How We got Started
It was in the late 70's...in the late summer. The new farm magazine came and I was fascinated by an article about soap making. It looked complicated, but I could do it. I bought some Red Devil Lye. The biggest pot I had was an aluminum canning kettle, and I wanted to make a lot of soap. Why waste my time on just a little batch, anyway? I measured the oils, melted the solid fats, mixed the lye with the water. It was going so well until it started to froth, and stink, and eat holes in my canning kettle. I threw an old sheet over the top of the kettle, and carried it outside. It was bad...I took it down to the garbage barrel and let it froth and spew fumes. I had just started back to the house when my kid's rooster, a Barred Rock, named Big Elmer came around the garage on a dead run...he was irritated (he was always irritated) and chasing me! We boiled Elmer for four days and he remained stiff as a board. He looked like a football with legs! This experience was a big lesson for Big Elmer and me. I was never going to attempt to make soap again!
In the early 90's I purchased a bar of handmade soap. It was wonderful, but it didn't last very long. I thought "Maybe I can do this." I began by reading a book. Getting help from a soap maker, and using stainless steel instead of aluminum. The result was much better, but not quite what I wanted. I read some more...worked on a new recipe...tried again...and tried again. The recipe evolved in tiny batches with careful notes. The recipe we use today is the result of oddly enough, exactly one-hundred adjustments, additions, or amendments to our first recipe. I don't know what the odds are that it would be exactly one-hundred; we have made very few changes in recent years.
We began selling handcrafted soap in July of 2007 at the Miles City Farmer's Market, and later that fall we took the soap to a gun show. We thought it might work there because it is as one camera woman called it..."A Big Burley Bar of Soap," and Charlie really likes guns shows. The way our soap was received in the marketplace has never ceased to amaze us. We initially had twenty varieties and we took it to Gun Shows, and Craft Shows and developed our first internet store. Later we added gift baskets and our Prairie Pack. Soon we were pleased to add some great retail stores to our list of customers, and that is our story.
The real story is the story of our customers. They have become our friends... The real story is the privilege it has been to to meet each of you and say "Thank You." You are amazing!
Have a Happy, Healthy 2017.