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A Tour of Good Housekeeping with Jambu

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A tour at Good Housekeeping with Jambu Footwear by Wardrobe Oxygen

Growing up, the magazines in our home were Time, National Geographic, and Good Housekeeping. Whenever anything was purchased, my parents consulted Consumer Reports and/or Good Housekeeping. New recipe tried for dinner? There's a good chance it came from the pages of Good Housekeeping. Now that I am an adult, Good Housekeeping is still a part of my life.

I Trust Good Housekeeping For Honest Reviews

In this day and age of influencers promoting most anything for a buck and magazines choosing content based on advertisers, it's refreshing to see that Good Housekeeping maintains its ethics, only featuring content that has literally passed the test. I regularly pick up an issue at the airport and search online for unbiased reviews of everything from detanglers to dishwashers.

A view of the entrance to the Good Housekeeping lab

The History of Good Housekeeping Magazine

Good Housekeeping magazine began in 1885 with a goal “to produce and perpetuate perfection – or as near unto perfection as may be attained in the household.” This was before the FDA and government regulations to protect consumers from false claims, dangerous products, and snake oil salesmen. GH warned readers about food adulteration and provided information about food safety.

In 1900, they created the Good Housekeeping Institute (though at that time it had a different name), where products were tested for safety and effectiveness. In 1909 the Good Housekeeping Seal launched with a list of 21 consumer products in the magazine. Any product that withstands the investigation of the Institute staff is eligible to be included in the magazine's “Tested and Approved” section. 

Good Housekeeping has always been ahead of its time, choosing what is right over what pays the most. GH stopped accepting cigarette ads in 1952 because of the health dangers, and as early as 1927, warned about the dangers of consuming too much sugar. Over the years, many of Good Housekeeping's tests have brought upon federal legislation to improve product safety. And you know that drugstore brand that shares in every ad that their moisturizing cream beats a $350 one? Good Housekeeping's Beauty Lab did that test.

Wardrobe Oxygen in an ivory Talbots blazer, J. Crew striped knit top, Banana Republic skinny ankle jeans, and Jambu Azalea sneakers.
Standing in the hallway of the Good Housekeeping headquarters, located in Hearst Tower. Check out that view!

A Tour of Good Housekeeping with Jambu

So I was pretty excited when I was invited by Jambu footwear to visit Good Housekeeping headquarters in New York City for a tour and lunch. Jambu makes some super comfortable and functional shoes, and they are so great that they carry the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Alison Gary of Wardrobe Oxygen on a tour of the Good Housekeeping lab in the Hearst Tower, New York City
For the visit, I wore a cream blazer from Talbots with a J. Crew Breton-stripe shirt and jeans from Banana Republic with Jambu sneakers.

I caught a train at 7 am from DC's Union Station and had the Quiet Car almost completely to myself. With breakfast, my laptop, a new novel, and headphones, I had a great time. I even meditated on the trip!

wardrobe oxygen at good housekeeping

I arrived at Penn Station a little before 11 am and walked out to a view of the Empire State Building. While it was sleeting in DC, it was dry and about 10 degrees warmer in the Big Apple. No time for sightseeing, I grabbed an Uber and headed to Hearst Tower where I met the five other bloggers participating in this event.

bloggers visit good housekeeping with jambu shoes
From left to right: Brianna of Milk + Honey Travels, Sheree of SheSheShow, Jess of Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, me, Lauren of By Lauren M, Yetzalee from Jambu, and Katie of Katie's Bliss

As someone who has loved magazines her whole life and for many years dreamed of being an editor at a magazine, entering Hearst was pretty freaking amazing. I'd say it is one of my top five experiences as a content creator. I was totally a tourist, filming the ascent on the escalator and the famous bank of elevators for my InstaStories!

visiting good housekeeping headquarters

Touring the Good Housekeeping Labs and Test Kitchens

We arrived at the Good Housekeeping Institute, and it's way bigger, more sci-fi, and also more beautiful than you could imagine. We received an extensive tour of their labs and test kitchens, often having the chance to question those who worked there or learn a little behind the scenes.

wardrobe oxygen visiting good housekeeping

How Good Housekeeping Tests Products for Reviews

The Good Housekeeping Institute is no joke; they put products to a serious test. To test shampoos for color-treated hair, they ordered pounds and pounds of human hair of varying colors and textures and washed each bunch 30 times with the shampoo. They then hung them up in a room with consistent lighting to photograph to analyze any fading or damage. The GH team was working on a test of frizz-fighting hair products and had a climatology chamber to amp up the humidity and measure hair shrinkage.

For vacuum cleaners, they measured out a certain amount of dirt onto a machine with carpet on it. They'd then put that carpet through a beating, similar to the wear and tear in a typical home, vacuum, and measure how much dirt the machine could collect.

How Good Housekeeping Creates Recipes

For the recipes Good Housekeeping provides, they go through just as much analysis. The kitchen is run by a James Beard Award winner, and all recipes are tested at least three times using ingredients, tools, and appliances easily accessible to most households.

the view from hearst tower

Meeting the Good Housekeeping Team

Many of the staff told us they had been with Good Housekeeping for a decade, two, or even more. The environment vibrated with passion, teamwork, and creativity. Oh, and the view! Omigosh, the view from the Good Housekeeping Institute was jaw-droppingly amazing.

good housekeeping living room

Visiting the Good Housekeeping Living Room

After our tour, we were invited to the Good Housekeeping living room. When Good Housekeeping was purchased by Hearst in 1911, it moved from Massachusetts to NYC, and the headquarters had a formal living room and dining room. When Hearst Tower was finished in 2006, the Good Housekeeping living and dining rooms were meticulously recreated in the new space, and all the original items were cataloged and carefully stored.

These elegant rooms are a stark contrast to the modern white and glass walls of the Institute, and it felt so special to be in those rooms. Every president (except the last two… yet) and every First Lady since the FDR administration have dined at Good Housekeeping and now I was here being offered a glass of sangria! The room was amazing, with so much history.

On the living room wall was a Grandma Moses painting, and glass cabinets held a collection of antique rolling pins made of porcelain and glass, etched with ornate designs.

A view of the dining table in the Good Housekeeping Dining Room, set for a meal

Lunch at Good Housekeeping Headquarters

After cocktails and conversation in the Good Housekeeping living room, we were escorted to the Good Housekeeping Dining Room. Also elegantly decorated with original furnishings and accurate replicas, the table was set for lunch.

A view of the dining table in the Good Housekeeping Dining Room, set for a meal

The meal was amazing; Good Housekeeping offered a range of dishes so all of us with different food restrictions could have a delicious experience. I was so excited to enjoy one of Good Housekeeping's legendary popovers!

Alison Gary with Lori Bergamotto, Style Director of Good Housekeeping
with Lori Bergamotto, Style Director of Good Housekeeping

We dined with members of the Good Housekeeping team including Style Director Lori Bergamotto and Fashion Director of Hearst's Lifestyle Group Kristen Saladino. I sat next to Lori and enjoyed learning more about how she came to be in this position and discuss fashion, motherhood, and life in general.

Kristen shared some intel about celebrities who graced the covers of Good Housekeeping (FYI, Tracee Ellis Ross is just as amazing as you'd hope she is), and Lori talked about representing Good Housekeeping on TV (you may recognize Lori from her appearances on shows like GMA).

bloggers in jambu shoes at good housekeeping

Soon, my magical trip came to an end. I had a 4:26 train to take back to DC and the weather was starting to become frightful. But I'll never forget my time with Jambu at Good Housekeeping!

FYI, if you're in NYC you too can get a tour of the Good Housekeeping Institute!

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Thank you, Alison, for virtually taking us along. So impressed with Good Housekeeping – I had no idea they did so much consumer research (Canadian so don’t often read their magazine). And the building is so impressive – next time I am in New York, I want to visit. (PS you look great!)

  2. This seems like such an awesome opportunity! And this makes me want to subscribe to Good Housekeeping, I love hearing how thorough their tests are. Love the blazer/striped shirt combo, btw!

  3. Love that blazer! Ali – how do you feel the jambus would fit a wide foot? I see they only have two styles in wide currently. I’m an 8w or 8.5w but can sometimes get by with 8.5 or 9, depending on fit. I love the Cybil, Spain and Naomi.

    1. Honestly, they’re not great for wide feet if not a wide size. I received a couple pairs of shoes from Jambu and the only pair that fit me were the Azalea. Good thing, since I liked them but yeah… hard for wide feet. I didn’t try any of the styles you mentioned though.

  4. What a fun time, Allie. I almost was going to join the group, but I’d been travelling twice already this year, and the thought of a plane trip to NYC, was killing me!!! However, now that I know I missed the chance to meet you in person, I’m kicking myself! Hopefully another time….
    And I have those shoes in light blue. Aren’t they so comfy???

    1. Fully agree, it was smart to leave my day job to be able to pursue this on a full-time basis. I’ve had so many cool opportunities like this and the ability to grow this dream!

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