After two years, multiple dermatologists and a variety of lotions and potions proved insufficient, Angie Steele and her husband Todd were unsure what to do next to treat the eczema that covered most of their young son’s body.
In 2013, a family member told Angie about the symptoms relief goat milk soap can provide, prompting her to buy some to try on her son.
“We used it for two weeks, and it worked — it was amazing,” Angie said.
Healthline attributes the dermatologic efficacy of goat’s milk to its lactic acid content and a pH that’s close to healthy skin, but Angie said the benefits don’t stop there.
“It helps nourish the skin as it’s made up of essential elements, including vitamins A, E, C and some B vitamins, amino and citric acids and unsaturated fatty acids and zinc,” Angie said.
The Steeles spent the next 10 months building a barn to begin creating their own goat soap and milking the goats on their 24-acre farm in Washington, Oklahoma.
“They were just like puppy dogs before that,” Angie said. “All of the goats now are descendants of the three goats I started with.”
By April 2014, the Steele Family Farm had a milking room and soap shop in the barn. The only thing left to do was grow the business.
Over the last seven years, Steele Family Farms goat soap has shipped to the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada and France, a country widely regarded as a hotbed for skincare brands.
The product line for the farm has expanded into a complete line of soaps, hair and body care products, candles, pet wash and men’s fragrances under the Billy Goat line.
“We started with four different types of soaps and lotions, and we now have over 26 different fragrances and scents,” Angie said.
Cleveland County residents interested in trying the Steele Family Farms line of products can shop in person on Tuesdays and Saturdays at the Norman Farm Market at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
Angie said after a significant jump in online sales due to COVID-19’s effect on e-commerce, the farm’s website business outpaces in-person sales. But she has no intention of switching to an online store exclusively; Angie loves the local aspect and talking to customers face to face, she said.
Despite the rise in demand for her handmade small-batch products, Angie has no intention of raising prices.
“I want to keep it where people can afford to buy it, and I think that’s what really makes a difference — I want regular people to be able to buy our products,” Angie said.
Ultimately, the brand was born out of helping her son, and continues with a mission of helping others. Angie said she’s loved growing the business over the last seven years, but would prefer that the operation remain on a scale where outsourcing isn’t necessary.
“If you do that, you lose the ownership in the process,” Angie said. “You bake cakes, everyone loves your cakes, but then you give someone else the recipe and they bake them, but it’s not the same as yours. If it’s truly handcrafted by Steele Family Farm, you know it’s me.”
For more information and to order Steele Family Farm products online, visit steelefamilyfarm.com.