It was dead of winter. We had newborn twins – preemies, at that. Weighing just 4 pounds each, these little bundles of joy didn’t take up much space in the house, but they occupied a huge place in our hearts. The early days were filled with sleepless nights, constant feedings and endless laundry.
We’d been buyers of natural products for years. Once we moved back to the farm, however, we found it harder than ever to find good soaps and skin products locally. I was something of a connoisseur. I’d used them all. But I’d never made them.
We had a stockpile of good old Burt’s Bees diaper cream from the baby shower. By the time the boys were six months old, we’d officially run out. At the rate we went through diaper cream with twins, we knew we couldn’t afford the Burt’s cream every two weeks. We were once again living quite frugally.
We bought a cheaper version. It had many of the same ingredients – almond oil, chamomile extract, zinc – and a few we couldn’t pronounce. After four hours in a diaper, wearing this new cream, both boys broke out in horrible bloody rashes.
It took two weeks for the rash to clear up. We quit using the cream after that first application. Used up the last of our trial size Burt’s to soothe the rash. Then I read the ingredients again, thinking to myself, “This can’t be that hard to make.”
I had some of the stuff on hand. I ordered the rest. My husband was skeptical. But I persisted, going on a whim. I melted and blended, poured it all into a jar. Right away he was impressed. The rash was gone in a few days. After weeks of merely treating it, we finally found them some relief.
I was so pleased with my creation that I made more, and passed it out to family and friends. I was determined to find a good goat milk soap like the stuff I used to buy – but one I could melt myself and choose my blends. I landed on the softest, most luxurious soap I’ve ever used, and it’s the same soap we sell to this day.
I began passing out jars of baby bum cream, along with samples of my new baby soap, to friends and family. I thought they’d appreciate the gift, if nothing else. To my surprise, one person after another came back to me asking for more.
My aunt showed up with a stack of textbooks on herbs, oils and plant medicine. I read them cover to cover. Suddenly I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the next chapter in my life. I stepped out and took a good look at all the yarrow, lavender, rosemary and thyme growing right outside my door. Just like that, Gorge Wildcraft was born.
My garden grew, and so did my knowledge. I started selling products at farmers markets. The bum cream we make and sell today is more or less the same at the first one I made, but now it’s infused with our own farm-grown herbs.
The rest, as they say, is history. But the best … I’m sure the best is yet to come.