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383 Delano Road
Irasburg, Vermont, 05845

North Country Soapworks - home to the best all-natural handmade body products. No artificial flavors, no artificial scents, no artificial colors. Never anything artificial and never tested on animals. Artisan soaps, sea salt spa bars, delicious lip balms, skin loving body butter, scrubs and soaks. Your skin will love you.

Blog

Welcome to the Vermont Cowgirl blog where you'll live life in Vermont through the lens of our camera, get sneak peeks of new all-natural products, behind the scenes peeks and much, much more.

Filtering by Category: Announcements

Honesty and integrity in advertising - and why we don't claim "treats acne"!

Katrin Mooney

A customer recently asked us straight up "does your Complexion bar clear acne?" We could have said "Sure, it's a pimple busting miracle." Or "My sister-in-law tried it and had great results." Or we could have said "It contains Anise essential oil which is known to be an anti-epileptic, anti-hysteric, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, aperient, carminative, cordial, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticide, sedative, stimulant and vermifuge." (I'll admit, I had to look that one up!). Our answer, however, is always the same: 

"Our soap doesn't cure any diseases. It simply cleans." 

That's it. Our soap cleans. It's an awesome, rocking, amazing, skin-loving soap that smells and feels awesome and cleans your skin. It doesn't feed the hungry. It doesn't cure cancer. It doesn't make your arthritis go away. It's soap, not a magic pill. :-)

Also, making any such claims is strictly against the FDA's Cosmetic Act (which is as much fun to read as one might imagine). As per the FDA, a drugs "... are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease and/or are articles intended to affect the structure or any function of the human body." (under section 201(g)(1)(B) and/or (g)(1)(C) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 U.S.C. § 321(g)(1)(B) and/or (g)(1)(C)])

So the law is pretty clear. Anytime anybody makes a claim that either a product or a single ingredient used in that product "makes wrinkles disappear", "helps against insomnia, spider veins, acne, prevents sun burn, heartburn" is making an unlawful drug claim. We don't want to do that. For a couple of reasons: we don't want to mislead our customers and we most certainly don't ever receive one of these warning letters from the FDA like these folks here.

We've all seen claims such as "Eucalyptus oil functions as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial ingredient. The oil is also a skin-conditioning agent used to treat skin infections and help alleviate skin irritation.” - and everybody seems to be doing it. Looking at Etsy, Amazon and on people's websites, claims like the ones we posted above are every.where.

I get it. It's a great marketing angle but unfortunately, that's all it is. Marketing. Words. Not evidence.  

What does this mean for North Country Soapworks?

We don't want to mislead our customers. We're not making any claims. We simply list our amazing ingredients and will proudly tell you that we follow FDA guidelines and that our all-natural products rock! 

Vermont Cowgirl is now North Country Soapworks

Katrin Mooney

How did we get here?

Back in August of 2016, we decided to file for a federally registered trademark for "Vermont Cowgirl". That trademark was granted and we thought we were all set. We clearly thought wrong. A company named "Cowgirl Cosmetics" who had been dormant for the last 4 years decided that nobody in the entire USA could sell cosmetics that had the term "Cowgirl" in it.

We contacted our attorney and learned that being right (which we were) and being found right in a court of law are two entirely different things. Cowgirl Cosmetics filed an appeal to have our trademark cancelled and we received a court schedule that would have tied us up until the fall of 2018 had we decided to fight their appeal. As much as we knew that were were right, as much as we knew that they were just corporate bullies who didn't have a legal leg to stand on, we also knew that they had millions of dollars on their side and could easily drive us into bankruptcy.

My initial instinct was to fight this until the bitter end based on principle alone; it just felt so entirely wrong. We were being bullied and there wasn't an awful lot we could do about it. In the end, we decided that it would be best if we focused on the positive (our products), not cling to a name and move forward instead of spending the next 18 months in court. We said "screw it" and rebranded.

As of June 5th, 2017, Vermont Cowgirl is officially North Country Soapworks and we couldn't be more excited. We took the time to completely overhaul our packaging, our logo, our design, our photography and are pretty stoked with the results. We also added quite a few products to the lineup. The hugest of THANK YOUs to our amazing families, friends, team mates and coworkers who supported us through thick and thin, tested, purchased and cheered us on - you truly are an amazing group of people and we're super grateful to call you friends.

Kat & Damian

Trademark registration filed

Katrin Mooney

Phew. After watching videos on the US Government's Patents and Trademarks website for what felt like hours, I just completed our trademark application. While our business registration here in the State of Vermont protects our name here locally, we wanted to protect our name & brand in all 50 states since we have big plans for this little business.

So now we're just going to wait and see if I screwed up somewhere of if it's going to be smooth sailing. Fingers crossed!!!!

We're off and running!

Katrin Mooney

Wow - this first day post-launch has been nothing short of amazing!

Thank you so much to our fabulous friends, family and loyal customers ... a special THANK YOU to Linda, who placed the very first order via the new shop. Your goodies are already on their way to Texas along with a little gift!

Speaking of Texas - so far, we've shipped our handmade products to Connecticut, Ohio, Massachussetts, Washington, Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, South Dakota, Michigan, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Alberta - Canada and Vicenza, Italy. Wow indeed!

We're overwhelmed by your support and incredibly grateful! We're off to an amazing start and can't wait to see what the future holds in store!

Welcome to the new website & blog!

Katrin Mooney

Woot! After over a year of planning, drafting, creating new products, product descriptions, product photography and tons of labor, love and time ... we're finally here!

The new home of Vermont Cowgirl! With our own shop, blog & website all in one place!

So exciting and we thank you so much for being part of our little Vermont Cowgirl family. Our friends & family tested & provided feedback like champions and we couldn't have done this without you. Thank you to our loyal customers who made due with our old Etsy Shop in the meantime and our loyal wholesale customers, who placed orders and reached out despite our less than polished appearance.

Going forward, here's what you can expect from us: plenty of updates & photos about Life in Vermont, new product launches as we're going from season to season and old favorites that will be back soon ... like our famous Vermont Cowgirl Chocolate Body Butter.

 Coming back to the store in October.

Coming back to the store in October.