Archive 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Shipped all the custom orders yesterday

Whew! That was close but ALL the custom orders have been shipped and will be received for the Holidays. Making those custom orders was a whole lot of fun.

It’s exciting when you care enough about our products to give them as gifts for your friends. We are humbled and honored. Thank you for the opportunity.

Happy Holidays from all the critters at Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps.

Posted by Pat Allen, Owner/Operator 0 comments

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Free Shipping for the Holidays

Join us as we celebrate FREE SHIPPING during the Holidays! We ship Priority Mail via USPS where items weighing less than seventy pounds ship for one price.

Hey, we can do that! Most of our products range between 4 to 7 ounces. So, the 70 pound limit is EZ.

Our Web Specials and Gift Shop pages have been setup to calculate no shipping charges throughout the Holidays.

Make sure your gifts arrive on time. Order Now!

Posted by Pat Allen, Owner/Operator 0 comments

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family is always first

Family is still the most important thing in the world to me. Like many of us, I lose sight of this from time to time: Thinking of my businesses, dogs, cats, chickens, goats, milking, laundry, and other day-to-day tidings.

Absentmindedly focusing only on the now and could be, I was immediately reminded of family when I received a call from the manager of my mother’s apartment wanting to know what happened last night. That’s a scary question coming from anyone but from where my mother lives, it became a sharp, significant concern. As the story unfolded I became acutely aware that mother could no longer live alone. She’s 86 and has dementia.

For the past four years, she has been surrounded by wonderful people. Neighbors who dropped by for a chat, visited for a few minutes, took turns checking on her, calling her to see how she was doing, and offering to do something to help. Many kept her company until her next nap or the next football game came on TV. Thank you all for what you have meant to mother. But a time comes with neighbors can no longer provide the care and concern that is needed. It is time for family.

I received my call this morning. By the time I arrived at her apartment, the nightly puzzle began fitting together. Mother is getting more confused in the evenings than during the day. Her frequent falls aren’t helping either. Sometime she doesn’t remember falling much less remember whether she’s taken her pills or not.

She took the wrong sleeping pill last week. I so carefully counted each and every pill as I put them in the her weekly organizer but she managed to pick out the pill she wanted to help her sleep. Trouble is that it was a strong pill. We decided to let her sleep it off while we talked about increasing our care. We hovered over her for three days. She’s fine — just confused and forgetful.

She’s home with me now so I can watch her more carefully. Between the four dogs and our alarm system, we’ll know where she is every minute of the day.

Mother is taking a nap now but when she awakens, will she remember where she is. Apparently dementia strikes in the blink of an eye as her memory fades and she becomes confused. I’ve seen a bit of it in her but I suspect her confusion will increase. Hopefully slowly but it will increase.

I’ll continue producing my goat milk bath products whenever possible. But please know that when mother calls, I will be with her.

Prayers are most appreciated.

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Labels: dementiafamily

Friday, November 06, 2009

My job

I have the absolute most perfect job on the planet. I raise nubian dairy goats and make goat milk bath and beauty products with their milk. Working from home has been a lifetime dream of mine. I just didn’t know that it would take 10 acres, miles of fences, several outbuildings, and livestock to fulfill it.

I birth the babies, milk the mamas, and make the soaps and lotions. That’s starting at the beginning, isn’t it. Actually, the beginning goes back to breeding the right buck to the right doe to get a confirmationally strong baby and body condition. But that beginning goes back even further, too. Sigh … there is no end to getting the right start. You just start where you are then figure out the rest.

Most folks who breed goats were lucky enough to be born on the farm and continued in the family business. My closest encounter with farm life was spending summers with my grandparents — both sides. So maybe I’m reclaiming my youth. That’s good. My childhood memories of running up and down cotton rows, crawling through an abandoned pig pens, and collecting eggs from the hen house are warm and fuzzy if not a bit black and muddy. But one of my favorite memories was of taking the halter off my horse Dolly. She wouldn’t let me put it on, my grandfather had to do that. BUT she would lower her head so I could take it off.

Think about that for a moment. A huge animal (horse) knew that a smaller animal (me at 8 years old) would do what the huge animal wanted simply by lowering its head. Working/playing with animals ignited a passion within me at a very early age. Thank you Dolly.

Unfortunately that passion became hidden when my teenage hormones erupted. Don’t many of us lose our minds when hormones erupt? … moving on … .

These hormones took over. I got married too early had a beautiful baby boy, then got a divorce when the guy took off his navy uniform. ugh … . Yup, uniforms do make ’em look better!

Didn’t graduate from high school. But have managed to earn two graduate degrees and have enough college hours for three more degrees. School was a p-r-e-t-t-y good deal after all. I became a sponge and just couldn’t get enough learning.

That learning passion continues even today. I’m always researching and improving my goat milk bath and beauty products as well as working to improve my goat herd’s creditability. There’s no end and I like it that way.

Now I need a horse so I can name her Dolly. Actually, we need two horses. This current husband of mine has been around for more than 30 years and is my soul mate. He’ll have to name his own horse, though.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pamper Yourself Crochet Pattern Book

Several of you have asked for the patterns for my crochet goods. The link to Annies Attic is above where you can go drool over their patterns.

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but the flu held me down for two weeks. Bouncing back, I’m working on catching up.

I do appreciate your interest. Pat

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Labels: crochet patterns

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Web Special — 3 Goat Milk Soaps and Gift Tub with FREE SHIPPING

A $28.00 value on sale for $20.00 plus FREE SHIPPING. Only while supplies last.

Each creamy colored metal bucket can double as a bath container and comes with three goat milk soaps:

    • Maschio Motivo’s Espresso Caffé Latté contains espresso coffee grounds for a special exfoliating feeling;

 

    • Wayland’s Patchouli Plunge fills your senses with a fresh herbaceous, earthy aroma; and

 

  • Dean’s Orange Delight completes the aromatic tones with a cleansing citrus scent.

Our goat milk is high in fats, proteins, and vitamins that naturally moisturize and enrich dry, sensitive skin.

Ingredients: saponified oils of shortening, palm, coconut, olive, corn & castor oils, goat milk, essentials oils, cocoa butter glycerin, borax, salt and sugar. As a free gift, we’ve included a bathing puff and a gift tag for your convenience.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

God’s Country Outfitters, Albemarle,NC

What a delightful time we had at GCO’s event. GCO has hosted this Hospice of Stanly fund raiser for the past two years, and we’ve been there, too. GCO has been a customer for several years so anything Nathan needs, we do our best to accommodate.

Like last year, we donated several products for the hospice auction. Actually, all the vendors donated special products or services to help rise money for hospice. Listening to the auctioneer’s chant always gets folks in the mood for spending. Cool.

Throughout the day, we chatted with customers and folks came by our booth to meet Natalie. I’m amazed at how many folks had goats in their youth. Love your stories. Yes, goats are incredible creatures. We’re blessed to have them.

Our favorite spot is by the fire hydrant. It’s perfect for goat poop and protection. However, we always bring a broom and dust pan for cleaning up after our goats. It’s OUR poop. We haul it in; we haul it out. Moving on … .

October begins our festival season here in North Carolina so we always have tons of soaps for the events. Usually the weather is perfect with gentle breezes and an occasional slight overcast.

The umbrella came in handy, though. It’s light weight enough that we could move it throughout the day making sure the ladies had shade, got to protect those fair skins. Remember: too much sun can be harmful to your skin. Always use a sun screen.

Attending festivals is new to us but we’ll be pros by the end of the season because we’re going to attend as many as possible. Our camp is made up of light weight tables, portable everything, as many wheels as possible, and fresh, good looking merchandise.

This year we unveiled our Sensual Sandalwood Goat Milk Soap with Natalie’s photograph on the label. Have I mentioned that all our products have a picture of a goat? It’s our way of honoring the herd that makes our goat milk soaps and lotions possible.

Goats are excellent companions. They get in and out of the truck by themselves. They can carry their weight in supplies (with care), and they work for water and grass. Natalie drew a crowd and let dozens of folks pet her while I was working with customers and talking about our goat milk skin care products.

As soon as we make more decisions on which festivals we’ll be attending, I’ll broadcast our schedule so you can come meet us. Meeting customers is truly enriching for me. I look forward to chatting with you.

More later … Pat

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Labels: donationsGod’s Country OutfittersHospice of Stanly County,petting goatstrade show

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skin Care Resources

During my research on skin types I found that most proponents of healthy skin espoused the adage “you are what you eat” because no scientific studies have defined different skin types.

I did learn, however, that Helena Rubinstein started using these terms in the early 1900s. Since then these skin care market segments have ballooned into a billion-dollar industry by creating and marketing products made specifically for these skin types.

That’s what I was going to do!

Instead, most skin care professionals encourage folks to eat healthy, fresh foods.

Read more …

Posted by Pat Allen, Owner/Operator 0 comments

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Working Festivals and Meeting Customers are Fun Times

Attending the Badin Heritage Festival in Badin, NC was tons of fun. I met folks who enjoyed handmade soaps, folks who had heard of goat milk soap, and those who hadn’t.

All of us had a fun day! The weather was wonderful, the location on the Badin Museum front yard was perfect, Natalie (goat) was a super lady who allowed oodles of new friends to pet her, and the teenagers took care of each other, the goat, and me. To all of you, Many Thanks.

I truly enjoyed chatting with new customers about their skin care challenges and the benefits that our goat milk bath and beauty products offer. We had a few laughs together, told a few stories, and shared many skin care tips.

For those of you who needed the soap badly enough to take it without paying for it, please be my guest. I have an advertising budget and hand out samples all the time. All you had to do was ask. Parents please keep an eye on your children. Often ‘getting away with it’ is a game – in their youth. Unfortunately, that game grows to be harmful.

We will improve our security. We have just now begun working festivals and are improving our management skills with every event. We at Gran’ Nanny’s are big on lessons learned instead of fault or blame.

Unfortunately, most lessons learned follow after the death of one of our beloved goats. When a goat dies, we have a responsibility to everyone else to learn why and then improve our procedures and methodology so that the same event doesn’t happen again.

I’m working on our festival schedule for the season and will publish it as soon as a few more decisions are made.

We look forward to meeting you, talking with you about the benefits of goat milk soap and listening to your suggestions for future products.

I love hearing your goat stories. It’s amazing how many folks have had goats in their youth. Aren’t they incredible, inquisitive creatures!

Happy soaping!
Pat Allen, President
Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps, Inc.

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Labels: festival boothproduct displaysecurity

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Soap Making Process Makes or Breaks Your End Product

Having a recipe for making soap is one thing but knowing how to put all the ingredients together makes a huge difference. When? How? What temperature? For how long? … are all critical questions that can be answered by taking a few minutes before you begin to stop and think about what your getting ready to do.

I’ll be writing an instructional series on how to make soap. But more pointedly, I’ll be focusing on how you can develop your own process for making soaps. It’s been my experience that the process one uses to make soaps makes a significant difference in the end result.

Since theses instructional steps are being developed and released concurrently, I’m not sure at this point exactly how many steps will be included. My plan is to work through my process then let you know what works for me. Some of my recommendations may not work for you, and that’s fine, but at least you will have a model process to change. You’ll have a beginning, so to speak.

By working with a tested process, you will have a better understanding of equipment layout, storage needs, and space planning. My experience in these fields is buttressed by years of store planning and architectural/interior design, as well as years of writing information technology process manuals and teaching writing courses at the university level.

Getting Ready
If this is the first time you’ve made soap, then you are probably working with a recipe/formula you got from an experience soap maker. Chances are good the author included some preliminary instructions on how to put these ingredients together. But, did the author write the recipe for a beginning soap maker or for an experienced soap maker who has a degree ‘presumed knowledge’. The nuances make a difference.

Thoroughly understand your recipe.
 Be aware of the caustic materials, the temperatures, the flash points, the precautions, the neutralizers, and the ventilation needed to be safe.

Get your ingredients out where you can see them. Make sure you have enough of everything that your recipe calls for. Having these ingredients together will also help you remember to put all of them in your mix; forgetting an oil critically alters your end product.

Working with lye is dangerous. You must exercise caution with every step. Lye can burn your skin and inhaling its fumes can burn your mucus membranes as well as your eyes! Be careful! Know all precautions. Place neutralizers throughout your work space and have emergency phone numbers where everyone one can see them.

Gather all your equipment in one spot
; make sure you have all the tools you’ll need BEFORE beginning because you will not have time to go searching for missing equipment or ingredients once the chemistry starts working.

Put your equipment is in its proper place. This way that spoon you desperately need will be where you need it when you need it instead of across the room or in a closed drawer.

TIP: A ‘walk-through’ helps. What I mean by this is walking-through what the recipe instructions tell you to do; kind of like role-playing but without the ingredients. Go through every step the author suggests just to make sure you understand which tools work with each step. This is how I learned where to put my stainless steal spoons versus my rubber spatula; and where to store my stove and my immersion blender.

Clean or otherwise prepare your countertops and tools. I say this because I make goat milk soaps and lotions and everything that touches milk must be sanitized for milk to produce its best results.

Your room must be clean, well lit and have adequate ventilation and exits.Just in case you need to leave quickly. No children, no pets and no items on floors that might cause you to trip, slip or fall.

For you graphic learners, I have translated the above text into a process chart.

This concludes the Getting Ready steps. Next I’ll address more of the actual preparation of soap making. That will take more time to develop so please be patient with me. I’m working on it.

May your soapmaking be joyful!

Posted by Pat Allen, Owner/Operator 0 comments

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

How important is it that the soap you purchase match the photograph on the web?

I ask because I’m always experimenting with designs, colors, textures, exfoliates, and sizes. Swirls are my passion now and will be until I master them. Then I’ll move onto another design challenge. How would be the best way to convey my designs to you? More than likely every batch I make will be different from the last because soap making is wonderfully creative.

Here are two examples of how our products have improved.
The first two photographs are of our Minnie’s Goat Milk Olive Oil Soap, the black and white photo was one of my earliest batches and before we had a color printer; whereas, the teal colored photo was taken with our new packaging design.

The differences between the two involve labeling and packaging. We now have a color laser printer; labels are laminated; and all soaps are shrink-wrapped for cleanliness.

Minnie’s Goat Milk Olive Oil Soap

Example two: The forsythia background showcases one my earliest batches of Bucky’s Bergamot Bar whereas the blue swirl design in the fourth photograph is my latest batch of bergamot. In addition to new labeling/packaging, we have a better photograph of Bucky (our main man).

Here’s my quandary, I’m not sure what the next batches of these products, and others, will look like — not for sure anyway.
My formulas are pretty much established; that is, until I learn of a different oil combination that is better for your skin.

The industry is bursting with creative people. All of us love our craft and want to make the best products possible. The goats are pretty set in their ways (that’s a good thing). We feed them fresh hay, green grasses, grain, fresh water and treats galore. They’re a lot like me; feed me and I’m happy.

Bucky’s Bergamot Bar

But aromatherapists and suppliers are constantly inventing new products, finding new suppliers. The industry changes frequently. Tell me the best way to communicate with you about our products:

  • Should I update my website with every new batch?
  • Should I remove individual photographs and just have a photo composite of our products?

Please let me hear from you on what you expect when you purchase merchandise online. I look forward to hearing from you,
Pat Allen

 

Posted by Pat Allen, Owner/Operator 2 comments

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Goat Milk Soapy Sachet as a Facial Scrub

Creating new products is part of the fun of working with soaps. Soap marketing and packaging is sooooo creative, the possibilities are as exciting as they are endless.

That’s why we created our Soapy Sachet.

  • Each organza bag contains shredded soap that you leave in the bag.
  • Wet the bag then use it as a cloth for cleansing your skin.
  • It’s perfect for facial scrubs (gently, please).

Currently we have our Goat Milk Olive Oil Soap shreds available. We wanted to start with our softest, most gentle soaps so you could see how it works for you.

When you’re through washing your face, form the wet sachet the way you want to use it next time because it dries in the shape you leave it. I like the soft rounded shape but you can form any shape. That’s another part of the fun!

The red sachet holds more than 4 ounces of shredded soap. It sells for $5.00 and will last longer than the average soap bar.

Follow the title link for more information.

Happy sudz, Pat

Happy suds, Pat

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Newest Soap Batch Aging Nicely

The newest soap batch is aging nicely. This morning they were firm enough to bevel the edges. Touching our new soaps is a pleasant experience. They’re creamy and make my hands feel soft after working with soaps. Maybe that’s why I handle them so much.

Anyway, they’re back on the drying racks now. Just waiting … and waiting … waiting until they’re just right. Then, as soon as they’re dry enough, I’ll take them to the packaging and labeling room where each bar is polished, shrink wrapped and labeled.

But this is a new batch so they’ll need naming. That’s a whole new process that I’ll talk about next time. I’ve blended three essentials oils: lavender, rosemary, and bergamot. In addition to the gentleness of goat milk, we’ll have the effectiveness of these essential oils.

More later as this batch makes its way through the process.

 

 

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Made new soaps yesterday

Right smack dab in the middle of making a soap batch yesterday, I noticed that I only had 3 ounces of Lavender EO. YIKES I need 6 ounces!!! !!!!

I’ve just GOT to do a better job of inventory management.

My fellow soapmakers know I had less than one minute to respond. Thinking while I was running to my EO vault, I quickly grabbed my Rosemary EO. OH NOOOOOOOOOO, it only had a smidgin in it. (A smidgin is defined as a way-lot-less than what you NEED.) All right, which EO blends well with Lavender and Rosemary … … … (think woman think) … Bergamot!

I grabbed a bottle. Whew … I finally ENOUGH EO to complete my batch.

Now, what will this blend smell like? Sigh .. It’s a good thing I’ve been reading about aromatherapy and had a handle on what to do next. Well, yes, of course I’m a professional. Ah … I’m sure I can duplicate this formula. Ah … yes, I’m sure. (Watch this batch be a big seller. That’s OK, I’ll figure it out.)

Well, the drama is over. It’s up to the nose now. I’ll slice the batch this afternoon and let you know about the fragrance tones. Stay tuned …

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Labels: aromatherapyessential oilshand made soapssoapmaking

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We’re almost out of crisis mode

After losing two goats last week we’ve been in crisis mode in getting the barns cleaned and I mean CLEAN. ALL the dirt,sand,debris has been removed. The sand has been replaced, limed, tilled and raked. New proceduers are in place for the health, safty, and welfare of the goats.

Yesterday we initiated an on-site labatory to conduct McMasters testing procedures on each and every goat. Each goat will be medicated and monitored individually.

Needless to say, I went a little/lot crazy when we lost our babies to parasites. I hate that! Mainly because it can be avoided. grrrrrrrrr

Lessons Learned: Reduce the population, practice our FAMACHA training daily on each individual goat, monitor each goat closely, and keep the barns CLEAN.

Did I mention we have more helpers in the barns? On yes, I couldn’t do this by myself. We’re growing and need help.

Special thanks and memorial go to Rascal and Judd for helping us learn more about how to care for our goats. I’m learning that death is eventual for all farm animals. It is, however, critically important that we learn from each death so we can improve our herd’s health and help them grow stronger every year.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Getting Away from it all

Toast

Here’s to getting away from it ALLLLLLL.

 

 

 

We’re on top of Stoney Mountain visiting the Stony Mountain Vineyards on this most beautiful day.

 

 

 


The incredible day, breath-taking scenery, delightful wine = perfection.
Fellowship and re-connecting with friends = priceless.

You two made this getaway memorable.
Please come again. We have more hideaways out here in Stanly County.

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