• Katie Campbell

Down in the Valley (A Q&A with Jaime Desenberg)

Jaime Desenberg has a gift. I discovered her while visiting Mentone, Al during one of their festivals. I'm a fan of handmade body products, and I was drawn to her display.

With a welcoming disposition (and a husband who seemed absolutely stoked to sell her soaps) she told me a little bit about what she had. I decided to buy one of her whipped soaps (the first time I'd ever seen such a thing) and a sugar scrub to try out. I moved along, distracted by the goings on, but looking forward to my shower later that night now that I had new goodies to try.

Well, I got home and took the soap for a spin... And I fell. in. LOVE. It was amazing. More still, it made a great face wash! It was perfect. But that sugar scrub... As a massage therapist, I've tried several scrubs. So many. And this... This was the ticket. My skin felt AMAZING after I got done and The texture of the product itself had been so pleasant. Just abrasive enough while still having a glide to it. Quietly, an idea began to form.

So over the next several weeks I came up with Eden Valley on the Rocks. A two hour treatment offering a moment in time you won't forget. But I want our clients to know the woman behind the product that guided me to this treatment. So, once Katie and I decided this was going to happen, I reached out to Jaime and asked her some questions. I wanted to know more about her, and I wanted to introduce her to all of you. So here are some interesting insights into someone who has created a beautiful product that Katie and I are proud and honored to support!

Hey Jaime! Excited to talk to you! So, first thing's first: What got you into making skin care products?

Jaime: Well, I was an accountant back in PA. I knew I did not want to continue accounting once we moved to Alabama. With 42 animals and my husband's job requiring a lot of travel, I didn't want to be tied to an office job. Some friends of mine who owned a farm suggested I try making soap since they knew I wanted cows and had goats. The thought was to use the milk from my own animals for the soap making.

So, I started researching it and fell in love with the process sine it is about 60% chemistry and 40% art.

Vivian: So when did you actually start making soaps?

Jaime: Hmm. Soapmaking began in July 2020 when we finally got moved here. Once I mastered the soapmaking I began to explore other skincare products. I started my website in October 2020 and began doing vendor events that fall.

Vivian: So I have been wondering this, because with my use of carrier oils and such, I've noticed and been drawn to your use of rice bran oil. Why did you choose that particular carrier?

Jaime: Rice bran oil is an economical skincare POWERHOUSE! It offers serious hydration without clogging your pores. It also has antioxidants to assist in anti-aging and fighting free radicals. Plus obviously it absorbs easily into the skin.

Vivian: Yes! Katie and I have both been very impressed with how well it soaks into the skin and leaves it feeling so healthy. I'd never really this experienced before, since most often massage therapists lean toward Jojoba. So, Gadsden Massage Studio is so excited to see you growing and thriving! What future business plans are you most excited about?

Jaime: My most exciting future business plan is opening my own boutique in downtown Gadsden! Coming soon!

Vivian: When you told me you were opening here downtown I got so excited! What are your thoughts and feelings about collaborating with a local massage studio?

Jaime: I am super excited to be collaborating with you guys! I'm so flattered that you like my product enough to use them in your services; that speaks volumes. And the fact that it's my own community makes it that much better! We can help improve the skin of Gadsden together!

Vivian: Alright Jaime, just a few more questions. I know I'm holding you up. What skincare product would you like to make that you don't currently offer?

Jaime: No, no. You're fine. I've been creating and testing shower gel and it will be released soon. Next on the docket is haircare. look for liquid and bar shampoos and conditioners!

Vivian: I have never used a shampoo bar before! That's amazing! So last question. I can't believe I didn't lead with this. How did you think of the name of your business?

Jaime: We bought a farm here and needed to find a name for it. We did a lot of research on the Coosa River Valley area where our farm is located and found that early settlers thought it was the lost Valley of Eden. My husband Mike and I didn't agree on too many name ideas, but we both agreed on Eden Valley Farm. We've also decided to shorten the name for the new boutique to Eden.

We are sure that this sugar scrub is the first treatment of several that will include Eden Valley Farm (soon to be Eden) products. We hope to collaborate in any way we can with Jaime. She's brilliant, caring, and a blessing to Gadsden's growing small business community!! Follow her on Facebook at Eden Valley Farm Co, and we hope you will treat yourself to Eden Valley on the Rocks, a two hour experience you deserve!

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