Goats and soap lead to handmade business

May 2, 2018

A souvenir bar of handmade soap from a friend’s vacation launched a business for Holly Kollbaum.

“I’d only used store-bought soap, and this was the best I’d ever used,” she said. “I got down to a scrap, and I started searching to buy more.”

Her online hunt caused an advertisement for soap-making to pop up. Before long, the messages were in her Facebook feed.

And because the soap was made with goat’s milk, one walk outdoors was all it took to inspire what happened next.

“When our boys were young, we got goats so they would get in the habit of getting off the bus and looking after them,” said Kollbaum, who lives on a farm in northwest Iowa.

The resulting milk became the ingredient that launched Lucy & Woody Soap and Sundries, the business that blossomed out of Kollbaum’s first bar.

“I read 10 books and watched hours of YouTube videos, and they tell you to wear goggles and gloves, and I was like in a hazmat suit making that first batch,” she laughed. “After I made my first batch, I was hooked.”

Comparing soap-making to cooking, she found she enjoyed experimenting with different oils, scents and colors to produce unique bars.

“It was amazing,” she said. “And it’s been nonstop soap-making for 10 years.”

The family’s seven goats are essential to production. While Kollbaum used to make cheese and ice cream with the milk, “now I sell so much goat milk soap I can’t spare any for us.”

She has kept her job at a finance company in Sioux City and sells her bars at farmers markets and a handful of retail stores.

She also has expanded to offer lotion, scrubs, body butter, lotion sticks and a popular dog shampoo.

“Every year I’ve grown, and I say I can’t possibly produce any more, but I have been,” she said.

Her business will be among 20 featured at Friday’s 605 Made Spring Market, sponsored by and located downtown at The First National Bank in Sioux Falls.

She jokes that she appreciates a “712” from Iowa being accepted into the market.

“I do have family in Sioux Falls, though,” she adds. “When I do the 605 Made Market, the level of crafters I’m around blows my mind. It’s amazing. I’m so thrilled to be part of it.”

605 Made Spring Market to be held Friday

Goats and soap lead to handmade business

A souvenir bar of handmade soap from a friend’s vacation launched a business for Holly Kollbaum.

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