Fernley women harvest mud, create green spa product

Reported by: Ashley Cullins
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Updated: 6/21/2013 5:24 pm
GERLACH, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- It starts in the Black Rock Desert just outside of Gerlach and ends up in spas like the one at the Peppermill.

Two Fernley women are harvesting mud and creating a new local, green beauty trend.

It's Black Rock Mud and it's created by geothermal activity outside of Gerlach. Shelly Egbert and Summer Powelson discovered the mud while out enjoying the hot springs on Egbert's family's property. 

"We'd rub it on our faces and bodies and we'd notice that it would just make our skin feel soft and it would heal little skin conditions and things and we thought hey we should share this with other people and just stick it in a jar," Egbert said.

They've just completed their third harvest this spring.

"We harvest twice a year to preserve the resource," Egbert said. "We never know when we'll have it and when we won't. So it's not like we have an unlimited supply. In fact, we have a very limited supply."

After it's harvested, not much is done to the mud at all. It's strained, set out to thicken and then put into four ounce Mudpot jars, which sell for about $60.

The women's kids work for the company as part of their home-schooling. Powelson hopes it teaches them about entrepreneurship and the value of hard work.

"Hopefully they're learning how to be honest in their dealings with people and business," Powelson said.

One of the big selling points is that the mud is odorless.

Spa Toscana sells Mudpot in its gift shop. Spa Director Morgan Brantner said it's a great product for summer skincare.

It helps with all kinds of burns or insect bites, so it has a lot of healing properties as well," Brantner said.

Back at Black Rock they're working to make sure their product is not only good for your skin, but also the environment.

"We have a recyclable jar and the box is actually seed-infused paper," Egbert said.

If you plant the box and water it, after about three weeks you'll have wildflowers.

And they're totally off the grid, harnessing geothermal, wind and solar energy.

"We wanted our company to be a really green, natural, organic kind of company because it's so beautiful out here we wanted to preserve what we have," Egbert said.

If you don't want to make a trip to the spa, but do want to try the mud you can buy it online. Through the end of the summer a portion of the cost will go to Camp Taylor - a charity that supports children with heart disease and their families - and you'll get a discount. Click here for details.
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