Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lidded African Storage Baskets

Most of our fair trade African baskets are used as totes, like this market Bolga basket. Others are used to hold mail, fruit, rolls, soap and other items, like these fruit Bolga baskets. Then we have our stunning and collectible Zulu baskets, which are primarily art pieces. However, we're finding increasing demand for lidded African baskets, and in response we have increased our selection of sizes and styles. For example, this round lidded African basket is large enough to store laundry or toys in, and I keep my garden seeds in a Zulu basket similar to this one. Some of our storage baskets have handles, others have straps for hanging, and some are simply beautiful baskets with lids. Check out the Storage Basket section of our website for the complete selection of African storage baskets.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kitsap Shampoo Bars

We have fresh new handmade solid shampoo bars in stock. In addition to a new batch of Plum Spice Shampoo Bars and Tea Tree Oil Shampoo Bars, we have Rosemary Solid Shampoo and Vanilla Flower Solid Shampoo. The Rosemary Shampoo Bar is a true natural shampoo bar with no added fragrance and a very light herbal scent, while the Vanilla Flower contains a small amount of synthetic fragrance.

Our handcrafted shampoo bars are free of parabens and sulfates, and have an old-fashioned lye base. They are travel-friendly (no gels or liquids to worry about getting through airport security, not to mention leaking), and long-lasting if allowed to drain between uses. Because solid shampoos are highly concentrated (as opposed to being diluted by water like liquid shampoos), a little bit will go a long way. To use them, simply wet your shampoo bar and run it over your hair a couple of times until you have enough lather (they work better on short-to-medium length hairs than on long hair).

One of the best features of our handmade shampoo bars is the fact that there is no plastic bottle to dispose of! Ours are simply packaged in wax paper for minimal hassle and environmental impact. Our fabulous, eco-friendly shampoo bars are all handmade by the cold process method in Kitsap County, WA.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sea Salt Soap Bar Stock

Our current sea salt soap inventory includes Sweet Coconut, Warm Vanilla, Ginger Citrus, Peppermint, and Plum Spice; with Chocolate and Eucalyptus coming within the the week. We also have a Peppermint sea salt bar variety made with French Green Clay. The combined properties of the sea salt, peppermint essential oil, and clay make it a great cleanser for oily skin. Our sea salt soap is extremely dense and long lasting. Only natural food grade colorants are used. All our our handmade sea salt soaps are made in Kitsap County, Washington.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Exotic Soap

At Tango Zulu Imports we're known for our locally crafted handmade soap, especially our felted soap, beer soap, sea salt soap, and chocolate soap. However, we also carry soap from farther afield, like this moisturizing Madina Three In One Butter Soap. Our beautifully packaged Kamina Vanilla Soap is a favorite, as is our Africare Clay Soap. We carry Sunaroma Body Butter Soap, which includes a luxurious blend of mango, shea and aloe butters. Finally, we have Madina Natural Cucumber Soap, which makes a great face soap with cucumber and aloe. All of our soaps that aren't handmade are just $2.99, and they are all high quality soaps.

Our flower Bolga baskets are great for keeping your soaps in!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

North Kitsap Farmers' Markets

Spring is officially here, and soon farmers' markets will be opening around north Kitsap. Click here for the complete listing, including Port Gamble's own Terrapin Farms. This is a great time to pick up a Ghana market basket or one of our sturdy rectangle African baskets. It's also not too early to begin thinking about Easter baskets. Our African flower baskets and the smaller market baskets are ideal for that purpose.

Whether you live in Kitsap or elsewhere, we encourage you to support your local farmers markets and to purchase handmade products at least occasionally. Farmers and artisans are good to have!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Handmade Chocolate Soap

Try our handmade chocolate soap for a twist on traditional Easter chocolates! This handmade, cold process soap contains dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and really looks and smells like chocolate. It's also a great quality soap. A couple of bars would look great in a Bolga basket, like this small market basket, for an Easter gift!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ghana Market Baskets

Among our Ghana baskets, market baskets are our best selling. These African baskets excel as a shopping basket or other tote (our customers use them for carrying everything from beach towels to horse tack.) Market baskets also are good laundry baskets and are a great place to store toys because of their lack of sharp corners or hard edges. Our larger rectangle Bolga baskets and oval baskets also make good shopping baskets as well as ideal magazine or book totes. But market baskets still rule our Ghana basket selection!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fresh Handmade Soaps

We're getting lots of fresh new handmade soaps, including sea salt soap, in the next couple of weeks. We just got some gorgeous new felted soap, and our next batch of freshly cured old fashioned lye-based handmade soap is due around 3/31. Look for more handmade beer soap, sea salt soap, handmade rosemary soap, and much more. We're replacing some old favorites and adding new ones, like a chocolate sea salt soap bar and a papaya coconut soap.

New Soapstone Carvings

We have some gorgeous new soapstone (also called kisii stone) carvings in house. Our soapstone carvings are all fair trade products from Kenya. Soapstone gets its name from its soft, smooth texture and lends itself to being carved or painted. Some of our soapstone carvings feature the natural creams, pinks, and gray-blues of the stone, while other have been stained or painted. All of them are unique and beautiful.

Rectangle Bolga Baskets

Many people think of our rectangle Bolga baskets as magazine baskets or book totes, and indeed they excel in those capacities. However, we also find that their shape makes them ideal as market baskets, whether at your grocery store or local farmer's market. We carry these fair trade Ghana baskets in three different sizes, and in both dyed and natural versions.

Easter Ideas

We have some creative Easter ideas here at Tango Zulu Imports, starting with using our flower baskets or smaller market baskets as Easter baskets. These fair trade Ghana baskets are suitably sturdy and colorful and perfect for displaying Easter eggs. Speaking of eggs, we have some charming soapstone carvings of guinea hens and eggs that fit right into the baskets! IWAKO erasers make nice Easter basket fillers, as do our cat coin purses and mini-mirrors. Check out our website or visit our Port Gamble gift store for more fair trade ideas for Easter.

Organic Cotton Baby Clothing

We have added to our collection of organic cotton baby clothing, like these baby pants with feet. Our organic cotton baby clothing is all made in either India or China using ethical labor and environmental standards and 100% certified organic cotton. You can really feel the difference when you touch these super-soft, irritant-free clothes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Port Gamble Events

We'll be open until 6:30pm this Friday (maybe later), so if you're in Port Gamble to see Zombies of Mass Destruction, stop by ahead of time and check out are selection of Ghana baskets and other African baskets. With farmer's markets opening up soon, it's a great time to pick up a market basket like the one pictured here. Our Bolga baskets are practical, durable, and good looking as well!

Also coming up in Port Gamble: a ghost walk on March 19th, and the Arbor Day festival on April 29th.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Felted Soap

We have fresh new felted soap in stock. Our felted soap consists of handmade cold process soap that has been wrapped in sheep's wool that is then shrunken around it. When you use the soap, it lathers up through the wool, which functions as a naturally antimicrobial wash cloth. As your soap diminishes, the wool shrinks around it. You can use the leftover wool (which becomes a small, dense pad) as a face scrubber, shoe shiner, or any number of things.

We also always have a broad selection of regular handmade soaps, ranging from the traditional (lavender, oatmeal honey) to the not-so-traditional (try our beer soap or our sea salt soap). And don't forget our shampoo bars!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kitsap Farmers Markets

Farmers markets will be opening soon across the Kitsap area. Tango Zulu's Bolga market baskets make great shopping baskets for produce, flowers, and other farmers markets goods. Our oval Bolga baskets also work quite well for this purpose. Bolga baskets are well suited for harvesting your own produce as well. Speaking of gardening, we have a nice selection of African straw hats that make great sun hats. All of our African baskets and African straw hats are fair trade.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Organic Baby Clothing

We're adding to our little collection of organic baby clothing. Check out these adorable baby pants with feet! Our organic cotton baby clothing is all made with fair labor practices and environmentally sustainable methods. The clothing is incredibly soft, and is either undyed or colored with natural, safe, irritant-free dyes that won't bother your baby's delicate skin.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Olive Wood Utensils & African Fruit Baskets

We have some beautiful olive wood salad servers and other handmade olive wood utensils from Kenya, most with bone handles. We expect to add some more olive wood pieces from Tunisia within the month. All of our olive wood items are fair trade, high quality, and gorgeous.

Another kitchen and dining product we are proud to carry is the Tanzania fruit basket, as seen here. This handsome handwoven African basket is perfect for displaying fruits and rolls. For a different take on African fruit baskets, check out our selection of Bolga baskets in the fruit and flower basket category.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Stock

New inventory this weekend: fresh felted soap, newly cured handmade shampoo bars, and assorted African baskets. We also have some great quality mud cloth skirts like the one pictured here. One of my favorite new items is trivet sets from Darfur, complete with the weaver's name. What else? Ah yes, new cotton kaftans, more felted wool eyeglass cases that make great mobile phone cases, and gorgeous fused glass necklaces from Chile. Did I mention the new cow horn bracelets from Senegal? They look great (I'm wearing one in this picture.)