Handmade soap is one of my favorite things on earth. In fact, I love it so much that years ago I put it in my dating profile (true story). In hindsight this may not have been the wisest thing I’ve ever done, but I did marry a wonderful man and have buttery soft skin, so I suppose it all worked out in the end.
Fast forward a few years and I connected with Tiffany Hughes, the whirlwind behind the goat milk soap company Straw in My Bra. Not only does she make amazing goat milk soap in decadent scents like smoked caramel, sweet orange chili, and strawberry champagne, she even raises her own goats! And, they are adorable. I asked her how she got into this crazy creative biz, and she kindly shared her story.
I’m a mother of 2 human children, 2 dogs, 28 chickens, and 15 goats. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Cleveland but left the area for college and it took about 12 years before I returned to Northeast Ohio. We were expecting and I wanted to be closer to family. My husband wanted land and didn’t want to be toooo close to family (I think he had Everybody Loves Raymond-esque fears). We settled on 10 acres in Thompson. It took us several years before we started with the chickens and goats – I often blame a trip to the fair for sending me down the rabbit hole of raising goats.
Once we started breeding the goats, two things happened:
1. we went from 3 goats to 14
2. we suddenly had a steady supply of goat milk.
Now, I am a physical therapist by day because my parents refused to help pay for me to go to school for a degree in art therapy. Although I love my profession, I have always been drawn to more creative pursuits and the extra goat milk sparked my curiosity and I began to experiment with making goat milk soap. The result was a functional product that was a creative outlet as I enjoy creating different designs and themes for the soaps.
My creative world has morphed and changed over the years. Despite working in health care, I have always had some sort of side hustle/ hobby that was more artistic/ creative. I loved quilting and have made many quilts of different sizes and patterns. I also had a side business with my mother-in-law where we made bedding and coordinating room decor for baby nurseries. I’ve dabbled in knitting, crocheting, sewing, painting, drawing, resin, etc. You could say, until I started making the soap, my creative world was always in flux, and while the kids were young, it was almost non-existent. Now that they are older, it is fun to include them and use their input and ideas when I am making new soaps.
The biggest challenge I have – whether in my personal, professional, or creative life – is finding time. Covid has altered a lot of our lives, but since my husband and I are both “essential” employees, I feel like a lot of people’s expectations have changed where our lives have remained the same. So trying to find the time to fit in art and creativity is difficult and I am often trying to squeeze it in around the edges of an already full schedule. I have tried to make it a priority though because it brings me so much joy. Creating something is so therapeutic.
Even though I have to fit my creative endeavors into small chunks of time, and even though art often takes a back seat to my “day job” or the kids’ schedules, making time for it is so rewarding. There are so many stressors in the world, and art, no matter the form, truly is therapy. It’s good for the soul, and it’s so important in a world of noise and chaos to just sit silently and create something. The distraction it provides and the sense of accomplishment when a project is completed are important aspects in maintaining my sanity.”– Tiffany Hughes
Cheers to sitting silently and soothing souls – and finding time for creativity wherever you can.
You can find Tiffany’s newest creations at https://strawinmybra.com/