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Homemade soaps bring joy in the making, giving

By Staff | Apr 10, 2016

HOLLY KOLLBAUM, right, lends a hand to Stacy Orndorff, of Correctionville, as she buys goat soap at the Siouxland Garden Show in Sioux City. Kollbaum, who also sells her products at a local farmers’ market, makes the soap and other sundries at her farm near Bronson. The garden show was held April 2-3.

By JOLENE STEVENS

grovecorner@aol.com

SIOUX CITY – Holly Kollbaum said she must have looked like a hazardous materials officer the first time she attempted to make the Lucy and Woody Goat Soaps displayed in her booth at the Siouxland Garden Show.

“You naturally have to use lye, and it scared the heck out of me,” Kollbaum said. “I put on goggles, gloves, anything I could when I got ready to make the first batch. Today it’s an entirely different story. I love doing it.”

Kollbaum’s soaps were on display in Sioux City from April 2-3.

She farms near Bronson with her husband, Chris Kollbaum. The couple operates a cow-calf operation in addition to a 19-head tribe of Nubian dairy goats.

The goats are a continuation of the herd first purchased when the couple’s sons, Tanner and Jonah, were growing up.

“We thought the goats would give the boys the opportunity to learn about doing chores when they got off the bus after school and the responsibilities that go with farming,” Kollbaum said. “And they did.”

Nubians are a dairy goat known for a high percentage of protein and butterfat.

“The butterfat content with its resultant high moisturizing ability makes the goats’ milk ideal for soap-making,” Kollbaum said.

She added that using the milk for the soap first came to mind some seven years ago when a friend vacationing in Virginia brought her the first bar of the soap.

“I literally fell in love with it,” she said her voice brimming with enthusiasm. “I thought to myself, ‘I’ve goats in our backyard,’ went to all the Internet pop-ups on making goat soap and did a lot of reading, anything I could get my hands on.”

She learned that just about any liquid will work, and depending on what is used for oil, the final result will be different.

“I also like that you can use something that is available at a relatively low price,” she said. “That’s something someone can give, bringing the recipient a lot of joy.”

“The soaps smell good and because of their moisturizing content can really make someone’s day in the shower,” she added. “This is a joy to me as well.”

Liquid honey, beer and hops and coconut milk are among ingredients used by Kollbaum in her soap-making, along with cucumber puree – one of her favorites – and fermented tea. The soap available at events such as the Siouxland Garden Show and local farmers’ markets can also be found at Sioux City Gifts, in Sioux City.

As for Kollbaum’s advice to other aspiring soap makers, she said it’s all rather simple.

“If you can cook, you can make soap and love doing it as I enjoy doing,” she said. “I’d suggest you do some reading or looking at blogs on the process or talk to someone like myself who’s willing to help you get started.”

“It’s most of all that you can learn how to do just about anything once you overcome your fear of doing it.”

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