About Milk Maid Soaps
Milk Maid Soaps is located on a small farm on the Snake River outside of Asotin, Washington, which nestled in the far southeast corner of Asotin County, in Washington State, along the Snake River.
This area is rich with Native American history with “pictorial carvings “ on the large boulders along the Snake River and signage telling of the story of Chief Joseph moving his people to another home, stories of early white settlers, homesteaders, and ranchers, including members of my husband’s family dating back to the mid 1800’s.
How we Started making Goat Milk Soaps
In the early summer of 2001, my husband and I went to visit our best friends in Southern Idaho. They had lived in Asotin before that and we became best of friends thru our children. “Sis”, as we always called each other, had raised goats for many years and we started to talk about what she could do with all the extra milk when the babies were weaned.
Later that day we went to an area fair and saw booths selling goat-milk soap. Light-bulbs started to flash. The next day we visited another goat farm down the road where this lady made soap. She was nice but very “tight-lipped” about the process.
That evening we started to research on the internet and found several recipes. Some had very expensive ingredients and harsh additives, but we printed them out to test them.
Two days later when we had to return home, Sis sent several gallons of frozen goat milk home with me to experiment. Some trials were complete flops, but others weren’t too bad. I took samples to work and everyone gave me input and shared their likes and dislikes.
When I had used almost all the milk Sis had sent home with me, I started looking for more. I got a few bottles from my daughter who was raising goats for 4-H projects and home use. However, I needed more than what she could spare with her four children.
Everyone else in my area already had more customers than they could handle. A lot of people like produce directly from the farmer and not chemically and commercially processed.
A fellow employee at the company I was working for at that time put me in contact with a goat farmer about 55 miles away. I contacted the farmer and this was the beginning of a friendship. He and his wife came to town to visit their grandkids and brought me some milk. We had coffee together and visited.
During our visit I learned that “Dawn”, the farmer's wife, was allergic to gluten and had to be on a gluten-free diet. This affected her drinking milk of any kind, until they started feeding their goats only grains that did not contain gluten.
She also had other allergies which prevented her from using many store-bought products including soap and shampoo. We talked about the ingredients that I used in my soaps and Dawn said she would try some if I used the gluten free milk. Now she and her family only use the “Natural Soap” with no fragrance. They supply me with the milk I need and I keep them in a supply of soap. It is always good to make new friends and help each other.
Our Research Process to Find what People Want in Soap
What I learned from this experience was that most people want something natural, no animal fats like lard, no colors and dyes, or scratchy additives, and only mild fragrances, leaning more toward something on the gentle and hypo-allergenic side. I have taken into consideration the likes and dislikes that customers feel are important in a good product and created Milk Maid Soaps.
I was at the time working at a design and manufacturing company, so my fellow employees started suggesting fragrances, using only essential oils, and finding simple and inexpensive packaging ideas.
The graphic design artist designed the labels in trade for soap and the guys took soap home to get their wives opinions. This was the start of a new hobby and now a part-time business.
Check out our selection of goat milk soaps made entirely from natural ingredients.