Spend $30 or more to qualify for FREE SHIPPING! *Offer valid in the Contiguous US only.
0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Total
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Temp Tat News — jagua

    Blog Menu

    Earth Henna Goes Global

    Earth Henna Goes Global

    Earth Henna has been going strong in the temporary body art world for 20 years. Early on, back in 1997, when henna tattoos were just making their entrance on the body adornment scene, for some reason, we had more foreign than US customers. Eventually, it all came back around, and in the last 10 years, I would say that most of our henna kit and jagua kit business came from around the United States.

    As any small business owner will tell you, you can really get into the trees and forget you’re in a forest—the trees being about staying focused on what temporary body art customers want and expect; making sure your raw materials—like your henna powder and jagua guice—are the highest quality possible; keeping abreast of package design movements; staying on top of market trends, figuring out how to introduce your temporary tattoo products to other audiences (and here, we do really well because henna tattoos and jagua tattoos beautifully cross over into several categories, like fashion accessory, natural product, new age, craft and hobby, and art materials).

    In the midst of all this activity, certain things in your business can change without you noticing. Recently our webmaster added this nifty thing called an add-on that pops up while you’re on our Earth Henna site and shows you, in real time, what temporary tattoo products are being purchased, and where the buyer is located. It’s a visual that magically appears and then fades just as quickly at the lower left area of the screen. That thing is really cool for people looking to buy jagua tattoos or henna tattoos or body painting kits because they can see what other products are trending; and it’s riveting for us because, among other things, lo and behold, it turns out that quite a lot of our temporary tattoo customers are from all over the world!

    I didn’t know we were such a globe-trotting henna and jagua body art machine!

     

    What's The Jagua Story? - Part II

    What's The Jagua Story? - Part II

    Last week I posted about how we got started in the jagua tattoo business, and about our introduction to the Matsés people, who live in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon jungle and harvest the jagua fruit we use in our Earth Jagua kits. I gave the condensed version, and promised more details for those who might want to know more.

    So let me start by filling in some holes on exactly what it takes to get to the Amazon. The flight from Los Angeles to Lima, Peru is 8 ½ hours with a four-hour layover (in the middle of the night) in the Lima airport before the next flight out to Iquitos. Pascal was met in Iquitos by the American facilitator, whom I referred to as Mr. X in my book, Jagua—A Journey into Body Art from the Amazon. I shall continue to call him Mr. X because, well, if you can’t say anything nice… He did provide the all-important introduction and vital information needed for the formalities involved in doing business with indigenous peoples, and for that we are very grateful; but suffice it to say that he was very challenging to deal with, engaged in some unsavory practices and for several years now, for good reasons, the Matsés no longer have anything to do with him.

    The most important advice Mr. X conveyed to Pascal was The List. Upon first meeting with any indigenous group, you must come bearing gifts, otherwise you are considered extremely rude, especially if they view you as an “important visitor.” The list was long. He suggested that Pascal arrive with much-needed antibiotics, anti-bronchitis, anti-flu and stomach flu medicines, as well as anti-malaria pills, aspirin and more medial supplies. In addition, he needed to show up with some basics, like machetes, files, fishhooks and fishing lines, as well as t-shirts for the kids, pots and pans and jewelry beads for the women, hammocks, netting, rubber boots and other gear considered valuable to the community. Pascal’s time in Iquitos was mostly spent running around in mototaxis, going from one pharmacy to another and to the Belen open-air market, which is packed with pickpockets and back-to-back stalls selling a mind-bending variety of wares, including food and second-rate merchandise from China.

    After three days in Iquitos, Pascal’s next destination was a military outpost and launching pad for the motorized canoe, which would take him into the Matsés village in question (he thought he was going there by boat, but it turned out to be a dugout canoe). When he arrived at the airport, even though he had reservations, he was told the flight was booked solid. He had two options: 1) Wait one week for the next scheduled flight, or 2) charter a plane himself, which means shelling out the money for 12 seats. Reluctantly, he went for option #2.

    Pascal and Mr. X boarded the flight, and after two hours of nothing but green, impenetrable jungle, a clearing appeared and they landed on a tiny, deserted airstrip. Next up was a half-mile-long hike (with all the gear) to reach the military outpost, whose one hotel was filthy. The only furniture in Pascal’s room was a foul-smelling mattress with no sheets! But his first meeting with Daniel, Chief of the Matsés, went very well. They hung out and talked for a couple of hours, but it was getting dark and there was more shopping to do, this time for foodstuff like sardines, eggs, bread, cooking oil and rice, along with water and gasoline. If you’re planning to do business in the Amazon, don’t forget your wallet!

    Tune in next week for the next and final leg of the journey!

    In the meantime, do check out our brand new website (we’re so jazzed!), where you can find Grrrrreat deals on our Earth Jagua black temporary tattoo kit for the holidays. And while you're visiting our site, do sign up for our newsletter so you can receive notifications of these weekly blog postings, and special stuff like our upcoming Holiday Specials!

    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

    What’s The Jagua Story?

    What’s The Jagua Story?

    People so often ask how we came to be involved with jagua and the Amazon that I thought I’d write it down and point people to our blog! To my husband Pascal and me, we were just doing what we always do—walk through a promising door when it opens. But people keep telling us how unusual the story is, so here goes. I’ll give you the condensed version.

    We were minding our business selling our Earth Henna tattoo kits when we heard about the jagua fruit. Always on the lookout for a natural stain that would look like a real tattoo, I Googled to see what I could find. I happened onto an article written by an American ecologist and conservationist living in the Peruvian Amazon. In it he had posted pictures of himself hanging out with members of the Matsés people covered in what looked like tribal tattoos, but the caption mentioned that the body art was made with jagua.

    I emailed the author of the article and explained that for 12 years our company had been buying the entire harvest of one family of henna farmers in Morocco. I said we would love to establish a relationship with the Matsés people as our source for the jagua fruit. He was eager to help the Matsés establish economic viability, and readily facilitated the introduction. No trees are cut down to create our product. If not for us, the jagua fruit—which grows in profusion there—would just fall to the ground and rot. Win-win!

    Not long after, Pascal found himself on a plane headed for Lima, Peru. From there he took another plane to bustling Iquitos, the gateway city to the jungle; a tiny military transport plane then flew him to another village; from there an 8-hour, hot, humid and mosquito-filled canoe ride deposited him in the village where 200 Matsés people live. Daniel, the 38-year-old chief of the group, spent the next three weeks showing Pascal how they harvest the jagua fruit and turn it into the juice we use as the base of our Earth Jagua gel. He and Pascal established a system for how they would ship the juice to us, as well as a communication protocol since there are no phones or internet available in the Amazon jungle!

    The jagua tattoo business isn’t always easy, and is quite often tricky—luckily Pascal and Daniel both speak Spanish (the older, and uneducated Matsés only speak Matsés!). Still, nuance sometimes gets lost and misunderstandings occur; shipments can get delayed by the famously capricious Peruvian customs agency. This is a major concern since the juice must be as fresh as possible when it arrives to us in Los Angeles (this is why we use citric acid, a natural preservative, to keep it that way while in transit). Once here, we have each batch tested for bacteria and parasites, then we send it to a facility, which freeze-dries the juice so that our Earth Jagua kits can have a shelf life while they wait to be scooped up by customers in retail stores and online.

    The trouble is worth it, though, because people lovelovelove their jagua tattoos! It’s a sustainable product, which helps support a very economically challenged people. We help pay for the group’s malaria medicine each year, and help them out with other issues, when necessary, and they provide us with the means to make people happy, pay our bills and keep our staff employed. All good stuff.  I’ll expand on the story in my next blog!

    If you’d like to try out an Earth Jagua Black Temporary Tatttoo Kit, do it now! You can get 15% off and Free Shipping on all henna and jagua kits, just in time for the holidays.

    And to find out about exciting upcoming specials, go to www.earthhenna.com (scroll down to the bottom of the page) to sign up and receive our newsletter!

    An Alternative To Jewelry

    It’s no stretch to say that I’m gaga over all the different ways that exist to decorate the body. I’m a jewelry designer in my spare time, and there’s no hiding the truth from anybody who knows me: I lovelovelove baubles, and I’ve got lots of ‘em. Yet in my chosen line of work, I’m always talking about henna and jagua in the context of body adornment; and it occurred to me that, as ornamentation goes, it would not be radical to suggest that, every once in awhile, you ditch the jewelry, and paint it on instead!
    If you’re looking to make a statement, forget wearing a necklace, a bracelet or ring. Using henna or jagua to create your own body jewelry is a killer idea. A picture is worth a thousand words. Feast your eyes on these magnificent gems! Not that I’m trying to start a war between jewelry and henna tattoos, but honestly, would you wear a necklace over this?

    Or a cuff over that?


    I may argue the opposite point tomorrow, but since the idea of henna or jagua tattoos as an alternative to jewelry just occurred to me, for now all I can say is I rest my case.

    Temp Tats That Last A Year


    DragonComing soon! As reported by the British Daily Mail newspaper, a wunderkind named Seung Shin will soon be introducing two awesome products: 1) a tattoo ink that lasts one year, and 2) a removal solution that gets rid of the tattoo if you get tired of it before the year is out! Both the ink and removal solution would be applied by licensed tattoo artists using equipment already in place. His company is called Ephemeral, and you can sign up to receive notification when the product becomes available.

    We, here at Earth Henna * Earth Jagua, LOVE body art no matter how long it lasts. Are we worried that Ephemeral's new ink will take business away from our kits, which stain the skin for two weeks? Nah. We know that the desire to adorn the body is inbred in human beings, no matter what form it takes. Whether it's jewelry, cosmetics, piercings, scarification or tattoos, from the beginning of time people have sought ways to embellish themselves. Plus, over the years, we couldn't fail to notice that even people with lots of permanent tattoos love henna and jagua temporary tattoos. They get totally jazzed 'cause they just want more!

    We applaud the concept of a one-year ink option and removal solution as yet another way for people to enjoy doing what comes so naturally to us all--body ornamentation. We can get behind that.