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About / history

Hi! I’m Milena, the person behind Just the Goods. It's a pleasure to meet you!
It has recently occurred to me — given the number of previously independent natural skin care brands now owned by multinational conglomerates — that you might be interested in knowing a little more about the history of Just the Goods, and about me, as well.

I started making natural skin care items for me and my friends at the end of 2007. The feedback I received was very positive and I was encouraged to make my creations more widely available, so I opened an Etsy shop in May 2009 and started posting items for sale in October. I participated in my first local maker event — Wrap Me Up at the Costume Museum of Canada — in November, and I hosted an open-house in December. Community response was incredible in all cases and since then a great deal of enthusiasm for Just the Goods has spread by word of mouth around Winnipeg and around the world. In September 2013 — thanks to fabulous interest and support from people all around the world who feel that my products connect with their concerns and needs in just the right way — I decided to make Just the Goods my full-time occupation.

My previous career saw me practicing as a contemporary art curator, writer, and researcher with a focus on socially and politically motivated art, audience engagement, and integrated cultural policy. It might seem like developing, producing, and distributing handmade skin care products is a considerable departure from this, but I find all kinds of positive overlaps based on a system of values dedicated to making alternative options and ideas more widely accessible. In other words, my curatorial work sought to encourage thoughtfulness about society and Just the Goods aims to do the same. Just the Goods therefore offers an alternative to reliance on petroleum and other unhealthy chemicals, wasteful packaging, and corporate ownership. Just the Goods is also concerned with supporting positive body image through self-care and equality for all genders.

To learn a little more about what I do, why and how, please check out this 2014 video produced by GoodReport.TV for GoodRoots.com 😊


If you have a question about anything stated above, or if there is anything else you’d like to know, please feel free to get in touch using the contact form available on each page of this website. Thanks again for your interest!

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What is Just the Goods all about?

Just the Goods is about healthier, handmade alternatives to mass produced chemicals

Just the Goods is founded on the belief that every day indulgences shouldn’t cost the earth or our health. Granted Champion status by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Just the Goods demonstrates that it is both possible and affordable to look and feel great without unnecessary exposure to petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and artificial fragrances, dyes, and flavours. Everything I handcraft features vegan plant and mineral based ingredients… “just the goods” and nothing else.

Just the Goods is about vegetable and mineral based ingredients with known track records

Just the Good’s genuinely natural skin care products have been tested extensively by us and our human friends but we still ask that you use the same precautions you would with any other new skin care product. Even though many products smell yummy and are often composed of edible ingredients, they are intended for external use only. Please read ingredient labels carefully and thoroughly if you have any allergy concerns or sensitivities. If redness, rash or irritation occurs, immediately discontinue use of product and/or consult your health care provider.

Just the Goods is about accessibility and affordability

Apart from handmaking safe and effective grooming products for the face and body, oral care, and hair care, Just the Goods operates with a somewhat unique approach to business. I am motivated by an interest in physical, social, and environmental health, but I’m also conscious of the branding practices that cause many natural skin care products to be priced beyond reach. Just the Goods therefore seeks to build bridges between “natural” and “affordable” by carefully selecting affordable plant and mineral based ingredients (choosing organic whenever possible), and operating with the lowest overhead I can manage. For example, I use simple packaging and laser jet printed labels, which have the added benefit of being gender neutral/not editorializing personal lifestyle choices for broader, non-judgmental appeal. For more information about my packaging practices, please click here. I also maintain low overhead costs by doing everything myself from ingredient research and product development, to handmaking, to sales and distribution.

Another unique aspect concerning the accessibility of Just the Goods is that I facilitate varying price points. Those who choose to order from me directly access public wholesale pricing, whereas retailers who carry my products increase prices at their discretion to cover for the costs and conveniences associated with visiting their bricks and mortar shops. Just the Goods therefore offers the lowest prices possible every single day, which is convenient for customers because they never have to worry about waiting for a sale. This also means that I never inflate the price of products to offset the cost of shipping. I always charge the real cost of shipping so prices are honest, transparent and fair, whether you live in Winnipeg and are picking up an order in person, or whether you live on the other side of the world. For more information about my shipping practices, please click here.

Since Just the Goods products are handmade without artificial preservatives, I purchase raw materials in limited quantities, so I am therefore affected by variations in the marketplace. Please know that prices are subject to change without notice. Thank you!

Just the Goods is about taking care of our bodies

Please note that some essential oils can be quite potent and, even in small quantities, it is often recommended they be avoided by children and during pregnancy/nursing. Find a list of pregnancy/nursing/child-safe products here. If you have any questions about Just the Goods products, please ask - I’m more than happy to assist!

Just the Goods is about taking care of our planet

Just the Goods seeks to offer affordable vegan products to help them become more widely available, therefore facilitating healthier living as part of increased consciousness about kind living, environment protection, and consumerism in general.

Just the Goods does not test any of its products on animals, nor does it commission such testing, because I believe it both unnecessary and unproven to make cosmetics safer for human consumers. Instead of testing Just the Goods on animals, I test all products on myself, and I am joined in this process by many great friends eager to try out my recipes. I am very concerned with how my products rank at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com, so the spectrum of ingredients I use have known safety records. The Compact for Safe Cosmetics has acknowledged my choices by granting Just the Goods Champion Status. Beyond that, be assured that I would never include in a product something I wouldn’t consider putting on my own body, or giving to people I care about =-).

Just the Goods is about mutual respect

A very large corporation recently contacted me about making Just the Goods products available via their website, which seemed flattering, but more importantly, it provided an opportunity to reflect.

Just the Goods believes all people deserve to be treated with genuine respect, regardless of gender, race and ethnicity, sexual identity, and other self-identifying factors, so I consider these values as part of my daily practices, including deciding how and when to collaborate with others. As a result, Just the Goods can only partner with people/organizations/groups/businesses that don’t participate in sexism / heterosexism / cissexism, racism, cultural misappropriation, ableism, ageism, or any other form of oppressive stereotyping because that sort of thing is hurtful and profiting from hurt isn’t cool. It doesn't matter to me how big a corporation is, I'm not flattered if they cause harm.

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Other links of interest: