Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home Decor Trends

I was reading Organic Spa Magazine recently (which I love) and came across an article by Elaine Williamson, "10 Home & Decor Trends." I'm always a sucker for numbered lists - and reading about new trends is always interesting.

Among other fun trends, like the focus on vintage accents, it was her Trend #4: Elemental Color that really caught my eye.

Elaine writes:

Trend #4: Elemental Color

"Boldly colored accent pieces give a space visual interest and appeal. Brightly colored and/or patterned pillows, rugs and other accessories will bring an otherwise bland space to life and can be transitioned by season."

I was thinking how true that is based on my own experiences. I have an original 1920s era bathroom, with white tile and black accent tiles. (No awful greens or pinks, thank goodness!) But still it's primarily a white bathroom.

I've always used white towels - I love how clean and fresh they look and that they can be bleached in case of a disaster. But when we introduced colorful towels, especially the gorgeous colors in our Modern Design Towel line, I took some home for myself. What a transformation! The Sage Green and Espresso towels just "pop" on that white tile. I don't think I'll ever go back to White.

There is just something so summery and fresh with the Sage Green Towels and the Espresso ones are so warm and rich for Winter.

If you want to add a splash of color - you can even add a jewel of a hand towel. It's an easy way to get a bright fresh note in an otherwise bland room.

Now I just need some Orange towels for Fall, and maybe a Cream set for Spring?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Does Anybody Have a Monkey Wrench?

Gone are the days when you could fix things with a few simple tools, or what my college roommate Cecilia called "percussive maintenance." (Basically just whacking whatever wasn't working, which worked surprisingly often.)

Alas, websites are a little more touchy and due to a technical problem, our website is down. We're working diligently to get the site back up again, but we've already received some calls with orders over the phone, and thought we'd make it just a bit easier for you.

Please click on a link to see our new retail catalogs:

Then call us toll-free at 888-445-3368, and we'll be happy to take your order by telephone. Just ask for Carrie or Rosemary and they'll take care of you. (Isn't it nice to have real people help you?!) Our office is open from 8:30 to 4:30 CST Monday through Friday.

If you'd rather place an order via email, please include your telephone number so we can call you for your credit card information. Please do not send your credit card information by email as it is not secure.

We'll let you know as soon as the site is back up and running consistently.


Toll-free 888-445-3368

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The SHE Show and Summer Sandal Season

Update: Spa Hospitality Expo

Well, the SHE Show (the virtual spa show we just exhibited at) was really interesting. I think our booth looked pretty cool and we had tons of information for spas and hotels. We "chatted" up lots of really nice people and want to welcome our new rep in Florida, Cheryl Locke! Welcome, Cheryl!

For me the strangest part was connecting with people all over the world, while being in my office, sipping tea and petting Jeanenne's dog Pogo, a golden retriever who comes in quite often to visit. (He and I have a special connection, a sort of meeting of the minds. That is, I have dog treats in my desk and he wants them.)

I'd say it was not bad for a first try, and that there is definitely a future for virtual shows. (I may need to get more dog treats.)

Time for Summer Sandals: Ready.... Set.... Stop?

Have you been letting your feet go a bit this winter? Or have you been gardening barefoot? I know I have been doing both, so until I get busy with my feet - I'm not showing them to anyone!

Fortuntely, it's not that hard to get your feet in shape, if you have the right tools. Click here to get tips on a fast fix for neglected feet. Make good use of your Foot Scrubber - after more than 20 years, I've never found anything I like better than mine. If you've never tried one, for heaven's sake order one now!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Welcome to our booth at the Spa Hospitality Expo!

We are exhibiting at the first "virtual" trade show for the Spa Industry.

If you're like me, you're wondering just exactly what 's going to happen when they "flip the switch" and the show is live.

Will there be fireworks and smoke coming out the back of our computers?

Or will the silence be broken only by the quiet tick-tock of the clock on the wall?

Probably somewhere in the middle.

We're hopeful that like in a real trade show, that we can make you feel welcome, and that you'll let us know what you're looking for, so that we can help you.

There are going to be so many things to look at - it is all visual, after all.

What will we be showing at Gilden Tree?

Well for starters, we offer perhaps the best quality Waffle Weave Robes and Wraps in the country. Our spa waffle weave is not thin or prone to becoming the incredible shrinking robe or wrap.

This is the real stuff: the thickest, softest waffle weave you've ever felt, made with a blend of Natural Cotton and Polyester.

And of course you noticed that word Natural, right? Seems like you see that everywhere these days. If it's any help, our cotton is made without chemical processing, from defoliant-free cotton. We've been making our robes that way for about 18 years.

So, I'd say you should definitely look at our waffle weave spa robes and wraps.

But we also make wraps and headbands in a velvety soft French Velour. A few years ago at a trade show, a spa owner came to our booth on the last day and said she'd looked at all the wraps at the show, and that ours was the "Gold Standard of Spa Wraps."

The second thing you should look at is our Velour Wraps and headbands.

We also carry some beautiful, pure Natural Cotton Velour Robes, that are made of a thick terry that's sheared one side and brushed to velvety softness. These are luxurious robes, thick and lovely enough to be given as a gift.

What else?

Laundry: It's a six-letter word that couldn't be less glamorous, but it's something we need to talk about.

Because you'll want to know that every Gilden Tree robe, wrap, headband, blanket and towel is made to be machine washed and dried. Not just once or twice, but hundreds of times.

For a lot of waffle weave, machine washing and hot drying cause major, major shrinkage. But our robes, wraps and headbands are a blend that's stable, so you don't have to worry about laundry.

What about Personal Care?

We carry a line of foot, hand and body care that's so effective and offers so much natural healing that it's carried by podiatrists and other health care practitioners.

We actually say our products help your skin heal itself.

That's because we use ingredients that have been shown over time and in many cultures to offer genuine healing effects: Certified Organic Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter and Comfrey Extract.

These are in fact, the building blocks of our line, which makes our products very concentrated without being overwhelming.

So be sure to check out our personal care products. We offer them in Pro sizes, and retail sizes so you can use them in treatments and then sell them to your guests. Our footcare displays are really special, too. Black metal with our signature regimen: Soak, Scrub, Moisturize and Protect.

We're looking forward to getting to know you and finding out how we can help you. Don't forget to sign up for our email prize drawing, and if you'd to chat by telephone just give us a call at 888-445-3368.


Ann Thariani

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gilden Tree at the Naturally Green Expo

Never say it can't happen - and right here in our own backyard!

Omaha was finally host to a "green" show and Gilden Tree was there as an exhibitor at the "Naturally Green" Expo last Saturday and Sunday.

It was fun to be around other "greenies" for the weekend and to get a chance to chat with many of the other vendors: especially organic farmers (nice to have great cheese across the aisle), the Slow Foods Nebraska folks and Safe Earth the organic lawn care company we use.

We met tons of neat people, and of course like any hometown event - bumped into old friends! Thanks for everyone who stopped by to chat and try Gilden Tree, especially the out-of-towners who were in Omaha for the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. We never realized how many people already use and love Gilden Tree!

Thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the photos (albeit with poor lighting) and the expo commercial where our towels make a very brief appearance.

Special thanks to Carrie, Kumy and Mark for working the show. Our daughter Maya was there too, but she was pretty much glued to the Beak N Wings Bird Rescue Society's booth. We've talked about getting a bird for a long time, and so we adopted Apple, a friendly and cheerful gray Cockatiel. Maya's totally thrilled, and the Beak 'n' Wings people were incredibly helpful - I can't say enough good things about them.

And of course the biggest news: Joanie K. from Omaha was the winner of our Prize Drawing: 2 Modern Design Sage Green Guest Towels!

All in all it wasn't bad for a first event - and hopefully, the first of many.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

National Foot Health Month: April

Cracks and Calluses Hurt! How to Treat & Prevent Them

If your heels develop “cracks” or your feet develop calluses, your body is trying to tell you something.

Cracks or “heel fissures” occur when the skin gets so dry and thick that it actually splits, which exposes tender inner skin. You can have bleeding, and infection is a possibility.

Calluses are your body’s way of protecting skin from pressure, which can be due to a shoe rubbing, or a repetitive activity. It does protect your skin, but like anything, it can be too much of a good thing.

Both of these are handled by increasing moisturizing, and exfoliating after soaking. Here’s more extensive information about Preventing and Treating Cracked Heels, and a helpful article about Calluses.

Nothing beats 95% Shea Butter Balm for cracked heels in my opinion. You can use it everywhere - but it's super rich - perfect for feet which have fewer oil glands - and you only need a tiny amount. For best results, exfoliate feet every time you shower or bathe, (a Footscrubber works well) and afterward massage Shea Butter Balm into feet. It helps seal moisture in.

Also find a time that's easy to remember for using your Shea Butter. Just before bed is good, or first thing in the morning while you're getting ready.

My sister-in-law applies Shea Butter in the morning, puts on a pair of cotton socks, and wears them while she's getting ready. When she's ready to leave, she takes off the socks, the Shea Balm's absorbed and her feet are already softer!

Find the time now to work on your feet - you’ll be back in Sandals in no time.

Monday, April 19, 2010

National Foot Health Month: April

Diagnosed with Diabetes?
Put Your Best Foot Forward!

Everyone keeps saying Diabetics need to special take are of their feet, but why?

As they age, people with Diabetes have more trouble with their feet. This is for two reasons: Diabetes eventually causes people to lose some sensitivity in their feet, which can mean that they may not feel a cut or scrape. Second, people with Diabetes may heal less quickly, so even a small cut or scrape can become a bigger problem.

But by following a good footcare routine, Diabetics’ feet can remain healthy and soft.

There are some really simple but important steps to follow. Examine your feet every day, using a mirror if necessary, looking for cuts or rough areas so you can treat them. Moisturize your feet regularly. Do not go barefoot, and visit your physician or podiatrist at least once a year.

The American Diabetes Association has a really great Guide to Diabetic Foot Care, that explains these steps in greater detail.

On, we're very focused on foot care, and every product that's safe for Diabetics to use has a blue button that looks like this:

If you or someone you know is diagnosed with Diabetes, don’t wait to start taking care of your feet. It’s the best investment you can ever make!

Monday, April 12, 2010

National Foot Health Month: April

Healthy Toenails & Cuticles - The Dos and Don’ts

Even if you can only occasionally get in for a professional pedicure, it’s fairly simple to have healthier, prettier toenails and cuticles. Just moisturize regularly, cut nails correctly and be gentle with your cuticles. Read Six Top Tips for Healthier Cuticles for a great summary.

But what is the right way to cut toenails? Diana Rodriguez has some helpful Tips for Cutting Toenails. Find out how good toenail cutting techniques can help your nails to be their best, and how to avoid problems like ingrown toenails.

Already have problems with ingrown toenails? Read Christine Dobrowski’s excellent article on How to Treat and Prevent Ingrown Toenails.

For really superior moisturizing, try our amazing Hand, Nail & Cuticle Salve.

Then just follow the advice from these experts and in no time - your toenails and cuticles will be healthy and beautiful!

Monday, April 5, 2010

National Foot Health Month: April

Shoes: the Highs, the Lows and the Just Rights

There are some shoes which are clearly so bad for your feet you don’t even have to ask.

For a special night out - you may be willing to suffer a bit - but what about for every day?

If you’re tempted to wear high heels every day, check out what Dr. Eric Silvers says are 10 Problems with High Heel Shoes. (There’s an interesting bit on high-heeled shoes for toddlers, too.)

So what should you wear? It turns out that a little heel (about an inch) is fine and may even help keep your feet more comfortable. Susan Aldridge has great advice about choosing good shoes.

What about athletic shoes? They need to be fitted carefully to prevent hurting your feet. Christine Frank has 10 Tips for Choosing Athletic Shoes.

So choose wisely, save the stilettos for special occasions and you’ll save yourself trouble and pain down the road.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome to Gilden Tree!

My husband Kumy and I have owned and run Gilden Tree for over 20 years and it's been an amazing experience.

When we started in 1990, we were among the very first "green" companies in our field. The early 90s were what I call the "granola" days. The eco-movement was in its infancy and grew out of a longing for a simpler, more communally-connected, and nature-based lifestyle.

It wasn't hard to spot the "natural" products back then: they were often brown, often very "simply" packaged and you had to accept a certain amount of compromise in the way a product worked, because hey - it was all natural!

We started with a terra-cotta pumice stone I'd found in Pakistan. I loved how it worked, I loved that it never wore out and that it was a traditional, hand-crafted tool. (Every Foot Scrubber is still hand-crafted, by the way.)

(In the beginning, we packed 10 Footscrubbers in a reusable fruit basket stuffed with excelsior (shredded wood) and then shipped each basket in a box of air-popped popcorn!)

Our next offerings were Natural Cotton terry robes, and then velour robes, made from defoliant-free cotton, in a process that was as chemical-free as possible.

An early customer in Omaha, a shopkeeper in our Old Market district said something that had a profound influence on us.

He said, "I sell a lot of those velour robes because they're beautiful, comfortable and look really great on people. I know that they're made in a very environmentally responsible manner, but I'm so glad that you haven't compromised on quality or appearance."

We were surprised to realize that he was right. We just hadn't thought of it that way.

Going forward we decided that our commitment to environmental and social responsibility would remain the foundation of our company, but that every product must also look great and work well. This was kind of revolutionary at the time, but has since become the norm.

We even created what we called the DNA for our products. Every product we created or introduced must honor these principles:

  • Be Simple - things you use every day should have good, clean design and simple, time-honored ingredients proven effective over time. We all deserve these everyday luxuries, and yet products should be easy to use and care for.
  • Be Serious - products are made to be used, to have a real effect and to offer a true benefit. The world doesn't need another "fluff" product, and we won't sell one.
  • Be Human - products are designed to appeal to all the senses, and to make a connection between the maker and the user. Our products should surprise and delight the people who use them.
  • Be Genuine/Celebrate what it is - don't hide a terra-cotta product away in a box - celebrate the material: let people see it, touch it and smell it. Use good quality and let it show.
  • Be Crafted - we use only the highest quality materials, and every product product is clearly thought through. We'd rather charge a little higher price for an excellent, concentrated product than compromise on quality.
  • Be Natural/Organic - use materials and ingredients that come from the earth, not a lab. Strive for "wholeness" in ingredients, recognizing that "trace" ingredients may also offer benefits. Use as many Certified Organic Ingredients as possible.
  • Be Unisex - in scents, design, packaging and products, we stay away from the flowery and frilly, choosing instead to offer products and scents that appeal to both sexes.
We were and are slow to jump on bandwagons. We still believe that we had the right idea in the first place, and we that the many people who contact us each week think so too.

Try something for yourself. Try a Footscrubber, or Nourishing Foot Cream. Maybe take the plunge and order a waffle weave towel. I know you'll love it and you'll be glad you did.

Ann Thariani
President and Co-Founder