Patty

Hi! I'm Patty,
                  Designer, Inventor, and Owner of Rocky Mountain Soothies®


ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOOTHIES® began its 13th year this past May in Kalispell, Montana, and the first Soothie® was sold from a card table and one chair at our local Farmers Market in June of 2003.
I had never participated in a Farmers' Market and, as a matter of fact, when it was suggested to me I take Soothies to ours as a "test market" to see what kind of reception they would get, I thought, why would I do that? The Farmers' Market where I am from (Omaha) was just as the name says, a venue for farmers to bring their harvested crops to the city to sell in late Summer into Fall; but it was only May here! We had just moved to Kalispell not quite a year and I had no idea there even was a Farmers Market here. But being the curious one that I am, the following Saturday I visited the Market to look around. I didn't find any farmers per se, but what I did find was wall to wall people shopping! There were woodcrafters, rug weavers, gorgeous hand-made jewelry, leather goods, floral and garden growers, log furniture makers, welders, just to name a few of the many vendors there. I found the Market Manager to inquire how to be a part of this and found that their vendors were all "juried" so not just anyone could show up on any given Saturday and sell something. Filled out their Application to Vend and 6 days later got a call that Soothies had been approved.
The following Saturday morning I went to my first Market and all I took with me was one chair and one table and a dozen Soothies. When I got there I quickly noticed everyone else had booths and large displays. I felt so out of place. Needless to say I made some inquiries of my two vendor neighbors about the canopies everyone seemed to have. The next Saturday when I returned, my chair and table, had company. tent

It only took a couple of weeks at the Market and word was spreading about this crazy thing called a Soothie. And oh yes, in case you were wondering, the farmers eventually did arrive! Their crops were coming in to harvest in mid August and by early September the vendors had all left and the farmers took over the Market. I spent three Summers at the Market that introduced Rocky Mountain Soothies, and made a lot of new friends, both fellow vendors and customers. It was a very rewarding experience, and I made sure to thank the person that suggested I go there and use it as a "test market". Smilie Face


How it All Began


I was born and reared in Omaha, Nebraska. In December of 2000 I retired after 35 years working for the City of Omaha Law Department as the Executive Legal Secretary to the City Attorney and Office Manager; a very busy place. Spring 2002 the family decided if we were ever going to fulfill our dream to one day live in the mountains the time was now. We sold our homes, packed up a total of 5 adults, 8 kids, and 3 dogs and in late June began our 1,249 mile journey to northwest Montana where our new adventure would begin. Upon arriving in our new city there was much to do, find homes, find doctors, dentists, veterinarians, schools, etc. but when all that was done and we all were settled in our new homes by late August, life suddenly grew very quiet for me, especially after such a busy life back home. Our first Winter in the mountains was just around the corner. What was I going to do all Winter being retired, in a new city, didn't know anyone, other than my family. Well, all that changed during my first appointment with my new doctor in early October. Little did I know that visit would plant the seed for the birth of Rocky Mountain Soothies ®.


When we finished the appointment I asked her how to get rid of a stiff neck; must have slept cockeyed. She said to put warm, moist heat on it when I first get up and again a couple more times during the day. Asked her how would I do that. She said a rice bag but also said she hadn't seen them around in a long time but I could easily make something like it out of a heavy cotton tube sock, fill it with rice, sew the end closed and heat it in the microwave with a saucer of water for about a minute. I asked why a saucer of water and she said if you have body aches, tension knots, sore muscles, you need moist heat and the saucer of water in the microwave puts off steam which moistens the sock. A heating pad doesn't do anything, but warm you ; the moist heat penetrates into the sore area. She said years ago they were called a rice bag but nobody seems to make them anymore; she didn't know why. Later I found out why.


Next day I went to several stores looking for a "rice bag". No one had such a thing. My last stop was a health food store. I found a long canvas tube filled with rice. It was stuffed so full that one couldn't even bend it to get it around the neck or over the shoulder. The shopkeeper told me these tubes had been in his store for about 3 years but rarely sell. I asked why is that and he said after a few uses people brought them back because of getting headaches from them. The label said it contained rice. Asked what caused headaches; he didn't know but said if he could find something like it but a lot softer and didn't cause headaches he would stock them again because he has quite a few customers asking for something like that. All the way home I thought about it. I could come up with something much better than a sock filled with rice you had to wet, or this canvass log that was rock hard filled with rice you had to wet to make it work, that was giving people headaches. The next day I started sketching out pattern designs. Wanted something flat, flexible, would not fall off the body, allow the wearer to be mobile rather than tethered to an electrical outlet like heating pads are.


After about 2 weeks of using my tube sox with the rice (No I didn't have a sore neck every day, I was using it trying to see if I would get a headache) I started getting a headache. Couple days later, same thing. I cut it open to see what was going on inside and got my answer. MOLD. Mixing rice with water and cooking it in the microwave time and again made mold grow! No wonder that shopkeeper was getting them all returned. Off I went to the Health Department with my mold. They were shocked to say the least. Asked if my microwave could have mold spores in it from this as every time you cook something in the microwave you create moisture and if the tube sock being porous was letting spores become airborne there was a chance. I needed a new microwave anyway. Good excuse to get one and justify it!!!


I resumed my quest to create a new "rice bag" minus the rice. A lot of research and trial and error went on for months. Everything I tried needed a water source to make moist heat. I finally found the answer with the help of someone back home in Omaha. I ordered a sample and tried it and moist heat happened with no water source. With my design for the shell completed and the filling now found, off I went to a fabric store and bought some flannel (wanted it to be soft) and made one. Time to give it the big test and started heating it over and over and over to find exactly the maximum heating point before the microwave would start to burn it. Got that all figured out and no headache ever happened. Matter of FACT, one evening after dinner I did get a headache and the Soothie took it AWAY! Had another test to do because I wanted it to have a dual purpose, I froze it. It worked. You can do both, heat it and make moist heat, or freeze it to use to reduce swelling. I can't tell you what is in a Soothie as it is a trade secret but I can tell you that it is non-toxic to you, to children, and to pets and infants and toddlers. Let a couple neighbors try one and they wanted to keep them! Everyone I showed it to wanted one. They loved the design because it covered both shoulders and so flexible. I went back to the fabric store to get a few different flannel pattern designs and made a few Soothies. So the Soothie "WRAP", as it is called, was born and is now 13 years old. On suggestions of customers, a new Soothie product was developed about 5 years ago called a "WARMING PAD". These, too, are very popular. It is flat like a heating pad and a little larger. I now have a new style in the hopper and I am hoping to introduce it in early 2017. Keep checking my webpage for the newest Soothie. I will post it in the "What's Going On Here" Corner on the Swatches Page.


Must share one humorous thing that happened at my second Saturday at the Farmer's Market. When there were no customers visiting my booth at the moment an older gentleman that had been standing afar came over to see what I had. When I told him he started laughing and said from a little distance away he thought they were sandwiches! I guess it was the way I had them wrapped. He left and about an hour later he reappeared and said he just couldn't go home without a sandwich and he bought one with bears on it. In the weeks following customers would return to tell me "These things really work!" One of those returning customers was the man that bought the "bear sandwich". When he got to my booth I said to him "Well how was your sandwich?" He laughed at that and he said " I gotta tell you that was the best damn sandwich I have had in a long, long time. It really hit the spot". He went on to say that he was going to get some sandwiches for his friends; said they were all getting aches and pains so he was putting them away till Christmas then give them all one. He went home with a bunch of "sandwiches"!!!!


About 3 years later the time had come to expand to the retail market. I have Soothies in a large outdoor sporting goods store here in Kalispell, a medial equipment and supply store, an organic grocery store, and remember the Health Food store shopkeeper? He was more than happy to replace the old rice logs he had on his shelves for 3 years that were not selling with Soothies. Rocky Mountain Soothies can also be found in stores in Idaho and Washington.


Listening AND Hearing


I was listening to my customers talking and HEARING what they were saying. It was time to expand my product into other shapes and sizes and bring in a lot of different pattern designs. The next year was spent doing just that and for the last 5 years the Warming Pads have taken their place on the shelves of my shop and in the retails stores as well. And since my products can be used both hot and cold, production had to be stepped up and inventory doubled. Customers were purchasing TWO, one to use solely for heating and one to keep in the freezer to use when the need called for cold packs.


Aqua Coolers®


I also created another product totally different from the Soothies® line, I call it an Aqua Cooler®. Wearing an Aqua Cooler® keeps you cool on hot Summer days. Because this is a "Warm Weather" product it makes its appearance annually from May 1 thru Labor Day.


It's Clean Here!!!


You can rest assured that Soothies and fabrics are in a very clean shop. My shop is vacuumed twice a day and no pets are allowed in my shop. I respect that customers may have allergies; dust particles, scent, pet dander, plus the fact that I provide products to the medical community and sports community and they have to be clean and free of allergens and germs. The windows in my shop are never opened as I don't want dust blowing in and settling in the fabrics.


The "What's Going On Here" Corner


My "What's Going On Here" Corner is located on the Design Swatches page. You'll find all kinds of "stuff" and "things" here, including Monthly Specials like Color of the Month, where any Soothie product you order in the Color of the Month, gets you a 10% or more discount. You will find new flannels that have come in announced, you will find flannels that have Sold Out listed as well as flannels that manufacturers have Discontinued listed. There will be Photos of the Seasons from Montana so you can see what it is like up here in the mountains, there will be holiday gift sets, from time to time a recipe from Montana, and a Post It Note . This is where you will find a personal message to you. If you're looking for a certain flannel design pattern and I am out of it, when it comes back in you'll find a Post It there just for you telling you your flannel design pattern has come back in stock, you'll also find what designs are currently on Clearance, and you'll find little Tidbits and some "Did You Know" things. The new Soothie product coming out in 2016 is a customer suggestion who will get recognized in the "What's Going On Here" Corner when his idea debuts. Contests are also held twice a year and winners announced January 3 and July 5.


Thank You for Your Visit Today


I hope you enjoy your visit through my webpage and for trying my Rocky Mountain Soothies®. Visit the Swatch Gallery where you can see all of the flannel designs and colors I have available. In the box stores and in some catalogs you might find a "look-alike" of something trying to be a Soothie but if you want to buy one you have to choose from only what is on the shelf or in the catalog. Your choice is 3-4 colors and they are pretty blah. Well not here! I don't do things that way. You should be able to get what YOU want. At Rocky Mountain Soothies YOU choose what YOU would like your Soothie(s) to be made out of. YOU are designing your own Soothie! Not ME. I'm just going to make it for you. Please allow a little extra time receiving your Soothie as I am the only one in the shop and I make them in the order in which they are received. That's the fairest way I can do this. And if you don't see a design you like, let me know what you are looking for and if I can find it, you got it! Look for your Post It Note in the "What's Going On Here" Corner. You'll know it is for you as I will make sure to identify you with "Hey Suzie B. of Cheyenne, Wyoming..., (only your name, city and state will be used)." "Your Cardinal Flannel is back in stock now."


Rocky Mountain Soothies . . .

It's Always Fun Here!!!

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