Honey Sweetie Acres
Conflicted about Chemicals in Products, Regina Started Her Own Thriving Soap Business
Honey Sweetie Acres got their name as an inside joke between husband and wife Steve and Regina Bauscher, but they got their fame from their award-winning goats and top tier health products. Regina is at the heart of the operation, with an impressive background in chemistry and business, and Steve worked at selling and promoting the products.
Regina began the first part of her career working in a refinery, then in an environmental laboratory. As she continued her career path, she became an investor relations agent for a Fortune 500 company and dealt with a copious amount of popular skin care products and makeup. As a chemist, Regina read the ingredients in these products and felt conflicted about sending them to consumers. She didn’t agree with all the unnecessary additives including unnatural alcohols, chemicals, and fragrances that were incredibly abrasive to skin.
While Regina grew concerned with the ingredients in body care products, Steve was battling ongoing dermatitis. His dermatologist tried different medications that would work for a few months, but eventually Steve would have a flareup and be back to where he started.
Regina knew she could do better. She began making her own soaps, including dish and laundry soap, out of goat milk. She asked her husband to exclusively use her limited-ingredient soaps. Within a month, his skin problems cleared up and he hasn’t had a flareup since.
That small idea was turned into a fully fledged business plan with consumer health at its forefront. Regina did a year of intensive research before starting her company, and she believes that her background and research contributed to lasting success.
They chose Nigerian Dwarf goats as the ideal milk source due to a butterfat content or 6-10 percent or more. Higher butterfat means a creamier soap with better moisturizing properties than that rendered from other breeds. Regina believes that looking at these products from a scientific — even molecular — standpoint in addition to choosing a high-butterfat breed led to a “one-two punch” in her soaps.
Regina still worked full-time during the startup, making her soaps in the evening after work. Steve, self-employed, would take their haul to the local farmers markets to sell in his free time. But the business expanded so fast that she quit her day job to tend the quickly growing enterprise.
The couple turned their attention to Honey Sweetie Acres. They began making sulfate-free shampoo, then later shampoos without parabens, alcohols, acrylates, formaldehydes, phthalates, and scent fixatives. Scent fixatives are specific chemicals added to most body care products that make the scent last longer, but they are incredibly damaging to skin. Regina notes that the alcohols in their products are natural, grain-based, and not caustic to the skin as the synthetic types are.
Honey Sweetie Acres’ products which are scented contain essential oils for their health and fragrance properties. Regina knows how to blend and use essential oils correctly so the end product is skin-safe. She is passionate about skin health and has even expanded her services to include teaching other
producers how to concoct safe combinations. In 2017, she spoke at the Handcrafted Soap and
Cosmetics Guild, or HSCG, in Las Vegas and taught around 600 attendees what she knew about
the safe use of essential oils. Producers from across the nation come to this event to learn how to
make a better product. The next HSCG convention is May 2019 outside of Dallas, Texas and
Regina is already set up to talk about the chemistry of essential oils in skin products. She can
educate people on what makes a bar of soap lather the right amount, last longer, and remain skin
safe with limited ingredients.
Regina presents her goats at various national shows. Her philosophy is that if she’s going to breed, she wants to breed the best animal she can, so they show their goats to determine where they stand according to the judges. Last year they took the championship with one of their goats, which certainly piqued their interest in showing. This year, all their goats took at least 10th place, with most coming in around the top five. Additionally, they placed in the Junior National Reserve for Nigerian Dwarfs. Regina swears by good genetics. She stands by going to a breeder for starting stock and beginning with the best possible animal.
Regina has now been making goat soaps for eight years. She hired a social media liaison to help manage her business. She holds open houses to educate people on what should go on their skin and what definitely should not, with a mission of promoting health and wellness. Her advice to anyone concerned about unsavory ingredients is, “If you can’t pronounce the word, then it has no business being on your skin.”
With a belief in holistic healing, she also offers seasonal goat yoga sessions. She says,“Working towards health goals is self-motivating because customers come back and tell us their stories.” Hearing constant feedback about how her products are helping people keeps the passion alive. Her herd still consists of top-of-the-line Nigerian Dwarf goats that she founded Honey Sweetie Acres on, and it’s grown to 25 does and five bucks.
Now, with a growing following of loyal buyers, it’s not only Regina and Steve’s passion for the product that has come to light. Honey Sweetie Acres can be found both online and in all 50 states in stores such as Whole Foods. The booming business made a genuine difference in people’s lives with groundbreaking work on holistic skin care and quality, limited-ingredient products.
Regina and Steve can be reached through their website, honeysweetieacres.com, or their
Honey Sweetie Acres Facebook page.