My path into spirituality and natural products began when I worked with Filipino doctor friends and their families in the late 80s. Alternate therapies were discussed. Various beliefs honored. Friends bonded for a lifetime. By the end of 1989 I owned a lucrative medical transcription business. I was fascinated by all types of medicine…every aspect, Eastern, Western. The body and mind are amazing machines. They are capable of such miracles or completely breaking down if not supported.
I was burned out with medical transcription as there were long hours at a computer, lots of paperwork, deadlines, etc. As a hobby, I would study Eastern Medicine, herbs, and essential oils. I began to create herbal teas, sachets, and natural gift items. The natural gift creations brought joy, inspiration and peace to me and, people loved them. During this time, I felt an incredibly strong something building in side of me.
On August 29, 1995, our house off Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles burned to the ground. While my husband, Abigall, my cat and Samantha, our dog were traumatized however, they were safe. Ivy (our new rescue kitten) was found lying dead by a door. I was struck by the devastation of the loss of this as well as the amazing opportunity it presented for me. Along with dealing with insurance companies, rifling through the debris to see if anything was salvageable, I felt sad, scared, fresh, excited, new. What was happening in me? I was feeling relieved? What?
With the help of some insurance money, we began rebuilding our lives. My husband, Freddie, knew I didn’t want to go back into the business I had. I received a lot of pressure from the physicians and hospital I worked with to get new equipment and continue my medical transcription business. It’s difficult to put into words the feelings of this time. I had an extreme feeling, urge, motivation, etc. NOT to go back to the transcription business… I just COULDN'T. My husband (God rest his soul), completely supported me with this decision. It was then I took my hobby and knowledge of creating herbal products and turned it into a business. Ivy’s Herbal Delights was born on August 29, 1995.
Ivy’s developed through the next years. My sister was a VP at Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Her company would purchase my products as corporate gifts for clients. I offered herbal workshops at hotels. I attended trade shows. It was at one trade show in Anaheim that a buyer from Whole Foods came up to me, gave me her card and simply said “I want to bring your line into our stores.” Ivy’s products had that effect on people. The smells, the feel, what they did for your mind and body was contagious and addictive….in a good way.
In 1996, I was visiting another sister in Colorado. One afternoon, she and her boyfriend came back from climbing while I was making products. They asked me to make something to heal their hands. I literally went into their kitchen and Ivy’s Body Bar or later, Ivy’s Hand and Foot Fertilizaing Bar was born and added to my line of natural skin care. Later, this product was renamed and became what we know today as climbOn Bar.
In March of 1999, my husband suddenly died from a heart attack. The next few years were a whirlwind of grief and probate court. My beautiful friend, Alana, kept Ivy’s running while I was scarcely present emotionally and sometimes physically. She is one of those people who of just full of sweetness, kindness and joy.
In 2000, the amount of time spent in court and traveling to and from Dallas was taking its toll. Alana loved Ivy’s and I was just tired. Alana and her husband David purchased Ivy’s recipes and customers. I took climbOn Bar off to make a new line. March 2000, Climb On! Products, Inc. was incorporated.
In 2001 I was sitting in my garage (where the products were made at the time) and I received a phone call from England. It was a young man who had just started distribution of outdoors goods. Climbing gear, hackey sacks, fun stuff. He was interested in selling the bar. We immediately hit it off. He told me he had gotten some samples of the product while visiting the US and said it was amazing. I told him I was developing a crème and lip balm version of the bar. Simon and Beta Climbing Designs became my distributor for the United Kingdom and are the oldest customer we have. Thank you Beta team!
While the climbOn Products line developed into the bars, crème, lip balm and some other items, I have formulations constantly coming to my mind to develop. Many products come as the bar did; through people asking me to make something for a specific injury or emotional need. What is now the Face Serum came to me when I was asked by a massage therapist to make a lotion for massage of pregnant women. The scent promotes confidence and peace while the physical aspect of the formulation helps stimulate cell renewal and feeds your skin.
My briefcase has always been full of new formulations waiting to be put into production. The last 13 years since Climb On! Was incorporated have been a tremendous learning experience for me both professionally and personally. The products have found their way to distribution in 35 countries simply through word of mouth. While I love the products of climbOn bar, climbOn crème and climbOn lip balm, the name for the company has felt restrictive and exclusive.
Over the past two years, I feel as if I’ve come out of a fog. Dealing with serious family issues, has taken its toll emotionally and physically on my health. It was time for a change for the positive. Just like in 1995. Sometimes fun, sometimes very difficult and heartbreaking, such is life right?
I am humbled, happy and excited to announce... SKINourishment, Inc. You may recognize some of our beloved brands such as climbOn and Bast now known as SKINourish SPA. We have now grown to include crossFIXE HANDS, RIDICULOUS, and to expand our spa line offering under the brand name SKINourish SPA. Welcome to our new lines of products. You will find my old formulations as well as some exciting new ones. We have many more than are shown on these pages. They will appear soon…I promise. We use real ingredients for real skin and emotional issues because we are all real people. They all nourish your skin as well as your mind and body.
Please enjoy these products in the spirit in which they are created. They are all created in wonderment, with gratitude, love, happiness and a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of those they touch.
A huge thank you and much love to all those who have supported me on my path, you all know who you are.