Autumn in New England is fair season. There are wonderful country fairs, harvest festivals, apple galas, agricultural celebrations and expositions all over the region full of rides and food and prizes and shows and vendors and fun. They make autumn special and people turn out in droves to walk around, meet their neighbors, vie for blue ribbons, cheat on their diets, check up on their kids and check out what’s for sale.
I live within driving distance of a zillion fairs. I could go to a different fair every weekend from Labor Day until Halloween, if I wanted to. I don’t, but I do have two or three fairs that I never miss. There’s the one with the great church food and another one with wine tasting and the big regional one with more farm animals than anyone could possibly need to see in one place. I like pig races and bunnies and arts and crafts and goats. And, I’ve discovered, soap.
Goats and soap, I’ve also discovered, are a thing.
Vendors are a big attraction at all New England country fairs. There are some who have been in the same spot on the same fairgrounds for years and years and there are others who come and go. The most ambitious of them ride the circuit and cart their “stores” from fair to fair every weekend of the season. As a fair-weather vendor who took my book booth to the summer markets for the first (and possibly the last) time this year, I know how much work it is to schlep tables, tents, decorations and products from patch of grass to patch of grass (or patch of mud), hoping to break through the indifference to make a sale—only to pack it all up and start again, from scratch, at the next place. It isn’t as easy as it looks—or as much fun.
So, when I find fair vendors I like, I try to support them in any way I can. Buying their products is one way. Telling others about them is another.
This is where the goats and the soap come in. Finally, right?
I am in love with Goatboy Soap.
I once received a bar of Goatboy Soap as a gift. I used it and liked it and started buying it from their website. When I use commercial hand soaps or, worse, hand sanitizers of any kind, the skin on my hands rebels in evil and painful ways, a problem which was eased considerably when I started using Goatboy goat milk soap regularly. In fact, I keep a bar in a soap dish next to every sink in my house and, when I travel, I cut a bar into small pieces and carry some with me so that I never have to worry about an epidermal mutiny when I am on the road.
Now, the Goat Boy enterprise has taken to the road and is riding the fair circuit—no small feat because not only to they bring their booth and their soaps, but they also bring their goats! I was thrilled to see the critters in person (in goat?) that have done so much for my hands. They are cuties with the most beautiful coats, washed with—well, what do you think?
But I was also thrilled to meet Lisa, the Goatboy Lady herself, a mom whose goat journey started because her son has severe allergies. It was fun smelling the soaps and picking them out by hand instead of on the website. As I filled my bag with deliciously scented five-ounce bars, I chatted with Lisa about how much her soaps have helped me and how I can’t leave home without them. That’s when she reached beneath her table and pulled out a bag full of what she calls “Scrapples,” an assortment of thin end cuts that she bags up and sells as they are. It’s all the same soap, just not as pretty.
“Here,” she said. “I want you to have these. Then you won’t have to cut up your good bars when you travel.”
Her gift came from the heart. She appreciated my story—and my business. And I appreciate her product—and her kindness.
So, while I rarely use my blog to advertise, I will do it this one time. Go to the Goatboy website at www.Goatboy.us . Buy some fabulous soap from some very nice people.
And, should our paths cross at a market or fair, I’ll be be one with the scent of Goatboy soap wafting out from inside my purse!