteer as much time as possible to our local San Diego Labrador Rescue Group. If you don’t have the time to volunteer, consider making a tax deductible donation, or donating pet food/pet beds/old towels/pet gear). The work they do is sometimes heart breaking, but also heart warming when you save, comfort, or adopt a pet in need. We have 2 beautiful Lab Mix’s that moved into our home a few months ago!

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