When Kimberly Montgomery purchased Balance 54 in 2016, part of the rebranding was to include the whole person. She changed the name to Balance Health + Body, but one of the driving questions Montgomery asks of herself and her clients is “How can we be better?”
She expanded to a second location in Midtown in 2018, added new at both locations and added health products from master soapist Mary Allen.
Montgomery’s clients liked the natural skin and bath products and soon Montgomery wondered how she could waste less and what incentives she could offer to her clients as part of this.
“Ninety-four percent of the herbs and oils [Allen uses] come from Indiana farms or conflict-free sources,” Montgomery said. “She makes sure everyone is informed.”
For 2020, Montgomery has taken the lead from Allen and has partnered with her to offer her products called Sixth + Zero at BHB, and it will continue to offer other skincare products made by Allen, including lip balms and face serums.
“As an admirer of Mary, I’ve watched her business grow and expand with a zero-waste initiative,” Montgomery said. “It has always seemed so large a task to ‘green up’ my life but having Mary as a constant source of motivation and the fact that she makes her clean products so financially accessible made me realize it’s much easier than I thought.”
The studio will also stock a bulk “filling station” of Carina Organics products including shampoos and conditioners, hairspray, hair gel, baby shampoo and body wash and body lotion. A larger area will include laundry powders and detergent, dish powder and detergents, all-purpose cleaner, scoopable scented and unscented bath salts and several everyday products to provide a more sustainable and greener lifestyle.
The idea behind the filling station is that people can bring in containers and refill them with products that are good for the environment and the person, while also eliminating plastic by reusing what they already have.
“The filling station will be equipped with scales and the products will be priced and sold by the ounce. Buy what you need; waste less,” she said.
Montgomery said Balance will have containers for purchase, but she hopes that people bring in their own and reuse, which is all part of her commitment to reducing waste.
She has already eliminated selling water in plastic bottles by putting in a filtered bottleless water system where clients can fill their personal water bottles they use during class for free.
“I just want to bring more awareness and having bottleless water was a long time coming,” she said, adding that the new filtration system offers cold, cool and hot water options.
Montgomery said working with Allen has been a major source for her inspiration of eliminating waste, especially since recycling in Owensboro seems to be decreasing. She believes a person’s environment and the people they choose to be around create habits and she is hoping that her clients and the public will become more aware of the choices they make that affect the environment.
“The consistency will make a big impact,” she said.
Montgomery is also adding a new line of workout wear that she researched to find a perfect fit for her clients and business. Girlfriend Collective makes activewear out of recycled materials and although Montgomery said that some might balk at the $35-$70 price, each item tells how many plastic bottles were used to make that piece and each has a longevity greater than a more cheaply-made product.
“Did you know almost all synthetic activewear is made from plastic? We just make ours with materials that would otherwise clog landfills and pollute the earth,” the company’s website says. “It all starts with 100% post-consumer water bottles that have their labels removed, are crushed into billions of miniscule chips, and then washed until they are sparkling clean.”
The company’s philanthropy is important to Montgomery and it is currently donating part of their proceeds to the fires in Australia. This ties into Montgomery’s question of “How can we do better?”
As Montgomery begins reconfiguring the retail area of Balance Health + Body Midtown, she is hoping to have the products ready for public sale by February.
Balance Health + Body Midtown will be open on Fridays and Saturdays for those wanting the products outside of regular Balance class times, and she also plans to be open one other weekday as well.