Kenneth Alvandi spent a quarter century building up a small distribution company into a factory that manufactured some of the feminine products in its distribution portfolio. In 2006, five years into Alvandi’s manufacturing venture, making conventional products for mass market retailers like Walmart, he realized he could be doing something that was more in line with his personal values for healthy and earth-friendly living. He sold his shares in his company and began to develop the Maxim brand: the first pure 100% organic and natural cotton-based feminine hygiene products. His daughter, Rebecca Alvandi Yadegar (Maxim’s Vice President and Chief Flow Rider), joined him in the journey, excited to be part of a change-making movement inspired by menstruation.
RT: How do you describe the Fierce Woman Philosophy the company was founded on?
MHP:The Fierce Woman philosophy was written by my sister who interned for us at the early stages of the brand. This philosophy truly captures the spirit in which my Dad raised his girls and part of the reason he created Maxim to begin with – to empower women to make better and healthier choices.
RT: Why is it important for girls and women to use natural feminine products?
MHP: Our bodies and vaginas in particular have been endowed with the greatest life force in the world – giving birth and providing the space for each human being’s first home. Vaginal tissues are some of the most absorbent tissues found in the body. For this reason, girls and women in particular need to use the cleanest and healthiest products, especially when exposing our powerful baby-making body parts to them.
RT: It seems there are more and more opportunities to purchase natural, bleach-free feminine products. What sets Maxim’s products apart from other products on the market?
MHP: Maxim products have been servicing health-conscious audiences for over 11 years—before it was a trend. Our products are backed by over 35 years of expertise in the category and a father and daughter duo that care about more than just the bottom line. As product pioneers, we’ve grown our business sustainably and privately, as if it was a part of our own family. We try to treat everyone who comes in contact with Maxim like family, as well.
RT: What’s the latest from Maxim? Anything new in the pipeline?
MHP: Yes!!!!!!!! I hope the exclamation points help illustrate how excited I am about the Organic Cotton Baby, Facial and Intimate Wipes we recently launched. I can’t even begin to tell you how long and hard my Dad worked to find and formulate a pure organic cotton towelette-based product that works! Cotton is the most basic standard ingredient we require for all our product lines. Being the first to offer a pure cotton line of Cotton Menstrual Pads, we are proud to have found a way to carry that standard over to the wipes products, too. Most other wipes, even if they contain organic extracts, are made with a synthetic or wood pulp based towelette, which isn’t as gentle on the body or safe for the environment as organic cotton.
RT: As the owner of a company that makes natural personal care products, we’re thinking you must live a healthy lifestyle. So…what are you loving to eat right now? What are your current go-to’s?
MHP: Great question! I’ve been on a really big tarragon, dill, and parsley kick. It’s my new favorite green alternative to the craze over kale. These herbs are a very big part of the Iranian culture (my father’s ethnicity) and are super healthy and tasty. I throw them in and on everything from salads, to fish, to smoothies. I’ve also really gotten in to acupuncture lately, but I think I was late on that trend!
RT: What’s one fun thing most people don’t know about Maxim?
MHP: My Dad and I constantly argue about how to pronounce the brand’s name. I say “Maxum,” he says “Maxeeem”….it definitely confuses people, but at the end of the day he named the baby so he wins.
RT: Maxim is involved in social action projects around menstruation and feminine hygiene. What are the core issues you’re fighting for?
MHP:The social action piece of what we do has been the driving force for me. Whereas my dad is driven and passionate about product development, I was inspired by what this category can and does stand for.
The core issues that drive me are focused around women’s health and empowerment, particularly in making sure women and girls have access not just to menstrual care products, but to healthier ones. A few years ago, I stood at the footsteps of NYC’s city hall, alongside Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and other fierce woman leaders, to rally around the passing of a bill that was the first of its kind in the nation – providing free period products in city homeless shelters, prisons and schools. Not only did this bill pass in 2016 as mandatory for city schools, but two years later Assemblymember Rosenthal was behind another bill that made New York the first state in the country to provide free period products in public school restrooms. Maxim not only supported the passing of these bills; we also made a monumental donation of over 250,000 tampons to reinforce our values with action. The donation helped service over 33,000 women and girls in need via a nonprofit organization that helps distribute menstrual care kits to those who do not have access or can’t afford them.
RT: Can you suggest ways that we can get involved in the menstruation movement?
MHP: This year’s hottest menstrual health related topic is ingredients disclosure. Bill A.164/S.2387, the Period Disclosure Bill, will most likely once again make our home state of New York the first to pass a bill of this kind, which would mandate full ingredient disclosure on the labels of period products sold in New York. At Maxim, we’ve always been transparent about our products’ ingredients because we’ve got nothing to hide. We believe consumers have a right to know what their products are made of so they can be empowered enough to make their own choice. To help get this bill passed, we encourage New Yorker’s reach out to their local representatives with a call or email to express how important the bill is to them. If you don’t know who your representative is, here’s a link to help you find out: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/
RT: Rising Tide loves local! What has it been like to start and run a company in Long Island/New York State?
MHP: I’ve traveled a lot in my lifetime and I can say hands down, without any bias, that New York is the best state in the world, mostly because of NYC’s rich cultural diversity and the stunning beaches on Long Island (ok, maybe there’s a little bias in that last part ). Seriously, New York State has an edge and spirit I’ve experienced nowhere else. The history-making wins of the menstrual movement described above are just one small example of that!
RT: So many in this community dream of starting their own business. What’s your best piece of advice for launching a successful local biz?
MHP: Love what you’re dreaming of starting as much as you love yourself and hire people who are smarter than you.
You may have noticed, our health and beauty department is undergoing a renaissance. While we’re still carrying the tried and true brands that we know you love, we recently cleared some space for exciting new brands that really speak to our mission and values. Evanhealy is one such brand.
Evan Healy is a holistic aesthetician, a recognized pioneer and skin care expert who has worked in the natural personal care industry for over thirty years. With her eponymous skin care line, the focus is on three ingredients: oil, clay and water, time tested ingredients used by our ancestors to care for and beautify their skin for millennia. Oil-water-clay has always been and always will be the foundation of skin health.
A Beautiful Union
The hydrofoils that make up the backbone of the evanhealy line are gentle remedies that offer many benefits to all skin types, including toning, plumping, balancing pH, and delivering therapeutic compounds from the plant into the skin. A hydrosol is a union of oils and waters; a water-soluble compound from a plant paired with micro amounts of essential oils. Integrating a hydrosol into your daily protocol completely transforms the efficacy of your skin care, elevating it to the next level.
At Rising Tide, we carry a wide range of Evanhealy products, including two different kits that allow you to sample 14 days of their transformative skin care. The Rose Face Care Kit is for combo skin; the Blue Face Kit, for sensitive skin. Each contains five products that will allow you to see the effect they have on your skin. As Evan Healy said in Michael Pollan’s new book Farmacology, “Everyone’s taking about anti-aging. No one talks about beauty anymore.”
Evanhealy has sparked a conversation about natural beauty, and we are beyond thrilled to support that conversation and this new line.
We are excited to announce our July Charity of the Month: Girls Rising.
This nonprofit organization was created by the Sea Cliff-based all-female rock band, Antigone Rising, to empower and inspire girls and LGBTQ kids to pursue careers in STEAM fields.
Girls Rising uplifts kids and build self-esteem by sharing personal stories at outreach workshops and live performances. Included at their workshops are inspirational special guests from other STEAM fields to create a panel of diversity. Girls Rising awards grants and scholarships to students in underserved school districts, and provides kids with opportunities through their Girls Rising Music Festival (the 2019 festival took place just two weeks ago in Glen Cove’s own Morgan Park).
We agree with Girls Rising: girls and LGBTQ youth need to see strong role models they can emulate and identify with in positions of leadership. Girls Rising’s outreach workshops aim to do just that by bringing successful women and queer people of all ethnic backgrounds to their attention.
Thank you for supporting Girls Rising!
Moms-to-be have choices to make when it comes to treating various conditions—major and minor—that afflict them during those precious 40 weeks. According to Aviva Romm, well-known midwife, medical doctor, and herbalist, approximately 45% of women use some type of herbal remedy during their pregnancy. But even herbal remedies aren’t without their potential drawbacks; be sure to get your herbal 411 from a trusted source with an in-depth knowledge of herbs and pregnancy.
1. Stress relief/Sleep: Boiron Sedalia temporarily relieves nervousness, hypersensitivity, irritability and fatigue due to stress. Wishgarden Herbs Stress Relief contains a gentle combo of herbs to nourish and refresh your nervous system and help you put stress in perspective.
2. Morning sickness: Calm-a-Tum by Wishgarden Herbs is a tincture containing a carefully selected blend of traditional southwestern herbs (peach leaf, peppermint leaf and wild yam root) to relieve normal nausea associated with pregnancy. If you’d rather sip some tea, try soothing Traditional Medicinals Ginger with Chamomile whenever you’re feeling queasy. And if its your prenatal vitamins that are the culprits, Garden of Life Raw Prenatal is a capsule featuring a tummy-soothing combo of organic ginger root and probiotics.
3. Cold & Allergy: Wishgarden Herbs Kick-It Allergy is a unique combination of herbs designed to support healthy immune response, and to assist lymph, eyes, nose and throat naturally.
Bonus: Once the baby is born, many women look for ways to enhance the quality and volume of their breast milk to keep baby satiated and well-nourished. When It comes to post-partum milk production we recommend both Gaia Lactation Support and Wishgarden Herbs Milk Rich; both use age-old breastfeeding herbs including raspberry leaf, fennel seed, fenugreek seed and goat’s rue (Milk Rich only) to promote healthy and ample breast milk.
As with most holidays in the U.S., the original meaning tends to fade, replaced by a more modern interpretation. Mother’s Day is no different. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis started “Mother’s Day Work Clubs” to teach women how to care for their children. Following Ann’s death in 1905, her daughter, Anna Jarvis, conceived of “Mother’s Day” to honor the myriad sacrifices mothers made for their children. She wanted it to be an intimate day of celebration between mothers and families; she envisioned children wearing white carnations and visiting their mothers or going to church with them in honor of the special day.
Anna successfully campaigned to make Mother’s Day a national holiday but once she saw the commercialization of the holiday, she grew to regret it. She later spent much of her time and resources actively lobbying the government to get it removed from the U.S. calendar.
Quite a sordid past for what should be a lovely holiday! Let’s take Mother’s Day back, making it a day to share with the moms in your life in the way that will mean the most to them. Check out these options, something for every kind of mom:
1. Be of service. What can you do to help? Clean for mom, or help her with some techy project she can’t get a handle on—or hire a professional to do either one. Fix something that needs mending, or bring along a handyman to do the job. Wash and fold her laundry. Cook her a meal, or better yet, come stocked with multiple meals that she can freeze and parse out over time.
2. Quality time with mom. Schedule brunch or High Tea with mom. Take a walk in a beautiful place, or enjoy a little pampering together at a local spa. Visit the Nassau County Museum of Art, home to indoor art exhibits and interesting outdoor installations.
3. Alone time. Maybe Mom would love a little time to herself to do whatever it is she likes to do best. Let her off the hook for the traditional Mother’s Day meal, and let her do her thing. Spend the time without her to tackle a project she doesn’t have time to get to, shop for a little something you know she’ll love, create a piece of art in her honor, or make a simple but thoughtful dinner for her return.
4. Plant a garden. Due to the good weather and generally warm temps, Mother’s Day is the unofficial start of planting season. Take mom to pick out some veggie, fruit or flower seeds, then break ground on her 2019 garden. In addition to the beautiful organic plants from Long Island’s own Marion Gardens, Rising Tide also carries dozens of organic seeds from High Mowing Seeds, including handy collections of seeds like “Summer of Sunflowers”, a “Bee’s Garden”, “Three Sisters”, “Easy Salad Greens”, and “Kid’s Garden” (a fun collection of “easy to succeed” seeds!). If a full-scale garden is too ambitious, purchase a beautiful pot and help her plant some lavender, rosemary, mint or other herbs she can use all summer long.
5. Eat (or drink) outdoors. Nothing cues the shift in seasons like a picnic. Head to the beach, or the park, or lay out a blanket in your backyard. Source some healthy, delicious salads and sandwiches from Rising Tide or another favorite spot. Or how about a sunset cocktail on the water? This area offers many opportunities for sipping something tasty alfresco. Take it one step further and take a bottle of rosé in a water taxi for a cruise around Hempstead Harbor.
6. Buy a green gift. You want Mom to be healthy and to make choices that lead to a long, happy life; this year, choose a gift that reflects that desire. We’ve got something for every kind of mama.
- HydroFlasks: Hydration is so important, especially as we head into summer. We’ve got stainless steel HydroFlask water/coffee bottles in all shapes and sizes, and in beautiful spring colors.
- Women’s Supplements: No matter what Mom’s age, there are hormones to contend with; Womensense supplements are there for every stage of a woman’s life, and can help her through things like adrenal fatigue, menopause, thyroid issues, and balancing estrogen.
- Organic & Fair Trade Sweets: If she’s going to indulge on Mother’s Day, it might has well be with the good stuff! (Plus…so many studies lately point to the merits of having dark chocolate in your life. If chocolate equals health, we are ON BOARD.) Choose from an array of healthier alternatives, including Chocolove Chocolate Bars, Bark Thins snacking chocolate, Skinny Dipped Almonds, Alter Eco Chocolates and Dark-Chocolate Covered nuts & fruits from Tierra Farm.
- Mama Care: We’ve got all kinds of clean, toxin- and cruelty-free goodies to make Mama feel good and look her best. (Check out the Mother’s Day display at the front of the store..there is something for every mom!) Among our favorites are the CBD Bath Bombs by CBD Living. Aromatic and healing and made with 60mg of nano-CBD, these make bath time oh so special. Available in Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Coconut Lime. And for clean facial care for mom, there’s the Sweet Treats git set from one of our favorite natural skin care co.’s, MyChelle Dermaceuticals. This lovely little gift set contains the Refining Sugar Cleanser and the Lip Hints™ Conditioning Lip Balm.
7. Give the Gift of Charity. You and Mom will both feel good when you donate to a great cause in her name. The International Rescue Committee offers many ways to do this, including helping to pay for health pregnancies for woman in Kenya ($52); funding emergency food for malnourished children in places like Nigeria and Yemen ($68 gives three meals each to 50 children), and providing a year of school for children in crisis in war-torn countries like Syria ($58). If there is a local nonprofit that means a great deal to your mom, make your donation there instead.
Of course this is just a quick guide; only you know your favorite moms and what would mean the most to them on Mother’s Day. Reflect on this, and it will be a holiday to remember for all!
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we’re honoring the women in our lives by introducing them to WomenSense by Natural Factors: a complete line of natural, non-GMO products carefully formulated to target the specific needs of women as they journey through life.
1. In your 20s-30s: EstroSense is our choice for promoting regular monthly cycles. It also assists with painful periods, PMS, and non-cystic acne. We love that this formula includes turmeric for inflammation and milk thistle, DIM, and Calcium D-Glucarate for detoxing harmful environmental hormones.
2. In your 40s-50s: The intensity of work and family life can lead to fatigue, trouble sleeping, and increased cortisol levels. AdrenaSense helps reenergize your body, supports healthy cortisol levels and adrenal function, and promotes uninterrupted sleep. Featuring adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha, shisandra, rhodiola and eleuthero, it’s also our pick for recovery from physical and mental stress.
3. In your 50s-60s: MenoSense supports women through menopause with the help of known herbal hormone regulators such as dong quai, chasteberry, black cohosh and more. It’s one of our top choices for reducing some of the most common symptoms of menopause: night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, and nervousness.
Additional products we recommend to help balance women’s hormones include Vitex (or Chaste Tree Berry) by Gaia, safe for teens and others with more sensitive systems. Women’s Balance, also by Gaia, is an effective all-around hormone balancing product, ideal for symptoms of both PMS and menopause, and frequently recommended for both bloating and women who are experiencing moodiness and/or sadness.
We are pleased to introduce you to our March Charity of the Month: Living Water for Women.
The hundreds of women released each year from Nassau County Jail are giving little more than a week’s worth of psych meds, if applicable, and a Metrocard. Their chances of making a fresh start under these circumstances are severely compromised by their lack of resources. What’s the solution?
In 2014, Living Water for Women established a structured transitional home for women who are struggling with addictions, some of whom may also have been incarcerated. These women are already living in the midst of our communities; Living Water provides them with adequate housing along with counseling and job training to keep them off the streets.
While the program provides basic needs such as food, clothing and toiletries, it relies on outside support to enable them to provide life skills, job training, spiritual guidance, counseling and mentoring. Consider volunteering if you have a skill that would benefit these women.
Living Water’s mission is one that stands to benefit every last one of us: to help disenfranchised and formerly incarcerated women, struggling with addictions, to overcome their weaknesses and nurture their strengths so that they may become vital members of the community.
Kicking off on Mother’s Day (May 14), the 18th annual Women’s Health Week is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. The goal? To empower women to make their health a priority, and to encourage women to take steps to engage in radical self care. Now that’s something we can get behind.
Studies show that women who exercise regularly, eat right, get sufficient sleep and find satisfaction in their work and personal lives have a lower incidence of depression, anxiety and illnesses, such as heart disease.
But where to start? Most women we know are busy working, caring for their families, looking after their homes and finances…the list goes on.
The good news is that even the simplest of activities can go a long way toward caring for #1:
* Exercise: Do whatever feels good to you. Even 10 minutes of stretching can have amazing benefits for your body and mind. According to the experts, we should be gunning for 30 minutes of physical activity most days–more if you want/need to lose weight.
* Sleep: Seven to eight hours/night is considered optimal. Signs your not getting enough sleep? You’re always hungry, your memory is shot, you’re more impulsive/easily irritated, your emotions are all over the place, and you catch every cold that blows your way. To set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, avoid ALL screens for at least an hour before bedtime.
* Breathe: Spend 5 minutes a day, inhaling and exhaling, slowly and deeply. It’s amazing how something so simple can make you feel SO much more relaxed.
* Eat more real, whole foods: Shoot for an 80/20 style of eating. You don’t have to be good all of the time; just most of the time! (While you’re tweaking habits, why not try something new altogether. If you’re a meat eater, start planning Meatless Mondays. If you don’t eat meat, tweak some other area of your diet–swap coffee for matcha; start the day with an antioxidant-rich drink or a plant-based protein packed smoothie.)
Get Your Check up
And don’t overlook perhaps the most basic of all self-care activities: your annual well-woman check up, one good way to ensure you stay healthy and disease free. May 15 is National Women’s Check Up Day. If you can’t see your doctor by then, at least schedule your appointment for a month or two down the road. And take this checklist when you go; it’s a good reminder of the kinds of things to share and/or ask of your doc.
Once you’ve tackled your medical physical, look at some other ways to prioritize yourself, and feel great, body, mind and spirit. Check out this blog post on www.tinybuddha.com for a whole bunch of ways to kick start a new self-care regime. Ease into it by picking one activity from each category. When you get really good at those, add another three. Before you know it, true self care will be part of everything you do.
May is all about the WOMEN. Women’s Health Week kicks off on May 14th, which is (not coincidentally!) also Mother’s Day. What a great time to show the moms in your life how much you care.
At Rising Tide, our whole mission is to nourish our community with the products we sell and the knowledge we share. Who better to nourish than the mamas in the community we love? Here are our Top Picks for Mother’s Day gifts this year, many of which we’ve put on sale just for the moms:
1. GIVE A PLANT. Fresh from L.I.’s North Fork, Marion Gardens organic plants are the perfect gift for anyone with a green thumb. (Get extra props for doing the actual planting with your mom…the gift of quality time!). We’ve got all kinds of herbs ($5.99-$7.99) and veggie/fruit plants ($3.99).
2. GIVE GOOD SOAK. We’ve got amaaaaaazing Himalayan Salt soaks (and a Coconut Salt Scrub) from Evolution Salt Co. (ON SALE $10.19-$12.79). Himalayan Salt is said to be the cleanest salt on the Earth, with the most health benefits (among them: promoting healthy pH balance in the cells, regulating sleep, preventing muscle cramps, and supporting respiratory health…all great stuff.) We’ve also got Evolution Salt Lamps (ON SALE $33.99), perfect for Mom’s bedroom or anyplace she could benefit from improved air quality (and a warm, orange glow!).
Equally delicious, EO Products makes an Epsom Soak (in lovely scents like Eucalyptus & Citrus, Geranium & Sweet Orange and Juniper & Cedarwood, all with the healing power of Epsom Salt to help mom relax and unwind. (ON SALE $10.59)
3. GIVE GOOD SCENTS. Diffusing essential oils will transform a mom’s very surroundings. The SpaRoom AromaMist aromatherapy diffusers (ON SALE $50.99) pair perfectly with and Body Care blends (Renew, Comfort, Freshen, Love Potion) by essential oil masters Aura Cacia (ON SALE $7.69-$9.39).
4. GIVE THE GIFT OF YOUTH. We all want to look as young as we feel, and to get there using the cleanest ingredients. The Age Defying Kit by Andalou Naturals–the first Non-GMO Project Verified beauty brand–is packed with super antioxidants to support skin wellbeing and give skin a softer, smoother appearance. Contains 5 skin essentials: Apricot Probiotic Cleansing Milk, Blossom + Leaf Toning Refresher, BioActive 8 Berry Fruit Enzyme Mask, Super Goji Peptide Perfecting Cream and Resveratrol Q10 Night Repair Cream. (ON SALE $16.99/kit)
5. GIVE A GIFT CARD. A Rising Tide gift card will gift your mom access to all the healthy foods, supplements, and clean personal care products she needs to look, feel and BE great. There’s no better gift for every mom in your life.