Written by: Samantha Hart
Many components come together to make every parade season special and new while honoring traditions. Fostering community is the most important (and in my opinion, the best) part of the Steuben Parade. In preparation for the 2018 Parade season I have been chatting with our sponsors for some participant insights. One thing has become abundantly clear through these interviews: our sponsors are as much a part of the parade community as our visitors from Europe, those with Germanic heritage in the US, all the way to our canine participants! Sponsors feel connected either through their specific products or their own Germanic heritage. Keep coming back to read more on our “Sponsor Series”.
I had the opportunity to speak with Business Development Project Manager, Victoria Trusskey, to get an inside look at Kneipp. First off, Kneipp is a top German beauty brand specializing in preservative-free, vegan, aroma therapeutic bath, body, and skincare products made from plant-based, functional ingredients. It originated in Bavaria in 1891, inspired by Bavarian Priest and “water doctor” Sebastian Kneipp. He was rumored to cure himself of an illness and afterwards dedicated the remainder of his life to the healing powers of water and medicinal plants. His findings and holistic philosophy later became the foundation for Kneipp. Their American headquarters are in Union, NJ while global headquarters remain in Ochsenfurt, Germany.
The Roosevelt Field Mall Kneipp boutique is a newer sponsor of the parade, this being their second year. However, store manager Colleen, was actually in the Steuben Parade back in 1975! When she began working at Kneipp, she naturally saw the Steuben Parade as an excellent opportunity to engage with and give back to the surrounding German-American community!
Victoria may have been surprised by the size and attendance but she really impressed me when she said that she watched the live stream of last year’s 60th Anniversary parade! And yes, it is still available on the parade’s website. She was excited to learn that the Steuben Parade has been taking place every year since the 1950’s! She continued, “It is wonderful to see the traditions and heritage of Germany continue to live on here in the US through the efforts of German and German American organizations, companies, and citizens!”
Victoria did not have any shortage of facts when I asked her what people should know about Kneipp. “Kneipp Works, Naturally! We have a team of plant experts, dermatologists, pharmacists and biologists who meticulously select the plants to be incorporated into our natural blends of body and skin care. Every single product goes through a double safety assessment to ensure skin tolerance and effectiveness prior to market launch. Also incredibly important, and something many people may not know, is that Kneipp’s focus on sustainability permeates all aspects of the brand, from a focus on sourcing raw materials from suppliers local to Germany or neighboring European countries, to the use of hydropower to supply electricity to all locations of Kneipp GmbH, to funding a Forest Protection Project in the heart of the Congo basin which protects 185,000 hectares (714 square miles) of intact biodiverse woodland that is home to endangered species such as forest elephants, black panthers, and bonobos! These efforts and steps toward sustainability led Kneipp to receive the independent “Green Brands” seal for the third consecutive time in 2017. Customers can feel confident that when they purchase and use Kneipp, not only are they getting a quality crafted product filled with highly effective, natural ingredients, they are also supporting a brand who has been committed to sustainability and bettering the natural world around us since 1891.”
You will be able to check out some of Kneipp’s products through the Gala gift bag and during this year’s Silent Auction. A full assortment of Kneipp products are in the Roosevelt Field Mall on the upper level, but to learn more about it’s history, find other store locations or shop all products, go to Kneipp.com. We look forward to seeing Victoria and our other Kneipp friends at this year’s parade on Saturday, September 15th, 2018!