Saturday, November 7, 2015

About Us

I'm Kelley, wife to 1, homeschooling mom to 9 kids, keeper of 39 chickens, 2 goats, 2 cats a dog, rabbit, and turtle.  Yes I stay busy!  It is a wonder I have any time left to make soap (and to be honest sometimes I don't).  We live on top of a mountain in the northern Shenandoah valley in VA.

I made my first batch of soap in 2003.. I've been making it ever since. Usually I'm making soap as gifts for family and friends, but I sell it sometimes too. Once you get over the learning curve and intimidation of working with lye (and FYI, ALL soap is made using lye, you can't have real soap without it) it is really fun!! There is so much you can do with it .... It lets me use my creativity while also making something natural for the family (which is a win-win since I DIY most everything and try to keep things as natural as possible). 

This is Jessy she a  5 year old Nigerian Dwarf.  She is protective and dominant and is a total boss (and is kind of partial to the chickens).  She is also the provider of all the goat milk that goes into our soap.  We love her!

About our soap

The soap I make is 100% natural. If I'm going to take time to make something healthier for my family then I go all the way.  I use food, spices, and clays for coloring… And essential oils for scent.  Since we got goats last year I've been focusing on goat milk soaps. The majority of the soap I make now contains goat milk, as much as I can add. Goat milk makes a wonderfully lathering and gentle soap that people seem to love (especially those with sensitive skin).

I make soap using both the hot and cold process methods, and it is made from scratch. I have experimented with many different fats used for making soap over the years. There are dozens and dozens of different oils and fats that can be used… And they all have different properties. However, I like to keep things simple. When I find something that works I tend to like to stick to it. There are a lot of exotic oils that can be used (all the oils and fats are saponified when mixed with lye) but I found that the old standbys that people have been using for years have stood the test of time for a reason .... Because they work!!
The majority of my soaps I make with the base of olive oil, lard, coconut oil, and castor oil (Check back as I will add the benefits to these fats when I get time). The goat milk added to each bar gives it an extra boost for the skin but I also like to often add things like cocoa butter and Shea butter just to make it a bit more luxurious (I love them for all types of skin care, may as well put some in my soap!!).

I like to get creative and try different colors and swirls to give the soap some uniqueness and add a bit of decor to the bathroom and kitchen (and because it is fun)  I will also use various natural additives based on their properties and the benefits I think they may add to the soap . . . things like poppyseeds and oatmeal or other exfoliants, herbs, food purees like pumpkin and carrot, spices, various clays, honey, salt etc.  So many options (which makes it fun)!!