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When goats and business collide

Wild Root Acres specializes in all-natural soaps made from goat’s milk

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July 12, 2023

PLYMOUTH – It’s not every day you find yourself in a career where you get to work with goats.

For Natasha Gahagan, all her coworkers stand on four legs and live on her farm.

Gahagan is the owner of Wild Root Acres, an LLC that makes all-natural soap using goat milk.

A natural start
Gahagan said she and her family had already been living a holistic and natural lifestyle before she started Wild Root Acres in 2018. 

“When I was younger, I always had that entrepreneurial mindset, but it was never a sure thing,” she said. “We moved here on the farm (in 2015) just for homesteading, and I had Lyme disease, so we needed to kind of live a more natural lifestyle.”

In 2017, Gahagan said she was making soap as gifts for friends and family – but that was all it was supposed to be.

Natasha Gahagan

When she received an “overwhelmingly positive” response to the product, she decided to turn it into a business. 

One of the first steps in the venture – coming up with a name for the business – Gahagan said, wasn’t an easy task.

“(My husband and I) we’re actually in the garden planting,” she said. “I was spewing off names – I always wanted to do “Acres” – and we were in the garden, so I was thinking about planting roots, and going back to our roots. That’s how it came about.”

Gahagan said since she already had an LLC established, setting up the rest of the business was a fairly easy process.

“Before I started making soap we sold eggs and stuff like that, so we had an LLC,” she said. “Then (we) just needed a seller’s permit.”

Though there are other countries that have more strict rules and licensing requirements to sell products with goat’s milk, Gahagan said the U.S. is more lenient.

“As long as you say it’s soap, only soap, you fall into this gray zone,” she said. “We can sell it without any kind of licensing.”

Gahagan said in Wisconsin, there are particular rules for selling goat milk.

“(Making soap) is the only way I could sell it raw – because you’re obviously not drinking it,” she said. “You can’t sell raw milk, so that was also a way around having an abundance of milk.”

The goats and the soaps
Gahagan said Wild Root Acres currently has 32 goats on staff, but averages between 15-20 goats year-round.

“We have the Nigerian Dwarf (goats) and then the Oberhasli (goats),” she said. 

Nigerian Dwarf goats have one of the highest butter fat contents, making it great for people’s skin, she said.

There are other benefits to using goat’s milk soap as well, Gahagan said.

“(The soap) in the store, it’s going to be a detergent,” she said. “Handmade soap made the old-fashioned way with lye… it’s manmade, it’s not as full of chemicals. Goat’s milk in general is a natural exfoliant and has some vitamins in it, like B6 and B12. And it does have some antioxidants.”

The herd, Gahagan said, can have quite the personality.

“(Oberhasli) are much bigger, but they’re like gentle giants, whereas the dwarfs are like the Chihuahuas, naughty and a little feisty,” she laughed.

Each goat also has its own profile on Wild Root Acre’s website, which you can find at – helping put a personal touch on each bar of soap.

From start to finish, Gahagan said the soap-making process on average can take four to six weeks to cure – with the longest process taking anywhere from six to 12 months.

Each batch makes about 72 bars. 

Gahagan said she makes nearly 300 bars each week or every other week.

Wild Root Acres typically has anywhere between 12-15 different soap scents year-round, with seasonal scents bumping the total to about 19.

Wild Root Acres have anywhere between 12-15 different scents year-round, which are made with essential oils. Photo Courtesy of Wild Root Acres

Gahagan said she only uses essential oils in the soap-making process.

“We make everything all-natural,” she said. “We don’t use any artificial fragrances or colors… it’s easy to cave and use fragrance oils, and all the fun scents that everyone likes.”

Currently, Wild Root Acres does not have a storefront, though Gahagan said they do have a drop-off box for customers to come pick up their items if they’re local. 

“When your order is all done, we send you an email and you let us know when you want to pick it up and we put it out in the box for you,” she said. 

Standing out
Gahagan said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Wild Root Acres saw a positive impact.

“COVID actually helped us,” she said. “People wanting to wash their hands… We’ve grown quite a bit in the last three years I’d say.”

Though the pandemic helped, Gahagan said focusing solely on natural products, on top of making a name for herself on Facebook, has also helped in her success.

“I have a large presence on social media, and that’s helped me quite a bit,” she said. “A huge part of my presence is showing real life and all the ins and outs of it. My main thing is, I use nothing with artificial fragrance and color, which sets me apart.”

As Gahagan reflects on five years of business, she said it’s “surreal to think this many people think I make cool stuff.”

“It warms my heart,” she said. “I’m appreciative that people follow me and appreciate my opinions and care about our product enough to share it with others and use it themselves. Five years is big, especially in the business world. Getting to five years in itself is hard for any business.”

As she looks to the future, Gahagan said she always wants to make sure she has her personal touch on the business.

“I always want to make all the bars myself,” she said. “Maybe have people help me with ordering and packaging. But there’s that fine line between cranking them out and that assembly line kind of thing. I like the personal aspect of (making them myself.)”

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