Goats Milk Soap Handmade in Mancos

08/28/2020

The St. Hilaire family’s business started out as a 4H project raising goats, now they hand-craft soaps and lotions made from 40 percent goat milk, and they have customers from all over the country.

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WHAT STARTED OUT AS A 4-H PROJECT HAS TURNED INTO A PROFITABLE  BUSINESS FOR A MONTEZUMA COUNTY FAMILY WHO HAND-MAKES ORGANIC SOAPS, LOTIONS AND OTHER BODY-CARE PRODUCTS WITH MILK FROM THE GOATS THEY RAISE ON THEIR MANCOS-AREA RANCH. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY FOUR CORNERS AESTHETICS AND WOMEN'S HEALTH AND PUEBLO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SOUTHWEST. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. A HERD OF ALPINE AND NUBIAN GOATS ARE PART OF THE FAMILY ON THE SAINT H RANCH SOUTH OF MANCOS. THE GOATS LIVE IN THE SHADOW OF MESA VERDE AND THE LA PLATA MOUNTAINS, WHERE THEY'RE PAMPERED WITH ORGANIC FOODS, GROOMED AND CLEANED REGULARLY, HAVE PLENTY OF PASTURE TO ROAM, AND SLEEP COZIED UP TO A COUPLE OF FURRY WHITE PYRRENES-MIX GUARD DOGS. THE SAINT HILAIRE FAMILY SAYS THEY WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. THAT'S BECAUSE THEIR GOATS SUPPLY THE MILK THEY USE TO TURN INTO ORGANIC SOAPS AND BODY-CARE PRODUCTS THAT CONSUMERS NATIONWIDE ORDER FROM THEIR STORE ONLINE. GOATS CAME INTO THE DAN AND DIANE SAINT HILAIRE FAMILY WHEN THEIR NOW 24-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER, SHELBY, SUFFERED FROM HEALTH ISSUES AS A CHILD. THEY FOUND THAT SHE COULD DIGEST GOATS MILK MORE EASILY THAN COWS MILK, AND THEY ALSO STARTED MAKING THEIR OWN GOATS MILK SOAPS AND OTHER CLEANING PRODUCTS BECAUSE IT WAS GENTLER ON SHELBY'S SENSITIVE SKIN. THEN, SHELBY AND HER SISTER, MADISON, DECIDED ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO TO RAISE GOATS FOR A 4-H PROJECT, AND THE SOAP BUSINESS FOLLOWED AS NATURALLY AS KIDS FOLLOW THEIR NANNY.
IT'S A GREAT PRODUCT. WE TOTALLY BELIEVE IN IT. AND WE WANTED TO SHARE THAT WITH OTHER PEOPLE AS WELL. THE GOATS ALSO BECAME PART OF THE FAMILY. SO, YOU KNOW, IT WAS JUST A NATURAL THAT WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THE MILK AND WE NEEDED TO CONTINUE TO USE IT. SO, IT TOOK US DOWN THE ROAD OF SOAP.SAINT H RANCH SOAPS CONTAIN 40 PERCENT GOATS MILK THAT'S COMBINED WITH ORGANIC PALM, OLIVE AND CASTOR OILS, HONEY FOR ITS ANTIBACTERIAL PROPERTIES, AND ESSENTIAL OILS FOR FRAGRANCES. THE FATTY SOLUTION IS COMBINED WITH SODIUM HYDROXIDE TO CREATE A CHEMICAL REACTION CALLED SAPONIFICATION, WHICH TURNS THE FATS INTO FATTY ACID SALTS OR SOAP. THE PROCESS ALSO RELEASES GLYCERIN, THE BYPRODUCT THAT CREATES THE MOISTURIZING PROPERTIES IN SOAPS AND LOTIONS. AND THE SOAPS RETAIN ALL THE VITAMINS AND MINERALS FOUND IN GOATS MILK, WHICH ARE THEN ABSORBED BY THE SKIN.
IT'S SO FULL OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS AND HYDROXIES AND EVERYTHING, NATURAL AND GOOD. AND, YOU KNOW, WE FEED ORGANICALLY THROUGH OUR GOATS. SO EVERY PRODUCT WE PUT IN OUR SOAP IS ORGANIC AND IT'S AMAZING. IT'S AMAZING WHAT IT DOES FOR YOUR SKIN. THE HEALTH BENEFITS.AFTER THE MIXTURE TURNS INTO SOAP, IT'S POURED INTO SMALL SILICON MOLDS AND ALLOWED TO HARDEN. IT'S CUT INTO BARS, THEN AIR-CURED FOR 30 DAYS  BEFORE THEY'RE PACKAGED AND READY TO BE SHIPPED. THE SAINT HILAIRE FAMILY SAYS THEIR SOAPS ALSO REFLECT THE CLEAN, ORGANIC DIETS THAT THEY FEED THEIR GOATS, AND THAT'S WHY THEIR PRODUCTS ARE BETTER FOR YOUR SKIN THAN COMMERCIALLY PRODUCED SOAPS AND LOTIONS THAT HAVE PRESERVATIVES AND ARTIFICIAL COLORS AND FLAVORS..
WE EAT ORGANICALLY. WE LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND SO DO OUR GOATS. SO WE PUT THAT INTO OUR SOAP AND IF PEOPLE CAN KNOW WHERE THEIR, I MEAN, THEY KNOW WHERE THEIR FOOD'S COMING FROM LOCAL FARMERS, WHY NOT KNOW WHERE YOUR SKIN PRODUCTS ARE COMING FROM, TOO, RIGHT? SO WE LIKE TO EDUCATE AND HAVE PEOPLE SEEING WHAT WE'RE DOING SO THEY KNOW WHAT THEY'RE PUTTING ON THEIR BODIES. THIS IS IMPORTANT.FOR NOW, THE KITCHEN SERVES AS THE SOAP MANUFACTURING CENTER ON THE RANCH, BUT THE FAMILY IS ADDING A BUILDING TO HOUSE MANUFACTURING, STORAGE, SHIPPING OPERATIONS AND A SMALL RETAIL SHOP AS THEY EXPAND THEIR GOAT HERD AND THEIR PRODUCTION CAPACITY. IN THE MEANTIME, THEY ALSO RAISE POULTRY FOR EGGS AND MEAT; SHEEP FOR THEIR WOOL; HORSES FOR THE FUN OF IT, THREE DOGS, THREE CATS AND THREE NOISY GEESE. YOU CAN PURCHASE THEIR PRODUCTS AT THE CORTEZ FARMERS MARKET ON SATURDAYS, ONLINE OR DIRECTLY AT THE RANCH. VISIT S T H RANCH DOT COM TO PLACE AN ONLINE ORDER OR TO GET DIRECTIONS FOR THE RANCH. THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE.

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