A lifestyle brand that helps women nurture their sacred spaces—Mind, Body, Home & Garden.
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Self-Care During A Pandemic
Before the virus, some 65% of American women suffered from symptoms of stress daily and the NY Times said that we were among the most stressed people in the world.
I can believe that. I also believe those numbers are probably a lot higher right now.
That same report said that for women working inside the home (that's a lot of us right now) that the majority of stressors came from within the home when home should be our sanctuaries. Our safe-havens.
What we've seen from our customers and other women during this pandemic is the push to transform their homes into sacred spaces. The home improvement sector, gardening supplies, cooking and bakeware items, even yeast have seen a significant increase in sales.
How Alexander Farm & Orchard Helps Women
At Alexander Farm & Orchard, our customers are dedicated to living healthy, holistic lives. They demand natural products for themselves and their families. They are conscientious about what they consume, are dedicated to reducing the number of chemicals they bring into their home and are developing their own green thumbs.
Our handmade, hand-cut, small-batch soaps made with natural ingredients are loved by our customers. The reviews have been stellar. We also provide gardening tips, delicious recipes, and inspiration for transforming spaces into sacred ones so that they can enjoy a stress-free home full of love, laughter, and comfort.
Why I Started Alexander Farm & Orchard
Combine one part family history of hypertension and diabetes with one part, way too many cucumbers, and one part of having my home violated and I had the makings for a new self-care, lifestyle brand.
In 2016, my Momma (aka Bishop Gwendolyn Mack) passed away after having 12 strokes. That's not a typo. She had 12 strokes over the course of three years AND a love of fried food. My grandmother, the infamous Nana Brown also had hypertension and my paternal grandmother died of complications from diabetes. Let's just say my genetic makeup isn't the best.
So I knew I was going to have to take charge of my life and health. That meant eating more fruits and vegetables, making the decision to have weight loss surgery, and planting a backyard garden.
Now, this wasn't my first garden. My husband accused me of committing herbicide many times before I was a successful gardener. Can we take a moment for all the many plants, flowers, and vegetables that gave their lives for my learning?
Moment taken. :)
If you've ever committed herbicide or believe your thumb isn't green, there is hope. I'm proof!
After a successful first year, I planted cucumber the following year and planted way too many. We ate what we could, gave the rest away and we still had too many. So I got the bright idea to make soap with the surplus. I watched countless YouTube videos and read lots of blogs on the soapmaking process. I slowly started buying soaping supplies and decided that I would make soap using the cold process method. That meant I would have to work with sodium hydroxide.
Now lye scares a lot of would-be soap makers but I wasn't afraid. Being a woman of color who has permed her own hair a time or two knew how to respectfully work with the chemical. I sincerely thought, "what's the big deal?" Gloves, goggles, long sleeves, and good ventilation. I knew enough to be careful but I wasn't scared of the process.
I made my first batch, designed a pretty label for my soap, and posted a picture on Facebook and the rest is history. I had a soap order the next day for 50 soaps.
Soaping then became therapy for me during some very difficult years. We took in a family after they experienced a sudden loss and my sanctuary turned into a living hell. So I absolutely understand about stressors being inside the home. Soaping became my escape and I was able to create these beautiful pieces even though my life and home were in utter chaos.
When I got my home back, I immediately went about the business of restoring it to a place of peace. Making it once again my sanctuary. My sacred space. And there would be plenty of intentional, internal healing that would have to take place too.
Alexander Farm & Orchard exists because women like me and perhaps you realize that we are nothing without our health, are particular about the products we use, and won't settle for anything less than peace in our homes.
What We're Raising Money For
Our crowdfunding campaign goal is to raise $25,000 so we can continue to serve our audience. We want to expand our product line. Our goal is to add branded kitchenware, bakeware, garden utensils, branded vegetable seeds, and clothing items such as tees and aprons. We also want to upgrade our equipment. If you've ever received a soap wedge instead of a perfectly square soap, you know how desperately we need a soap cutter! We're also looking to hire a part-time person to help us through the holidays and upgrade our packaging.
The Campaign FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions:
In regard to soap made with tallow, am I actually lathering with animal fat?
No. The saponification process leaves you with a fatty acid called oleic acid. It’s a great emollient and moisturizer. Alexander Farm and Orchard customers with dry skin and certain skin issues have said that our Cherry’s Bar (made with tallow and available by special order) left their skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Do all of your soaps use animal products?
Yes. We use honey in all of our soaps which is an animal byproduct. But not every soap is made with tallow.
Will I smell like a farm animal after using a tallow soap?
No. All the smelly stuff gets done away with during the saponification process.