Naked Goat Farm, Featured Holiday Artisan, Makes Incredible Jams, Jellies and Skin Care That We Just
Naked Goat Farm is owned by Mark & Gina Dunham and is located in Elbert, Colorado. It's completely a family affair that started in a very serendipitous way.
FF: So what's this "naked" business all about?
NGF: We grow and raise and make what we sell. Our products are naked, meaning no synthetic chemicals, synthetic preservatives or GMO's. Our products are local and seasonal, they change throughout the year depending on what is in season at the moment.
Mark handcrafts micro batches of jam/jelly. He is a former chef and has a degree in restaurant management. He makes his jam with an all natural pectin that allows him to use 1/2 the sugar of traditional recipes. He also makes several flavors that are 1/3 the sugar sweetened with honey, maple syrup and agave for those who watch their blood sugar. Our jam's reflect the true flavor profile of the amazing Colorado fruit that we use and it just happens to be healthy!
Gina makes the handmade soap & body products, using only fresh natural/organic ingredients sourced from all over the globe. All ingredients are fair trade and sustainable. She even grows all the herbs and raises the animals from where she gets the milk she uses.
FF: Why did you begin your handmade journey?
NGF: Our skin care line started with me (Gina) losing my job at the same time our daughter was having some serious skin problems. I had the time and the motivation, so I started doing intense research on the problem. I discovered that the commercial products our daughter was using every day might be causing of her issues. Sure enough, after switching her to soap that I made, using simple, natural ingredients, her skin cleared up. I then started making all of our family's body products.
Mark was working as a landscaper when we started this business, and was helping me on the weekends selling soap. He had just started landscaping because he had grown tired of working many years in the restaurant business and exhausted with long hours. When we saw that yes, this whole working for yourself thing is great and could be profitable, he decided to use his background as a chef to make a food product. Around this time Marks grandmother passed. When he took a trip to Kansas for the funeral and was cleaning out his grandmothers basement he found all her old canning gear. All the great memories of growing fruit and making Jam with his grandma were a big inspiration for his jams.
FF: How did you get started?
NGF: With lots of research and very little money! I used $200 to buy supplies to make soap. Surprisingly, I sold all of it to friends and neighbors, and they loved it! Soon I was able to get a booth at a local farmers market with just a little bit of soap and it just kept selling!
FF: How do you decide what goods you'll make?
NGF: Again, lots of research and listening to what customers want in their body products and food.
FF: What materials do you work with & why?
NGF: For the body products we work with only the best ingredients that I procure from around the globe. Everything is fair trade, sustainable, natural and/or organic. For the Jams and Jelly we use only the best Colorado produce, some we grow ourselves, but most come from great local Colorado farmers.
FF: What inspires your work?
NGF: Our family and our wonderful customers. Our company name came to me when a lady with super sensitive skin commissioned me to make her a soap with goat milk. That batch of soap named our company. It was perfect going forward in our vision of our new farm—everything we do is naked, from how it's grown to how we make it. We make sure all ingredients are naked. Our company is our way of life—we live at Naked Goat Farm, and it's where it all begins. We raise the animals and plants with the help of our whole family—really, our company is about family.
FF: What excites you for the future?
NGF: We moved to a new 40 acre farm about two years ago and have been trying to get it ready for people to come visit and have farming classes.
FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?
NGF: Everyone has their own path I always say. But my best advise is when you start a new business and launch your product, whatever it may be, really listen to what customers are saying - good and bad. And ask other vendors for advice.
FF: Anything else you'd like to share?
NGF: Our favorite motto for craft shows: If your sitting your not selling!
Shop and visit with Naked Goat Farm at Firefly Handmade Holiday Market, December 10 - 11, 10am - 4pm both days, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St., Boulder, CO. - in our grand HEATED tent between Trader Joe's and Panera Bread!