Welcome to our studio at Pure Goat Soapworks! Would you like a look around? We make all of our products here, and are even able to host soapmaking classes, if you are interested!
Our studio was built in 2015, mostly by the handiwork of my husband, Kevin. An engineer by trade, he worked with me to plan our layout, and then began construction. Our studio houses our commercial equipment, enabling us to make batches of 240 bars of goat milk soap at a time.
Our newest addition to the space is a double induction cooktop. Since we usually use our large oil melter to combine and melt our oils, we weren’t able to make small batches or heat things independently. Now we are free to experiment with smaller batches, new formulas, and make lotion.
We are excited to be able to reformulate several of our products to add Lanolin, a wonderful skin protectant derived from wool. We are incorporating it into our Smooth & Soften Sugar Scrubs, Lip Balm, and are introducing a wonderfully thick (and yet to be named) hand + foot cream to our product line by summer. We are looking for a few people interested in sampling our lotion, so if you would like to add a sample to your next order, be sure to let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Pictured above is our product creation space (left), and our packaging + photography space (right).
Life is full of surprises, that’s for sure! As a child I often dreamed of the future (I had plans of becoming a professional ballerina, despite being 5’8″ tall and finding the pain of pointe shoes slightly unbearable), and never envisioned my life at 38 to include these gems:
Becoming a Skier – My first experience skiing was a disaster. A complete and total disaster. We went to Swiss Valley in Jones, MI on a class field trip in 7th grade, and after an hour on the bunny hill, we were turned loose to ski the intermediate and advanced slopes. My first run down was terrifying – I hadn’t mastered turning or stopping, and had no idea how to do either. I’m lucky I didn’t end up in the hospital; I relied on the barricade at the bottom of the hill to stop. I left the ski hill knowing that I hated skiing and would never be any good at it.
When I met by husband Kevin in 2000, he had been skiing since childhood and taught me how to ski (including that oh-so-important skill of stopping!) and bought me a pair of my own. All 3 of our children can ski (well, Igor snowboards) and our youngest, 6-year-old Dominic is finishing up his 2nd year as a member of Timber Ridge’s Junior Racing Team. I love skiing now, and spend as much time outdoors in the winter as a I do in the summer (maybe even more??). I logged 15 visits to the slopes this season – my 13-year-old self would be stunned.
Becoming a Morning Person – who knew it was possible? I surely didn’t. I am naturally a night owl, and come from a long lineage of night owls – my mom and dad still have the ability to watch an enthralling movie until 2am. I loved Saturdays because I could sleep in until 10am and would often feel like I was drugged when I tried to wake up “early”. But last year I stumbled upon a life-changing book called The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod that put me on the path to early rising. I realized that I could be so much more productive, and really enhance the quality of my life by waking early. So it’s Saturday, and I was up a little after 6am today.
Becoming a Small Business Owner – I studied Math in college, and managed to get a minor in Dance (my third audition was the charm that got me into that department), and after graduation I went to work as an actuary (rate-maker) for a large insurance company. (I know it sounds incredibly boring, but for a nerd like me it was actually a lot of fun!) The thought of being a business owner was not something I even considered. But… here I am – and it’s fascinating, challenging, and captivating. It’s a bit of an obsession, to tell the truth, and completely unexpected.
(You can read more about the beginning of Pure Goat Soapworks here.)
What are some of the unexpected favorites in your life?
Are you curious to know how we make artisan goat milk soap? Fascinated by the combination of colors and fragrance? When my eyes first gazed upon Kenna Cote’s Tiger Stripe Soap back in 2013, I was smitten. I was mesmerized. I was hooked. I couldn’t believe that I was actually looking at soap! I could scarcely imagine that I would some day be capable of creating anything as stunning as what I saw. Hopefully today I can inspire you! Here is a behinds the scenes look at how we make the artistic color design of our Arabian Nights – Sandalwood Goat Milk Soap at Pure Goat Soapworks.
We begin by prepping our workspace and laying out all of the tools we will need to design our soap. Here you can see that we have already lined our large tray mold with a trashcan liner. It makes for easy soap removal and is lightening fast! We also have pre-mixed our colorants. The tiny squirt bottles have a mixture of reflective mica, mineral pigments, and glycerin in them. The containers for the colorants are at the opposite end of the table, and already contain a mixture of mineral pigments and some of the warmed oils from our soap. At this time we have already made our cold process goat milk soap batter and are ready for our color design.
Next we add some of our soap batter to the pre-mixed blue and gold colorants, and pour the balance of our soap into the mold. Then we begin pouring the colored portion of the soap into lines.
Once all of the soap has been poured into lines, we can manipulate it to make gorgeous patters. Arabian Nights features a pattern in soapmaking known as the Peacock Swirl. Kevin custom made tools so we can quickly and evenly rake the soap. Then we take another tool and make an s-pattern to recreate the peacock feather pattern. When we are content with the look of the design, we insert the dividers, cover the mold, and wait patiently for at least 24 hours before we can unmold.
The final result stirs the same excitement in my heart as my first discovery of handcrafted artisan soap! Are you smitten as well? You can have your own piece of the magic here!