ISHPEMING - A clean baby is a happy baby, and when that clean comes from products containing recognizable ingredients, mom can be happy, too.
That's the philosophy behind Clean Baby U.P., owned by Tina Nelson.
From her home in Ishpeming, Nelson creates a range of personal care products - from lotions to baby powder to shampoo - from organic ingredients.
Organic local ingredients, whenever possible‚ are the base for the lotions, shampoos and other products produced by Tina Nelson of Clean Baby U.P. Inspired by her own children to create local organic options for moms and kids, Nelson mixes up a fresh batch of shampoo in her Ishpeming home. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
"There are enough chemicals in our environment, we really don't need to be adding any more every time we take a shower," she said.
Inspired by her own children, Robert and Peter, 3, and Aili, 1, Nelson first began by making homemade soaps, shampoos and lotions for her own use.
"All my kids were sensitive to the commercial soaps. I started reading the labels and started doing research," she said.
Now she sells her products at the Marquette Farmers Market and at cleanbabyup.com.
"Everything's organic. Right now we've got a lot of lip balm, shampoos, lotions," she said. Instead of a long list of unpronounceable chemicals that can be found on some mass-produced ingredient lists, Nelson's products are made from natural oils like hemp oil and olive oil, shea butter, water, essential oils and beeswax.
"I try to get as many things locally as I can," Nelson said. Ingredients, like olive oil, that cannot be found locally are purchased online.
Once the ingredients arrive, Nelson sets to work in her kitchen, mixing and measuring, using natural scents and coloring for some products and leaving others unscented.
Diaper balm, called Diaper Butt Balm, was one of her first products, followed by others for older kids and moms.
In addition to using organic and locally-grown ingredients, Nelson also uses recyclable packaging, like recycled paper for product labels.
"If it's made of plastic, I made sure it was the recyclable kind," she said.
The Clean Baby website has full ingredient lists for Nelson's products: www.cleanbabyup.com
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.