April Behind the Scenes
There are a lot of things that go on daily behind the scenes that I would love to share, and this newsletter allows me to do that. First, I have to say that I can’t believe it is time for the mid-month newsletter! April seems to be flying by quickly – too quickly! This month I have not had much time to focus on writing as I have been focusing on finishing the local event season as well as product liability insurance, testing new arrivals, and planning out blogs I want to write. I have also been trying to balance taking care of my family while my husband is working crazy hours. His work load this month reminds me of when he was in the Navy, but I digress…
Product Liability Insurance
This is NOT my favorite topic or anyone else’s but I do think it is important to share what this really looks like. Since essential oils are regulated by the FDA for cosmetic and flavoring use (despite how they are used) there are very few insurance companies with underwriters for essential oil companies. Yes, there are several small insurance companies for crafters that will allow for the sale of lotions, soaps, body oils, etc. that are made with essential oils. Some of those even cover companies that only create blends of essential oils. However, there are very few that will provide an insurance policy for a business that does NOT make every essential oil. It doesn’t matter if you are working directly with distillers or not.
For a small business, it is imperative to make sure the right insurance is in place. For an essential oil company, there are a lot of questions and if they are not asked, the insurance policy may end up not being what it needs to be. Learning what I have learned over the last five years about the different insurances available for essential oil products or individual retail bottles of essential oils, I have had my share of hoops to jump through and learning curves to flow with.
Understanding how essential oils are regulated versus used is something insurance companies do consider. Even the price range between a home cosmetic/beauty business insurance and that of full product liability for essential oils is pretty dramatic due to the risk insurance companies are taking in underwriting for any essential oil company. They know just as well as others that despite how essential oils are classified or regulated that individuals will purchase them to use in other ways.
So what is the bottom line? Anyone not distilling all of their essential oils that is selling is going to have a heftier price for product liability insurance compared to someone who only creates essential oil blends or other skincare using essential oils but does not sell “single” oils. For this reason and a few others, I do spend a lot of time every year looking at my insurance coverage to make sure it is indeed what it needs to be for what I do as a “manufacturer” and a “reseller.”
A Little Note Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
A few weeks ago, someone asked a question about why I was wearing a lab coat, nitrile gloves, a hair cover, mask, and googles. There are two really good reasons for this. One is to maintain cGMP which refers to the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations enforced by the US FDA. The other is to protect myself from accidental over exposure and prevent sensitization. Both reasons are very important but recently something happened that allows me to share a PERFECT example of why and how accidental over exposure might happen.
After a full day that started at 5am for my last Sunday event this month, I ventured into the pouring station to fill a few orders around 5pm. Normally, I can get through everything without any concerns but that night was not the same as other and left me thanking my lucky stars for my PPE.
You see, I was down to my last few mls of Anxiety Aid and needed to make a new master blend to pour from in order to fulfill a few of the orders. The Anxiety Aid blend contains Petitgrain Bigarade, Sweet Orange, Sandalwood, and Ylang-ylang. Once I had completed making the master blend, I began transferring the blend from the graduated cylinder into my stock bottle. During the transfer I spilled some of it. Quite a bit of it actually...
You can read more about this experience on my latest blog article about personal protective equipment here.