Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Warm Heart with Great Natural Therapy

It isn't every day that I recommend a product here on Fibro and Fabulous.  It's not that I don't like products, quite the contrary, I enjoy gadgets just as much as everyone else, but I don't normally talk about them unless I'm inspired.

I recently was introduced to a gal by the name of Yvonne Fricker.  She is the owner of a small business called Warmables and her story is incredibly inspiring to me.  She takes all natural to a whole new level with her company and even though it is commonplace for her to do so given her upbringing in Switzerland, her concept goes far beyond the ordinary.

I've had the pleasure of trying out a product of hers that helps to relieve the pain of Fibromyalgia with natural heat.  My pain can get pretty bad around my neck due to long hours at the computer and it was hard to find relief without taking a hot shower.  I used to use a lot of pain rubs but I'm not a huge fan of the recent bad press.  A heating pad was also out of the question because I could never get one to stay put.

Yvonne suggested her neck pack that's filled with cherry pits and I just love it warm, room temperature, and cold.  It really works in relieving my pain symptoms and is gentle and light enough not to put too much pressure on my flared regions.  The kids and grandma like it too.

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables



Recently I was able to catch up with Yvonne after another one of her successful craft shows and I interviewed her about her company.  Below is the interview in its entirety:

F & F: I see that you had started out with an idea that your child should have a hot and healthy meal at school.  I can relate to this, as well as many other mothers because school lunches are not great and neither are some of the cold to-go options.  Peanut allergies are also highly prevalent in schools today so a healthy peanut butter and jelly sandwich is mostly a thing of the past.  It's hard to cook well-balanced for your children when they aren't home a good majority of the day.  How did this idea you had spark into a health- conscious business?

Yvonne: As you mentioned, healthy and tasty meals in school are not easy to come by. By the time our son was 6, he started getting tired of PB&J sandwiches. My husband and I cook just about everything from scratch. The lunch offered in my son’s school simply was not an option for us. 

I am a professional seamstress by trade and one day I stood in a store looking at oven mitts. It came to me that if heat can be kept out, it can be kept in. I purchased the oven mitt, cut it down to a rectangle and added a Velcro closure. The first version of our lunch kit was born. 

But it did not keep food warm for very long. After one year of sewing dozens of samples we had a pouch which kept food warm for about 3 hours. It was great but still not long enough for Isaiah to bring to school. That is when I remembered using cherry pit packs as a kid in Switzerland. We used them instead of hot bottles to stay warm with at night. So I added a little bag filled with the pits to the kit and food stayed warm for up to 6 hours.

Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables



How did we decide to start the business? Other parents made that decision for us. As Isaiah took all these warming pouches to school they got noticed. Soon we were asked to make extra ones and that was when Julian and I decided to turn our idea into a small business. The Warmables lunch kit has been sold throughout the USA and internationally for the past 4 years. Up to this day not one has been returned to us.

F & F: Hot meals are a great idea for kids, but you took Warmables further and expanded into heat therapy for pain sufferers.  What made you decide to expand your business into helping chronic pain sufferers?

Yvonne: When Warmables started off we only had that one item on our website. It was hard to get noticed with such a tiny site. I travel to a lot of arts and craft fairs to offer my hand painted silk accessories. Walking the fairs pointed out to me that more people started to become interested in natural healing. I mentioned before that I used the pit packs when I was a child in Switzerland.  

Living a healthy lifestyle is the norm in Switzerland. Natural healing is preferred when possible and it was just a logical thing to expand our product line and offer tools supporting a more natural lifestyle. So many people suffer from Fibro and RA and other chronic illnesses. Many use heat treatment to ease the pain. Our packs can offer relief from that pain naturally. They can be heated or frozen over and over again. And they can be washed.


F & F: Your products are not only homeopathic in nature; they also are beneficial to the environment.  Many people today are "green conscious" for various reasons.  Some want to preserve our environment to keep it around for their children and grandchildren.  Others want to be self-sufficient and find a way to live off of their land.  What made you decide "to go green" with your company?

Yvonne: I grew up in a house with 7 recycle bins in Switzerland. We recycled glass (sorted by color), aluminum, cardboard and paper, plastic, electronics and we collected veggie leftovers to compost. My hometown and the Swiss, in general, have been big on not wasting all along. I don’t feel that we went green. I feel that we are sharing our knowledge of how to waste less.

F & F: Your line is getting wonderful reviews in the medical and alternative health fields.  Many physical and massage therapists like and recommend your product.  Are there any new product lines we will be seeing in the near future from your company?

Yvonne: Yes. We have just added 3 new Hot’n Cold packs to our website. They are specifically designed to help people with Fibro and RA. We kept getting requests for larger pit packs to cover the entire leg or torso for a very deep, thorough heat treatment to ease that nagging pain. We now have the Bodice Healer, a Leg Wrap and we also added an RA glove to warm up hands crippled by the pain of RA. Our next product will be a boot and a larger version of our Neck Hugger. 


Photo courtesy of Yvonne Fricker, Warmables

 


F & F: This has been a delightful interview!  I'm so happy when I come across individuals that are passionate about helping people!  It's very refreshing to see today!  Is there anything else you'd like to add about your company?  And please, do let us know where we can find out more about your product!  What is the web address for Warmables?


Yvonne:
We can be found at www.warmables.com. and on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Warmables/499922836689012. We always welcome comments and new product ideas. My husband and I do not have Fibro or RA. We listen to people like you, Kimberley, and we try to learn what helps and how we can improve our products.

We just came back from our first trade show which was very successful. Our Hot’n Cold packs are available in about 25 stores in NJ, PA, MD and NY. Hospital gift shops, gardening centers, massage therapists, chiropractors and individual families are now offering and using our pit packs. The packs lend themselves splendidly for the treatment of aches and pains as well as aromatherapy when combined with essential oils. They can be used to clear congested sinuses and help to putting cranky babies to sleep. And last but not least, they can help cooling down fevers or warm up cold beds. As I mentioned before, the packs can be tossed into the wash along with your jeans and t-shirts.
I would also like to mention that we purchase all our materials in the USA. Our cherry pits come from Michigan. They are leftovers from making pie fillings, jams, preserves and so on. The pits would be garbage if not used for items like hot packs. We use cotton fabrics only to make our cases. Most fabrics are purchased in NJ and NY. All sewing is done by us in Jersey City as we strongly believe in supporting our own economy.

Kimberley, I want to thank you very much for giving us the opportunity for this interview. I sincerely hope that our Hot’n Cold packs will help you personally and many others burdened with illness, pain or just in need of some warming or cooling comfort. We'd also like to offer your readers a special now and one in the near future.  Right now we'd like to offer your readers free shipping on Warmables Small Neck Hugger.  Thank you!

F & F: You are very welcome!  It's been such a pleasure talking with you!  And the free shipping sounds AWESOME!







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