Brooke is an inspiration to me because of her ability to balance homesteading, ranching, grad school and so much more. She is a wife, mother, runs longhorn cattle with her husband and has her side business making all natural goat’s milk products.
She uses all natural ingredients (which I LOVE) and creates quality products that look and smell amazing while serving their purpose! She has a great philosophy on life and that deep desire for growth and balance is not worthy all on it’s own!
1. Tell me about yourself! Did you grow up in the Western Industry? Where are you now and what do you do outside of your craft?
I’m not sure if I technically grew up in the Western industry, I more of existed on the outskirts in what influence I was allowed to drink in. While my parents were married neither one of them were involved in farm or ranch life, but my grandpa used to take me to my Uncle Tiny’s for my bottle baby goat every year. It was sort of an odd existence, my parents were polar opposites and so my mom gave up her cows and horses for my father’s preference of the city. He never allowed me to show in FFA or 4H, but I was gifted the ability to board horses about an hour from our house down by Frisco starting in 6th grade.
My life with horses actually lead me to my now husband of almost 5 years. We recently just bought a small farm in central Oklahoma, have 2 boys under three years, and so many odds and ends. Outside of our farm I am an MA Graduate student in English Literature, and I do some creative fiction and poetry writing on the side.
2. Tell me about your craft! When and/or how did you become passionate about it? When did you decide to pursue it as a business?
I own and operate Double Colt Homestead, aka Double Colt Soap, where I hand craft goats’ milk soap using only all natural ingredients and no synthetic dyes or perfumes. We originally purchased 3 Nubian does because my youngest son is allergic to cows’ milk protein – lactose – and for myself it was just easier to purchase goats to milk than it was to stomach the idea of weaning him onto almond or coconut milk. As a family we drink a lot of milk, but not enough to stomach a gallon a day that we were getting in the slow season from our 2 mature does. So I started to look into ways to use all of the excess milk we were getting outside of freezing it to store, or to try to make into cheese. I just naturally gravitated towards making soap as an artistic outlet, had some positive feedback from friends and family that tried my soap, and decided ‘why not’ and to take the plunge.
3. What’s the best part about being a female entrepreneur? Any advice for girls out their wanting to start their own business?
I think the best part about being an entrepreneur is knowing what you can handle and the best way to balance your tasks. You determine your work load, what you produce and when you produce it. There isn’t someone else there dictating it for you. So my advice actually feeds into that. As your own boss you have to constantly motivate yourself, decide what you’re going to do next, but beyond that you start to compare and doubt yourself and your product. So truly don’t doubt who you are and what you do. That’s where you start to get into trouble and can loose sight of where you have come from and where you want to be.
4. What’s the most difficult part about your craft?
The most difficult part of soaping is both finding the time, and deciding what combination of natural ingredients with the fragrance I use in a batch. As any mom knows kid free time is near impossible, but it becomes even more so when you legitimately have to have an entire kid free zone while soaping. Whenever you make soap you have to use sodium hydroxide (lye) regardless of the process, which can be highly dangerous due to its’ corrosive properties. On the opposite side of this, my difficult yet rewarding side is also extremely fun in figuring out what natural powders will come out as certain colors when added. If the fragrance will change the color or accelerate the batch, if you pour in different colors will it swirl a certain way due to consistency etc.
5. What do you love most about the western lifestyle? How has your passion for the western lifestyle influenced your craft?
I’m not sure if there’s anything I love more over another aspect of the western lifestyle. But I feel like one of my favorite elements is the ability to appreciate life for what it is. There is an honesty that comes with living like we do. We know the realities of how this moment may never come again, your favorite animal could suddenly die in a freak accident, and that everyone has their own passions that make them unique.
I think my passion for the Western lifestyle has influenced my craft by operating towards maintaining originality, and the ingredients I choose for every batch. I think it’s always important to be who you are and not copy anyone else, but in my soap I really prize natural ingredients.
6. What’s your best advice for girls wanting to learn your craft?
The best advice I could give would be to start slow and simple. Don’t overthink things and try to go the biggest, or most difficult recipe to begin with. There is a large learning curve that comes with soaping in identifying your favorite ingredients, how one reacts with another, and maintaining proper temperatures and texture of your soap.
7. What’s your personal life “philosophy”?
My life philosophy is actually pretty simple, it’s “cultivate”. I believe that to do anything well in life you have to cultivate yourself, your task, honestly anything you touch in order to live life the way you feel you should and how God intended for you too. You plant the seed, nourish it with water and sunlight, allow it to flourish, prune back what gets too out of hand, and remove weeds that would try to hinder it. So simply cultivate your life.
If you would like to find Brooke, find her on Instagram at @doublecolthomestead