In 2014 the Innovation Sector of the Welsh Assembly Government came knocking on the door of our farmhouse. They had heard that some interesting life science innovation was happening behind the closed doors of our little smallholding by the sea.
The Innovation Sector Specialist listened intently as I explained what had happened, and what I had discovered. He looked at the kefir and at the CG Oil, and he examined our lab results. Then he set up a meeting between us and the brilliant gut-health scientist Prof Jamie Newbold, head of the Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Science at Aberystwyth University. This is where ongoing testing and development of our kefir and CG Oil is performed today.
Moving forward, I learned to put the kefir into our soaps and our lotions. This wasn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Because kefir is a live culture product, making a probiotic lotion upsets everyone. The normal safety assessment procedure considers it a fail if any bug is alive.
I had to find a safety assessor who could get their head around this fact, and it is perhaps the central point of this book: Not ALL bugs are BAD bugs. Some bugs are good bugs, and those are the ones we need to encourage. In our lotions, in our soaps, as in our food and our lives – we need the good bugs in order to flourish.
Because here’s what I learned – we ARE the bugs. You can’t just kill them all. You have to establish balance and harmony.
I applied the kefir soaps and lotions to Benji’s eczema, while continuing to give him the kefir to drink. And..his eczema completely disappeared. Result!
Once I learned to successfully incorporate the kefir into the soaps and skin creams, our little business really took off. Fortnum and Mason began to carry our products, and we began to ship our skincare all over the world.
In 2015 Hay House published my diaries, under the title of Secrets of Chuckling Goat: How a Herd of Goats Saved My Family and Created a Business that Became a Natural Health Phenomenon. The book became a #1 Amazon bestseller.
We were written up in the Daily Mail YOU Magazine on Sunday, and featured on the Steve Wright show. The public response to this melted our website and created a queue for our products that took us eight weeks to plough through. Seems that nearly everyone in the UK suffers from eczema, and is looking for a solution!
Actually, the statistic is that cases of eczema rose 42% between 2005 and 2009, affecting more than 13 million people in the UK. Clearly, we are in the midst of an problem that has reached epidemic proportions.
The CEO of Hay House, Reid Tracey, invested in our little company. We go from one employee to ten, in the space of one year. We began to scale the business in earnest.
In 2016 I start work on a new book, the one that you’re holding in your hands, to explain the things that I had learned along the way.
It all seemed pretty crazy. But one thing I was sure of…we were going to need more goats!