Photos by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times
                                Owner Molly Jacobson holds recently born twin goats in her store.

Photos by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News-Times Owner Molly Jacobson holds recently born twin goats in her store.

Coming clean about goats

For Molly Jacobson, the creation of her soap business has involved all kinds of kids.

There are the goat kids that often enliven her small store, Blackberry Moon Market, which sells hand-made soap made from Whidbey Island goat milk.

There’s also her own kids, who are all involved in the family business in some way.

No stranger to the ways of making soap, the Clinton resident owned her first soap business while living in Sitka, Alaska.

“That was before we had computers and YouTube and the internet,” Jacobson said. “I just taught myself. I think there was one book out. I’ve never stopped making it since. I just loved it.”

Her oldest son, Kieran, then 12, helped run the store and taught himself how to do graphic design for the soap labels.

Kieran said his mother passed along an “entrepreneurial spirit” to him and his seven siblings. One sister made and sold glitter gel for a period of time, and he made cat toys. His youngest sister, Clara, is developing a business model to make “slime,” a sort of Silly Putty.

Nearly 20 years later, Kieran still helps with the graphic design for the business.

“It’s kind of amazing that my mother has this innate sense of business,” he said. “She never formally studied business, but she just has this mind for it. It’s pretty special.”

Molly Jacobson owned her first herd of goats in Alaska, bringing them with her when her family moved to Whidbey in 2001.The family bought a Clinton farm, where they’ve lived ever since.

She started making soap again out of her home kitchen, creating a website for Blackberry Moon soap. Her daughters all help with production.

In December, Molly Jacobson opened a store in downtown Clinton. Blackberry Moon Market now occupies the site of the former Clinton Post Office.

“Our family photos for the last 28 years pretty much all have soap in the background,” Molly said. “So it is really nice to move it out of the home and into a studio space.”

“And now we have a kitchen table,” added Clara, 10.

Soaps of all colors sit atop the shelves and tables in the store. A pair of two-week-old twin goat kids roam the floor.

“Look, she’s got a mini beard,” Clara announces with delight, holding the baby Nigerian dwarf goat she has christened Princess.

Molly said she plans to have goats, especially kids, in the store more often for people to see. There is even a grassy patch out back for them to feed.

The studio in the back allows for the soap creation. Using local ingredients produced on the family’s farm — no pre-made bases — Molly and her daughters add goat milk to an oil mixture, which is saponified and poured into molds.

In addition to soap, Blackberry Moon Market offers body lotions, bath salts, facial clay masks, beard balm and sugar scrubs. There is even a vegan line of soap made without honey or goat’s milk.

Felted soaps are made with 100 percent sheep’s wool wrapped around a soap bar.

“It’s like a washcloth and soap all in one. It’s gently exfoliating, and the wool continues to shrink with the soap,” Molly Jacobson said. “We have our own sheep. It was a natural combination for me.”

Products are inspired by Pacific Northwest nature, with names like “Salish Sea,” “Orca” and “Island Berry.” A men’s collection includes a “Lumberjack” scent.

A happy accident, a berry-based, pastel-colored soap has become an online bestseller.

“Clara named it,” Molly said. “This will be Unicorn Magic soap, and it is very popular,” Molly said.

Prices ranging from $8 to $20.

Jacobson said she’s hoping to start holding workshops next month.

Tentatively titled “Farm to Shower,” one class will show participants how to make soaps and lotions using goat milk. Attendees will be able to milk the goats themselves.

“I think that will be really fun for people to have a little bit of the farm experience and see what can be made with the milk,” Molly said.

Groups will be able to book parties, too.

During the summer, there will be a produce stand in front with Eastern Washington fruits, Skagit Valley berries and Whidbey veggies from Blackberry Moon Farm.

Blackberry Moon Market is located at 8898 Highway 525 in Clinton.

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