A short stop at SPAtacular 2001
By Sally Schwartz

You know, this is something that I really looked forward to.  I enjoy assignments that take me to places that I may not have normally gone, it's a chance to discover new things and to broaden my world.  This assignment was going to be better then most because I was going to a spa convention!  Massages and facials and almost everything a person could need to help them relax.  And then instantly my assignment became almost surreal-- that morning America came under attack by a nameless and faceless enemy and here it was my job to go to the Disneyland Hotel and cover SPAtacular 2001.

I arrived shortly after noon and checked in at the media registration. I was informed that my time was short due to the horrific events of the day.  It wasn't surprising that the atmosphere was subdued, the convention was largely empty and at 1:30 p.m. it would be closed.  Given the short amount of time to gather the latest trends, I will attempt to do justice and represent the hard work of the vendors and their products and services.

I spoke with Linda Lutz, the member services coordinator for the Organic Trade Association, and she explained the different categories of the organic industry, which includes growers, shippers, retailers, processors, certifiers, farmer associations, brokers, consultants, importers exporters, distributors, restaurants and many others. Established in 1985 as the Organic Foods Production Association of North America, the main mission of the organic industry is to encourage global sustainability through promoting and protecting the growth of diverse organic trade.

 The goals of the OTA are:

          To provide leadership consistent with organic principles.

          To create and expand market opportunities for the industry.

          To promote awareness and understanding of organic production.

          To provide a unified voice on legislative, regulatory and policy issues affecting the business of 
           organic production.

          To promote the sustainability of a balanced ecosystem.

          To protect the integrity of the organic guarantee.

For more information write:

Organic Trade Assoc. Headquarters
74 Fairview Street
P.O. Box 547
Greenfield, MA 01302 USA

Or visit www.ota.com

I also had taken a few moments to speak with Casey Keller, author of "The Natural Beauty & Bath Book." I have used many of her recipes in my own soaps, lotions and oils.  Keller is not only a reputable writer but also the owner of Rain Country Naturals and Rain Shadow Labs. Her company formulates and manufactures all-natural bath, beauty, and homemade fragrance products. In addition to her scientific studies in pharmacology and medicine, she has a thorough grounding in natural folk medicine and healing properties.

Casey started Rain Shadow Labs in 1983. The company utilizes the gifts of Mother Nature, such as minerals, vitamins, herbs, botanicals, natural oils and extracts. Some products require preservatives to retard bacterial growth and, in this case, only carefully selected products that are safe enough to qualify for food use are utilized. I can say from personal experience with the recipes that she has provided in her first book, that they are very well formulated and achieve some of the best skin care available. Keller has continued sharing her knowledge with the public in her sequel, "The Good Earth Bath, Beauty and Health Book," which is another must for the home crafter. She has also written "Natural Cleaning for Your Home." These books are a must for anyone who likes to craft their own beauty aids.

I enjoyed my abbreviated visit to SPAtacular 2001.  I only wish that the circumstances could have been more appropriate.  It would've been nice to spend more time attending some of the many seminars and lectures.  I was pleased to note during the closing announcements, that several of the companies in attendance had already made donations of services and products to aid in the recovery efforts going on in New York City and Washington DC.  Only hours after the attack America was already beginning to pull together.

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