My name is Erin Link and am the proud owner of EB Ranch LLC. I have been raising and milking goats since 2008. In 2013 I ran across the Livestock Conservancy website I found out about the critically endangered San Clemente Island Goat.
In 2013 I found out about the critically endangered San Clemente Island Goats through the Livestock Conservancy. At that time the total population of these goats was only 450. I was able to find and bring in a breeding pair of these lovely SCI goats. A year later I bought a few more and have been growing my own herd of San Clemente Island Goats. I am currently the only person in Wisconsin that has them.
In 2014 I created a bar of goat milk soap that was moisturizing, lathered well, smelled nice, and other people loved using. Then I started selling at Menomonie Market Food Co-op as well as creating a website for online sales. The soap business has slowly grown over the years. To cultivate that demand I decided to step it up a notch in 2017. I created accounts other local retail locations as well as participating in the Menomonie Farmer’s Market. With increased goat milk soap sales I have had a difficult time keeping up with demand. To keep up with this growing demand I need to invest in the bulk raw ingredients and expand on the shelving required to hold back stock. With a successful Kickstarter campaign I will be able to invest in these essential materials that would have been impossible for myself to buy before. A successful Kickstarter campaign would mean being able to create inventory.That will help me be confident in taking on bigger retail stores, mostly co-operative grocery stores in Minneapolis as well as offering more and consistent selections at my online store and at farmer’s markets and lowering soap prices.
The EB Ranch Kickstarter will offer a fragrant variety of goat milk soap rewards and even the chance to name future kids born on the farm as well as picking a soap scent. When you support this Kickstarter you become an active participant of a diverse farm that raises the critically endangered San Clemente Island Goats.
On EB Ranch I have a small but diverse group of heritage breed animals that consist of Cayuga and Swedish ducks, chocolate turkeys, pilgrim and Toulouse geese, and a motley crew of chickens. I also use pasture rotation and am constantly learning about healthy and sustainable land and animal management. I am also working on a breeding program where San Clemente Island goats will be available to people in Wisconsin and in the Midwest that are interested in raising them. EB Ranch already offers goat milk soap shares and a varied selection of goat milk soap including tea tree oil, eucalyptus, sweet orange, geranium & sweet orange, lavender, patchouli, spearmint, rosemary & lemon, lemon, white pine, chocolate, dragons blood, coconut, and clary sage as well as seasonal variations. Any colorants I use are natural, such as activated charcoal, cocoa powder, and dried paprika. With the scents I use both essential oils and fragrance oils. I am always educating myself and learning to grow from my successes and failures. I listen and value the feedback I get from people and am always willing to experiment with new scent suggestions.
Recently I organized a Go Fund Me to help rally funds that would enable me to buy two more SCI goat does and a companion goat. The fund was incredibly successful and I was able to raise over $500 in just ONE DAY! I am passionate about making these beautiful, multi-purpose goats more easily available to people in my area.
I feel the immense community support, there are so many wonderful people out there that have already helped in so many other ways. I'm reaching out again and I know that we all can make this campaign come to fruition. Thank you for your support! -Erin
Risks and challenges
Soap making is a science and accidents happen or things can just go wrong depending on the weather or human error. Though, after years of making soap accidents have become rare and almost non existent! Every batch needs to cure for at least 4 weeks. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is anticipating how much soap to make and of what scents and sizes.
This is a business in it's infancy yet with proper care it is growing and can continue to grow. To manage this I'm taking inventory of everything to help me predict what to make for the future. It's not a sure fire solution but it seems like one of the best tools to use in a situation like this. I was also a buyer at a co-op so I can use the skills I learned there to help me make informed and accurate decisions.
Another task I need to tackle is finding enough retail stores that are interested in carrying my soap. Not every store needs or wants to bring in homemade soap as they take risks as well. Small business can be inconstant and can take more time to communicate with and order from.
Earlier this year I already dropped off samples, emailed and spoke with a number of co-ops in Minneapolis. There where a few that where very interested in carrying my soap, I just felt I was ill prepared to take on more business at the time. Already I have stores that are interested, which is a huge step. I also wrote up a business plan February so I know exactly how much soap I need to sell to make a profit. The main thing with this is balancing and finding time needed for marketing expeditions, both in person and online.
In a nutshell, the challenges are creating a back stock of soap and having enough available shelving to house it all. Then generating enough sales to move forward in my business venture. Without your help, none of this would be able to get done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)