Young Scituate soap-maker heads to business school

Young Scituate soap-maker heads to business school

Rachyl Travis, 17, has been in the goat milk soap making business since she was 8. Now, she’s heading to business school to learn the skills to expand her business and support those who helped her along the way. (Breeze photo by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

SCITUATE – After nine years in the business of making goat milk soap, 17-year-old Rachyl Travis is taking the next step in her career, heading to business school at the Community College of Rhode Island.

At 8 years old, Travis began making soap to support raising her pet goats. After making a small profit, she began saving money for college.

Now, after earning her high school diploma a year early, Travis is headed to college to study business and accounting as she continues to build her business.

Standing in her newly built farm stand on the Travis Family Farm at 615 Rocky Hill Road in North Scituate, Travis said she’s proud of what she’s accomplished at such a young age.

The stand opens every day “from sunrise to sunset” and operates on the honor system by check or cash. The rustic, wooden shelves are stocked with soap, lotions, oatmeal baths, baby bathing products and more.

“I’m so happy to have this space and be able to share my products with the locals who love it,” Travis said.

She said her business started out rocky, and she relied on the support of locals and her family to get by the first couple of years. Then one day “it just happened.”

She said she realized she was a child and didn’t know how to run a business, balance accounts, file taxes or have a logical business plan. She said she began taking classes at the Center for Women and Enterprise and got a mentor at the Small Business Association.

“I got a grip on how to run and own a business and it’s improved in the last two years. I want to see how far I can take this,” Travis said.

After earning her associate’s degree at CCRI, Travis hopes to continue her education at Babson College in Massachusetts.

Over the years, Travis has continued making her goat milk soaps in her signature scents created using herbs from the garden on the Travis Family Farm or using essential oils.

Her brand expanded into body butters, lotions, chapsticks, bug spray, skincare, make-up remover and more. Through the years, she said she never stopped creating and perfecting her products.

From making her first soap, which she learned how to do on YouTube, to earning her high school diploma, family and friends have helped keep her childhood business going.

“If I have friends over, we usually are chatting while stamping soap or wrapping soap. I’ve had so much help and support over the years, I just want to be able to give back,” Travis said.

She said her mother, Lillian, and her sister, Jaklyn, have always been huge contributors to her success. Both helped and inspired her to take Rachyl’s Goat Milk Soap business to the next level. She uses social media to have her customers help name products and find what the next great scent will be.

Ideally, she said, she’d like to be able to pay her employees.

“I want it to become big enough to support the friends and family that have helped me. They have all helped me out so much. I’d like to contribute back to them,” she said.

Being homeschooled, she is able to split her time between school work and her goats, perfecting her product formulas. She said behind each product are batches and batches of testing and trying.

Travis heard Nubian goats each produce about one gallon of milk per day. She said these goats have a higher fat content than other milk goats, and the taste is most similar to cow milk. It also makes good soap, she said.

Even with her college courses, Travis said she will continue to make soap two times each week as she always has done. She said one gallon of milk produces one batch of soap, and she usually uses around 10 gallons a week to make a total of 800 bars of soap.

The process takes about four weeks to complete from daily milking, freezing the milk, creating the batch of soap and the time it takes it to dry.

Comments

I’ve been buying and using her soap for years. It’s a fantastic product. Good luck, Rachyl. Make us proud.