It was about eight years ago that we were sitting in a small apartment in Ukraine trying to figure out what we were going to do when we got home. My mom was leaving her soap business, which had successfully met the goal of paying for the family goats for several years. I didn’t know how to make soap and had never owned a business.
Armed with excel and the internet, we began dreaming of what Joy Lane Farm could look like if we built it into a company. We wanted a mantra that would be worth passing onto our children (Katy was pregnant with our first), and we landed on, “Live Joyfully. Do Great Things. Celebrate Family” agreeing that any part by itself didn’t have enough grit for real life.
Our dream was (and is) that eventually Joy Lane Farm would be a true company with employees, a leadership team, a farm property to share with our community, and that we would support a nurse full time on Mercy Ships by 2027 where my mom and dad served until my dad passed away.
Last year, we hit our growth goal, and have kept growing. Now we have an inevitable dilemma: We have no time. Refusing to change how we treat our customers or outsource making our products, we’re left with the watermelon-swallowing task of scaling our batch sizes.
Time for another gnarly goal: By June 1st, we will go from making 50 bar batches of soap to 500 bar batches. Somedays, we already make 400 bars of a single kind; it’s just in small batches, because we lack the equipment to do more, so it takes a longgg time. The good news is that the equipment is out there. The daunting news is it will cost $20,000.
We’ve always built our business without loans, using cash on hand and creative solutions like turning down the heat and pretending we were camping . We’d be lying if we didn’t say reaching 500 bar batches doesn’t make us gasp a little, but that’s what goals should do.
We can’t thank you enough for being our customers and bringing us to a point that this feels not only possible, but needed. As business owners, serving you is our privilege, and we are rolling up our sleeves to try and continually do it better.
Happily, soaps will be back in stock next week on February 16th! If you need any before then, we do have half our scents available and bulk bags!
Joel and Katy