Captain Jamie’s

Gabi Star

She couldn’t meet on Monday because she was rescuing a cat. So we postponed our meeting.

I met Gabi Star at The Backyard Farm and Market (Mississauga) earlier in June, where she sells her cosmetic products and co-manages the market. On that day, I was volunteering at the Eco-Kitchen but I managed to escape and roamed around her stall, asking to test her natural sunscreen. She intrigued me, as well as the name of her brand, Captain Jamie’s. I decided that I needed to meet her again.

Intuition seldom misleads me. Gabi answered enthusiastically that we should definitely meet. A rescued-cat later, we met at the Thrive Organic Kitchen & Café in Etobicoke.

A Captain behind a brand

Why “Captain Jamie’s” was one of my first question but she answered before I could ask. The Captain is a man who survived many storms, (as beautifully stated by Gabi), including two cancers, and whom Gabi seems to deeply admire and respect. He talked her into exploring her creativity at a deeper level. After making first soaps that were not exactly successful, she persevered and decided to create her own body-care product line, entirely based on natural ingredients. Offering gentle and safe products for fragile people is also what pushed her to undertake this project. The vision behind Captain Jamie’s product line is simple: “to promote a healthy lifestyle, create awareness and inspire”.

Product line

Among other things, Gabi makes sunscreen creams, lip balms, deodorants, body scrubs and soaps. She uses only natural components and none of the harmful ingredients found in conventional cosmetics. (Parabens, aluminium, fragrances, to name a few). Nature provides Gabi’s ingredients. Her favourite spots to forage are secluded places in Toronto and Niagara Escarpment. There, she finds the lavender, peppermint, geranium, chamomile, strawberries and other treasures that end up in her products.

Gabi 3Gabi 2

After testing the sunscreen she gifted to me this morning, I am in deep love with it and can confirm its total efficiency (I am editing this article after a summer spent using it). The texture is amazing and I had to refrain from eating the cream right from the pot. Ingredients? Coconut oil, shea butter, apricot kernel oil, mango butter, aloe gel, beeswax, essential oils and zinc oxide. (If you are interested, here is an article that explains how zinc oxide works).

More products are to come to complete the line, but she can’t tell me what yet, as she herself doesn’t know. She “goes with the flow” and mostly, listens to what people need and answers their needs.


The soul of a Shaman

At the market, Gabi Star became a doctor to many, though she insists that she is not a dermatologist. But people keep asking her how to treat their skin conditions, and from their questions she draws enormous motivation to keep learning about the healing power of plants. But how does one become some sort of a modern shaman in a city like Toronto, today?! I’m glad I asked, because it turns out that her grandmother was herself an Aboriginal shaman and a healer in Moldova, where Gabi grew up. She taught her that Nature has to be listened to and has treasures to offer if we love and respect Mother Earth. The wisdom and knowledge of Aboriginal peoples is also a deep source of admiration for Gabi, namely for “their ability to feel the oneness”.

Speaking of which, she explains to me that the intention she puts in creating her products, which is all love, will be felt by the persons who use them. Because we are all connected. I could feel what she meant by that. As if I was stretching my arm to grasp this oneness concept I have heard about, but it was just an inch too far away. But I guess you need to experience oneness to really understand it. Like you need to ski to understand the feeling of skiing.

Message in a bottle

“Choose a better way. Choose a better path” is the message that Gabi and the mysterious Captain send to people who want to use safe, affordable and authentic cosmetic products. After trying them, I’m on board!

Haute Goat

From Cleopatra…

« C’est le bain de Cléopâtre, bain limpide et parfumé… la la la la lalala … ».

Do you remember that, Frenchies? Of course you do, and I bet you’re singing it out loud now. I guess I owe some explanations to my Canadian friends… In the cartoon adaptation of one of our most famous comic books, Astérix et Obélix , the Pharaoh Cleopatra is depicted taking a milk bath. It’s a long ceremony during which her servants sing for her while she bathes her “alabaster body” with the precious milk. (here for nostalgia).

So, what is the secret behind the goat milk (or asses’ milk) she used to bathe with? If goat milk was used thousands of years ago as a skin elixir, why not use it today too in our cosmetics?

Ok. You’re failing to see the relevance of this weird introduction? Let me start my story.

…To Haute Goat

We are back to 2016. Haute Goat is the adventure of a couple who moved from Toronto to a farm in Northumberland County to raise goats and celebrate “all things goat”. It is how Haute goat was born in 2013, from the love of this passionate couple for goats. Debbie was the one in love first, but quickly converted her husband Shain to her little furry friends, if I believe the interviews I’ve read. Among the products they sell, a range of moisturizing creams based on the babes’ milk. The Nigerian Dwarf Goats is a breed whose milk has the highest butterfat content. As a result, their milk is extra moisturizing. I tried one cream: it smelled delicious and was indeed very moisturizing but with a non-sticky texture. The essential oils they use add really enchanting smells, like grapefruit. On top of moisturizing creams, their skin care products also include lip balms, a facial cleanser and a wide variety of soaps, and all their products can be bought online.

With Haute Goat, don’t panic if you can understand all the ingredients’ name on your cream.

Haute goat

I have to say I didn’t buy a moisturizing cream from Haute Goat at the Green Living Show, where I discovered the brand. The reason being I still had (and have) a very big Vaseline cream bottle at home. But reading more carefully the ingredients at the back makes me feel increasingly ill at ease. That’s what it takes to educate myself … I don’t want to do something stupid (?) like throwing my Vaseline away because I suddenly discovered that methylparaben, propylbaraben and PEG-100 are not exactly the most beneficial things to spread over my body. And after all, I’ve been doing that for almost 27 years now… ouch..

Whichever cream I buy next, I’ll make sure it doesn’t contain anything from the “Dirty dozen“.

Now, our two goat-lovers also have mouth-watering edibles like salted caramels, goat milk caramel corns and butter fudges…

Lastly, if you want to visit the farm, Haute Goat has just opened its doors (since April 30th and till October) and it’s only one hour east from Toronto. The farm tour itself lasts around one hour, but the Northumberland county seems to have a lot to offer too. A week-end get away to consider?