An End of Summer Launch

August 22nd, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Today is our summer intern Talie’s last day with the Sisters and Clare is baking a low-sugar/gluten-free coconut and almond cake to mark the occasion. Oh yeah, our Talie is a lucky girl. We do things up big here at the deodorant factory.

Almond Cake with berries

If I remember college at all, I know about six weeks into dorm food Talie will be remembering this healthy treat fondly.

Talie has been a tremendous help to us and has balanced the fine art of packages out the door, with data bank updates and Quick Books input. No matter the strange summer weather, she has carried sunshine in the door each and every morning with her sweet and gentle nature. She is the product of what used to be known as “good home training.” Does anyone even call it that anymore? Those intangibles of yes, please and no, thank you and so much more. She is opinionated and well-spoken and a credit to the superb school she has attended. It’s no surprise that Sarah Lawrence has snagged her for their graduating class of 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

I like SKINNY POP so much I called and told ‘em so!

August 21st, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

I know you are sick to tears hearing about my new anti-inflammatory diet. But please, bear with me. This is not a tale of me having to let go of my beloved snack – popcorn – but just for awhile. This is a simple and heartfelt congratulations to a fellow Chicagoland start-up.

But first, in addition to sharing with you that I have a leaky gut, I also have to confess another trait- I have a jealous heart. I watch all the rapid-fire growth and big investors and IPOs happening daily in the tech community here and I think, what are we doing wrong with our tortoise of an enterprise? It’s true, I covet their collective success. And I begrudge their youth and all the press they get. I resent their communal digs in the Merchandise Mart and I know its wrong to do so. My sisters always tell me so. But I am not jealous of Skinny Pop.

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune reported the big news that Skinny Pop, creators of the amazing healthy alternative to Chicago’s famed Garrett’s Popcorn, has garnered big investment bucks. Already in more than 25,000 locations, this can only mean big growth for this special organization. But why you are reading about this in a Duggan Sister blog post? Because the Sisters love enchanting businesses and Skinny Pop has so enchanted us. Here’s the brief back story. Read the rest of this entry »

On Losing My Mind and Losing Robin

August 20th, 2014

Mary DugganBy Mary Duggan

Robin William’s death from suicide was announced the morning following my big brain meltdown. One of the dearest hearts and most amazing brains had come undone and the loss left me shaking my fist at the talking heads and the grieving friends and colleagues. It is not, I raged, that suicide needs to be viewed with compassion because it is an expression of mental illness. It is because, I screamed to my tiny little forum of two sisters, it is the final and fatal expression of a sick brain improperly treated by a medical community that just doesn’t get it. It is a brain disease – not a mental illness – and it will continue until we move beyond the psychotropic inadequacies of the pharmaceutical industry and re-connect our brains to our bodies and feed them. Read the rest of this entry »

I Almost Failed Boot Camp

August 19th, 2014

Mary DugganBy Mary Duggan

I was 48 hours from the Grand Finale of our Summer Boot Camp – the rigorous Candida Cleanse Diet that had been the centerpiece of our summer experience. Yet I was anything but looking forward to the easing up of the very real discipline we’d adhered to for the last 90 days.

I was not eagerly anticipating what treat would cycle back into our restricted food lives; maybe Clare would approve apricots or peaches being added to our small daily portion of blueberries. Maybe we could really splurge with a gluten-free hard cider. Maybe we could go completely nuts and enjoy some bean soup! I wasn’t the least bit excited about swallowing fewer yeast-and-parasite-killing pills, drinking fewer than the requisite 7 cups of Red Clover and Pau d’Arco tea daily, or finally being able to whiten my tea-stained teeth. I wasn’t proud that each sister was down a clothing size, that we had adhered closely and successfully to a rigorous discipline, or collectively dropped some sixty pounds. Instead I was so deep into one of the scariest brain meltdowns I have ever experienced that all I could do was hold on to the walls of the pit I had fallen into and watch as my sisters reached deep down to pull me out.

blog prayer emoticon

Is this really how we ask for prayer in our brave new world? Yep.

I was in too much pain to pray for a remedy. So Clare reached out in my stead and requested prayers from facebook family and friends for “a very special intention” – ME. I finally had the good sense as Day 3 of the meltdown loomed ahead of me to crawl into a bed, do my umpteenth round of self-healing Reiki and surrender – while Clare’s prayer warriors prayed for her “special intention” who BTW was feeling anything but special. Unlike my slimmer, healthier, happier sisters, all I could think was that the cleanse had wrecked me. Despite my absolute best efforts, I had failed boot camp. Read the rest of this entry »

Eat Choke Love

August 8th, 2014

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

The summer of 2014 has been distinguished by two forces intersecting. First, we are doing a very significant Candida Dietary Cleanse to address our collective health woes. And secondly, but in no way less importantly, right smack dab in the middle of our huge health endeavor, our dear friend Kathy dies oh-so-unexpectedly from cancer. Those two points of convergence are keeping me awake nights lately as I try to make sense of it all. Yes, I am grieving – terribly. And yes, I am cleansing. And so I have staggered through the painful process without so much as a soothing glass of wine, a coma-inducing brownie, or a gluten-free pizza devoured somewhere in between. I have faced it all stone cold sober- no dairy, no booze, no sugar, no nothin. And it hasn’t been easy.

Through it all work has remained as consuming and demanding as ever. Finally late last week we put on the brakes and made a decision to take some quiet time for ourselves. We added a Friday to the weekend, and made a conscious decision to rest for 3 days. And for the sisters that always means one thing; first and foremost – get me to the chiropractor. Ours is a Master Adjuster who combines a degree in Naprapathic with gentle, precise and skillful Chiropractic adjustments, including cranial sacral, delivered as we lay atop a far infrared pad that is infused with healing amethyst crystals. That kind of doctor. Read the rest of this entry »

Remember, Write, Release

July 3rd, 2014

by Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

The blogging police always recommend a limit of 700, or so, words. A few weeks back I sat down to capture a simple story – intending it to be part-three of a triptych of stories about me, mom and baby sitting – the formative endeavors and experiences of my entrepreneurial youth. I knew I would be hard-pressed to come in anywhere near 700. I never ever come close. But I never expected some 10,000 words!

A simple story that I had long wanted to share proved to be a little richer and more finely layered than I ever imagined. Door upon door opened. Windows were thrown wide with gauzy curtains flapping and gathering dirt and dust. I awoke each morning exhausted from the memories streaming and screaming all night long. Everywhere I turned there was a drawer opening itself in front of me, doink-ing me in the shin and demanding to be sorted through. I spent days in my pajamas, oblivious to the come outside and play summer finally unfolding around me. What is happening here, I implored my sister as she plowed through a first draft of 3,000 words? I am not sure this story will be of interest to anyone. It’s too simple. No one will care. I care, she said, because she is an extraordinary sister. Forget the word count, just tell the story.

mary freshman longwd

I remember 14-year old me.

And so I followed the crumbs. Some 10,000 words later I experienced a fatigue so profound that I could feel my brain shutting down for repairs. And again a reminder from my sisters. This cleanse we are pursuing so diligently this summer is not just the release of physical toxins. It must be a spiritual and emotional cleanse, as well. I am still not sure about the long and leisurely telling of this story.  But it has gotten itself told. As stories are so often prone to do. Fingers crossed that it gets itself read, as well.

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About the author: Mary Duggan is Co-Founder and President of the Duggan Sisters

The Duggan Sisters cracked the code and created a natural deodorant that actually works: lifestinks. And that was just the beginning. We hope you will spend a few minutes exploring duggansisters.com to experience their spirited approach to wellness through their natural products and healing stories.

The Mary Kays: Part Five – Fallen Heroes

June 28th, 2014

Just joining us?  Don’t miss The Mary Kays: Part One – The Land of the Midnight Sun

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Thanks to a rented power boat provided by my Uncle Les, I had become quite a skilled and daring water skier during our family summer vacations at Powers Lake, Wisconsin. But snow skiing was something else altogether – more terrifying and definitely requiring a social skill set for navigating the lodge that I did not possess. My mother’s cousin, Donna, lent me the proper clothing and Dick and Mary Kay popped for skis and lift fees and everything else I might need. I had taken preparatory classes at the local park district – so I essentially knew how to slow down on the bunny hill. Other than that I was clueless. But Dick and Mary Kay were good for their word and I never had to lift a finger during our one week ski trip. I was not there as the baby sitter – though I felt more than a twinge of guilt as I watched the ski patrol load a small boy in really bad shape onto a stretcher to carry him off the slope and realized it was Dickie! Read the rest of this entry »

The Mary Kays: Part Four – Bears, Musky and Moose, Oh My!

June 26th, 2014

Just joining us?  Don’t miss The Mary Kays: Part One – The Land of the Midnight Sun

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Mary Kay entered my world in the Fall of eighth grade, when she pulled her VW bug into our driveway seeking boys to plant bulbs at her brand new complex of condos. My mother assigned my brothers to this one-time task; while I quickly became a regular fixture in the Carlson household. By the summer after eighth grade I had become so helpful to Mary Kay that she approached my mother with a plan for me to join in on the Carlson extended family vacation in the North Woods of Wisconsin. For those two weeks in late August I was to be essentially an au pair, assisting with anything and everything required for a fun family get-together at their cabin in the Chequamegon National Forest just outside Hayward, Wisconsin. More precisely in a custom-designed A-frame cabin perched on a steep hillside overlooking Moose Lake, a 1700 acre water confluence of the Chippewa, Moose and Little Moose Rivers. Yep, Musky country. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mary Kays: Part Three – Shalimar

June 26th, 2014

Just joining us?  Don’t miss The Mary Kays: Part One – The Land of the Midnight Sun

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

Did Mary Kay have a clue how much she meant to me? I guess I will never know. Did she sense that things were sad and confusing at home and that her beautiful happy condo provided not only pocket money but a needed break, as well? I suppose it doesn’t matter in the long run. What matters is that when I really needed a break, she provided one. When I really needed someone to notice me and appreciate me, she did. And when she really needed a young assistant, I stepped in to her life.

And so I did her hair, as needed. I baby sat, as needed. I took her kids to the movies because she just could not stand kids movies. I didn’t much like them either; but for Mary Kay I would do whatever task was needed.  And with each encounter I learned more and more. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mary Kays: Part Two – Curl Up and Dye

June 25th, 2014

Just joining us?  Don’t miss The Mary Kays: Part One – The Land of the Midnight Sun

 

By Mary Duggan

Mary Duggan

From the vantage point of age sixty, I look back on the summers Mary Kay figured so prominently in my world and I have to marvel. I have met so many interesting people in those years from 16 to 60. I  have worked at more jobs and careers than I like to admit and been shaped and inspired by too many bosses and co-workers. I have lived all over the U.S and traveled all over the world. But my memories of Mary Kay have never dimmed and her importance in my life has never diminished or been taken over by anyone else. I know now that when you are so young and the world is such a terrifying and exciting unknown a person who has gone before and successfully navigated change and is willing to share and open a window into the future for you is a gift. I treasure my simple memories of Mary Kay and wonder if she had any idea what a Godsend she was for me. Read the rest of this entry »