Jul 4, 2014

We're Getting There

A Little at a Time, Soap fans,
We're still getting back on our feet and up to speed after the temporary shut-down, which was supposed to be for five months and now looks like it will ultimately have been for fifteen months.  Each time we'd hit what felt like "bottom," I'd think, "Okay, now I can formulate a plan and get us out of this."  Then, something else would happen and we'd hit a new "bottom."  Finally, it seems like everything has stabilized (*touch wood*) and we can truly get back to business.

Many of your contributed to our Kiva Zip crowd-funded micro-loan and for that we are very grateful.  The funds will not go as far as we'd originally hoped, but was still invaluable.

We were able to get some supplies in and I've weaned this year's baby goats so that the meager milkings (and they are meager) can all go into the soaps.  The website is open and taking orders.

Mixed Bags are back on-line.  If you love a value and a mystery, they're a great way to get your goat milk soap fix.

The plan from here is to ship normally* through the summer and be back at our craft shows and street fairs in October.  That's the plan, anyway.

On The Lighter Side These baby goats seem to think they're birds.  Hens, specifically.

Here we see Zoe and Annie sue, nesting on top of the stacks of hay in the shed, a good 6 feet off the ground.

I still love that shed.  It seems silly to love a shed, but we no longer lose hay to rain-cum-mold and Bobby and I built it together.  It was kind of his first gift to me.

Farmers are a different breed, I tell you what.

*(As is typical for summer, we won't be shipping any products that melt, like lotion, body butter, lip balm, etc.)

Mar 27, 2014

Help a Local Farm for as Little as $5

Remember that newsletter...
...we sent out on January 9, all excited about getting the farm back up and running and even expanding the business this year?

This post is not quite like that one (but there are cute pictures at the bottom, so stick with me for just a few more minutes).

I'm gonna level with you, soap fans.  The subsequent two months have not gone as planned.  None of the goats are milking at all well and we lost a crucial piece of soap-making equipment.  You can read more about it here, if you want.  What this means is that we'll have to remain all but closed for the foreseeable future.  And I'm off to orientation for my new job today, to pay for the adult goats' feed and the baby goats' formula.

But hope springs eternal and help is on the horizon.  We have been approved for a Kiva Zip loan.

"What is Kiva Zip?"  I'm glad you asked.  Kiva Zip is a crowd-funded micro-lender.  They pool small loans from many people to help small businesses like ours.  You can make a loan of as little as $5.  Unlike Kickstarter or Indiegogo, you get your money back or you can re-lend it to another entrepreneur.

"What will you use the money for?"  Despite the serial difficulties we've faced, we have no intention of going down without a fight (especially when Bobby was all excited to leave his cubicle and come be a farmer).  We plan to be back in force for the fourth quarter, if not sooner.  To reach that goal, we need capital for:
  • event booth fees
    • these range from $75-$500
    • some have to be paid soon
  • a new barn for the goats and improved hay/grain feeders
  • supplies
    • each round of soap-making costs about $750 in oils, scents, etc.
    • plus we need ingredients for lotion, lip balm, scrub, etc.
  • at least one new goat who is milking well
    • hard to make goat milk soap without that!
Once the baby goats are weaned, we'll be able to start making soap with whatever milk we're getting (more is obviously better) and doing things to shore up our infrastructure and make improvements, like better displays and more efficient production.

So it is, in this dim hour, that I reach out to you, our customers, the unsung core component of our business for your help.  Loans of all sizes are appreciated, doubly so because there is a corporate gift matching program in place (meaning your $50 loan will become $100 for us!).

There is a bit of a time factor, also.  We need to get 15 lenders in the next two weeks for our loan to progress and be listed publicly.  I know we can do this!  For as little as $5, a little more than the cost of one bar of soap, you can help us save our year and maybe the whole business.

If you haven't clicked one of the links above, click this one now to lend your aid.

You do have to sign up on their website to be able to lend; here are instructions in case you have any trouble (you shouldn't, it's pretty straightforward).

To even things out, here's a baby goat:

Our 'house goat', Annie Sue, hanging out with our old pit-mix Piper.  Not quite 'lions laying down with lambs,' but pretty darn close.

Your friendly neighborhood goat lady,