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March 2017 Picks

March, 2017 Issue

Like Magic

Ever wish you could wave a magic wand and make your hangover go away? Well, now maybe you can. The Wand, by PureWine, absorbs the histamines and sulfite preservatives from a glass of wine just before you drink it. This process helps alleviate the unfavorable reactions many wine lovers suffer from, like headaches, congestion and skin rashes. The Wand combines nanopore beads in a BPA-free plastic pouch and handle (all ingredients are safe and comply with FDA standards) and it’s made entirely in the United States.

It’s as easy as dipping the wand into your glass of wine and letting it soak for at least three minutes (swirling occasionally). The filtration also enhances the taste of wine through rapid aeration. Wands are available in three-packs, eight-packs and boxes of 24 at locations including Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Sonoma and Back Room Wines in Napa Valley. The Wand is distributed in California by Teri Beauchamp of Wine Country Dry Goods in Napa.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Feet stink. Teenage feet really stink.

Inkblaat insoles, a Mill Valley based company co-founded by local Catherine Nottage, was developed to solve a common, recognized and sensitive problem: how to stop teens and active adults from stinking up homes and cars with sweaty, smelly shoes—a problem compounded by a preference for going sockless, and wearing shoes with poor ventilation. Nottage and her partner spent three years researching, developing and testing on some of the toughest clients (local kids soccer teams and their active parents) to deliver the highest level of odor-prevention efficacy, cushioning, convenience and durability.

The insoles incorporate an industry-leading Aegis Microbe Shield top layer to protect against and prevent odor and mildew, an anti-slip feature along with open-cell materials that encourage complete airflow. And to add some fun into the mix, Inkblaat’s 24 unique designs were created by emerging artists to deliver the “world’s lowest form of personal expression.” They’re available in small, medium and large, each with trim guides, to fit women’s size 5 to men’s size 13. They’re made from more than 90 percent recycled materials and are machine washable. They can be found regionally in Marin, Napa and Santa Cruz stores as well as online.

Pucker Up

When Windsor High School juniors Alexa Baldwin and Morgan Langevin were challenged to create a product for their business/entrepreneurship class, the two friends decided to develop an all-natural lip balm made from local products. After a few rounds of trial and error, they fine-tuned the balm and made it available to their close friends and family to test out.

 In November, the pair pitched the product to the Student Shark Tank (see “Business 101,” Oct. 2016) and were awarded $250 for marketing and further research. However, “We decided that we didn’t need the help of the investor after all, and we’d make the lip balm on our own,” say the girls. “Having support from customers is what most definitely contributes most to our success.”

Windsor Lip Balm is currently available by email order only, as the girls are still building a website. “We plan to reach a larger target market by creating and using various social media websites,” say the pair. “Being full-time students can hinder our expansion but we strive to please our customers.” Baldwin and Langevin are also experimenting with additional scents and flavors. To find out more, email the girls; at or for more information, bulk pricing, etc.

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