As a mom who homeschools her four children, Rachel Kissinger had her hands – and schedule – full for many years. She was extremely passionate about it, and it was fulfilling. But when the last of her kids graduated from high school, she decided to concentrate on kids of a different kind.
The goat kind.
While not a kid, the goat she and her family owned had been the milk source for years, and Rachel used some of that milk to make soap. When she began making soaps, it was strictly a hobby – something
she created for herself and to give to friends and family. It continued as a hobby for eleven years until Mother’s Day following her youngest’s graduation in 2022. That is when Rachel, her daughter Hannah Eden Humphries and her niece, Brittany Oden, decided to launch a business making and selling goat milk soaps. “Goaty Goodness has been full steam ahead, and we’ve been making soap and other natural beauty products since that day,” she notes.
Her inspiration is as simple and pure as the ingredients in the soaps: “There is great reward in seeing someone struggling with a skin ailment find relief through something we’ve made,” Rachel says. “It also gives me a great reason for keeping the goats I enjoy and love so much.”
Rachel’s process for making soaps and beauty products requires, above all, patience. “A great deal of time goes into formulating every product we create,” she says. “We start by focusing on the end goal of helping ease skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, aging skin, or keratosis pilaris; then we work to formulate the most appropriate combination of oils, butters, herbs, and essential oils to help with that condition.”
As involved as it may be, Rachel and her team believe strongly in the importance and beauty of their process. “When it comes to choosing between handmade and mass-produced soap, it is important to note that mass-produced soaps generally combine detergents, lathering agents, and synthetic ingredients that, by definition, cannot be called ‘soap,'” she says. “Handmade soaps are milder and have the potential to keep skin healthier due to their nourishing ingredients.”
What makes goat milk soap so beneficial to the skin is that goat milk is rich in both saturated and unsaturated fats, making it ideal for use in soaps. “The saturated fats increase a soap’s lather, while unsaturated fats provide moisturizing and nourishing properties,” Rachel says. “Goat milk is one of nature’s best moisturizers and contains alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamins A & D, which brighten the skin. Because of its unique short protein strand structure, the abundance of natural minerals and vitamins in our goat’s milk is easily absorbed into your skin, helping to moisturize, protect and heal. Additionally, we use plant-based organic olive and organic coconut oil to further increase the content of healthy, nourishing fats,” she goes on.
“Olive oil has hydrophilic antioxidants that help to form a protective barrier, trapping moisture on your skin and allowing for longer hydration. Coconut oil contains cleansing, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties, which may help treat various skin conditions. We use only cold-pressed certified organic oils to ensure the best for your skin. We also provide ‘clean’ fragrance oils for those who want a healthier option for fragrance.”
In addition to their goat milk soaps, the Goaty Goodness line of products includes natural hand sprays, body butters, lip balms, soap scrubs, and deodorants. In a market saturated with “all-natural” products, Rachel differentiates the brand through their ingredients. “We are creating toxin-free products that help the customer,” she says. “We achieve this by starting with the highest quality USDA Organic certified ingredients whenever possible. The key ingredient in all our soaps is our goat milk. Our farm is a grass-fed operation, and we utilize rotational grazing with cows, goats, sheep, and chickens, which helps break parasite cycles and build soil microbiomes. The goats are fed only organic alfalfa at milking time, and the animals always have access to fresh water and twenty free-choice minerals. We also hand milk our goats daily to bring the freshest, highest quality milk possible to our soaps. We believe these farming practices help encourage healthier soil, which makes healthier animals, which, in turn, makes healthier people.”
Environment, as a whole, is essential to Rachel, and Goaty Goodness’s packaging methods reflect that. “We use glass, metal, and paper whenever possible to keep our carbon footprint low,” she says. “We use a technology called Biolefin for shrink wrapping our soaps, which completely breaks down eighteen months from when it hits the landfill. For orders from our online store, we use US-made biodegradable packing peanuts that dissolve in water, made from corn and potato starch. When you support us, you are helping us make a difference for our planet and future generations.”
Every product within the brand has a great deal of intention, and while all three women are first-time business owners, they have proven that passion and drive equal success. The trio each work to their strengths, with the full support of their family. Rachel handles all the organizational facets, Brittany is a gifted artisan who brings creativity to every aspect of the business, and Hannah consults in social media plans and photography. “Together, we make all the products and handle all of the day-to-day operations, but nothing would be possible without the endless encouragement and helping hands of the entire family,” Rachel says. “We have four generations working together to make this business’s dream a reality. It doesn’t matter if it is extra hands needed for a big event, helping label products, bringing us food so we can continue to put in endless hours, or an encouraging word when we’re tired, our family has made all the difference in the success of this business!”
Over the past year, all three women have found and leaned into their respective strengths, learned the lessons of owning and running a business, felt the ups and downs of keeping that business going, and discovered the unique pleasures of their work. “There is an incredible joy in working with the people, animals, and ingredients we love,” Rachel says. “Currently, our favorite part is doing live events where we meet the amazing people we are making the products for.”
Based in Pocola, Oklahoma, on a multigenerational farm that’s been in the family for over sixty years, Goaty Goodness is like a love letter to the region. “I find so much beauty in our area,” says Rachel. “This has helped to inspire some of the designs and some of the names for our products, such as our Southern Woods and Cedarwood Canyon fragrances.”
The “goodness” part of their name isn’t just branding—it’s an ethos, as the company’s products have philanthropic and skin benefits. “Currently, a portion of the proceeds go to support the 6:33 Recovery Center in Howe, Oklahoma,” Rachel explains. “We also have plans to spotlight a different product and local nonprofit each month. In doing this, we hope to raise finances and awareness of the many amazing organizations that make a difference in our area.”
The team is excited to branch out into additional bath and beauty-related products for both men and women, with many products in development. All of which ensure a steadily expanding product line for their loyal clientele for years to come.
For more information, visit goatygoodness.com.