Our guest today grew up farming and milking dairy cattle. When she grew up and moved away she knew that she wanted to be a farmer herself, but how do you make that happen? In today’s episode she gives us the answer…..one of them at least!
Shanna McCann is the owner of “Simple Soaps For Simple Folks” a goat milk soap company with other products to compliment her decorative soaps. Shanna had a passion for dairy, but she switched from cattle to goats later in life. Then she started leasing ground that would allow her to raise her goats, milk them and process the product.
Along the way Shanna had a friend show her how to make soap. It was at that point that a light went on, and Shanna realized that she could easily make goat milk soap. Her company was born right then. After two months of experimenting Shanna finally had a soap ready to be sold. She started going to events and expos trying to find her customers. Finally she located them at handmade festivals and farmers markets.
One thing led to another, and she began producing decorative goat milk soaps with different molds. Her soaps are so pretty the look like fudge or chocolate. I seriously doubt my ability to not bite into them!
One the day that this podcast episode is released Shanna is moving to her own farm. After 8 years of leasing she has finally been able to purchase her own, 20 acre farm, and she and the goats are heading there today! Congratulations to you Shanna and thank you for sharing this great story!
ADVICE FROM SHANNA:
ACCOUNTING: Shanna strongly suggests getting a good accounting program if you are working with raw materials and producing products. Keeping track of all of your ingredients when you get busy is not easy, and you don’t want to be set to start work one day and then realize that you do not have everything you need to create your product.
HOURS: Be prepared to work a lot of hours. This is why it is so important to find something that you really like. You are going to work a lot of hours, but if you are enjoying yourself you won’t feel it.
THINK AHEAD: Planning is key for Shanna. She is creative, and that is where her strength lies. When it comes to organization it pays for her to have that mapped out in advance, before things get tense.
BEST BUSINESS ADVICE SHANNA HAS RECEIVED:
POINT OF SALE: Shanna says to get a point of sale system for inventory purposes. She had to be talked into this by a friend, but it turned out to be invaluable advice. Without this she would surely lose track of inventory.
PERSONAL HABIT THAT HELPS SHANNA SUCCEED:
DAILY: Shanna works in the business, in some way, on a daily basis. She does not overdo it on Sundays, but she finds a way to stay connected and keep the ball moving forward every day of the week.
Other Places You Can Listen To Us:
Check us out on the D&B Supply Show where we get to focus in on very specific farming issues like tank heaters, fencing, regulations, etc.
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