Meet The New Owners!

Welcome To Our Family

I’ve been really excited about something recently and I can’t wait to tell you all about it today!

10 years ago I opened a yarn shop in Central Florida and named it, Four Purls, after my four children who are my precious pearls. The kids were little (Thomas was just a baby on my hip).

Fast forward 10 years, the yarn shop (and the kids) have grown a lot. It’s been a labor of love for sure. We are in a much larger, permanent location and my two oldest have graduated from college. Aspen, after graduating from University of South Florida 2 years ago, has helped grow Emma’s Yarn into one heck of a dye operation and is serving other local yarn shops well. Jon Paul graduated from Florida Southern last spring and (cue the drum roll) is returning home to take over our new venture.

Love and Leche lotion bars have long been a favorite of mine and I’m happy to tell you all that they will now be made by us! From our family to yours.

Daven, founder of Love and Leche, started much like me. She knew something was missing from the community she loved and so she created it. Her lotion bars are a work of art (literally, she had local artists create the molds), are all natural, and carefully handmade. Daven has spent years perfecting Love and Leche and you can tell right from the minute you see it on the counter. The packaging is beautiful, the scent is amazing and the way your skin feels after…. so good! I have so much love in my heart for Daven!

It’s a real product that I can stand behind and I’m so proud to part of its next chapter. My family is looking forward to serving the individual customers as well as the many Yarn Shops, health minded stores, gift shops and spas that carry the product.

If you already love the bars, you might be wondering if anything is going to change. The answer is yes and no :)

We will use all the same ingredients and recipes to make our bars with the exception of the beeswax and flowers that will be harvested locally. Pat’s Apiary (whose delicious honey can be purchased at the Downtown Farmers Market, and soon at Four Purls) will supply us with beeswax (I’m pretty excited about this, supporting a local bee farmer on this level is a dream come true for me). We will be growing the flowers ourselves for next years harvest.

The 2.5 oz bars in tins will be out of stock for awhile as we work to have the custom tins reproduced. This takes so much longer than you might imagine.

The Mountain Goat for Men line will be returning soon. Jon Paul is pretty passionate about that :)

If you’ve never tried a Love and Leche Lotion bar you definitely should!

Xoxoxo

JD, Laura, Aspen, Jon Paul, Emma, and Thomas Dobratz

Love+Leche: It all began with the Goats, and Earth Day 2005

Thirteen years ago this month, Love+Leche (née Milk and Honey) was born, on Earth Day, April 21, 2005.

It all began with the goats.

It began with the goats. . . when I was a kid growing up in Upper East Tennessee. This is me with Sprout!

Since Sprout wandered into my life when we were both kids (she literally wandered into our yard, a runaway goat), I have been smitten with goats.  Smart as dogs, wily, troublesome, affectionate and loud . . . it turns out they give us some of the most nutritious and luxurious product around: goat milk!

Milking our favorite girl, Taza, at our home in Glorieta, circa 2005.

From being a kid in the Southeast, to being a young mom in the Southwest, goats came back into my life, and with them, a top-bar beehive and an entrepreneurial vision inspired by the Santa Fe Farmers Market: to make something yummy with these valuable, nutritious, sensuous ingredients.  Milk and Honey was born.

Our Earth Day debut in 2005 at Ecoversity in Santa Fe.

My lead product was our maple-colored, gentle-on-the-skin goat milk soaps, poured into beautiful molds I could buy from soap suppliers.  But in those upper baskets, we sold our fledgling lotion bars, also poured into beautiful bee-inspired molds, and soon to be our lead product.

Believe it or not, children and bees go together!

We kept bees and used their wax and honey in the soaps, but we partnered with Steve Wall (see a great pic of him here), of Buckin’ Bee Honey to supply the larger amounts of beeswax that we needed for our Lotion Bars.

And so we come to our present-day, now-13-year-old venture of Love+Leche.

We still make all our products in small batches by hand.  All our soaps and lotions are now poured into custom, sculptor-designed molds that bring beauty to your life and your skin.  We still make our goat milk soap using the milk from our own goats (we’re now part of a goat co-op, sharing the labor and the love), but it’s the lotion bars we’ve become famous for.

 

Lotion Bar Ingredients in the raw: local beeswax, coconut oil, organic calendula flower-infused almond oil and essential oils. That’s it.

The gorgeous Nanny Goat (Taza!) that graces our logo takes us back to our roots and original inspiration for our business.  Our Goat Milk Soaps carry on the goat milk product tradition.

 

A new lotion bar is born–1oz Little Bee!

But don’t look for goat milk in our lotion bars! They are all about the bees: those hard-working girls that give us miraculous beeswax to seal in the oils and moisture and heal our skin.

And, our Lotion Bar line has grown, to include our half-ounce Anywhere Balms, our Mountain Goat Men’s line, and our soon-to-be-released Little Bee 1oz lotion bar.

Thank you, readers, customers, friends and community for thirteen beautiful years.

Learn more: our story and our ingredients.

DIY Natural At Home Pedicure

tips for natural pedicureYou don’t have to go to a spa to pamper your feet with a pedicure.  Give yourself an all-natural treatment right at home!

Follow these steps to beautiful, healthy, soft feet:

Step 1: Soak
Fill a basin or tub with warm water. Add 1/2 cup of epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Relax for 20 minutes while your feet soak.

Step 2: Scrub
Use our Goat Milk Soap to wash away dirt and grime with a loofah, scrub brush, or salt scrub.

Step 3: Exfoliate
Remove all the dead skin from your feet with a pumice stone. Don’t forget to remove any nail polish if you haven’t already.

Step 4: Trim
Shape your toenails by cutting them straight across and gently buff with a nail file.

Step 5: Moisturize
This is the most important step for getting rid of calluses and cracked heels. Use our Love+Leche Lotion Bar to massage your feet, being sure to rub some lotion into your cuticles and the tops of your feet.

To maintain your pedicure, make it an evening ritual to massage your feet at bedtime with our lotion bar and put on cotton socks to sleep in. This nightly habit will heal your cracks and keep your feet soft and gorgeous!

Our Lotion Bars come in an assortment of essential-oil scents, so you can match your lotion bar to your mood!

Tired feet that need a pick-me-up?
Stimulating Lavender-Rosemary
Calm, deep sleep?
Lavender, of course
Romantic feet?
Wish you were in Bali-feet (or maybe you are!)?
Ready for the outdoors-feet?
Nice, neutral and natural?

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Roan’s Birthday Celebration

On Monday, August 10th we’ll be celebrating Roan’s 18th birthday with a special offer for one day only. With any purchase of $14 or more you’ll receive a free lotion bar mini in one of our new scents!

“What can I get for $14?”

Use coupon code Roan18 all day on Monday, August 10th.  Thank you for celebrating with us!

Milkmaid

milking goats, Milk+Honey photo 2 milking goats, Milk+Honey milking goats, Milk+Honey

After over a year of passing my goats to another family (which was like saying goodbye to my childhood stuffed animals), I am back to milking, but in a very interesting arrangement.  This is why I love living in Santa Fe:  less than a mile from my house is a co-housing community with a beautiful piece of land right on the river.  I can walk there from my house down the river path.  There live three Sable Saanen goats who are milked on rotation by a goat-milking co-op!  I have joined this co-op, and now every Thursday morning (and yes, that included the recent Christmas and New Year’s days), I head down there to milk and enjoy sweet contact with the girls, the chickens, the barnyard, and the natural rhythms of being with animals in all the seasons.  This is a great compromise for me–the co-op shares expenses, responsibilities like mucking, purchasing supplies, responding to emergencies, and even covering shifts if you want to go away–like on vacation!–and I get to keep goats, milking, and fresh milk in my life.  And of course you get to experience this nutrient-rich, moisturizing leche in my goat milk soaps!