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Monsters, Inc.

ae_dollsMonsters beware: a potions master has it out for you

Monsters are under the bed. They lurk behind the door. They tiptoe around a toddler’s room. Even Pixar made a movie about the monsters that scare children. But no one has fought with monsters like Stephanie Corey. The potions master created a line of products that offer several functions: Spray her Monster Armor on a monster and the creature will turn into a friend, or spritz it around the house and monsters will stay away. Or take a bath and your whole body will be covered in armor, protecting you from one-eyed ghouls and vampires. Of course, this might sound like child’s play, and that’s partly correct.

Last year, Corey’s young son became terribly frightened of zombies. Corey couldn’t seem to find a solution to ease her son’s fears. So one day she printed out a label off her computer and slapped it on a bottle of lavender spray. She told her son she had purchased it at the zombie store and that it was a repellant—if it was sprayed on doorknobs, doors and windows in his room, the monsters would disappear. Her son fell for it. The monsters left and a business was born.

“I realized when I saw how well it worked with him that other kids have this issue of monsters under the bed,” Corey says. So Corey, a Hewlett Packard executive, decided to step down from her corporate job and did something scary: tackle monsters for a living. Over the last year, Corey has been working on a line of products geared toward helping children feel more peaceful when it comes to bedtime and their fear of monsters. (The line was just released.) She created Miss Stephanie’s Potions (missstephaniespotions.com), which sells bath and body products, T-shirts, sprays and even fairy dust for those who want to attract, not repel, fairies.

Of course, as we big kids know, there’s no such thing as monsters, right? And reinforcing children’s imaginations that there are monsters could be a bad decision, right? Wrong. “If you believe in them, then they are there,” Corey says. “I think monsters are a manifestation of whatever kind of fear a child is experiencing. Whatever anxieties kids are feeling turn into something that’s identifiable, a tangible thing. When you turn off the lights, your mind plays tricks on you and fears get confirmed.” She goes on to explain that you can then give children a tool to work with to overcome their fears. In this case, it’s monster armor products that deter the monsters, and can even turn them into friends.

Sure, the products are of the novelty variety, but they are all kid-friendly and effective—they are 100 percent vegan, and they won’t cause a nightmare if the bubble bath gets in anyone’s eyes. Besides that, some are infused with things like lavender, which actually is said to have a calming effect. The products come in purple bottles with catchy labels and spooky art design.

The line is sold in various local stores including Forget Me Not in Aptos and Baby Shoppe Santa Cruz. Corey even has some doctors who have expressed interest in carrying the line to help children with their anxieties.

For Corey, though, her biggest fear is failure. “That’s my real monster,” Corey says. “It helped me realize that these fears are real even though they are not rational. It’s no different than a kid’s fear of monsters.”


Learn more at missstephaniespotions.com. Products sell from $6.99 to $9.99.

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