No Kidding! Goat Milk Can Soften You Up!
Winter 2021 Issue Written by Cyd Hoefle Photography by Stu Hoefle
Lazy Daisy Soaps Makes it Happen
It took some time before Nichole Croteau Baker allowed her passion to blossom. A native Montanan, Nichole grew up near Canyon Ferry. She attended MSU and graduated with 3 bachelor’s degrees. She met and married her husband and had a successful corporate career in Seattle, WA.
On the outside things looked good, success and busyness filled her life, but deep down was always the desire to do something more, something that would fill her heart and soul. After years in the corporate world, Nichole decided to return to her beloved Montana and turn her hobby and dream into a business.
Leaving the hustle and bustle of the city and relocating to a remote location in Montana took some adjusting. The sound of traffic was replaced by silence, the paved streets by a one lane dirt road. Open skies replaced the skyscrapers, fresh air took the place of exhaust and neighbors became dependable friends. Nichole and her husband have adjusted and now they can’t think of a better place to live.
Nichole turned her hobby into a successful business. She’s the founder of Lazy Daisy Soaps, a skin care product company that prides itself on the fact that all of the products produced are made using only natural, organic ingredients, beginning with fresh, raw goat’s milk from goats that Nichole raises and milks herself.
“I am Lazy Daisy Soaps,” Nichole said with a laugh. “I’m the one caring for the goats and milking them, I am the researcher and scientist and the one making the product.” She puts in long hours, not only caring for the goats and making the product, but also doing all the marketing.
“When I’m not taking care of the goats, or making soap and lotion, or at a tradeshow or farmer’s market, I’m filling my on-line sales. But,” she’s quick to add, “I really love what I do.”
It all started when Nichole was growing up, not far from where she and her husband own their small farm. As a young woman, she suffered from sensitive skin and especially reacted to artificial fragrances. “I started experimenting with ingredients way back then,” Nichole said, “Years later, when we lived in Washington, we had a real problem with blackberry bushes and were told that goats like to eat them. So, we acquired a couple of goats and that was the beginning of making soap and lotion from their milk.”
Nichole currently has two nanny’s that she milks, both are Nubian goats well known for their high-quality, high-butterfat milk, which makes a perfect start to her products as it is easily absorbed into the skin and allows for quick hydration of dry parched skin, a big problem for many because of the dry air in Montana.
Nichole is as passionate about her goats as she is about her skin care line. “I’m actually a goat farmer,” she laughed, “a highly educated one!” She quipped referring to the fact that she has three degrees and a herd of seven goats.
“But look around,” she said as she raised her arms out from her side and turned a complete circle, “Look where I live!” From the middle of the goat pen two mountain ranges can be seen and the Missouri River is just five minutes away. It’s easy to see that Nichole enjoys her country lifestyle and is in her element.
Nichole’s skin care products are made in small batches in her garage turned studio. She’s always in the search for new fragrances. “Nature inspires me,” she said, “I take a hike and breathe in the fresh air and the surroundings and come home and try to duplicate what I experienced.”
One of her latest fragrance came from being snowed in for too long over the winter and she began experimenting with citrus scents. “It’s called Hello Sunshine. It’s sweet, citrusy, warm and bright,” she explained, “all about positive thinking!”
And positive thinking is what empowered Nichole to swim against the current and turn a hobby into a passion that not only supplements financially but allows clients to enjoy a natural product at its finest.