"Every year around this time, I get asked by fans, friends, restaurant-goers and publications what my go-to gifts are. This year, My team and I have decided to feature a few artisans who are making great products that are perfect for the holidays. Whether it is fancy soap for my mother or a really rad apron for one of my colleagues, or the flight of roof-top honey for the person who is impossible to shop for here are some essentials that could I know I will be giving this year. First up, Jessica Morelli from New York City."- Marcus
MS.com: What is the name of your company and what do you make?
Jessica Morelli: The name of my company is di Palermo Body. I make artisan skin care made in small batches using only natural and organic ingredients. At a young age my Nona (grandmother) taught me how to garden, the importance of eating organic food and living a holistic lifestyle. ‘di Palermo’ means of Palermo, which is where she was from so di Palermo Body is in honor of her.
MS.com: How did you get started?
JM: Five years ago I bought a bar of natural soap at a small shop and fell in love. I didn’t even know people still made soap from scratch. I immediately was hooked and had to find out how I could make it myself. Coming from a large Italian family I loved to cook. I found that making soap was much like cooking, and creating a formula is just like creating a recipe, you just don’t eat the end product.
MS.com : Where do you produce and sell it?
JM: I currently make all the products out of my 5th floor walk-up Manhattan apartment; tight quarters but organization is the key. Etsy is my main online platform and because of it I’ve been able to sell all over the world. I have retailers in LA and Chicago and am hoping to find a few in New York that are a good fit in the coming months.
MS.com: Of all your collection, what is the best for a holiday gift?
JM: Whether you give a bundle of 4 soaps for $25 for your sister, a sugar scrub for someone at the office for $12, or a single bar of soap as a stocking stuffer for only $7, all of my products are within a price range that is perfect for gifts.
MS.com: How do you see your audience changing over the past few years? Is there more an interest in artisan products and how do you see that growing?
JM: Over the five years I’ve been making natural products my market has always been people who understand the importance of using natural products for both their skin’s and the environment’s benefit. More and more people are finding the value in handcrafted goods, its nice to see people wanting so support small businesses.
Ristretto Sugar Scrub and Soap
This scent, coffee and lemon, is a natural deodorizer and works great in the kitchen eliminating the scents of cooking like garlic, onion or fish.
This scent, vanilla and vetiver, has a more masculine appeal to it and a great label. Men like fancy soap too!