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Here's what's new this November...
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I have a long newsletter for you this month. If your email cuts the newsletter off before the family photo, you can view the entire newsletter at this link.
 

Limited Edition Soaps


In the beginning of 2016, we started offering custom batches of our limited edition soaps so customers could purchase them year-round.  While many people have taken advantage of these batches, people also miss just having the limited soaps available throughout the year.  

So... we're bringing them back!

Our first three limited edition goat milk soaps are available this month (while supplies last).  There are not many of any of them, so if they're something you really want, I wouldn't delay!  The soaps are Lavender Peppermint, Hazelnut, and Hazelnut Scrubby and you can find them at the links below.
Lavender Mint
Goat Milk Soap
$6.50
Buy Now
Hazelnut
Goat Milk Soap

$6.50
Buy Now
Hazelnut Scrubby
Goat Milk Soap
$6.50
Buy Now

Free Shipping


Goat Milk Stuff began in 2008 primarily as an e-commerce business that also attended craft fairs and festivals. At that time, nobody liked paying shipping costs, but the average consumer was willing to pay for shipping to save on gas money and their time.

We've noticed that over the past year, the average internet consumer has made a fundamental shift in their feelings about shipping. With the advent of Amazon Prime (and other free shipping models), people are now looking at shipping as a cost that they not only don't want to pay, but that they shouldn't have to pay.

At the beginning of 2016, Goat Milk Stuff announced that we would be offering free shipping on orders over $50.  This had mixed reviews.  Many, many people were thankful for the free shipping.  Unfortunately, just as many people were unhappy that the minimum was so high because their limited budgets did not allow them to reach the $50 minimum.

Since shipping is a very real cost to us and affects our pricing structure, we've been praying about what God would have us do.  This month we finally reached a decision...

 

 

 

From now until the end of 2016, there will be free shipping on all U.S. orders of $15 or more.  

We really hope that it will make a difference for those who want to get our awesome goat milk soaps (and other stuff), but don't feel they can justify paying the shipping costs. We're also hoping that it will make it easier for people to ship Christmas presents directly to loved ones.

We will re-evaluate the free shipping minimum in 2017.  

Cheese and Fudge


Because we are now offering Free Shipping with a $15 minimum, we are changing the way we ship our goat cheese and goat milk fudge.  We will only be shipping each of these in bulk quantities. We will have the following available: We appreciate your understanding that this is the only way we can ship Cheese and Fudge with such a low free shipping minimum.  

We encourage you to get together with your friends and family to share these items.  Or if you're craving it all by yourself, the chevre and fudge can be frozen, so you can savor them over a longer time period!

The Sweet Shop

We are super excited by the amazing responses to our cheese and fudge by the people who are able to taste it here on the farm!  The growth has been so great that we've run out of room in our Farm Store to hold everything we want to offer.

As a result, we are opening up a second shop here on the farm that we are calling the "Sweet Shop."  People will now have two places to visit - the original Farm Store and the Sweet Shop.  This will allow us to fit more people without some of the crowding issues we currently face.  It also means we're probably going to have to expand our parking lot soon.  

Another benefit is that the Sweet Shop allows all the food items to stay out of the soaproom. This means that the soap smell can't contaminate the food and there is no worry about any of our yummy food smelling or tasting like soap.

The Sweet Shop is NOW OPEN!  We still have a lot of infrastructure and items we are adding, but we wanted to make the switch now before Thanksgiving and Black Friday arrived. 

Goat Milk Stuff Sweet Shop

At the Sweet Shop you will regularly be able to enjoy:
  • Goat Cheese
  • Goat Milk Fudge
  • Gelato (ice cream) with or without toppings like hot fudge
  • Goat Milk Caramel
  • Cookies
  • Sourdough Breads and Baguettes
  • Sourdough Bagels
  • Goat Milk
  • Caramel Cinnamon Rolls
This is just the beginning and we have grand plans to expand our offerings.



The Sweet Shop has tables available for people to eat their gelato and other goat milk goodies and we'll be getting outside seating for Spring and Summer of 2017.  We'll also be offering expanded food and cheese tastings, so stay tuned for more information on that as we work on putting it together.

It's a wonderful time here on the Farm.  Everything is growing and expanding and we're all working hard to keep up with it! We can't wait to see how all of our new adventures unfold and would love your feedback on what you'd like to see offered and available!

The Farm Store

The original Farm Store will continue to hold all our goat milk soaps and bath & body products.  It also still has the freezer and fridge that holds the goat milk, goat cheese, and ready-to-go gelato.



So come on by and visit the farm, the goats, and both stores!  We're excited to meet you and share all of our awesome Goat Milk Stuff!

Hand Sanitizers, Perfume, Sugar Scrub Cubes




Because we are bringing back limited edition soaps, we need to create some more space in our shipping area.  

This means, we are considering discontinuing the hand sanitizers, perfume, and/or sugar scrub cubes from our regular product offerings.  We are also considering whether or not to make them available as custom orders.  

If you have a moment, please answer this quick survey for us.  There are only 6 questions and it should take less than 2 minutes (unless you want to make a lot of comments!).

New Store Hours

From now until Christmas, we will be extending our Saturday hours (staying open until 6:00 pm instead of 4:00 pm).  

To summarize, the Farm Store and Sweet Shop will now both be open Mon - Sat from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Both are closed on Sundays.

Thanksgiving Hours

We will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, but will be open on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  We know that lots of you who are local are looking forward to bringing your family for a visit, tour, and/or Baby Goat Experience, so schedule those online now!  

We will be open both Friday and Saturday from 8 am until at least 6 pm.  We may even stay open til 8:00 pm if people are still arriving.

Thanksgiving Shipping

Many people enjoy receiving and gifting our soaps and stuff as Thanksgiving Hostess Gifts.  As always, we will be shipping out your orders as fast as you can place them.

We recommend that you get your orders in by midnight on Friday 11/18/16.  We will guarantee to ship those out on Saturday and if the post office does its part, they will arrive before Thanksgiving.  We will also get as many of Saturday's orders out as possible, but since the Post Office closes early, we don't have as much time on Saturday.

We hope that everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!
November Giveaway
This month we're giving away a $25 Goat Milk Stuff gift certificate! Since the winner will receive it on December 1st, this would be perfect for helping with holiday gifts!

You can find the entry widget on the Goat Milk Stuff blog.

Since you're already signed up for the newsletter, all you have to do to get your first entry is put the email address that you used to subscribe to this newsletter in the widget. It's that easy! For extra entries, you can follow us on various social media sites or answer a question. Just make sure you go through the widget, so your entries are counted. Good luck!

Congratulations to Connie who the October contest!  
Candle Season
With the sun going down so early, it's also a great time of year for candles. Our soy candles are available in many of the soap scents that you love.  From now until November 15th, if you purchase 3 or more candles, you get $1 off each candle while supplies last. There is no limit on the number of candles you can purchase.  You don't need to do anything special, just place 3 or more candles in your cart and the website will take care of the rest.

Goldie and Her Babies

We'd like everyone to meet Goldie and her new babies! Goldie is a Nigerian Dwarf goat that was given to us because she had not been able to get bred and have babies.  We didn't do anything other than put her in with a buck and five months later we were surprised with babies!  Goldie has always been a little chubby, so we didn't even suspect she was pregnant until about a week before her kids were born.

It wasn't a very easy delivery, but Jim managed to rearrange the kids and Goldie came through it like a champ.  The kids names are Gabriel (tan boy, born first) and Eclipse (dark girl, born second).



For those of you who are confused about why we are having kids in October, it's because Goldie is a Nigerian Dwarf.  Our main herd consists of Alpine goats. They are seasonal breeders, which means they come into heat when the daylight hours shorten.  So they are bred in the Fall, and kid in February and March on our farm.

The Nigerians are not seasonal breeders and will breed all year-round, hence the October babies.  We got the Nigerians for our Baby Goat Experience. Because the Baby Goat Experience was so popular, and our Alpine babies get so big, so fast, we decided to add some Nigerians so people could experience baby goats all year-round.  Since not everybody can visit us in the Spring, this has been a great solution for us!

Baby Goat Experience




If you'd like to come out and play with Gabriel, Eclipse, and the other "Nigie" babies, you can schedule a Baby Goat Experience Monday - Saturday.  It's a lot of fun, and wonderful for building memories!
 

Newsletter Special



This month we are offering one free half bar with a minimum $20 order. You must choose your half bar from this link (not the regular half bar link on the website) in order to get it for free.  Please remember to just choose one.

Homestead Happenings


Greyden (with some help from Emery) has been working super hard to put the garden to bed.  That involves harvesting all the remaining produce and "putting it up".  He then needs to pull all the spent plants and weeds.  He finally tops off the bed with composted manure from the goats, chickens and rabbits.

There's still a little bit of work left to do (particularly harvesting the sweet potatoes), but it's a huge job and we're very proud of Greyden's perseverence!

Fall Gardening

We recently drove out to Springfield, Missouri, for the 2016 National Christian Homeschool Cross Country Championship Meet. Our youngest seven kids run with our local homeschool cross country team and Brett is the team photographer. It was a great meet with strong competition from many different states.

The varsity boys' team (Colter, Emery, Fletcher, Greyden, and their friends Michael, Jarin, and Jonathan) came home with the first place team plaque! 

National Christian Homeschool Cross Country Champions 2016

Hewitt, Indigo, and Jade ran in the middle school race. Even though they were a head and a half smaller than most of the girls, Indigo came in 8th place, and Jade came in 3rd place!



We're so proud of all of them, and we're proud of the way they continue to bring glory to God with their attitudes and actions, as a team and as individuals.

This is Brett and Colter's first year to vote in a Presidential Election so we've been talking a lot about politics and government with all the children. We've even allowed all the children to stay up late to watch each of the Debates.  

We also happen to be studying the American Revolution as a family.  We've been watching documentaries and everyone is reading books on the subject. 
I'm reading Ron Chernow's biography on Hamilton that inspired the Broadway musical (Lin Manuel rocks, by the way).  At the same time Jim is reading a biography on Thomas Jefferson. Jim has the same birthday as "TJ" and since we both went to the University of Virginia, we've always loved Mr. Jefferson.
I have been shocked at the ugliness that occurred between Hamilton and Jefferson.  I really didn't realize that it was that bad.  It makes me very sad to see the ugliness between our current candidates, but I find it comforting that God was with our Country when Hamilton and Jefferson were feuding and He can still be with our Country today.  

We're praying as a family that God will be at work in people's hearts and in our Country however things turn out.  Because despite the difficulties America has, we still believe that the American Dream is possible.  We are living, breathing proof of that!

Supporting Small Business

I close every newsletter by thanking everyone for supporting our family and our business.  That's not just something I say, it's something I truly mean. Small businesses (like ours) are the life blood of the American economy.  And they are under attack.  The shrinking of the middle class and all the government regulations do not make it easy on small businesses.

When Walmart greatly expanded, they buried a lot of long-time small businesses.  We'd hate to see Amazon do the same thing with e-commerce small businesses.  The average American small business does not get the shipping price breaks that Amazon (with its huge volume) receives. Nor can the average small business justify charging $99 (the cost of Amazon Prime) to cover part or all of their shipping costs.  This leaves many small e-commerce companies in something of a bind as they try to compete with Amazon.

If you are at all interested in reading more about how Amazon is affecting small business, I found this article very interesting and highly recommend reading it. Please be aware that I did not fact-check the article, so if anybody knows of anything in it that is false, please let me know.

Goat Milk Stuff and the Jonas Family are here for the long-haul, and by God's grace we aren't going anywhere.  We recognize that it is individuals like you who support us, and we do not take any of you for granted. We work very hard to be responsive to your needs and we appreciate every time somebody writes or calls us and gives us feedback so that we can improve everything we do. 
As always, we thank you so much for all of your support of our family and our business!
 

The Jonas Family

Jim, PJ, Brett, Colter, Emery, Fletcher, Greyden, Hewitt, Indigo, and Jade


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