Michael and Maranda Johnson, co-founders of The Good Stuff Botanicals in Creston, are out to heal the whole community … one baby bottom at a time.
About four years ago, the couple developed a recipe for a cream to help alleviate Michael’s psoriasis. After extensive research of and tinkering with a number of pure ingredients, they came upon an old Romanian gypsy recipe that contained the key — hempseed oil.
Maranda explains that hempseed oil is unique in its molecular structure in that it has virtually the same omega-3 ratio as human skin and is perfectly pH balanced. Experience has shown the Johnsons that it can be used effectively to treat a wide range of skin problems, from crow’s feet to stretch marks to diaper rash. It also has a natural SPF factor of about 15.
The Johnsons paired the hempseed oil with mineral water from a hot springs in Montana and other all-natural ingredients, and the result is their product Gypsy Cream.
Encouraged by what Maranda describes as “crazy positive” responses from friends and family who received samples and shared their results, the Johnsons quit their day jobs and started their own skincare business in 2012.
Since then, they’ve donated Gypsy Cream to several local organizations including Kalispell Regional’s Birthing Center, which uses the cream to treat diaper rash and baby eczema. Maranda says it is superior to steroid-based creams, particularly in treating withdrawal babies whose systems are very acidic. Hearts and Hands Midwifery also benefits from regular donations, which it gives to low-income mothers.
Over Christmas, the Johnsons donated gift bags to the residents of the Lake View Care Center, many who are on limited budgets for basic necessities, on multiple medications and are consequently dealing with dry, thinning skin conditions, Maranda said.
“We want to help people,” Maranda said. “We understand how it feels to run the gamut of trying new products (for skin problems) and the heartbreak when they don’t work.”
Distributed online nationally, Gypsy Cream and their line of The Good Stuff can be found locally at health food stores, farmers markets and Sage & Cedar in Kalispell and Whitefish.
The Good Stuff is also slated to be a featured product in Harper’s Bazaar this month. The Johnsons are hoping to expand their business this year.
Patsy Moller of Columbia Falls had a new short-timer for a neighbor this past November. For five days a black and white cat that someone had apparently abandoned had been hiding out high up in one of her trees.
Moller said it cried every day but wouldn’t budge when she made attempts to encourage it to come down.
“Shame on you people who do this to animals,” Moller scolded.
Moller’s caregiver suggested calling a tree service and soon Chris and Pat from Whitefish Tree Service came to the rescue with their bucket lift.
“Here come my heroes!” Moller said.
When the frightened feline looked like it was going to jump rather than suffer a rescue, Pat was able to break its fall with a towel and the new freed feline ran off with no sign of injury.
“And Chris never even broke a branch. Good job, guys!” Moller said. “Thank you Chris and Pat from my whole heart. Also to Connie, my caregiver!”