About Us

 

IT ALL STARTED IN 1906...

My husband's relatives moved to central Wisconsin in search of a better life like most European immigrants at that time. They purchased a plot of land along the Black River and started clearing land to make room for a home and a small barn. They started raising honey bees and sold their honey to make a living for a few years. As their children grew up, they purchased a few registered Guernsey cows and started a milking cow herd. A few generations later, and now the dairy farm is a larger operation with mostly Holstein dairy cows. 

I married my husband in 2002, and a few years later I left my job at the local veterinary clinic and started working full-time on the dairy farm. We started having children and purchased our first dairy goats in 2007 to have at our petting zoo for the dairy breakfast that we were hosting on our farm that year. I wanted to keep our goat herd going, just in case our children would want to take them to the fair when they were old enough, like my husband did when he was younger. So, I would breed my goats every year to have them kid. I would use their milk to feed their kids, but once their babies weaned, I no longer had use for the goat milk since we are not used to drinking it. I would either dump the milk down the drain or stop milking the goats altogether. 

LOOKING FOR A BETTER PRODUCT...

Two of my three children and I suffer from eczema. Soaps purchased from the store all seemed to inflame our symptoms and bath-time became a nightmare. I then began my internet search to find a better product that was all-natural and could help us out. I had also received a bar of goat milk soap as a gift at that same time, and we were hooked. I began reading about the moisturizing benefits of goat milk soap and about how homemade soaps have natural glycerin in them unlike commercially manufactured soaps that remove the glycerin to sell it for other cosmetic uses. 

I purchase food grade plant oils and use the cold process of making soap by mixing lye and milk into the melted oils. I also add honey because of its antimicrobial properties and to tie back to our original farm roots as a honey farm. I  do not raise the honey myself. I have been stung by bees before and do not want to put myself through that on a daily basis, so I get my honey from family members that are crazy enough to play with bees. I use mostly essential oils to fragrance my soaps because fragrance oils can be reactive to some skin types. I do however have some soaps and most of the lotions scented with fragrance oils because a lot of my customers like the fragrance combinations that fragrance oils offer. Real oatmeal, lavender, rose petals, and cornmeal may also be added to create specialty soaps. 

THREE GENERATIONS WORKING TOGETHER...

Making soap is not a one person job. My first few attempts at making soap were all failures because I tried making them by myself. I realized that I couldn't do it alone, and asked my mother-in-law for help. Finally, my soap started to turn out, and I gave it friends and family as gifts. As more and more people experienced the many benefits of handmade goat milk soap, I got more and more requests for my soap, so I started 1906 Farmstead Soaps LLC. My children also like to help where they can in making or packaging the soap. It means a lot to me that we can all work together and that we can produce an all-natural product that benefits everyone.

SMALL BATCHES...

Each batch of goat milk soap is handcrafted in small batches of about 24 bars. Every batch, even when using the same recipe, may turn out completely different from the last batch. I lovingly call my soap, "its own little monster," because I never know how it will react when making it. Some oils or essential oils can speed up or slow down the soap making process. Humidity can also be a factor. 

Each batch of soap also needs a 6-8 week cure time to dry and so the soap pH can reach a safe level to be used on the skin. 

I enjoy experimenting and trying new techniques, so every week there may be different types of soap available. I love taking suggestions from friends, family, and customers, so if you don't see something that you would like, please send me a message. Thank you very much for showing an interest in my website. I hope you enjoy your soap and share it with others.

© 2019 1906 Farmstead Soaps LLC.

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