It’s a fun time of the year at the Shambhala office. We’re transitioning from the “planning” phase of the year into “implementation”. Which means we’re starting to get down to details.
I love details. Especially details that smell as good as what spurred this blog.
It occurred to me today, as I watched two of my coworkers open little bottles and jars and containers, smelling the contents and taking notes, that most people probably have absolutely no idea just how much thought and care goes into the selection of the products that will be sold at Shambhala.
There are a couple determining factors in what we make available. For example, wherever possible, we source things that are locally made. We consider, if something is consumable, its health benefits. We look for high quality. We choose products that we would (or already do) use ourselves.
Above all else, the things we select must be something that adds to the overall festival experience.
As I made my (locally roasted, Oso Negro) coffee, and observed the two in their meeting with the woman who had made the bath and body products laid out on the couch, I became aware of how grateful I was for the standards we hold our potential products to – we want what’s sold on the grounds to be as unique and home-grown as the festival itself.
Personally, I’ve had an interesting few days. With the release of our lineup last Friday, I’ve been observing the reactions to it. There’s been a lot of positive feedback, but of course, there are people who are disappointed as well. There’s a lot of comparison to lineups of other festivals, and it seems like every event I research that someone’s compared us to is an event with a lot of sponsorship money behind it, so of course they have no problem securing the biggest names in electronic music.
Somewhere along the line, it’s getting lost to people that we’re a non-sponsored event (or maybe some people just don’t care?), and there’s a level of expectation that we’ll match these other events when there’s no possible way we can.
I’ve been mulling over how I can effectively communicate to people 1) we’re non-sponsored, so no, we’re not going to be able to match the headliner list of Festival X who has a beer garden, alcohol ads everywhere including their website, and is sponsored by a major cell phone company 2) we never have been about booking the biggest headliners – our mandate is to book the best in up and coming talent.
And I’m at a loss. The message isn’t sinking in. I feel like I say the same thing 50x a day on Facebook. I wonder if people get tired of me being a broken record.
Anyway, I’ve been slightly wrapped up in this conundrum. ricardO, wonderful man that he is, noticed that I was a bit stressed out, and recommended that I take a nice long bath, and try out one of the products he was shown at the meeting – a mango lime “butter scrub” made in Nelson, BC.
I jumped at the chance. A bath sounded like just what I needed. Also, I’d just run out of my usual exfoliation treatment this week and hadn’t had a chance to pick up more, so the timing was perfect.
After dinner, I drew a hot bath, got in, and read the product description on the side of the jar… Maybe it’s weird, but I really enjoy reading product descriptions.
Trillium Mango Lime Butter Scrub – “Reveal silky polished skin with this creamy shea & mango butter scrub. Pacific sea salt, sugar, and 16 exotic butters and oils are whipped into a buttery perfection that will reveal smoother rejuvenated skin. In the bath or shower, rub handfuls of butter on your skin in a circular motion, rinse & wash as usual for the most refreshing feeling.”
I removed the lid, closed my eyes and inhaled deeply. It was heavenly. The smell reminded me of a few things… a chilled tropical drink with a little umbrella in it. Jelly beans. A childhood memory of my mom opening up a bag of those multi-coloured marshmallows, and what they smelled like. All associations that made me smile. Off to a good start.
I dipped my fingers in, scooped some of the thick, grainy, buttery substance and rubbed it into my legs. Divine. I find some exfoliants don’t have enough ‘grit’ to them. This was just perfect. Most of the exfoliants I’ve used in the past have been oil based, and I found that the shea butter base was a really nice change. There’s nothing wrong with oil, but there’s a nice rich quality to shea butter that just feels so good on your skin.
Smells good, feels good? Check and check.
I rinsed off my legs and revelled in their moisturized smoothness for a moment before applying some of the butter scrub to my face. As I rubbed my palms in circles across my face the image of that chilled tropical drink came to mind again, even more so when the scrub came in contact with my lips and I tasted the saltiness of it. It was like I’d just taken a sip from the salt-rimmed glass of a margarita.
I came out of the bath wondering why the hell I don’t do this more often to de-stress. And very much more aware of the fact that a scent can transport you somewhere else.
One thing I’m sure of after using the scrub is that it’d be a great thing to stock at the festival. The measures we use to determine whether we carry something or not? It hits the mark.
While a butter scrub may be a little bit indulgent for use during the festival, I think about how wonderfully it helped me relax – and how great of an experience it would be for someone to use it post-festival, back in their own tub, unwinding and reflecting back on the events of another amazing Shambhala.
I know I’m looking forward to using it after Shambhala, and again after Burning Man.
Much love, Shambhalovlies. We’re excited about working out more details for Shambhala 2012.