When I went to my first “gift show” in San Francisco this summer, I did not expect to come home with an order for hand lotion. I love beautiful smelling things as much as anyone, but lots of stores sell hand lotion and it just wasn’t on my list of possibilities. But when Katie and I passed the elizabethW booth in the handcrafted, local and artisan section of the giant convention center, we were pulled right in. It turns out, these beautifully packaged and unique fragrance items are made in the Bay area, but inspired, says the owner, by his great-grandmother Elizabeth Wightman who started a ranch in the Sierra in the 1800’s “when neither grace nor style were required or desired”. The brochure continues that “her spirit of determination and independence went hand in hand with her romantic nature and classic elegance. She was the obvious inspiration for his business”. Sounds like my grandma, and truly a woman after my own heart. How can I pass up that marketing? And then, you take a few test whiffs, and we were sold! We chose the Purely Essential Collection, with letterpress packaging and the scents of Cucumber, Lavender and Rosemary. Each one is infused with California Poppy extract and contains only essential oils and extracts. The catalog states “From the earth to the bottle, this true botanical collection seeks to offer harmonious, incredibly effective products for bath, body and home”. We are carrying hand lotion, bath fizzes, lip balm, and diffuser oil. They all smell wonderful, and would be ideal gifts. Please come by and take a whiff, and honor those determined and independent women who pioneered with grace and style.