Posts Tagged ‘Goat Milk Soap’

Each season the decision is made when to stop milking the goats.  My business depends upon fresh goat milk, a very obvious fact.

I could purchase milk at the grocery, or in cans, or in the powdered form.  But our products contain our milk, produced from our goats, milked by me.  That is who we are! I know what goes into the goat’s mouth, therefore, I know what does not end up in the milk.  Nothing else will do.

So, to give the “girls” (does) that are “in milk” (currently being milked) a break before they “freshen” (give birth), I make the seasonal decision to remove them from the milk stand.  The decision involves looking at the calendar and the freezer contents for a count, and sometimes even a second look.  I will admit, there are moments that some would consider nail-biting.  Cutting the cord to fresh milk, take a deep breath!

Happily, both freezers are spilling over with frozen goat milk.  We can take a rest now girls.  I love you.

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Our soapy journey in life has lead us through a myriad of paths, all good, all fun! Some of the paths have been challenging, with much learning and wisdom absorbed along the way (with more to come, no doubt).  Some of the paths have more closely resembled a roller coaster track with ups, downs, and even loops that have tried to throw us off.  The passion for handcrafting soap has stuck like good glue, never leaving our side.

My personal interest in soap is a life-long one, shared via a September 2009 blog post, how my interest in soap began.

8 years ago we began our hands-on handcrafted soap experience.

We started with an idea for a soap mold, and a simple soap recipe, that included 3 main ingredients, palm, coconut and olive oils, evenly fractioned into thirds.  Distilled water was our liquid (no goat milk at that point).

There we stood, in our newly created soap-making space in our formerly empty basement, concocting our first batch of soap.  I was nervous, he admittedly was not.

The next day we had soap! Our glorious soap stuck to the mold badly and it was “ashy” around the corners.  Onwards we went, experimenting and seeking results.

We went through many soap mold designs, my husband created each one on his own, and we dived into several changes to our basic soap recipe, to eventually include shea butter, before we presented our soap to customers for resale.

Through the 8 year journey we began raising goats, and eventually dairy goats, with the reality finally hitting us that we should include our own milk in our soap.  It was a major turning point! By the way, farming is not easy.  It can be a dirty job, one that is completed 7 days a week, on a set schedule, 365 days a year.  Our love for animals has kept us stead-fast in that arena.

What have we learned through our soapy journey?

  • Nothing is constant, expect change.
  • A good idea can be a great one, but there is always room for change.  Always know when to let go, and always know when (and what) to pick up.
  • Good soap does not occur without challenges.  I remember the day I called several suppliers to “ask the expert” about sloppy soaping results that we were experiencing.  The answer ended up being a simple one.  But, guess what? We were 7 years into our journey and still needed to ask! We always will, at some point or another!
  • I am careful with the soap advise that I dispense.  Why? the learning curve makes your own product unique.  When you dig for ideas when creating your own special product for 8 months (or a year…), and then experience the end result, it is yours, and yours alone! You’ve paid well for it, with your own time, while learning as you go.  It is worth the effort!
  • Select mentors, more than one.  Follow.  Watch.  Listen.  Listen well!
  • Do not make numerous business or product changes that will lead to an inventory that you may be stuck with.  Creative is one thing – but it needs to be kept under a seat belt.  Baby steps, one product at a time, leads to success.
  • Never say never.  If a well-versed business leader in your industry says, “This is what works…this is what does not work,” do not write their advice off.  What they say may not exactly fit into your business scheme, but I will guarantee you it will eventually fit in, even at a small level.
  • Follow your own path.  Write your own words.  If you are not creative today, it will come later when you are feeling passionate about your work.  I remember thinking our soaps were ugly, plain, and not so colorful.  So! There is our brand, farm-fresh, simple, yet one luxurious item in the bath!

We like it.

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It is that time again on our farm.

The geese are nesting, the goats are having kids, and spring clean up (along with the mud) begins.

We, the ones that tend to the animals, become a bit sleep deprived. 

We look for calm waters, smooth sailing seas (God bless those that are suffering right now, Japan is on our minds), knowing that we are to enjoy the spring, as kids are not born year round, and spring is so very welcome! Such a blessing it all is!

We are running on a 1-3 day turnaround in fulfilling retail orders, with the premise that everything falls into place, and it does!

Thank you to our recent new wholesale customers, store locations, soon to be posted to our website.  We are happy to have products available this spring in wonderful locations where folks will be out and about, leaving winter’s cabin fever behind!

Please let us know if you need anything…and do not hesitate to email us as anniesgoathill@gmail.com .  We treasure chatting one-on-one with you!

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I decided to skip the regular Product Monday post.  I see a lot of soaps on the curing rack that I could spotlight, such as:  Honey Oatmeal Almond, Cedarwood Rose, Lavender Patchouli, and Geranium Rose Ylang Ylang.  I find it fitting, instead, to talk about what has been happening in the soap studio itself.

As you know, we are working on moving a farm.  Relocating a working farm, with animals, two businesses, a home, and pets, isn’t a simple chore.  We started this adventure while we still were still wearing shorts and t-shirts.  Illnesses (not ours), delays (weather and people that didn’t want to work), slowed us down a bit.  All is good…our target move date is (no later than) 3/13/2011.

We had a tremendous holiday season.  Many nights my beloved husband and I stood in the soap studio, laughing out of sheer tiredness, giddy, packaging soaps and lotions. 

Soon afterwards I saw a lot of empty, and nearly-empty, soap boxes.  Along with that came blazing thoughts, what felt like very little time to remake a single batch.  The key words here are “what felt like.”  After forging forward, I found the solid footing once again.  Making soap.  Behind closed doors.  Peace.  Tranquility.  Yes, from soap-making.  I said this once before, I always think about who is going to use the soap, what they will like, if they will enjoy it as much as I make it.  All of which are satisfying thoughts.

Our soap inventory is beginning to recover.  Yes! We are also making headway with our 2011 list of soaps…which to keep, and a few to discontinue (Sweet Pea type, Plumeria, and a few others).  Much to our happiness, 99% of our soaps are again geared towards natural – containing essential oils and blends that reflect the green and healthy business that we are.

Milk – nourishment from the inside out, or the outside in!

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Since our Ocean Breeze goat milk soap is being discontinued, I want to point out that our Still Waters goat milk soap is a close follow up if you are looking for something similar.  It has a fresh clean scent, not overpowering, with a silky lather. 

Still Waters is a good soap to hi-lite this week since it is a year old, first introduced to our online soap store last January, with a theme in mind – calm after the holidays.   

I hope you are experiencing peace and calm this new year!

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Goat Milk Soap

After nearly a year, we are putting our Ocean Breeze goat milk soap to rest.  It started out as a beautiful blue/green soap with white chips – representing the waves of the ocean, white sea foam, and white sand.  Even the change to the Ocean Breeze edition (pictured above) was pretty.  But we found the blend to be an incredibly difficult fragrance to work with.  The soap batches often seized, or at times did not “take” at all.  Goodbye Ocean Breeze, with your clean fresh scent, you will definitely be missed!

On the curing racks are goat milk soaps with cocoa butter.  We are going to call them For Limited Time Only, but who knows, we (and you) may love them so much we will keep them in production.  We shall see.  How about a Sandalwood Lime fragrance blend? I find the aroma to be light, warm, and soft.  Masculine, but not so much.

Enjoy your soap – we enjoy knowing you are happy!

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Cyber Monday Goat Milk Soap Sales

My husband and I have been tag-teaming in the soap shop.  He has taken over many animal duties to ensure we are able to stick with our one to two-day turnaround with retail orders.  He has also done an excellent job of boxing soaps and labeling lotions and packages.  I am blessed to have a wonderful partner, my best friend, who brings the extra gift of a lot of laughter to the soap studio!

Despite the busyness, I have done a lot of thinking.  The big broom came out and swept away my idea that we should never run out of any particular type of soap.  My new philosophy, the early bird gets the worm.  I had to beat it into myself, seriously! But…the fact is, if I were to shop at a big-name department store very late in the season, I may not find everything that I want, but if I shop early enough, I will find full shelves, with a huge selection!

With that being said, and without sounding like a running advertisement, we do still have a bounty of holiday soaps available.  Also fully stocked are the favorites, such as Cherries and Berries goat milk soap.

My parting words (also derived from the big sweep that I did on myself), remember to take a break and enjoy the season! I strongly believe a person accomplishes much more by resting appropriately.  Nobody can enjoy life itself while feeling stretched and stressed!

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Green Apple Cinnamon Goat Milk Soap

Introducing Annie’s Green Apple and Cinnamon goat milk soap.

This soap was sent to a wholesale customer who tested it in her shop.   It was loved!

I went very light on the cinnamon essential oil so I asked one customer what they smelled (my nose tends to shut off after being exposed to many fragrances), their response was, “The green apple is fabulous, with just a hint of warmth (cinnamon).”

With a description that includes:  pretty, smells great, creamy with goat milk.  What more can an apple goat milk soap lover ask for?

How about more holiday and fall soaps (being added to the website tonight and tomorrow):

– Sweet Apple and Peel (sweet, warm, and fresh)

– Chestnuts and Brown Sugar (vanilla and sugar definitely a big part of this soap)

– Winter Berry (a celebrative holiday berry scent)

– Ylang Ylang and Fir Needle (I thought of a claw foot tub, near a wood burning fire, perhaps in a log cabin?)

– Peppermint (Special request – peppermint with nothing else added!)

– Clary Sage Eucalyptus (Why not have some refreshing soap on a cold winter’s day?)

– Lemongrass Ginger (It’s time for herbal tea – and comfort soap!)


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I created this soap after a client asked if I would be interested in the facial blend.  She had read that geranium is an essential oil that many people use for skin care.  It is good for both dry and oily skin types.   The aroma is pleasant, much like rose.

I find ylang ylang to be a balancing and soothing essential oil.  Essential oils fascinate me.  The world is full of wonderful essences that present individual properties, all unique.   

Kaolin rose is a great complexion clay.  It tends to assist with soft lathering of the soap as well.

I scented lightly as I personally am not fond of strong scents in a facial product.

Geranium Ylang Ylang goat milk soap facial bars are now available in my soap store. 

As always, enjoy!

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Patchouli Lavender Goat Milk Soap

I am excited to announce that I have new soaps lined up for Product Monday posts, starting with Patchouli Lavender.

Who would have thought? Such an interesting combination, patchouli and lavender essential oil.

The patchouli really stands out.  It should, patchouli is considered a “base note,” because it is long-lasting.  It is often used as a fixative in perfume formulas.

Lavender is a “middle note,” meaning, it doesn’t have the ability to hold its scent as well as a base essence.  The lavender is definitely there in this bar, it catches the nose first.

This batch of soap cured nearly white, which is next-to-impossible with goat milk soap.  While making soap, the sodium hydroxide (lye) and milk combination has to be held to a low temperature for a very long time in order to create a nearly white milk soap.  It is never a speedy process! By the way, this is why I describe soap color in my soap store as a range (white to off-white, etc…) because natural soap, especially milk soaps, are rarely the exact same color twice. 

Patchouli lavender goat milk soap is now available online in my goat milk soap store.  And I need to make more! This one is going fast!

Enjoy your day, and your soap!

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