By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor

While Covid slammed the doors of many businesses, others were born and flourished. Necessity is definitely the mother of invention, and nothing is more true than of the birth of Garland Farms. Cave City hairdresser Bridget Garland’s business was shut down for months during Covid, however the bills did not cease. Bridget Garland, had always loved making homemade gifts like sugar scrubs, but really loved wax melts. After working alongside her husband Brian building fence, she began the dream that would give birth to Garland Farms. The couple and their son Skyler live in rural Cave City, where they were both raised. They own a cattle farm with a few goats and Bryan earns his living doing farm work and fencing. Goat’s milk soaps and lotions had always been something Bridget liked and since they owned goats she thought she would like to begin making them on her own. She had no idea where to begin the process, but since it would be some time before the goats milk came in she had another plan she hoped would somewhat supplement the family income until she could reopen her shop. “One day I called Brian and asked what he thought about me making some wax melts, he said, ‘okay I don’t even know what that is,’” she laughed. After ordering a kit from Amazon, the foundation for what would quickly become Garland Farms was born as she attempted to make wax melts. After researching different types of melts that were popular home fragrance options, she learned soy melts and candles were most popular. “Soy is petroleum free and much healthier to breathe,” she explained of the reason she opted for soy based products. “The way Garland Farms started is I made soy wax melts and passed them out to my Sunday school class at church, because women will be honest. ”They liked the products so during the time she was waiting on the family’s goats milk for soaps and lotions, she branched out and also began making candles. Soon after its opening, Bridget was offered a booth at Red Door Antiques in Cave City. Show-casing her wax melts and candles on a small bookshelf in the shop was her first time placing her products out. This gave her home business more exposure and it slowly began to lift off. When the goats milk came in she began milking them, some by hand and some with a machine. Bridget and Brian currently have 13 goats. When the goats give birth, she bottle feeds some and sells off most of the kids. When she is “refreshing” the goats, or be-tween pregnancy and deliveries when the goats are drying or dry, she freezes enough milk to use in her products. This is something she had learned and obviously, by her clientele, perfected. She began making the goats milk soaps lotions and caramels, a rich caramel that is a favorite, especially around holidays. Goats milk products have many advantages over commercially made soaps that often contain harsh surfactants that can strip skin. Goats milk is also very rich in nutrients and many people with dry skin or acne use the products. Bridget says she also has been asked to make products for her customers which led her to producing the popular room sprays. While Garland Farms still makes the original sugar scrubs, she has also added body oils, lip balms and foam hand soaps to her line and expanded into two stores in Batesville, including Heartline Health and most recently, the newly opened Twisted Spoke Western Store. Not only does she make items daily, she also homeschools their 12 year old son, so the home based business was a double blessing to the Garlands. “I just wanted to help my family out,” she explained, but the growth of her business has expanded and it is still her goal to keep her products affordable. “I keep my gift baskets affordable. If they are buying my products anyway, that is advertisement.” She said her family has been so supportive. Brid-get has worked with the public since she was a very young child helping her mother, Marretta, set up and takedown her Home Interior Shows. Her mom helps her when she sets up at events and her dad, Ronnie also helps, sometimes with making products, but more often packing products. Bridget makes products almost every day but especially during the winter months. “I am addicted to it, I really love it.” This time of year she makes items for her shop and stores daily. When she began her business during Covid, packaging was often issue. “Sometimes I could buy the bottle, but not the lids” Now the packaging isn’t as challenging Besides making her products locally and affordable, everything she puts in her products besides the goat milk from the farm is made in America. When I started this the main thing was that I always give God the glory, I have Bible verses on all of my labels, because that is what it is all about. “It has been amazing to see His hand in everything. I send up a prayer one week and almost immediately they are answered, He has helped me open some doors,” she said of her business. Besides purchasing items from her shop at Garland Farms on Facebook or the Batesville vendors, Bridget is hosting a Valentine’s Day pop up event in Melbourne on Sat. Feb. 11 at Melbourne City Hall, located at 451 College Drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Besides great gifts and baskets for Valentine’s Day, there will be a free door prize to the first 10 customers. And vendors like the Rustic Hen, with McKee Miller will have handmade baby quilts, quilt ladders, kid’s picnic tables and stepstools, farmhouse tables and so much more. Also joining the ladies is Madison Dickerson with the Teal Cactus, offering hands stamped jewelry, dog tags and key chains that may be personalized on the spot. Shopping local has never been more important than during these economic times, and by supporting small businesses you are supporting the people you live, work and go to school with. These home business are woman owned and were born of their creativity and vision