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An Interview with Owner Becky Cornforth of Fair Winds Acres, Specializing in Goat Milk and Lotions

An Interview with Owner Becky Cornforth of Fair Winds Acres, Specializing in Goat Milk and Lotions

An Interview with Owner Becky Cornforth of Fair Winds Acres, Specializing in Goat Milk and Lotions

I loved learning more about Fair Winds Acres Soaps and Lotions from Owner Becky Cornforth.  The soaps smell absolutely delightful and retain their scent.  Not only do they smell great, the soaps really help to moisturize my skin.  I discovered Becky and her husband Lee at the Corvallis Farmers Market and really believe in purchasing from and supporting local businesses.  The part about most retail soaps containing DETERGENT made me cringe!  What are we putting on our skin?  Read below for more of our discussion:

How did you get started with soaps and lotion?

Becky: I got started making soaps and lotions because our doe was giving us so much milk, I didn't know what to do with it all. I remembered that a number of years ago, one of the other military spouses gave a class on making soap using her bee products and people can buy goat milk soaps in specialty shops. I did some research, tried a batch and it was a success. So I made some more and was going to use it to give to family and friends, that was during the summer of 2014. Later on during the winter, I went to a dairy goat association meeting and sat in on a class on how to make lotion, went home and made some for family and friends. During the early spring of 2015, Lee came home after helping a friend at the farmers' market and suggested we might want to try to sell my lotion and soap at the farmers' markets. So we did some research on what would be required business and insurance wise and that's how we got started.

 

What is your best selling fragrance? 

 Becky: Best selling fragrances: that changes during the market season and year to year. Last year the favorites seemed to be Sandalwood Vanilla, Cucumber and Cucumber Melon. This year the better sellers seem to be Lavender and my variations of Lavender, Toasted Coconut and Vanilla soaps and lotions.

 

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Becky: I love spending time making the soap and lotion, experimenting with essential and fragrance oil mixes (plus it makes the house smell fabulous!!) and talking with and getting to know our customers.

 

How do you know what items to take a chance on and know your clients will like the product since smell is so specific?

Becky :Mostly, I go by scents that I enjoy. I have had some special requests from my regular customers and several times those have turned out to be really great sellers, for example Toasted Coconut Vanilla, was made as a special request and Lilac. Last year, I made that by special request because a customer stopped by two weeks in a row looking for Lilac for his wife. She is allergic to Lavender but really loves Lilac so I told him I would make some for him. He had to settle the next week for only the lotion because the soaps takes 4-6 weeks before it is ready. He is a repeat customer and even bought other soaps and lotions for his daughter and himself. I also try to make some scents during specific seasons. For instance, Summertime which is a mix of Lavender and Bergamot doesn't sell as well in the fall. Autumn Afternoon and Winter Forest are great sellers in the fall and winter months but not so much during spring or summer.

 

What differentiates your soap from another?

Becky : Fair Winds Acres Goat Milk Soap is real soap. Much of what is purchased in retail stores is actually detergent, they have removed much of the glycerin. If you read labels carefully, many don't put the word SOAP on their labels. Goat milk soap is more moisturizing. It contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids for example, lactic acid which helps remove dead skin cells and leaves new cells on the surface of your skin that are smoother and younger looking. Minerals, such as Selenium which is believed by scientists to have an important role in preventing skin cancer. Selenium can also help prevent damage to skin from excessive time in the sun. Vitamins particularly Vitamin A which is necessary to repair damaged skin tissues, reduces lines and wrinkles and can provide some psoriasis relief. Goat milk cream (the fat molecules) are an important part of making good soaps and lotions. The cream in goat milk helps boost the moisturizing quality of goat milk soap and lotion. Goat milk soap will not dry our skin out like many other soaps. I make the soap in small five pound batches being careful to measure every ingredient correctly. Too much lye and the soap will be very harsh, too little and it won't harden enough. Too much of the wrong oils can lead to a batch that doesn't set up or leaks the excess oil. It's almost a Zen like feeling when I'm make soap.

 

Do you sell other items produced on the farm?

Becky: At the Corvallis Farmers' Market, we sell fresh free range chicken eggs. Many of our girls roam almost all four of our acres. They like to hang out with the goats and sheep while foraging for bugs.

Last winter, I did a lot of research on making liquid soap and this coming winter I will be experimenting and trying to perfect a formula that works with goat's milk. Hopefully next summer we will be able to begin to harvest honey and wax from our two beehives and some of that will go into soap! We have three goat does, we keep one in milk at all times. There are two sheep, one ewe and one whether and 38 chickens (36 are hens.) 

Lee & Becky Cornforth
Specializing in Goat Milk Soap & Lotion
Cheshire, Oregon

facebook.com/fairwindsacres

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