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December 2015 Picks

Better Beards

Need a stocking stuffer for the whiskered men in your life? Check out Napa Valley Beard and Body’s line of oils and balms, which are sure to tame flyaway facial hair and nourish the skin underneath.
“We try to use as many local ingredients as possible, such as Napa Valley Olive Oil and Salute Sante grapeseed oil,” says company cofounder Nora Abraham (with her husband, John). “And many of our ingredients are also fair trade, organic and/or GMO-free. Our website has an entire page dedicated to our ingredients and the possible benefits from them.” They’ll even customize a nut oil-free blend if you’re allergic.
Available in a selection of scents, the products are made by hand in small batches. The company uses recycled materials for its packaging, and local businesses to print labels, shirts and business cards. “We try to support our community in many ways,” says Hughes. “Shop small. Shop local.”
You can order items online or stop by a local barbershop (it’s currently being sold in Napa at Executive Room Barbershop & Shaving Parlor, K. Lawrence Luxury and Lather, and Industry Napa Valley’s Barbershop).
Maybe you could even leave one out for Santa. He’s had enough cookies.

Smile and Snap

Photo booths have long been a staple of celebrations both private and corporate. Now there’s a way to enhance the spontaneous fun of a photo booth while adding a branding and social media element. “TapSnap is, basically, a 42-inch iPad with a digital camera,” says Jennifer O’Connor, who owns the TapSnap franchises in Sonoma and Napa counties.
What makes it unique is the customization and branding capabilities. We can customize the border, green screens, digital props and even the kiosk itself. TapSnap provides Twitter hashtags and email signatures to personalize the event, and it can broadcast pics as they’re taken to connected screens elsewhere in the venue [called SnapCast]. At the end of the event, we provide a digital album and an email report for marketing purposes.”
There’s a large green screen library for guests to play with, as well as a digital prop library (physical props are also available). This lets guests add Hollywood characters, facial hair, animals, speech clouds and more to enhance their photos. It’s great for companies that want to include their product or logo in photos. TapSnap has also added a “social photographer,” who walks around the venue taking photos with a special camera app to upload the photos onto the SnapCast.
For more information, contact O'Connnor at (707) 799-6018.

Bamboo for You

In recent years, bamboo has gained a reputation as a durable and renewable building material. Now that same level of sustainability is available in household products, courtesy NatureZway, which is now available in Northern California Costco and Bed Bath and Beyond stores. With a cloth-like feel, the bamboo perforated towels are strong enough to wipe up a mess, rinse and repeat. The soft, nonscratch cleaning cloths (a rayon product made form an organic bamboo source) and the bamboo sponge (a cellulose sponge is made from plant-based materials and covered in the same rayon) are super absorbent and longer lasting than their traditional counterparts. Also available are bath tissue and floor wipes (for your dusting mop).




In this Issue

Plant Power

The Economist called 2019 “the year of the vegan.” Indeed, we are seeing more and more plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy on grocery store shelves and restaurant menus. Many people...

Kid Safe? The Vaccination Debate

Measles, mumps, chicken pox and other childhood diseases of yesteryear are making headlines again in the United States. Formally prevalent viruses and bacterium affected thousands of lives before a sc...

Managing Workplace Stress

If you’re not stressed at your job and workplace, consider yourself lucky. In a recent Gallup poll, 55 percent of Americans said they are stressed during the day, 20 percent higher than the worl...

See all...



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