Desperate times call for desperate measures. Necessity is the mother of invention. It’s cliché, but it’s true and it’s the reason Fresh & Fancy exists today.
My husband, Ed, and I owned a construction company for several years. We enjoyed building and selling houses to help families take the next step in their lives. We even had the opportunity to build a dream home for ourselves. But, when the housing market declined we both lost our source of income. At the same time, Ed became seriously ill. Several surgeries and hospital visits later, the bills were quickly piling up. Between the medical bills, our mortgage, utilities and raising three kids, saying we were struggling financially is an understatement. We lived off our savings for awhile, but that wasn’t enough to pull us through. Facing foreclosure on our home and Ed physically being unable to work put us in one of the toughest situations we’ve ever faced. We were broke. We were struggling. We were desperate.
We continued cutting expenses to find a way to live. Next on the list was the livestock. Ed, however, would not hear of this so we had to get creative.
Since we all loved the animals and couldn’t bear to get rid of them, we decided to use them as our saving grace. After doing some research and desperately needing a source of income, we decided to start making goat milk soap and lotion. Thus, Fresh & Fancy was born.
We started in 2013 with 3 milking does. We worked in our kitchen to make 8 batches of soap a day with 22 bars in a batch for a total of 176 bars. We made 20 bottles of lotion at a time. We sold the products at the local farmers market. Today, we milk 23 does. We work in our soap shop to make 11 batches a day with 88 bars in each batch. That’s 968 bars a day. Now we can make 40 bottles of lotion at a time. Our products are sold in more than 100 different stores in 13 different states.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t make a profit quick enough to get out of foreclosure. We lost our home, but we were able to put a trailer on the land Ed inherited from his grandfather, and we’ve honestly never been happier.
What started out as a desperate attempt to pay the bills has turned into a successful family business. Our son, Eddie, has been with Fresh & Fancy for a year and a half. Melanie, our oldest daughter, joined the business in December. Our youngest daughter, Megan, works part time on the weekends since she’s still in school.
Making and selling goat milk soap and lotion may seem weird, but it’s perfect for us. We got to keep our animals, live on the farm and we can still pay the bills.
Our story is proof good things can come from even the worst situations. So to everyone who has purchased our products so far, thank you. You saved us. To anyone on the fence about trying our products, your money goes a lot further than just a bar of soap. You’re supporting a true family business. You’re helping us survive.