Amalthea Ridge: Artisan Natural Skin Care
Amalthea Ridge: Artisan Natural Skin Care
Help us expand our production capacity and introduce our natural, high-quality skin care products to more people.
Help us expand our production capacity and introduce our natural, high-quality skin care products to more people. Read more
We are thankful to the many loyal customers who have supported Amalthea Ridge during our first few years of business. Because of them, we have been able to hone our artisan goat milk skin care products with face-to-face customer feedback. You can read some testimonials at the bottom of this page.
Now, our business is ready to embark on an exciting new phase...expansion! Many retailers, hotels and bed & breakfasts have approached us about the wholesale availability of our products. It is the next phase of growth for our business.
But, there is one major obstacle: production limitations.
Over the past year, demand has risen to the point where we are constantly out of stock. Our current equipment produces small volumes of finished product. Creating a single batch is an all day affair involving gently heating, mixing, and cooling to make a single batch of lotion. The following day requires several hours to complete packaging ending in about 35 bottles of finished product.
We find ourselves continuously laboring to make products for our current customers rather than improving our customer experience, expanding our product line, and growing our market. We don't want to outsource production because it creates quality control issues and increases production costs. In order to move forward, we need to invest in equipment to improve efficiency and increase volume. We are undertaking our expansion plan in a phased approach. More on that below!
With your help during this Kickstarter campaign, we hope to raise enough funds to complete phase 1 of our expansion plan: the purchase of an automatic bottling machine and labeling machine. These are the biggest price tag items that have the greatest influence on the potential to scale our business.
Here's why this is our #1 priority:
Syringe is our current method of bottling. It is slow, about 1 per minute depending on the product. It is messy and the bottles have to be cleaned before labeling. A lot of product is wasted, there are air bubbles in the finished bottles, and it is literally painful. We are pretty sure it is a one way ticket to arthritis!
An automatic bottling machine bottles anywhere between 25 and 45 bottles per minute depending on the product. It is specifically designed to handle viscous liquids using a compressor and a funnel shaped hopper. Product loss is significantly reduced leading to more bottles from the same batch size in much less time!
We apply labels by hand and it is amazingly difficult to get them applied consistently. We average 3 per minute and inevitably, a few bottles are thrown out because the labels are crooked or wrinkled, another huge was of resources as packaging costs are quite high!
The labeling machine can label 12 bottles per minute, significantly reducing time. Because we are pursuing wholesale, it is important for our products to look uniform and aesthetically pleasing when on display shelves. The manual labeling machine will produce a consistent professional look for our product in less time.
Any funds raised beyond our funding goal will be applied toward phases 2 & 3 of our expansion plans. Phase 2 is to increase the total volume of material we can process in a single batch as well as increasing the amount of curing storage for our soaps. Phase 3 is to install an in-house laboratory.
Our company began as a way to turn a passion for science and the excess goat milk produced on our homestead into some truly awesome products for friends and family. The first product we made was designed for our infant daughter with very sensitive skin. She broke out from a long list of dermatologist recommended products. Fed up, armed with knowledge and excellent ingredients, we took matters into our own hands and created something just for her. Since then, every product we carry was either made with a loved one in mind or we use it ourselves.
About our products...
Sarah, the owner of Amalthea Ridge, uses her PhD in Biochemistry to create unique products to support different skin types. Besides our fresh goat milk, she incorporates organic oils (whenever they can be sourced), plant botanicals, essential oils, and in some instances pthalate free fragrances. We finish them off in eco-friendly, recycled/recyclable or compostable packaging.
Skin care is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. People with all sorts of skin use our products: normal, oily, dry, combination, eczema and psoriosis prone, acne prone, wrinkles, etc. Your skin is unique and must be treated that way to truly flourish. We are an over-cleaned, scubbed and sanitized society and that effects your skin, usually for the worse. By supporting the native biology of the skin and using the best ingredients we can find, our products make a positive difference!
Our goat milk is the foundation of our formulations. We raise our own herd of Alpine dairy goats to ensure the animals are raised in a very humane way. We feed them organic feed, high quality hay, and do whatever we can to ensure that they are not stressed. We even take their temperature on a daily basis to trend their health! Raising our own animals allows us to use as much milk as we wish in our products, which is substantially more than others on the market. You can feel the difference!
Each week at our local markets, we meet many people who tell us what a positive effect our products have had on their skin. What follows is a sample of those comments:
- “I have purchased the lotions and soaps from your farm and love them! They smell great and leave your skin soft and silky! I am 58 years old and my wrinkles have improved simply from the use of this fantastic product.” –Dayton, OH
- “I ordered two bars of soap the week before last. They arrived promptly, smelled DELICIOUS and made wonderful Christmas gifts. I have a goat myself, so I wanted to support another local goat owner. I am so happy I did. Thank you for the sample, too!” –Chris in Brandywine, MD
- “I just wanted to let you know how happy I am with your Lotion. My son has dry skin, especially on his hands. It gets so bad that his skin is hard and scaly, and cracks and bleeds often. We have tried tons of different product in an effort to find something that helps this condition. I am so excited that we have now found something that actually works!
- "Thank you so much for creating a fabulous product that provides moisture to my son’s skin. He won’t have to hide his hands anymore, as he has been embarrassed at how they look, and people think he gets into fights since his knuckles are always bloody. I’m now looking forward to trying your bath bars to see if we all get improved skin.” – Valerie, VA
- "We recently moved to northern VA from the west coast and discovered Amalthea Ridge's wonderful soaps and lotions at a local market. There is a large variety of scents and formulations that address specific skin types -- something for everyone. (I travel a lot and pack a bar to enjoy some small luxury while on the road.). These goat milk products are truly artisan masterpieces by a talented local entrepreneur. I am a big fan and plan to make them my theme gifts for the year." – Dawn, Great Falls, VA
- "I have extreme skin allergies. Recently my skin on my neck, face, and chest developed a severe rash after exposure to an allergen. I saw the Doctor and got steroid cream but my skin was so dry it looked and felt burned. I used the Gardner's Green Thumb Rescue lotion on the rash and within one week my skin was soft and not itchy any longer. I was so delighted to find anything that offered some relief so I came back to buy soap, lip balm, and more! thanks for your wonderful Products!" – Anonymous, Great Falls, VA
- "I bought a small bottle of the Gardeners green thumb rescue lotion at the farmers market in Alexandria and let me tell you... This lotion is superb. It has a wonderful, creamy texture that moisturizer my hands so quickly and yet doesn't leave them greasy. And it has a great perfume, fresh and light. It's addictive. I love the fact that it's all natural and locally made. It's really what artisan products are meant to be." - Anne, Alexandria, VA
- "This is THE best lotion for parched, itchy skin. My hands insist that I start using it the minute the humidity drops, because my knuckles get dry, red, and painfully tight. The lotion immediately soaks in and stops that painful tightness-- and a little goes a long way. Plus, the scent is deliciously addictive and you will find yourself sniffing your hand every five minutes. I love it! Thank you, Amalthea Ridge!" - Beth
- "This really helped keep my face clear"
People love our products so much that they order them as wedding & shower favors and corporate gifts!
A couple of things we want you to know about rewards...
- When you are considering the type of products that would be best for you or your loved one, we encourage you to check out the summaries on our online shopping site for details. We are happy to answer questions about what might work well for you!
- We will be shipping rewards in time for holidays and we will be offering the option of wrapping items individually if you will be gifting them to multiple people.
Here is a brief summary of our product lines and the types of skin they work best with:
Cranberry Pomegranate Conditioning Lotion, Soap, & Sugar Face/Body Scrub: This was developed as an intensive system for dry skin and great for the winter. It is also a favorite of customers with psoriasis and eczema. The scrub is gently exfoliating and can be used on face or body.
Gardener's Green Thumb Rescue Soap & Lotion: These are great for all skin types. We suggest using them on hands and body. It has cooling cucumber peel and aloe for extra soothing!This is one of our customer favorites.
Men's Super Soothing Grooming Products: These can be used on all skin types. We have a clay based shave cream, a puck shaped shave soap, and aftershave
Oh, Momma! Revitalizing Soap, Cream & Sugar Body Scrub: This is also great for all skin types but particularly dry skin. It supports the skin's natural oil barrier making skin appear more supple.
Oh, Baby! Sensitive Skin Soap & Lotion: This was developed for our baby. It is our most gentle formulation and is a favorite of individuals with sensitive skin.
Shea & Goat Milk Soap & Lotion (in Lavender or Peppermint): Lots of shea, which is traditionally used as a protective ingredient, but it will not leave your skin greasy. This is a great everyday lotion for all skin types.
Green Tea & Peach Cleanser & Face Cream: Great for normal to oily skin, and is a favorite of acne prone individuals and those with mature skin.
Oatmeal & Honey Facial Bar & Face Cream: These are great for all skin types and made with local honey.
Lemon Peel & Tea Tree Clarifying Bar & Face Cream: Designed for oily skin! It is a favorite of customers who are acne prone as well.
Sandalwood Shampoo Bar: This bar cleans gently and helps restore the natural oil balance to your scalp resulting in healthier looking hair!
Goat Milk & Peppermint Lip Balm: This is a soft balm great for everyday use and is protective during bitingly cold winter weather!
3 Soap Holiday Stack: This is special edition! Peppermint, Siberian Fir, and Better-Than-Fruit-Cake soaps tied together as a gift set.
Risks and challenges
The major setback we could face is an extended waiting period for shipment and installation of the new equipment. We are taking a preemptive approach by discussing expected fulfillment dates with the companies that make the equipment.
A back order on base oils and other ingredients is also possible so we will have the purchase orders ready to go out as soon as the campaign has ended. We've also factored in extra time for delivery of rewards just in case we face such a setback. But, have confidence that you will have your reward in hand in time for the holidays no matter what it takes us to fulfill it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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