Meet Your Artisan: The Freckled Farm Soap Company

Your Business Name:  The Freckled Farm Soap Company

Your Name:  Crystal Neilson-Hall

The Freckled Farm Soap Pic of Crystal.JPG

When & how did you get started?

Kevin and I have always talked about having a goat farm. It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid! We spent a long time researching the products that we could offer and settled on soap because it allowed us to be creative, and have a product that everyone needed and we could offer year round. We started building the farm three years ago (after years of saving and research) and opened the soap company a year and half ago. In the year before opening The Freckled Farm Soap Company we worked on perfecting our soap recipe. We wanted our soap to have very specific qualities and it required countless test batches and tiny tweaks. We had a list of “soap testers” that would use the soap and give us feedback. We took everything they said to heart and feel like we were able to create a truly unique, high quality product.

When you’re not vending at the farmers market, what do you spend your time doing?

We actually have two small businesses, the soap company and a photography company. Our time is spent juggling the needs of both businesses while caring for the farm and our children. We are also working hard to make our farm self-sustaining, so we spend a great deal of time working on the farm. When we aren’t “working” we love spending time as a family. We are lucky that the farm allows us to work as a family and spend a lot of time with our children.

Freckled Farm Soap - Castile

What items from other vendors do you use in making your products?

In the past we have used cucumbers from Bella Grove for our Cucumber Lime soap. This is a seasonal soap that will be back this summer… during cucumber season!

Freckled Farm Soap - 4for20

What are your greatest challenges with your business?

Educating customers about the benefits of natural soaps for their skin. Many of our customers understand the benefits of using natural handmade soaps, but there are people who have a hard time looking past the price tag. If you haven’t experienced the vast difference it can be hard to understand why you would want to spend $5 on a bar of soap when you can get a bar of Irish Spring for a couple of cents. This is why we offer samples at our market booth… because we know you will be hooked after you try it and you will understand the benefits first hand.

Do you have any new products?

We make our laundry detergent using our own castile goat milk soap, borax, washing soda, and essential oils. It is all natural and works great at getting your clothes clean! We’ve been amazed at what it has done for us and our red clay mud caked farm clothes. You only need a tablespoon for this detergent to work it’s magic.

The Freckled Farm Soap - Lavender-Laundry-Pic

What three words would you use to describe your products? Natural, moisturizing and luxurious.

Stop by and try these great products at the South of the James Market on Saturday, 9 – 12 pm.

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Guess Who Is Celebrating A Birthday? The Cultural Arts Center At Glen Allen

Sweet 16

The Cultural Arts Center At Glen Allen has been inspiring creativity for 16 years!  On Sunday, March 15th, 1 – 5 pm this free event will have a day of arts programming, family friendly games and activities, entertainment and more.  Proceeds raised from the celebration will underwrite the outreach programs which include ART MATTERS, ARTFUL LIVING and CREATIVE FAMILY STUDIO. 

GrowRVA vendors include:

Sirius Jewelry

Poor Georgie’s Bake Shoppe

The Inspired Spirit

Carytown Burgers & Fries

Wandering Cow Farm

The Dog Wagon

de Rochonnet delights Chocolate

Great White Buffalo

Red Lintu

Wildwood Carver

Handmades by Linda

Butternut Press

Giggle in Pink

King of Pops

See you Sunday for a great time!

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2nd Annual Growing Season Beard Contest

How well do you know the faces at SOJ? Match these beautifully bearded faces to South of the James Market vendors, staff and musicians for a chance to win a $50 Gift certificate to GrowRVA’s markets. Details below.

GrowRVA 2015 Beard Contest SOJ

Match the faces in the image to these businesses:
Generation Cakes
Grayhaven Winery
Markiss Blowfish
Tater Dave’s
Walnut Hill Produce (2)
Wandering Cow Farm

Send us an email or message us through Facebook with your entry. For example “1) Old Church Creamery, 2) Mrs Yoder’s Kitchen… etc.” The person who gets the most correct answers wins. In the case of multiple correct entries, the winner will be randomly selected.

Entries will be accepted until this Friday, March 13 at noon. The winner will be announced Saturday morning March 14, 2015. One entry per person. (GrowRVA staff and vendors are not eligible to compete.)

Good luck!

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First Fridays Is Here

Harvest Grocery Logo

Update: Event Cancelled due to weather – we’ll see you in April!

I know it doesn’t feel like it, but Spring is around the corner.  One true indication is when First Fridays on Main begins.  Guess what?!  It’s here starting tomorrow Friday, March 6th, 5 pm – 8 pm.   The monthly art walk happens the First Friday of every month.  Join us at Harvest Grocery Supply on Main Street.

GrowRVA Market at First Fridays brings local food, art and music to the party!  Check out the great scheduled GrowRVA vendors.

Come out tomorrow for a good time and support local.

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Gratitude – One Word With Big Meaning

GrowRVA 02212015 Pic 3 GrowRVA 02212015 Pic 2  GrowRVA 02212015 Pic 4  GrowRVA 02212015 Pic 1

The weather was a bit tricky last Saturday (to say the least) but that didn’t stop vendors and customers at GrowRVA South of the James Farmers Market.  The location was changed and the setup was different; total dedication is displayed when you have an outside market available all year.

Thankful for the vendors wanting to provide for the customers depending on them weekly.  Knowing you are appreciated makes everything feel a little warmer, even in frigid weather.

Kudos to everyone!

See you this Saturday, 9 a.m. – Noon.

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Cabin Fever?! Get out this weekend!

carrots from Tomten Farm     rva-bluegrass-jam-2015

Have you been in the house all week?  Now is the time to plan your weekend fun.

The GrowRVA South of the James Farmers Market is happening Saturday, 9-12, but with a temporary location change; the great vendors will be located outside the Stone House in Forest Hill Park at Stonewall Ave & W 41st St Richmond, VA 23225. 

The Richmond Bluegrass Jam is Saturday, Noon – Midnight.  A great way for the whole family to get out of the house and support a great cause, the Richmond Fisher House.  You couldn’t ask for more in one venue; bands, open mic, artisans, food trucks, local craft beer and wine.  Great vendors are provided by GrowRVA:

New Normal Apparel
Karen’s Glass
Butternut Press
Sweet Temptations by Teresa
Red Lintu
MA’s Madhouse
Phal’s Café
Limeades & More
Alberta General Store
Native Creations
Wandering Cow Farm
The Inspired Spirit
The Freckled Farm Soap Company
de Rochonnet delights Chocolatier
Gordy Burgers
Great White Buffalo
Jadeans Smokin Six LLC
Mrs. Yoders Kitchen
OPA Food Truck – Nader’s Bistro
The Dog Wagon

Bundle up and see you at these great events!

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Temporary Move: SOJ Market at Stone House this Saturday

Due to ice in the main parking lot, the South of the James Market vendors will set up near the Stone House in Forest Hill Park this Saturday.  The Stone House is at Stonewall Ave & W 41st St (23225). This is not far from where we normally set up and is conveniently near the sledding hill!

Bundle up good and come see us! 9am to noon. Below is the list of vendors that plan to be there:

South of the James Market February 21, 2015 smaller

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Love At Farmers Market

GrowRVA Valentine Heart

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.  Of course, you know it because of the constant reminders since the new year started.  Love can be found anywhere; store, online, gas stations and exercising, etc.  You get the picture.  South of the James Market apparently is a catalyst for new businesses and relationships.  Check out Karen, owner of GrowRVA, and Doug, GrowRVA Operations Coordinator, enjoying one of their first dates at Grayhaven Winery South African Food & Wine Festival.  Mary, GrowRVA Social Media and Marketing Guru, with Mike, Sticcellar Carving Company.  Linda, Handmades by Linda with Joel, Wicked Wicker Works.

GrowRVA Karen Doug Grayhaven Date       GrowRVA - Mike & Mary  Linda & Mike

I know there are some other romances out there.  Betty, One Rare Lily Jewelry Design, and John, violin maker are another couple.  We invite you to share with us if you have met someone at the market.

Procrastinators we have you covered.  Of course, if you still haven’t done your shopping we are here for great local unique items.  There will be jewelry, soap, chocolate treats, wine and food.

Just remember, bundle up and smile because love is found in the most unexpected places.

See you tomorrow, 9-12, South of the James Market.

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Winter Weather, Appreciation & Support

SOJ 01312015 Pic For Blog

February has arrived quickly and the chilly weather is in full effect.  Last Saturday’s South of the James Market was “chilly” but that didn’t stop the vendors or customers from bundling up and coming out.  The smiles were abundantly and warmed the atmosphere all around.

It’s truly amazing the dedication represented by all.  Vendors wanting to ensure their products are available and customers so appreciative for the opportunity to support local.

Warmer weather is on the horizon for this Saturday.  Just bundle up and come enjoy yourself.  See you Saturday, 9 a.m. – Noon.

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Checking In On You: How’s it going?

How's your New Year's Resolutions going_

Can you believe the month is almost over?  The time goes so fast and the weather has definitely let us know it’s Winter.  Before you know it, Spring will be here. 

New Year’s resolutions usually are centered around eating healthy, exercising, more family time and meeting new people.  We are at South of the James Market for you year round.   Are you enjoying the produce and products you purchase at the market?  Is Saturday morning your family and friend time?  Do you walk to the market or around the market for exercise?  Please share how you are progressing and how we are assisting in your pursuit.

Remember one step at a time and celebrate each one!

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