Everyone calls her the "Lotion Lady®."
Story and photos by Lola Sherman
Lotions and skin care, she said, "are something I have been interested in my whole life." She used to get in trouble, Prinzing said, mixing her mother's lotions together in the bathroom to see what new kinds of products she could come up with.
Home at the time was at China Lake out in the California desert where her Marine father was stationed. She had been born in Japan and traveled the world with the military, but she recalled there wasn't a whole lot for a teenager to do in China Lake.
When Prinzing's own "last son," Hodie, was 2 years old, she and her husband decided that one of them should stay home, and she volunteered. That was 18 years ago. "It was always my hobby" to make the lotions, she said, and she'd been giving them to family and friends for birthday or Christmas presents. Now she could turn it into a stay-at-home business.
She started with lotions and expanded to soaps and even dryer bags filled with fragrant fresh lavender. most of it grown at home. In fact, she said, many of her ingredients, like calendula, lemon verbena and lemon, are home-grown.
"All my products are natural. There is no alcohol or mineral oil, no parabens (a class of chemicals sometimes used as a preservative) and no animal products," she said.
Her best-seller, she said, is her "Extreme Cream® ," which, she said, leaves hands so soft that no other lotion is needed during the day. A four-ounce jar, selling for $17.50 or two for $32, lasts most people for a year, she said. It's made with shea butter and a highly concentrated blend of aloe vera, sesame oil, apricot kernel oil, glycerin, beeswax and vitamin E.
As she spoke, a couple of tourists, Jeanne Sabga of Huntington Beach, and Laura Mix of Sacramento, impressed with a sample of the Extreme Cream® , each bought jars for their own use.
Prinzing is proud that one of her products, a vanilla body oil, is offered for sale in the gift shop of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D. C. She said museum personnel had Googled the Internet looking for someone selling vanilla oil because the museum was doing an orchid display, Vanilla beans are an orchid product.
"It takes a lot of trial-and-error ---a lot of errors" to perfect a product, Prinzing said. But, she said, "I've never tested on animals - just on family and friends. From start to finish, it can take six-seven months for a product to be ready to sell."
However, she said, "it's always a fun experience."
And, Prinzing said, she loves the atmosphere of being outdoors at the Farmers' Market. "This is nice and where the people are. Everyone is in a happy mood."
Article courtesy of MainStreet Oceanside