As with many things in life, and especially since we moved to the farm, needs often dictate the directions we choose. Our journey into handcrafted soaps and body care products began because of a need my daughter had. It quickly became an area that is incredibly fascinating and has ended up a passion...
When we first moved to the mountains from Miami, we left the balmy breezes and humidity levels that more than compensated for any skin moisture needs. That first winter here in the mountains wreaked havoc on all our skin, especially on my youngest daughter. Her hands became chapped to a level I had never seen before, cracking and bleeding from the cold. Naturally we turned to the commercial products that promised immediate results for every kind of skin condition under the sun. She'd try this product and that product and nothing seemed to help. I began to do some research in this area and found that common Vitamin E was found to have incredible benefits for the largest organ in our body, our skin. I went to the local health food store and bought a jar of Vitamin E cream. The cream quickly moisturized her skin and brought back some semblance of health for those chapped areas. Many times she would go to sleep with socks on her hands in an attempt to allow the moisturizer to stay on her hands all night long. When she got close to the end of that first jar of cream I went back to the health food store to buy some more only to find out that it had gone up from $9.99 for a 4oz jar to $17.99. I was shocked and a little offended but bought the jar anyway because I didn't have much choice...my daughter's skin was more important than a few extra dollars at that point.
I did however, get online and began to search for a product that would equally help these chapped skin issues she would have during the winter. I finally found some that was under $10 and for the first couple of years I would stock up on that Vitamin E cream for winter.
For several years I have had a desire to learn how to make soaps and various body products. As with everything here on the farm, I didn't know anyone who knew how to do such things nor did I know where to go to learn. Internet search engines became my best friend once again and I began to research in depth the art of making our own soaps, lotions, deodorants, etc. That research began an education into God made vs. man made and I found myself becoming increasingly indignant as I began to realize that the commercial products I had bought all my life were not only bad for our bodies but sometimes even dangerous. That indignation fueled the God given default setting I have of, "if they can do it, I can do it better" and thus began my journey into making my own products.
Now I have to tell you that I wasn't so 'hip/slick and cool' in the very beginning with some of the concoctions I made lol. As I look back on a few of them it's embarassing lol because at the time I was genuinely very proud of what my hands had made. So proud in fact that I would rush over to a friend's house with this new found passion and it was contageous enough where they actually believed that what I wanted to share with them was better than anything on earth lolol. The first time I did that I had made an 'exfoliating sugar scrub' AKA sugar in oil...lolol. In all fairness I used a high end oil (Jojoba) which was a good thing but oil and sugar is...well, just oil and sugar lol. Yes, it exfoliated the skin and yes the Jojoba oil was awesome for the skin but you couldn't deny the fact that while your skin felt soft, it also felt oily...
Sheesh! If it wasn't so funny looking back on it I'd die of embarassment lol. To make matters worse, she ended up giving me my precious 'exfoliating sugar scrub' back because it was making her skin too oily....lol
It was a long time before I rushed over to anyone's house again to share my latest creation lol...thank goodness. :)
I quickly realized how pitiful that sugar and oil was and intuitively knew that there was a way to make a far better product. I just had to lean how to do it so the research resumed with an intensity and passion. I knew that I was on to something but I just didn't know where to find it.
Over time, after several failures and successess I began to learn how to not only make a product that was good and healthy, but that was actually better than the commercial products out there. Memories of when I lived in the suburbs and how I used to go to the high end stores to buy my products, whether they be for the face or body...and the incredible amount of money I would pay were always forefront in my mind. The more I learned the more convinced I became that not only could I equal the quality of those high end products, I could actually surpass them.
I know that this is a long explanation for all of this but as is usual and customary for me (lol) I always feel the need to paint the whole picture so that others can get a glimpse into the depth with which I see and/or believe in something.
I want to educate others, like I've become more educated myself, in the value and necessity of using products that have such an impact on the largest organ in our body...our skin. Everything we make here at Shadow Wings Farm is for a reason. Ingredients are carefully chosen because they are the best for whatever that product is intended for so no corners are cut. We use things that we produce on the farm...raw organic honey from our bee hives, heavy cream from our Jersey Cow. Once in a while we'll use the eggs from our hens, lard from our pigs and tallow from our Angus cows.
Most important is the fact that when I formulate something it's many times with either myself or one of my family members in mind. It is something that I personally will use and I can't even begin to tell you how good it feels to know that the soap or the lotion or the balm or the deodorant or whatever it may be, is genuinely good for the body.
They say that the 'proof is in the pudding'. I say that the results speak for themselves. :)