Alessandra started working at Ambre Blends in November, and then we were lucky enough to bring her on full-time in January this year. She’s been such a versatile and integral part of our team, floating around between different departments to help everyone out. You can find her doing tasks in production, packing and processing orders in shipping, and even assisting with wholesale orders in the front office.
“All of us at Ambre Blends love to see Alessandra’s beautiful presence around here,” said Ambre, Owner and Creator of Ambre Blends. “She is a baller and I am excited to see her step into her light more and more every day!”
Read on to find out more about Alessandra in today’s Staff Spotlight!
What is your favorite part about working for Ambre Blends? I love the core values and morals of Ambre Blends and the Ambre Blends family. I like being able to recommend the products to my friends and family knowing they are organic, handmade, environmentally-friendly, and they actually smell AMAZING.
What are some of your favorite organic products that you use? Milk is a huge part of my diet, so organic milk is a MUST HAVE, not to mention it tastes so much better. Also coconut oil, it’s so versatile and great for many things.
What is a day in your life like? I wake up, feed my cat, and get ready for work. Then I get through the usual morning traffic by listening to my tunes at full blast and chugging ice water to wake me up! After work, I am usually running errands, helping around with chores, or catching up on Netflix.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? I love to travel, go to shows, and spend time with family and friends.
Why do you think people should be using Ambre Blends products? Everything is clean and made with the best ingredients from around the world. Everyone should know that everything is handmade with so much care and love!
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working at Ambre Blends? The second family I have here at Ambre Blends is the most rewarding part about working here. Everyone is so supportive and caring of each other.
What was your first job? I was a cashier for MCL Bakery & Restaurant.
Anything else we should know? All dogs go to heaven!
Jason has been part of the Ambre Blends team for about nine months, ever since moving to Indianapolis from Florida. How did he find out about us? Well, he’s Ambre’s brother!
Jason started out at Ambre Blends working in production and shipping a few days each week and has now moved into shipping two to three days each week where he focuses on getting out as many orders as possible as well streamlining the shipping process. “Jason has brought so much to the the table here at Ambre Blends besides his yummy food,” said Ambre. “He has brought greater efficiency to our shipping department and is quick to help anyone out, he’s a great team player. You can also count on him for fun ideas!”
Read on to find out more about Jason in today’s Staff Spotlight!
What is your favorite part about working for Ambre Blends? Everyone here is great, it’s laid back and my wife works here too, so we get a chance to have lunch together. Both of us have our own businesses on “the outside” and we don’t have a day off together, so it helps to be able to at least spend a few minutes together.
What are some of your favorite organic products that you use? I literally only use Ambre Blends and have since the beginning. I don’t own any other fragrances or lotions or anything. I use the Skin Tonic, Oil, Soap and Natural Deodorant. Oh, and the Lip Remedy has saved my life this winter.
What is your favorite Ambre Blends product/essence? If I had to choose one and only one for the rest of time it would probably be the Skin Tonic in any fragrance. I’m pretty sure I was the first person to shave with it.
What is a fun fact about you that people don’t know? I get real serious about making tacos.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Playing frisbee with my two pit bulls, volleyball, and cooking.
Why do you think people should be using Ambre Blends products? I think there are some people seriously attached to this product almost like a cult following. I think if people knew how personal this was to the people actually producing it and the time, energy, and love that goes into this product they would love it even more. This isn’t a big corporation, it’s a family business and it’s amazing to see it bring joy to so many people. It’s very humbling.
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working at Ambre Blends? The most rewarding part is to witness the growth. It’s impressive. It’s also really cool to see where all these products that my sister created, my wife put the order in, my mom labeled, and that I’m shipping out to go to customers who know none of us but love the product just as much as any of us. To see customers order four, 10, 20, and even 50 different times is amazing.
What was your first job? My first job was bagging groceries at Marsh (RIP).
Anything else we should know? I’m also a chef and run a local healthy meal prep company called Eat Prep Live. If you like rubbing organic products on you then you will love my organic products in you.
Ever wonder how Ambre Blends was started? Not sure how to pronounce Ambre Blends? We’re giving you an inside look at Ambre Blends from the very beginning, straight from Ambre.
In 1997, I was living in Colorado and studying to be a massage therapist. I started studying aromatherapy and working for an herbalist, and we were making products for pregnancy and lactation. During that process, I knew I was sensitive to chemicals and synthetic fragrances/products. Working for a company where the products were so pure inspired me to grow a garden filled with lavender, lemon balm and chamomile, and to play with different ingredients making products out of them for my own personal use.
At the time, I was not making what is now Ambre products, I was making totally different products like detox bath crystals, spritzers, soaps and candles. My three signature products were tranquility, calm and clear and energizing citrus. I called them Ambre Blends Handcrafted Herbal Body Care because they were blends made by me, Ambre.
From there, I started playing with oils and using them as natural fragrances. That’s how I created Ambre Essence. The reason why I called it Ambre Essence was because the main ingredient is an amber oil. There’s thousands of amber oils out there, but I would get this oil and add ingredients to it to give it a clean, euphoric smell mixed with a slightly musky scent.
I named it Ambre Essence since it was my own personal fragrance and I wanted it to be my essence. My name is spelled A-M-B-R-E, which is how the name came about. We have people ask us all the time, is it pronounced “om-brey” or “amber?” My dad named me Ambre because he wanted it to be different, so he used the French spelling (even though I’m not French), but it is pronounced like Amber.
As that oil started to take off, I was making it into the soaps, detox baths, candles, spritzers and lotions. It just took off from there! I started to take the Ambre oil as well as Invoke and expand the line, which is how Ambre Blends grew over the years. Eventually, I let go of the tranquility, calm and clear and energizing citrus and focused on the Ambre Essence. I was then getting into products that the common ingredient in the line was the Ambre Essence, which is why I kept Ambre Blends as the business name.
I moved home to Indianapolis in 2001. When I met Steph through a mutual friend a couple years later, I gave her an Ambre roll-on as a gift and she loved it. She saw the reaction she was getting when wearing it. She believed in the product and wanted to help spread the word, which is when she started to work with me in 2007. At about the same time, Rebecca came on board and was making products while Steph was handling sales and pushing the product.
We were working out of my Broad Ripple bungalow, and I’d be upstairs massaging while hearing Steph on the phone and Rebecca making product. In between clients, I would run downstairs and help them out. I had to keep massaging for a few years to put that money into Ambre Blends.
In 2009, we knew we needed more space so we moved our studio out of my house and into a space in Broad Ripple. Shortly after, Adam came on board and we had two other employees working there as well. As soon as we moved into that space, the extra square footage allowed us to really build our business. We were there for three years until we moved the studio into my new northside home. I had a newborn, so that allowed me to work while still spending time with him for his first year.
After one year of that, we knew we had to move, which is when we moved into our current space. Here we are, not even three years into our new building and we are adding 5,000 square feet onto our space to accommodate more business and more product. We are gearing up to launch a new scent in 2017 as well as a baby line! Thank you to all of our customers and retailers for helping us make this happen!
You might not realize all the work that goes on behind the scenes at Ambre Blends, but all of our products are handmade with love, including the sample packs. That’s where product specialist Sara Harris comes in. This rockstar pours, caps and labels over 1,500 sample vials per week every week! Sara has been on the Ambre Blends team for six years and we can’t imagine life without her.
What’s a day in the life of Sara like? I wake up, wash my face and get a coffee. I take my dog, Molson, outside and come back to wake up my four year-old daughter Maggie (she likes to sleep). I get her ready for school, pack up and head out the door. I drop her off at school and take Molson to puppy daycare. Then I’m off to work at Greek Tony’s until I go pick up Maggie from school. On busy days, we’ll go back to Greek Tony’s, if not we head to a park. Later on we pick up Molson and go home. After Maggie goes to bed I work on the samples.
What’s your favorite part about working for Ambre Blends? The best part about Ambre Blends is being able to work for a company that is all-natural, organic and local to Indiana.
What are some of your favorite organic products to use? Up until I had my daughter, I wasn’t too conscious of the products that I used for myself. Once she came into my life, I noticed how important organic products are for cleaning and eating. I buy the Annie’s brand of mac n cheese, crackers and fruit snacks. I love Shea Moisture and Seventh Generation; they get the job done without the harmful deposits left behind like the non-organic products on the market.
What is your favorite Ambre Blends product/essence? I love Solace. I also love to mix the Ambre with Solace. I’ll use the Ambre Spritzer and the Solace Roll-On. The one thing that I love about Ambre Blends products is that you can mix and match any of them to create something unique. In the summer, I love LOVE the Ambre Glow. When I put it on I feel like it enhances my natural skin tone…and it smells good too.
What’s a fun fact about you that people don’t know? My favorite sport is hockey, I was raised on it. My dad played professional hockey for the Buffalo Sabres in 1972. My dad coached my brother in travel hockey and people would ask me, “Oh, have you been here?” I would say, “Yeah, I’ve been to the ice rink, the Holiday Inn and the Perkins in town.”
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? I love to travel and see live music. The best is when I can do both of those at the same time. I’ve gone to a lot of places, toured the city and when it gets closer to the evening some friends and I would make our way to the venue to catch the show we were there for. But nothing beats taking an evening walk with Maggie and Molson while listening to Maggie jab away.
Why should people be using Ambre Blends? What’s the number one thing you wish people knew about Ambre Blends? People should use Ambre Blends because it’s an all-natural product that is not overpowering to people around you. It is a natural oil that becomes part of your body chemistry. It’s not a perfume. Just because you can’t smell it on yourself all the time doesn’t mean people around you aren’t smelling it. It becomes part of you.
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working at Ambre Blends? I’ve been able to watch a small company grow to where they are today. I used to fill twenty samples a week of three scents and sometimes beg to do more. Now, I fill four scents and not only just the oil but the Skin Tonic and Face and Beard Tonic samples as well. It has been cool to see a company that started in Ambre’s basement blossom all across the United States.
What was your first job? Working for my parents at their restaurant, Greek Tony’s Pizza and Sub Shop (Carmel, Indiana). I used to sit in the office at 10 or 11 years old and when someone ordered a soup they would yell back, “Soup lady!” I would hop out of the chair and gladly grab a soup to help out my parents’ employees.
Anything else we should know? I try to remind myself every day that life is way too short, explore and take no regrets.
It’s hard work getting all of your orders packed up safely and sent out, but someone has to do it! That’s where Cami comes in. Coming up on her one year anniversary with Ambre Blends in October, Cami works in order fulfillment and shipping at Ambre Blends.
“Ambre Blends is very lucky to have Cami on the team,” said Ambre, Owner of Ambre Blends. “She is extremely delightful to work with, always in a good mood and keeps the energy light and positive. She works hard and stays focused all while taking some time to have fun and joke around. We all love her and hope she is with us for the long haul…hint hint…”
Learn more about Cami in this month’s staff spotlight!
What is a day in the life of Cami like? It starts with coffee. From there, I get my three girls ready for their day at school and head into Ambre Blends to fill/ship. Then I pick up the kids at 4pm, hit the pool or sports field, have dinner, do homework, gives baths and then enjoy some bad TV while folding laundry. Jealous?
What’s your favorite part about working for Ambre Blends? Hands down, the people. There’s lots of “she-power” in the Ambre Blends Disco Hut!
What are some of your favorite organic products to use? I really love Kroger’s Simple Truth products, they keep it simple and affordable. Some other products I love are Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap, Toms toothpaste, lots of Annie’s Naturals…I’m obsessed with Navitas Naturals Cacao nibs.
What is your favorite Ambre Blends product/essence? It’s hard to pick only one favorite. The Solace Oil Essence is a must. My favorite products are the soaps and deodorant; once you are accustomed to wearing a natural deodorant, you can never go back to an antiperspirant. You are designed to sweat and with Ambre Blends deodorant, at least you’ll smell fabulous.
What’s a fun fact about you that people don’t know? I made it backstage at Grateful Dead, the Deer Creek Summer Tour ’94. I actually said “hello” to Jerry.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Hanging with my husband, Jim, and three girls, Bella (12), Iris (9) and Maeve (6). Weekends with nothing planned are the best.
Why should people be using Ambre Blends? What’s the number one thing you wish people knew about Ambre Blends? We have a lot of love for the product and it shows. All Ambre Blends products are carefully and lovingly handcrafted, locally by (mostly) women!
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences about working at Ambre Blends? I get to work with an intuitive and inspiring group of female entrepreneurs who value work/life balance. I’ve just reentered the workforce and this support essential for me.
What was your first job? A “casual mail carrier” with the USPS.
Anything else we should know? In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
When we launched Ambre Blends Natural Deodorant in December of 2013, we couldn’t have done it without Michelle. Starting in 2012, we collaborated with Michelle to test out a natural deodorant option for our product line. After many, many, many batches, we perfected the high-quality formula that stood up to the test of different seasons, situations and environments.
We want you to get to know the co-creator and producer of Ambre Blends Natural Deodorant, Michelle Hoard!
What is a day in the life of Michelle like? The deodorant=making process is much like making a cake…mixing, weighing precise measurements, pouring and labeling. The natural deodorant is completely made by hand.
What is your favorite part about working for Ambre Blends? We are all like-minded in wanting to execute a quality product made by hand with no harmful ingredients. There is so much love behind the products.
What are some your favorite organic products you use? Besides Ambre Blends Natural Deodorant, I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, coconut oil and Young Living essential oils.
What is your favorite Ambre Blends product/essence? While the natural deodorant is obviously high on my list, the Skin Tonic is a close second! I use it daily before bed and after putting on my makeup. It gives me the scent that I love and moisture that our skin craves so much. I really love all the scents but prefer the Unmasque and Solace in the natural deodorant.
What is a fun fact about you that people don’t know? I am a Registered Nurse that specializes in pediatrics.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work? Watching my daughter Liza and my son Jack play sports, boating with my husband and kids and listening to local music with friends.
Why should people be using Ambre Blends? Ambre Blends products are made without chemicals or harmful ingredients. You can be assured when using the products that they are not harming you or your family.
What has been one of the most rewarding experiences working at Ambre Blends? I love that Ambre Blends is a woman-owned company that is an amazing example of sending empowerment to young girls that they can do anything they set their mind to.
“Going green” can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s the little changes you can make in your life to do your part in helping the environment. Did you know that the average home contains up to 25 gallons of toxic chemicals, many of which are in store-bought cleaners? Replacing some products that you commonly use with green alternatives is easier than you think!
For example, do you take reusable grocery bags with you to the store? Think of how many plastic bags they send you home with for your food. Instead, keep a few reusable bags in your car to do your part in going “bagless.” Or how about using cloth napkins at home instead of paper?
Cleaning products are often full of harsh chemicals that aren’t good for your skin or health. The EPA estimates that indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air due in part to chemicals found in many household cleaners and air fresheners. Make your cleaning products using eco-friendly ingredients such as baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, tea tree oil and washing powder.
Going green isn’t only about the products that you buy and use, it’s about your home habits. Try opening the blinds and letting in natural sunlight. You can save energy during the day by not keeping lights on when you use the sun’s free light. And as a winter bonus, 10% of energy can be saved on heating when you let sun in during the day. While we’re talking about sunlight, did you know that having your refrigerator in the sunlight will force it to work harder to stay cool? Move it into the shade to save some energy.
If you really want to take going green literally, improve the air quality in your home by growing houseplants. A spider plant in the bathroom will help purify the air. Outdoors, you can protect your local environment by planting plants that are native to your area. If you have a garden, try setting up a rain barrel to water your plants.
What are your favorite ways to go green? We love learning about new green alternatives!