Wednesday, March 26, 2014
What began as an exercise in self-sufficiency, has accidently grown into a thriving business.
Rosella McGilsky, 38, came to South Carolina from America’s dairy land and cheese state, Wisconsin.
Coming south to get away from the long, dark winters, McGilsky wanted to find a spot where she could live in a self-sufficient manner. Grow and raise her own food.
As a child she spent her days on her grandparent’s goat farm so farming was in her blood. She found her spot on John’s Island.
Educated as a massage and skin therapist, earning her Practitioner of Healing Arts in Iowa and her skin therapist credentials at Miller Motte in Charleston, McGilsky sees life through health-colored glasses.
“It’s about healthy skin,” she says. “It’s just as important to put healthy things on your skin as in your mouth. The skin digests, breaths an absorbs.”
Nevertheless, the business was a surprise to her.
She decided to get some goats (cows were too expensive) to make her own cheese. “I’m a cheesehead from Wisconsin!”
She began with Nigerian (dwarf) goats. At one point, she had 25 goats but eventually decided to forego the dwarf goats – they didn’t produce enough milk – and go with other varieties.
Whenever she had excess milk, she would make soap. Her grandmother had taught her the art so she put the soap she made on a shelf at work.
She was amazed to discover her massage clients wanted it.
“I had no name, no brand, no packaging.”
But she had customers.
From soap, she went to lotion, scrubs and now, four years later, she is launching a face care line.
“I am woman-owned, all natural,” she says. In fact, she is one woman, doing it all. Fencing, feeding, caring, milking, making…and working as a massage therapist in West Ashley.
It has been a learning curve, she says. Most of that learning dealth with branding.
“Branding is an art form in itself,” she explains. She says she has learned that people tend to buy brands over products. Her branding look evolved after someone told her that her product “didn’t look like a girl who wants to play with goats.”
“He was right! So I took my personality and went looking.”
Not wanting to go the beige/brown route most natural products take, with jute as their recognition component, she decided cobalt blue would stand out. She combined it with purple – her favorite color – and named her brand after her parents – Dan and Cindy.
And, in 2011, Dancin’ Goat was born.
Because whatever goes on the skin goes directly into the blood stream, McGilsky uses only natural components in her products. Beginning with the goats themselves – the goats are fed non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) feed.
Goat milk, she says, is good for everything from cystic acne to rosacea, including severe dry skin, eczema (especially in children) and psoriasis.
The lotion is made with milk, coconut oil, vitamins and minerals, so it will be absorbed by the skin…even on those who have been using petroleum-based products for years, she says.
It even diminishes sun/age spots. This is because of the lactic acid enzymes and Vitamin A in goat milk, which is not found in any other milk except donkey milk.
Her exfoliators are sugar, which does not dissolve in oils.
She offers a coffee/sugar scrub for the body that smells like coffee and chocolate.
“Coffee helps with cellulite because coffee used externally – it doesn’t work internally through drinking it – increases fat metabolism. But only if topical.”
Her product line includes soap, lotion, scrubs, lip balm, lip scrub (lips are the only part of the body that do not naturally exfoliate) and an entire line of facial products that will be introduced at the Flowertown Festival.
The new facial line is professional grade, she says. And all her products are food grade.
While all her products are available on-line and made to order, the pricing at her booth is different and carries special bargains. “I have a lot of two-fers,” she says.
Her soaps are extremely sudsy (that’s the coconut oil) and last (that’s the palm oil). A bar will last four people two weeks.
For more information about Dancin’ Goats LLC, go to www.dancingoats.com and make sure you don’t miss her booth at the festival!