Lip balm at Anchor No. 5

lip balm anchor no 5 lineup

There are a bunch of things on which the "local" label easily, and familiarly, fits: local food, local beer, local music.

Lip balm is not one of those things. It's a classic commodity drugstore item -- the kind of thing you can imagine rolling off a machine at a factory thousands at a time, boxed by the dozen, later to sit quietly at the checkout counter, waiting to be a cheap impulse buy.

The Pink Lemon lip balm at the Anchor No. 5 Boutique in Troy sits in just such a spot, like any other lip balm -- except for one thing: it is local in almost every way.

anchor no 5 interior

Pink Lemon is the creation of Anchor No. 5 owner Petra Jancovicova and her friend Crysta-Anne Cline. Jancovicova says she was looking to stock a lip balm in the store and wanted "a better product than the mass produced stuff on the shelves at the market." So she and Cline decided to do it themselves. "We figured it would be an awesome venture and a fun way to spend time together."

lip balm anchor no 5 display

It turned out that much of what they needed to make lip balm was available locally. Among the components:

+ The wax is beeswax from local beekeeper Lloyd Spear.
+ They were able to source ingredients such as organic coconut oil, vitamin E, and many of the essential oils from the Honest Weight Food Co-op in Albany.
+ The tubes for the lip balm are from SKS Bottle & Packaging in Watervliet.
+ And the product labels were designed and printed by Design It Together -- which is right across River Street from Anchor No. 5 in Troy.

After some research into what ingredients make up lip balm, and what role those ingredients play, Jancovicova says the process of making the balm was pretty easy -- and they were able to do it at her house. "Crysta-Anne and I love to cook together, so we figured we'd be good at it." (Also helping: Jancovicova says Cline has a background in chemistry.)

How it turned out

lip balm anchor no 5 closeup

Pink Lemon lip balm currently comes in six varieties: lavender, lemon lavender, lime margarita, lemonade, peppermint patty, and orange cupcake. The aromas are noticeable, but not overpowering -- they smell fresh and clean.

The balm's texture is really nice -- it goes on smoothly and doesn't feel too heavy on the lips.

And, in a pleasant surprise, the oval shape of the tubes fits naturally in the hand. We never would have thought about it, but we like the shape better than the typical circular lip balm tube.

The balm is $4.50 a tube -- or three for $12.

What's next

anchor no 5 Petra Jancovicova
Petra Jancovicova

Jancovicova says she and Cline are working up new varieties of lip balm -- 20 new flavors will be available in the next few weeks. And they're also looking to expand the line to include body scrubs, body butters, maybe even a laundry detergent.

"I love designing and creating new products; handbags, children's clothing, jewelry, or knits. Making lip balm is just another medium to be creative with. And the best part is that I get to create it with my best fiend!"

Find It

Anchor No. 5 Boutique
288 River Street
Troy, NY 12180

Comments

Nice product, but there are others like Buddha Balm that are made in the USA (components and all). Buddha Balm is really the best I have ever used. Enjoy.

Not to be picky, but can you really claim something is locally made when a lot of the ingredients are non-local via a retail store? Obviously coconut oil will never be a local product...
Also, if anyone who is into DIY hasn't tried making lip balm themselves, you should definitely look into it! Although a background in chemistry is probably helpful, it's totally not required, and you don't need any special equipment beyond some normal kitchen items. You can also make Burt's bees style hand salve the same way.

Olive Naturally is also locally made and organic for a fraction of this price! The tubes are the same shape as these too and go on super smooth. You can get 4 for the price of 3 of these. Just sayin'...

I personally own the lavendar and am in love! not only is it great on my lips, but also on my temples (I rub it on before crawling into bed): instant relaxation! The price is a little higher than most but I justified it by the ingredients being PURCHASED locally (yes, coconut is not produced locally but sold at the local co-op) and I know it costs more to produce smaller quanities. Haters hate on with your chapped lips!

I have my favorite lip balm: Desert Essence Lip Rescue. It has a childhood-orangey-baby aspirin flavored touch, which is sad to say, yummy to me. Even though something recently changed in the ingredients (I can tell this by the flavor), I still love the non greasy feel on my lips. And best fact!: Made in the USA.

So when I saw the lip balm in the store, I have to admit, I was a big skeptic. I mean, my first instinct was to smell every one. I think my response was that I actually wanted to drink them all...so the scent is there. Not being able to decide which one to choose, I opted for the three for twelve option and bought Lemonade, Lime Margarita, and Orange Cupcake. I'm still not sure which one is my favorite....I love all three! And they feel great on my lips! This is equivalent to my Desert Essence love!

In reading the comments above: My answer to Phoebe's response is, 'yes, this really can be classified as locally made and sourced.' All the ingredients and packaging were sourced within a 50 mile radius, the typical standard of how we define 'local' today. Obviously there are always going to be ingredients/materials that require tapping into the global economy, such as coconut oil, but we now have the means to find out which sources of these products are sustainably harvested (much like the ongoing coffee issue), which is the important consideration when buying, creating, and consuming.

"Not to be picky, but can you really claim something is locally made when a lot of the ingredients are non-local via a retail store?"

You're right.

I'm gonna to the Farmer's Market in Troy this Saturday and call out the people that make honey locally because those bees migrated.

I haven't gotten a chance to try the lip balm yet, but I frequent Anchor No. 5 and I have to say it's an AMAZING shop. I love how everything sold at the boutique is made by someone local. Petra is a delight to talk with every time we're there. Thank you for sharing this story. If anyone reading this hasn't stopped by yet, you must! You'll love it! :)
PS- The 1st three posted are ridiculous. Just sayin'.

I think it's wonderful that Anchor No. 5 is making their own lip balm! They recognized a need In their boutique and were able to fill it themselves, something not everyone can do. Their pricing is very fair, packaging is beautiful, and their customers clearly aren't complaining. Unless you buy your raw materials in giant quantities you are limited wih your price points. They made the decision to support local suppliers and often times that costs more, but is a choice that should be commended. I appreciate the shout out "Anonymous", but let's be nice.

From the moment I stepped into Anchor No.5 I knew I would be a frequent flyer! When ever I'm in need of a really special, unique gift I'm running to the store. Petra is always bringing in wonderful items from all local artists. I never have to worry about my friends or family not liking their gifts , I can have pretty much anything custom made. Or if I have an idea, Petra brainstorms and ends up creating masterpieces! Needless to say, my gifts are always the hit of the party! Bottom line Anchor No.5 is the "IT" store to visit!

Now regarding those fantastic little lip balms, ( I own three ), I love them. Am I willing to pay a little extra for natural ingredients ,
supporting local businesses, and complete satisfaction? You better believe it! Keep up the amazing work Petra , I'll be in soon :)

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