Our Handcrafting Process

Our slogan here is "By Hand", and that is carried out in my soapmaking life as well as the rest of our homestead.  All my soaps and balms are made from scratch here in my kitchen in small batches from 6 to 36 bars at a time, never from a purchased base like many soap sellers.  Compare my ingredients list to that of other soaps (even "handmade" ones) and you can see the difference - there is nothing but oils, lye, fragrance/essential oils, and water or goat milk (and the occasional lavender flowers or ground oatmeal of course!).  And the lotions!  There are so many ingredients in commercial lotions - but my body and lip balms are just local beeswax, butters & oils, and fragrance/essential oils.  If you're looking for pure and simple, it doesn't get better than this!  I only use great ingredients – no palm oil, soybean oil, canola oil, or any others with controversial cultivation, harvest, labor, or business practices, and I also avoid the really exotic and expensive ingredients, so I can keep my costs down for you. However, I do invest in high-quality ingredients like pure essential oils, and even specialty ones - for example, citrus oils are considered photo-sensitizers on skin, but Bergamot is much worse than the other varieties, so for direct skin use like balms and deodorants, I pay much more for the Bergaptene-free version. I have a few basic recipes that are the best I could find – and then I tweaked them to meet my standards while maintaining the high-quality product (so for example, my shampoo replaces the recipe's palm oil with local, pastured lard, and the expensive Kukui nut oil with avocado oil). Please read my About Handmade Soap page for more detail on why you should use quality handcrafted soap!

For my Classic Lard soaps, I use local lard that I render myself from neighbor and fellow small-farmer Cove Creek's pastured, non-GMO-fed pigs. While lard soap (aka lye soap) often has a reputation for being harsh or rough on skin, that is largely because many years ago, lye was not consistently refined, and people didn't use precision measurements. Today, with 100% pure lye and my digital scale, lard makes a beautiful white soap, very hard and long-lasting, with good cleaning power, while being very gentle and soothing on skin. (If hearing "lye" makes you nervous, then definitely check out my About Handmade Soap page and see why you shouldn't worry!)  I have gotten great reviews, both in person and through my Etsy shop, about how wonderful this soap is for skin - gentle, moisturizing, cleansing, and no residue!
I know this is an unusually low price compared to most handmade soap, but I want to offer a soap that is economical for everyday use, and since it is 3/4 free local lard rather than exotic imported oils, my input costs are very low (other than the days spent rendering lard of course!). We try to live as “lightly” as possible, and I want to help make that an option for others as well.

For my Goat Milk soaps, I milk my goats (and sheep) by hand, from April through October and freeze it for year-round use.  If you have used goat milk soap before, or any good handmade soap, you know that it is a completely different creature than commercial soap, which can be so drying!  If you haven't yet, pop over to my About Handmade Soap page for a quick (but interesting!) chemistry lesson on just exactly why that is.  I used to use lotions and moisturizers a lot, especially in the winter, but I virtually never use them anymore, other than some of my grass-fed tallow balm on my hands and lips occasionally.  Goat milk is renowned for the luxurious qualities it gives soap, particularly gentle exfoliating and over-the-top moisturizing. I hand-milk my goats Gretchen, Snowpea, and Elvira, and use the rich milk as well as olive and coconut oils, almond, castor, and avocado oils and shea butter to make this wonderful soap. I don't use Palm oil as many soapmakers do - while it itself is a useful oil, I can't condone the harmful cultivation practices used to produce it, and find I don't need it - this soap is wonderful without it!  It is so moisturizing and good for your skin, with extra vitamins and nutrients from the goat milk, as well as the luxurious oils I use.  

Other soap companies are just that – SOAP companies – but we are a small, family homestead that produces handmade soap as one facet of our diverse, small-scale farm so that we can both stay home and raise our 3 home-schooled boys and teach them how to love and care for the world around them through animals, gardens, and the joy, satisfaction, and confidence that comes from knowledge and capability. If you're interested in finding out more about our homestead, stop by our blog and photo galleries here, or take a peek at our Instagram page (it's kind of like a mini-blog and I post there much more regularly!), or pop over to our Facebook page. Thanks for checking out our products, and supporting small farms and handcrafter artisans!