By Lynne Phillips
Two Gals & A Goat located in rural New London all began when the John and Jen Hess family got goats.
“When we first started we had about 13 goats,” Jen said. “Tess (Thomas) came down and I told her were getting goats and she said, ‘oh you can make goat milk soap’. And I said, what the heck is goat milk soap and she told how wonderful it is.
“We actually got the first goats just because they are so much fun. They are fun to watch, very easy to care for. So as Tess was telling me how great is was all I was thinking was that we are so busy I just don’t have time. With a smile stretching from ear to ear, she shared, “That is how it all started, just from getting goats here at the house.
The soap making began a year ago this month, according t0 Jen. “We did our first show in November at the Western Reserve Elementary School. We did great there and it has been the best show we’ve done.” She added, “We haven’t really done a lot of shows because we have our product in four stores now. We will try to do more shows around the holidays. We have our soaps and lotions in stores located in LaGrange, Jeromesville, Seville and in New London at Huber Theraputic Massage.
“We actually met up with the people who have the shop in Seville at a show at Mapleton where we were set up. Lots of people were coming around and these folks were interested in our soap and said they loved our name. They told us they would like to have us in their store named ‘Two Chicks & A Hen’.” Laughing they said, “We thought that couldn’t be any more perfect. They are the sweetest people and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Tess’s son Nick is the one who came up with the name, ‘Two Gals & A Goat’, Jen noted.
Presently there are only two goats at the Hess home, “The rest are at my father-in-laws,” Jen commented.
“We are planning on getting some more goats, Josh (the eldest of the Hess children) has bought some with his own money and John is going to a sale and plans on getting some more.”
As for the soap making, “A girl I worked with at the hospital taught me how to make goat milk soap,” Tess said.
“After talking to her I found out goat milk soap is very good for your skin. It has so many healing properties and is full of alpha-hydroxy acids, that work with skin, instead of breaking it down and aging it further. That allows for the dead skin cells to be removed from the skin’s surface leaving behind new cells that appear smoother and more youthful.
“Also, due to its fat molecule content, goat milk helps to reduce skin inflammation. The cream in goat’s milk is a super moisturizer.
“Goat milk is also very high in vitamin A, which is necessary to repair damaged skin tissue and maintain healthy skin.” She added, “There are several medical studies that suggests products made with vitamin A reduce lines and wrinkles, help to control acne and can even provide some relief from psoriasis and eczema.
“The fatty acids found in goat milk has pH levels that are very similar to the pH levels found in the human body. This similarity makes it easy for the moisturizer’s nutrients to be absorbed into the skin.” Jen said many customers have told them how much the soap helps with acne and calluses. She noted she spends a lot of time outside in the winter and her skin got so very dry and the skin would crack. “It has also helped with my dad’s skin.” said Tess. “Dad is on continuous chemo. The chemo dries out his skin and makes it very fragile, like onion skin.”
According to the pair it takes one pound, two ounces of goat milk to make 12 bars of soap and each bar is seven ounces.
“The special thing about this particular soap is that we don’t use a premade base,” Tess commented. “We make it from scratch and the soap takes five weeks to cure.”
Measuring, melting and mixing are the steps to making the soap. “It isn’t hard to make,” they said, “but you do have to watch the temperature and you must be careful adding the lye.”
The base soap is made with olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter lye and goat milk.
Lotion and soaps scents include: Lemon lavender, baby fresh, coffee mocha, tumbleweed, warm vanilla sugar, lilac, oatmeal, honey vanilla, lavender, coconut creme, tangerine chamomile, snickerdoodle, apples and spice, pearberry, sweet pumpkin spice, Georgia peach, black raspberry vanilla, cherry almond, cucumber melon and there is an unscented version. Scents are always subject to change.
For different scents and textures chamomile flowers, lavender petals, peppermint leaves, Nature’s Garden Fragrance Oil, oatmeal, honey or coffee may be added.
Right now the goat milk used in the soap making comes from a woman in Tiffin, the two gals said. “But my father-in-law said he is buying me a milking goat when he goes to the sale in either Danville or Mt. Hope. So we will able to milk our own goat.”
For additional information contact Jen Hess 419-706-7903 or Tess Thomas 419-681-6506.