How It Started
Join in on the journey of how I got started making goat milk cosmetic products from the goats on my funny farm
My journey started when we were finally able to purchase our own home! I moved to a little town called Jordan, MT in 2011. We rented a nice trailer house and then moved to a nicer trailer house, but we were still renting. We welcomed our first daughter in 2012, married in 2013, and welcomed our 2nd daughter in 2018, all while living in our rented trailer. Don't get me wrong, I loved that trailer, and it was very nice, but we worked hard and I was ready for our own home. The problem is housing in this little town is very hard to come by. I happened to get inside knowledge on a house going up for sale and made a deal! We finally purchased our own home in December of 2020.
It's a lovely 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom ranch style home on 5 acres. This excited me even more because I have horses and would finally be able to have them at home with me! My childhood dream was always to have my horses outside my front door. The house was in good condition but needed a really thorough cleaning and painting. We moved in on January 15th, 2021, 3 weeks after our purchase. The four of us and 2 dogs were so happy! The property also has a 60x30 barn on the property. Everything in my dreams was coming true. The barn needed some major cleaning, and if I remember correctly we hauled 5 dump trailers of garbage out of it, but I could finally see the floors and make sense of it. There was a giant chicken coop with nesting boxes still on the walls! They warn you that chickens are the gateway drug of homesteading-and they were absolutely correct. My daughters and I went and got 7 silkie chickens to start our homestead off right (have you ever seen a silkie chicken? cutest creatures ever!).
One of my friends from our coffee group at the local bar every morning asked me if my girls would like to raise bumb lambs. Now when I tell you I am an animal lover, I am not exaggerating. I have had every animal from cats to snakes and everything in between. So of course I could not say no to taking on bumb lambs. How hard could they be? Well, they are hard to keep alive, but so rewarding. We have spent so many hours bottle-feeding newborn lambs, watching them grow, noticing when they are sick, and the hardships of losing them when they are not strong enough to make it and there is nothing you can do about it. We laugh and giggle and give them silly names and love every minute of it. And my girls have learned hard life lessons at an early age. These memories will be with me forever and I would not trade them for anything.
By May of 2021 we had 2 dogs, 7 cats (we inherited with the place), 2 horses, 7 chickens, and 9 bumb lambs. Our little homestead was so fun, we were taking it all in and learning something new every day. We were making improvements to the barn and the fencing and every little thing that needed to be done. The lambs got bigger and eventually, we weaned them off their bottles and they went to eating hay and grain and grass. Then one day I was scrolling Facebook and saw an ad for 3 goats, a nanny, and her two kids. Surprisingly it was in a town not far away! Jordan is very secluded and we are almost 100 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart or fast food. Our community has 2 bars, 1 grocery store, a restaurant, a school, and a gas station. So when I saw goats for sale and they were only 115 miles from me, I jumped at the chance! I called up a friend and we made a plan to stop and get them with her trailer when she was on her way home from the sale barn.
Now, I am SURE I told my husband about the goats, but he swears he had no idea (I just believe that is one of the times he decided to tune me out). So he was slightly surprised when he got home from fencing that day and saw 3 goats in the dog pen. He walked over and gave them a pet and said "What are you going to do with those?" I planned to milk the nanny and her doeling the following year to feed the milk to the bumb lambs, being frugal and saving money on expensive milk replacer from the feed store! He just accepted that we now had goats, shook his head, and walked inside. So by August of 2021, we were at 2 dogs, 7 cats, 2 horses, 7 chickens, 9 sheep and 3 goats.
Then winter inevitably hit, like it always does in Montana. I got bored and did a lot of mindless scrolling on Pinterest when it was -50 outside. I happened to come across some goat cheese recipes, and then ice cream recipes, and then soap recipes, and lotion recipes. Everything looked so fun to experiment with and try, I was so excited! I couldn't wait for my 2 nanny goats to kid in the spring so I could start collecting milk and experimenting with the recipes I found. Finally, spring came, and the nannies, Annie and Allie, had their kids and I started milking them. It was so rewarding! Very difficult at times, but so worth it. It didn't take them long to become professionals on the milk stand and I got real quick at milking.
The first product I started working on was the goat milk lotion. I have been a religious user of goat milk lotion for the past 10 years, so it seemed really cool to me that I could possibly make it myself! I tried a few different recipes and then started tweaking ingredients. I had batches that came out terrible and watery and batches that looked good but got moldy. It took me approximately 2 months to perfect my recipe, but when I got it right it was AMAZING! I was so excited I started sharing it with my friends and family and my girls were taking it to their friends and family and teachers. I was encouraged to start selling it! And that is the story of how a girl from Jordan MT started a business making goat milk lotion.
I encourage you to check out the store at bbfarmssoapco.com and see all the different lotion scents we have to offer! Our travel sizes are only $5.00 and you will not be disappointed. Stay tuned for more blog posts. I will talk about making my products, ingredients, supplies, raising goats, and other homestead adventures that pop up along the way, as well as the business side of everything. Don't forget to subscribe to the blog. That way you won't miss a thing.