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007 Salena Thrasher: How Google Put This Goat Farm On The Map

One day, Salena went to buy chickens but came back with chickens and a goat. Unbeknownst to her, this would be the start of her business, Tristegus. She soon found out that goats cannot be by themselves. So, it wasn’t long before she had a small herd of her own. And when she found herself with excess milk, she decided to put her creativity to work and start making goat milk products.

Salena started making goat milk products like lotions, shampoos, and soaps for her family. When a local farmer’s market opened, she saw an opportunity to test her products with the public. Seven years later, Tristegus is still going strong, thanks to Salena’s dedication and the support of her customers.

The business thrived during the COVID pandemic due to Salena’s active online presence. Her products can be found in various places, and she continues to grow her business by making safe products!

Missed our last episode with Albie? Watch it or listen to it now!

 

Transcript

Salena Thrasher (00:00):

It’s kind of a blessing and a curse. I wasn’t eligible for any of that government money you could get for businesses. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because my business actually went up during COVID

Announcer (00:13):

Starting sustaining and having a successful small business is hard, but you already knew that, but wouldn’t it be great to have a podcast that talks to and digs in to the people who’ve made it problem solved. This is local vibes, small business success stories, talking to successful small businesses from around America. You’ll hear awesome stories about how they got started and how they survived and thrived online. And in their communities, we find out their special vibe. Welcome to local vibes,

Announcer (00:52):

Brought to you by ultimate online marketing.com.

Announcer (00:56):

Now here, your hosts, pat and Angie Cher.

Speaker 4 (01:01):

Hello, let’s do this.

Angie Cherubini (01:04):

Hi everyone. It’s pat Angie, Cheri with a local vibes where we’re talking to small business owners and learning their stories and their successes. And today we have Selena Thrasher. The owner of, I hope I say this, right? Um, uh, tr is that how you say it?

Salena Thrasher (01:25):

Very, very good. Um, I pronounce itus, but a lot of people say it the way you did too. It’s a made up word. So, you know, there’s really no right or wrong.

Angie Cherubini (01:37):

Well, we need to tell ’em what it is. I mean, it’s a she’s. She does well, let’s let her tell. Okay, well you tell

Pat Cherubini (01:43):

Us, we’ll let you introduce yourself. What’s your origin story? You know, what got you to where you’re at to start this business?

Salena Thrasher (01:50):

Sure. Well, my name is sele and Trius is my, uh, goats, milk, soap, notions, lotions business. And, uh, the name I made up, it’s a combination of my children’s names. Oh. Which are Susan and Tristan. And just kinda, you know, we’re throwing things out there. See what sounded, you know, good. Um, I wanted something that was going to be unique because I knew I wanted to have my domain name and, uh, wanted to try to keep everything in line there using the same name, word, whatever. So I came up with that and I thought, okay, this is made up. You know, nobody else is gonna have this. We’re gonna be good. And it doesn’t, uh, if, try to change my business around some, I can still use that name because it’s not, you know, specific to goat smoke soap or anything like that.

Angie Cherubini (02:54):

Good idea.

Salena Thrasher (02:56):

One, hint, look it up on Google before you <laugh>. You should decide on your name.

Pat Cherubini (03:02):

<laugh> we have learned every, especially a one word domain. They’re very hard to find even if it’s made up. Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (03:08):

Well, domain was OK. What I found out with is Trius is actually a Phish,

Angie Cherubini (03:18):

Is it really?

Salena Thrasher (03:20):

<laugh> not

Pat Cherubini (03:21):

A goat fish by chance.

Salena Thrasher (03:23):

No, no. Um, this is really strange. It’s a convict fish. <laugh> so, huh. And I guess they’re down around Australia type thing. I don’t know. Anyway, people around here don’t seem to know that. So that’s our little secret.

Pat Cherubini (03:40):

<laugh> not know that.

Angie Cherubini (03:41):

That is interesting.

Pat Cherubini (03:43):

So how did that turn into goat milk? Were you born a goat farmer or is this something that you became?

Salena Thrasher (03:50):

No, no, no, no, no. I’m a Newark city girl and, um, Dolly. It’s, it’s really weird. You know how these stories are so convoluted, but we have, um, some property in Grandville, uh, two acres. So not a lot. Um, I decided to get chickens. OK. Yeah, we can do that two acres, not a problem. So we got our chickens, but one day I went to pick up some more are chickens cuz you can’t, you know, just can’t have few chickens. You always have to

Angie Cherubini (04:25):

Course, it always starts with chickens.

Salena Thrasher (04:27):

<laugh> it’s they’re kinda the gateway drug depart. Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (04:30):

They’re

Salena Thrasher (04:32):

Uh <laugh> we need, I went to get some more chickens and this gentleman had this one little baby goat and a, uh, not really a cage, but you know, a, a stall light thing. And so I got to ask him, I said, you, how come he’s in here by himself and all this? And he is, well, I had two other ones, but I sold them. And he’s the last one. And he’s probably gonna go to the auction.

Angie Cherubini (04:57):

Oh

Salena Thrasher (04:58):

I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. You know, well how much do you want for you? <laugh>

Pat Cherubini (05:04):

I know a good sales coach when I hear one. Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (05:07):

Yeah. So I went home with chickens and a goat and knew absolutely nothing about goats. So started looking into ’em. My kids fell in love with them, found out that goats are really not happy being alone. They need another goat. So then I had to find another goat to be his friend and

Angie Cherubini (05:36):

It’s and that’s how it started.

Salena Thrasher (05:38):

That’s how it started. They’re just like potato chips. You can, I just <laugh>.

Angie Cherubini (05:45):

So did you, so then what made you decide to start doing the, the lotions and the soap and the, what I use the shampoo and conditioner from you?

Salena Thrasher (05:55):

Yes. Well I just, um, since I had these goats, I decided to get a female goat at the, what I happened to have was a dairy breed. So, uh, called Nigerian dwarfs and they have excellent milk, but they’re small goats and, um, not to get into it too, but it, it it’s difficult to milk a small goat. <laugh> I’m sure if you ever watched, uh, meet, if you ever watched meet the parents and milking the cat. Yeah. Well milking small goats, almost like that. Gotcha. <laugh>

Pat Cherubini (06:31):

The visual I’ve got somes. I can I’m them to myself.

Salena Thrasher (06:37):

Let’s keep this family oriented. Yeah. <laugh> anyway, so that, um, you know, I thought well that, you know, would be neat. I’ve always liked the idea of, you know, trying to eat clean and um, you know, producing your own, um, products, although I’m not a very good gardener. So that was, that didn’t work out too well. So I got more gut, so I could have more milk because I went and then you end up having, what am I gonna do with all this milk? Because there was four of us at the house at that time, but still it was a lot of milk to drink when you’ve got a milk every day. Right. So, um, I tried cheese. My family was like, well, this is good mom, but we can’t eat this much cheese either <laugh> and to sell cheese is just, the government just makes it so difficult.

Salena Thrasher (07:32):

You know, the things you have to have. I mean, I would’ve needed capital in the million to be able to meet all the requirements to do that. Really. Yeah. And in Ohio you can’t sell raw milk, so I couldn’t just sell the milk either. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, so I got to think, well, what else can I do? And I really, when I first got, I said, I would not be a goat smoke soap maker because there are so many out there mm-hmm, <affirmative> a friend of mine said, if you looked at how many different brands of bread are on the shelf at the grocery store or how smart friend toothpaste, you know, gas, gas

Pat Cherubini (08:16):

Stations on every single corner.

Salena Thrasher (08:19):

Right, right. And, you know, so I decided to give it a try and of course family got, uh, goat, milk products for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, you know, anything. And, and they seemed to like it. So then the, and Newark, they opened the canal market. Mm-hmm, <affirmative> be a good way to get my feet wet. See if other people like my product, um, you know, if it is marketable. And so then I believe now this is gonna be my seventh year down there. Really?

Angie Cherubini (08:56):

Um,

Salena Thrasher (08:56):

Yeah. Uh, our COVID year 2020 kind of got me messed up on. We’re not

Pat Cherubini (09:02):

Gonna count that one.

Salena Thrasher (09:04):

Yeah. See that one kinda gets thrown out. Yeah. So, and even through that year, um, it’s kind of a blessing and a curse. I wasn’t eligible for any of that government money you could get for businesses. Mm-hmm <affirmative> because my business actually went up during COVID mm-hmm

Angie Cherubini (09:24):

<affirmative> yeah.

Salena Thrasher (09:26):

Um, I think part of it was cause the market was open and there weren’t that many other places for people to go <laugh> they came out, you know, to stop at the market and um, and people do, they like my products, they, um, come back and wanna buy more contact me. Um, I’m very easy to buy from because I do have my, uh, website. Yep.

Angie Cherubini (09:55):

We’re showing that now.

Pat Cherubini (09:56):

Very nice.

Angie Cherubini (09:57):

It is very nice.

Salena Thrasher (09:59):

Thank you. This part of it. I really like the actual E store. I don’t. So I’m looking to, uh, to change my provider with this right now, but uh, you know, that’s a whole nother story that we’re gonna talk about <laugh> yeah. Privately. Um, but anyway, um, great picture.

Pat Cherubini (10:20):

Sorry. He’s a photographer.

Salena Thrasher (10:22):

Um, some of them, I did, uh, find a local lady. Um, we kind of did a swap of some photos for, um, product product. Uh, she, um, is more a, um, portrait photographer, you know, uh, thing like that, but she

Angie Cherubini (10:43):

Did a great, she did job.

Pat Cherubini (10:44):

I’m gonna tell you the truth.

Salena Thrasher (10:45):

She be willing to do some,

Pat Cherubini (10:47):

I haven’t really looked into it because I like to just talk and see where it goes. Um, your stuff looks awesome. Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (10:54):

Well, thank you. Thank you very much.

Angie Cherubini (10:55):

Well, and I can tell you it is awesome.

Pat Cherubini (10:57):

That’s right. Angie has used it so we know it’s awesome.

Angie Cherubini (11:01):

It’s it’s hilarious. Selena. I have, I, um, I get my shampoo and conditioner from you Uhhuh. I get my regular lotion from a friend of mine. That’s also a goat farmer. Oh. And then, or no, I get my soaps, my, um, my soaps for the shower and stuff like that. Uh, and, and she has liquid soap that I use in the kitchen. And then I have another one that actually I started with first in Tennessee. That was a referral to me and that’s my regular body lotion. So I have lotion from three separate goat farm.

Salena Thrasher (11:36):

Yeah. Yeah. I love

Angie Cherubini (11:37):

All of it. All of it. I really love your shampoo and Condit or bars. It’s hard to get used to a bar, but um, it’s been the best stuff for my hair.

Salena Thrasher (11:47):

Wonderful. I’m really glad to hear that. Yeah, it’s it is. And I, I love finding products that I don’t have to find packaging for.

Angie Cherubini (11:57):

Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (11:58):

Um, and that was, um, well, even originally I wanted to be really eco conscious of things, but then I found, um, you know, more and more with the packaging other than the, the cost. Of course now the cost is just

Angie Cherubini (12:17):

Outrageous.

Salena Thrasher (12:18):

Yeah. Yeah. If you can even get it right. It’s been good for me to have some products that didn’t have to be put in bottles mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and then just the thought of all that plastic, that’s not going into landfills and, and things is yeah. Yeah. It, it, it, um, I’m not quite as, uh, green as I’d like to be, but I think as well as with everything, it’s a process.

Angie Cherubini (12:50):

Yep.

Pat Cherubini (12:51):

I bet you’re more green than Johnson and Johnson, all these other big chemical companies that package farmers, whatever they call soap. Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (12:59):

Yes, actually. And you know, and that, it’s funny that you say that because most of that, that you buy in the store is not truly soap it’s made with detergents

Angie Cherubini (13:10):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Salena Thrasher (13:12):

And people, people don’t understand that. Um, I get a lot of people still down at the market. That’ll be w walking past and Ooh, bar soap. And just like, what, what do you think your grandparents used? You know, they didn’t have liquid soap in the bottle for the shower and, and all that. It’s just, yeah. And you’re paying for water. You’re already in the shower, you got your own water, you don’t need to be bottled water for the shower.

Pat Cherubini (13:44):

And we, we read ingredients. So just, you know, pick up that bar soap or that bottle of soap and read the ingredients,

Angie Cherubini (13:51):

Especially when you’ve, I mean, I’m just got over battling to cancer. So, I mean, I’ve done so much more digging into, you know, I had a lot of time on my hands, so I did a lot of reading and I did a lot of watching videos and it that’s what really got me started into looking at, you know, the goat milk soaps. And, and then someone at actually, I didn’t even know about you. Some, a friend of mine suggested you and she suggested I try it cuz she knew I was looking for that sort of thing. So wonder I did. And it’s just, I mean, it’s just, it’s hard to get used to it first, but then it’s like, you know, I think my, I think my product has lasted me a maybe a month and a half or something like that. And I spend way less with you than what I was spending going, you know, into the mall to get a tiny bottle of shampoo and conditioner that once you looked at all the ingredients on the back of ’em were horrible for me. Absolutely horrible for me.

Salena Thrasher (14:56):

Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Angie Cherubini (14:57):

But people don’t really think about that yet. I think they’re thinking about it more now.

Salena Thrasher (15:02):

Think so.

Angie Cherubini (15:03):

Yeah. Yeah. You know, they don’t think about that when they pick up that bottle of, of shampoo conditioner

Salena Thrasher (15:09):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> and people have, uh, they’re thinking a lot more about local Awesomes buy local, knowing who you’re buying things from. Um, like with the pandemic, the, uh, you know, the porch drop offs and yeah. Things like that. I, I mean, I did a lot out of that because people weren’t getting out, but then, and I still do cause it, you know, it’s convenient for folks. Um, you know, for me just to get their product done up, uh, take it, drop it off on the porch. Um, we don’t have to pay the post office for it. Um, mm-hmm <affirmative> and it, you know, as long as they’re close enough, there’s not a charge for it either, you know? So

Angie Cherubini (15:56):

I get mine on Friday.

Salena Thrasher (15:58):

<laugh>

Angie Cherubini (15:59):

Did you see? I ordered

Salena Thrasher (16:01):

No, I didn’t. I’m sorry. <laugh>

Angie Cherubini (16:03):

You didn’t even see it.

Salena Thrasher (16:05):

It must have been not early this morning. Oh, was it? Oh, okay. I didn’t I looked early this morning and I didn’t see it. Check again.

Angie Cherubini (16:14):

I’m in there. So is this, um, you know, your kids are obviously grown then your two boys. Yes they’re. Yeah. Does your husband work with you in the business?

Salena Thrasher (16:26):

No. Well, he’s not a risk taker.

Angie Cherubini (16:38):

Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (16:39):

So this, this is my thing and it’s kind of been one of those, well I’ll show you <laugh> things, you know, I can do

Pat Cherubini (16:48):

That. Okay. Nothing wrong with that.

Salena Thrasher (16:50):

He will he’ll help me if I need help taking things to markets, uh, you know, setting up those kind of things. He doesn’t help make products. Um, I had a wonderful order from the Toledo zoo, uh, last year, at Christmas time. And, um, that was, that was a major scaling up growing pain <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> and uh, so I, I called all hands on deck. I had, you know, uh, daughter-in-law sister, husband, everybody in here either, uh, making gift baskets or putting labels on things and yeah, he was pretty good at the label so he can put labels on straight so

Angie Cherubini (17:39):

Well, that’s good. That’s good.

Pat Cherubini (17:42):

So where did they find you? Do you know the,

Angie Cherubini (17:47):

You,

Salena Thrasher (17:48):

Yeah, she did a Google search. Nice.

Salena Thrasher (17:51):

Um, they were adding a petting zoo, so they were gonna have goats and they decided they wanted to have some goats milk products in their gift shop and they, um, wanted to find someone lo find someone in Ohio mm-hmm <affirmative> Lito, you know, local’s uh, relative term, I guess mm-hmm <affirmative> um, but she, she found people, uh, sent ’em emails, asked if they would, you know, if they did wholesale mm-hmm <affirmative> um, I sent them a, um, like a sample box, like you box, um, some of my products and, you know, they reviewed ’em and they chose me.

Angie Cherubini (18:37):

Nice, nice. That was very smart. I don’t think most people would think of doing that. So that was good. Why, why did they choose you? Did they ever tell you why they choose you over somebody else?

Salena Thrasher (18:51):

She just, she said my products were great. And, and when, uh, as we talked more through things, you know, got to be more comfortable with each other, she says, BU believe me, I tried a lot of products and your products really wonderful. So yeah, that was, that was a nice pat on the back. Yeah,

Pat Cherubini (19:10):

Absolutely.

Angie Cherubini (19:11):

You get a review from her.

Salena Thrasher (19:14):

I did not. And I, I need to, I need to talk to her and, and yeah, absolutely. You know, and I was just talking to someone else today about that, because they asked me to review their business. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, they actually had cards made up with the QR code and I have to was click that. And it took you right to doing a Google review. Yeah. Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, and I said, you know, it’s, I know how important they are from being a, uh, small business owner. And I know, um, that I should do them, but I just don’t think of it a lot of times. And a lot of times I just don’t think to ask people to do one for me either mm-hmm <affirmative> cause I wasn’t offended or anything with them asking me to do one. And you know, if I didn’t wanna do it, I don’t have to, but you know,

Pat Cherubini (20:06):

Get outta your process. You have to ask.

Angie Cherubini (20:08):

Yep. Most people

Pat Cherubini (20:09):

In the world today with reviews, if you tick somebody off, they’re gonna leave a review without you asking, but right. You delight them. They may not tell anybody. So it doesn’t ever hurt

Salena Thrasher (20:21):

Risk. Yeah. Yeah.

Angie Cherubini (20:23):

Well, tell us, how do you, how do you go about getting, um, new, new customers and clients online? Because I, I know you go to the different markets. Are you at Grandville market too?

Salena Thrasher (20:34):

I am not. Um, there’s a person that’s been a long time, uh, vendor there, so they won’t take another.

Angie Cherubini (20:41):

Um, so you’re just a

Salena Thrasher (20:42):

Newer vendor. Yeah. Um,

Angie Cherubini (20:45):

It’s a, it’s a beautiful one. So how do you do it online?

Salena Thrasher (20:49):

Not very well really. <laugh> um, I, I try to do some stuff on Facebook mm-hmm <affirmative> but I know that that has been really limited because of only people who are know me pretty much see that even I have done a couple of ads, but not, you know, not really gotten a lot from that. It’s mostly been either word of mouth or, you know, from a market or something that I’ve gone to like that. Um, so yeah, I’m really, I’m looking forward to working with you folks because I, I that’s something I know I really need

Angie Cherubini (21:35):

It’s it’s you, you hit the nail right on the head. It’s the challenge that a lot of business owners don’t, um, don’t think about is, you know, when you just have a Facebook page, it, you know, it’s gonna go out to a very small percentage of your friends when you post stuff on your, when you post it on your page or your profile and it that’s just, that’s the algorithm, that’s the fun of Facebook, give

Pat Cherubini (22:01):

Me money and I’ll show it to more people. That’s the way it works.

Angie Cherubini (22:05):

Yeah. That way, which everything. Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (22:08):

Pretty much

Salena Thrasher (22:10):

It is, isn’t it? Yeah. But

Pat Cherubini (22:11):

So in general, how’s it going now? How’s the business doing? You guys you’re growing, you, you’ve got some goals you’re looking at,

Salena Thrasher (22:20):

Um, it, it is growing, um, it’s growing slower than I would like to see, but I have through having the, the zoo order that I got, I thought, you know, I really need to do some, um, thinking about how to scale up mm-hmm <affirmative> um, cuz I always just thought, oh, you know, well just put in more hours <laugh> well kinda works. But you know, then you realize, uh, you know, limiting your space can be and, and just, uh, getting, uh, raw materials in, you know, making sure that you have enough to fill, you know, the orders that you’re getting in a timely manner and yeah. They’re yeah. There’s just a lot to this business stuff in there. <laugh> mm-hmm

Angie Cherubini (23:16):

<affirmative> is the zoo a repeat order or was it just a one time thing?

Salena Thrasher (23:21):

It has not been a repeat order yet, but they made a huge order. Um, so I really wondered whether, and it’s when of those things you, you don’t know, you know, so I think, you know, she was making sure she’d have enough product, you know, to get her through that season. Uh, but yeah.

Angie Cherubini (23:45):

And do you have, you know, speaking of that, do you have her in a list? I mean, do you keep like an, like a list that you can email past clients? Do you keep that sort of thing?

Salena Thrasher (23:56):

I keep that. Yeah. Good,

Angie Cherubini (24:00):

Good. Oh, we’re showing

Salena Thrasher (24:04):

I on the bottom <laugh>

Pat Cherubini (24:07):

You got a place to subscribe, so you do have a way to get a list. That’s fantastic. Most people don’t

Angie Cherubini (24:14):

Have you used that list?

Salena Thrasher (24:17):

No.

Pat Cherubini (24:18):

<laugh> and you are now most people. Yes.

Salena Thrasher (24:22):

Yeah. I am. I, I am most people

Pat Cherubini (24:24):

<laugh>. Yeah. Most people don’t use it enough if at all, it’s hard. It’s you get so busy working on building your business, that you don’t have time to work in it. So you flip it and you’re always working in your business and you don’t have time to work on growing it. So it’s

Salena Thrasher (24:40):

Absolutely. Yes. That that’s absolutely. It is. It really, really is. And with not having any background at all in doing anything like this, it’s all been learned as I go. And

Angie Cherubini (24:55):

Did you have a mentor?

Salena Thrasher (24:58):

Mm, yes, but she’s, she’s not local and it’s, um, I, it’s just not as for me to, um, to get ahold of her and talk to her and yeah, she’s

Angie Cherubini (25:15):

In

Salena Thrasher (25:15):

Basics. Oh yeah. And um, you know, I’ve bought all sorts of different courses and classes and I I’ve learned something from each of them, but mm-hmm, <affirmative> it? Yeah. It’s a big butt, you know, there’s still just so much involved and, and like I said, and I’m doing, like you said, both ends. I mean, I’m learning about making my products and learning new products, new ingredients, plus trying to, uh, think up things for, uh, emails or ads or mm-hmm <affirmative>,

Pat Cherubini (25:55):

You know, never ending isn’t it

Salena Thrasher (25:57):

Of a, her of goats. <laugh> yeah.

Angie Cherubini (26:00):

And who’d thought it just started with that one little goat

Pat Cherubini (26:05):

Chicken.

Angie Cherubini (26:06):

That’s

Salena Thrasher (26:06):

True. Yeah. It started with the chicken, but yeah. Yeah. So fortunately I’ve kept, well, I did go into ducks, but I got rid of the ducks. Ducks are ducks are a whole nother story. <laugh>

Angie Cherubini (26:20):

I like ducks.

Salena Thrasher (26:22):

They’re they’re cute. And they’re very interesting, but they’re very dirty.

Angie Cherubini (26:27):

Are they? Well, I eat Dick eggs cause I’m allergic to, I’m allergic to chicken eggs, so I have to eat duck.

Salena Thrasher (26:34):

Yeah. Yeah. I had a customer that I was separating out all the duck eggs for at one time, but yeah. They just get everything, so really? Yeah.

Angie Cherubini (26:45):

I’ll just always buy them. I won’t, I won’t raise them. No,

Salena Thrasher (26:48):

<laugh> there you go.

Pat Cherubini (26:49):

We’re in a neighborhood. I don’t think the neighbors like

Salena Thrasher (26:52):

Chickens and ducks. Yeah. You’d probably be better off with chickens, but yeah, that’s <laugh>

Angie Cherubini (26:58):

So what’s your, what would you say is, um, your most memorable moments so far that you’ve had in the business?

Salena Thrasher (27:07):

Well, the most exciting thing was probably getting the, the, um, uh, account at the Toledo zoo, having them find me and then, uh, you know, accepting my product, you know, as the one that they wanted to sell there. What I really love is when someone like you, Angie says that, you know, I found your product and it’s fitting the needs that I want, uh, to take care of myself or cuz I’ve got people that are allergic to coconut and it’s very hard to find, uh, especially handmade products without the coconut in it. It’s just, it’s very accessible. It’s not as expensive. It does. Well, you know, as a, um, skin can ingredient. Um, but there there’s several people out there that are allergic to it. Huh. Um, and you know, just to be able to help people with, with things like that. And you know, if somebody would come to me and say, you know, I’m allergic to this, you know, can, can you help me? Um, yeah. I would do everything I can to, to find the ingredients to, you know, to help that person. Cause it’s just, do

Angie Cherubini (28:34):

You make special order soaps then

Salena Thrasher (28:38):

Issue? Yes. I make special order products. Yeah. Nice. Um, so, um, <affirmative> and that’s hard to market also. Yeah. Uh, because there’s so many different things that it could be mm-hmm <affirmative> um, yeah,

Angie Cherubini (28:58):

But just having that, I mean, I don’t think I saw that on your website though. J just being able, probably that’s something to go to tell people, even if it’s not the thing that you wanna tell at the top of your website, because you want them to just go and purchase, that’s the easiest part, but even offering that, that’s a, that’s great. I’ve never had, I’ve never heard of anybody else doing that.

Salena Thrasher (29:24):

Yeah. Well, and there again, that’s, you know, that’s part of being small, all mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, for one thing that you, you can, uh, customize things for people.

Angie Cherubini (29:35):

Nice.

Pat Cherubini (29:35):

So you told a story about one of your best moments was having a big, you know, a big city zoo finding you mm-hmm <affirmative> that’s just, you know, we’ve been talking about that catch 22, if you hadn’t put in that work of trying. I mean, I know you’ve learned something, if you’re showing up in search engines and you’ve got a beautiful website and you’ve got the information they needed to reach out and contact you mm-hmm <affirmative>, you know, so many people think it doesn’t really matter. It never happen. You would’ve never, ever gotten in front of the Toledos you’ve gotten a giant, you know, I’m sure. Is that the biggest order you’ve you’ve ever had?

Salena Thrasher (30:08):

Oh, absolutely. Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (30:09):

That that’s where that catch 22. You still, you gotta put that time in and, and get the foundation. Right. So then when the time comes, you can scale.

Salena Thrasher (30:18):

Right. And that was, you know, she just found me through that Google mm-hmm <affirmative> Google my business, I guess they call it. And, um, I know that I’m lax on that also because, you know, I, I could update that every day, I guess mm-hmm <affirmative> and um, I it’s pretty much, I’ve just set up and left it, sit there <laugh>

Pat Cherubini (30:45):

Yeah.

Salena Thrasher (30:45):

But at least it’s

Pat Cherubini (30:46):

There a lot either.

Salena Thrasher (30:48):

Yeah.

Pat Cherubini (30:48):

Yeah. It has to be there. And there’s so many people that even big businesses, we find out all the time, they don’t even have it, you know, they haven’t claimed it, they haven’t put anything. And that that’s one of, you know, for free that’s The, for a local business or somebody that’s selling products, in my opinion, other than having your own website, that is absolutely mandatory. Mm-hmm <affirmative>

Salena Thrasher (31:12):

Right. And you know, and that is one of the things I learned from, you know, one of the, um, or it was a course I took or what I don’t remember for sure, but, um, you know, that, and all the other things out there I’m at Yelp, but there was a lot of ’em I’d never even heard of mm-hmm <affirmative> like, you know, just, just be sure you’re listed there. Yeah. Just in, so,

Pat Cherubini (31:41):

So we call our, we call this podcast local vibes, you know, it’s a, about the vibe. We kind of know because we know the city that you live in, that’s only 10 miles away from us, but you know, what is the, the shop local eat local drink, local, you know, that local vibe in Grandville. What’s that like?

Salena Thrasher (32:01):

Um, I think Grandville in general is very much into, um, eco-friendly, mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, thing. They very much label readers, um, things that are unique. Uh, yeah. That’s a good question. I should have come up with more <laugh> oh, that’s

Pat Cherubini (32:25):

Fine. That’s just, we like to see, you know, what the vibe, you know, for the people that aren’t from around here, cuz this goes out everywhere, you know, what’s, you know, is it mm-hmm <affirmative> is it with what happened in the past two years? You know, is the vibe getting better getting works because everybody, you know, there’s towns that are growing, there are time towns that are shrinking and we’ve talked about this before with Intel coming, who knows what’s gonna happen in this area,

Salena Thrasher (32:46):

You know? Absolutely. That

Pat Cherubini (32:48):

Will change the local vibe,

Salena Thrasher (32:50):

Uhhuh, ask

Pat Cherubini (32:51):

What people think of their, their local vibes.

Salena Thrasher (32:55):

Yeah. And, and I think Grandville, you know, prides itself a, on being a smaller community, a close knit community, um, and um, shopping local and, you know, uh, uh, visiting their local merchants and that, um, most, most of the, uh, businesses in Grandville made it through COVID mm-hmm <affirmative> there were a couple that didn’t, and from what I understand, most of that was the, um, employee, uh, problem, you know, just trying to find enough, help

Angie Cherubini (33:37):

Shortage.

Pat Cherubini (33:38):

Yeah. Still happening.

Salena Thrasher (33:40):

Right. It is. Yeah. And um, I mean the places that are expanding, even in Grandville, just it, it tickles me to see them being able to do that. Uh that’s yeah. You know, we made it through COVID and we’re still growing. We had to move into a bigger spot. I’d love to have, have a storefront. I really would, but I know that’s even more work than what I’m doing now. <laugh> is

Angie Cherubini (34:07):

That a future plan? I mean, is that something that you would like,

Salena Thrasher (34:11):

It is, it is something that I would truly like to have I’ve we don’t have time to go into it, but I, I have a, uh, mega vision for what I want this business to turn into and not so much just, uh, pumping out products. Um, I just a little bit, I’ve, uh, become very aware of the, um, women that have, uh, are going through, uh, drug treatment yeah. And rehabilitation. And so many of them have no place to go once they get out mm-hmm <affirmative> and they go right back with the same people, same environment and turn around in a year or so. And they’re right back in rehab again. And, uh, um, just, it was a dog,

Angie Cherubini (35:07):

What you want it to be about?

Salena Thrasher (35:09):

Well, yeah. I want it to be about, um, uh, helping them, uh, build some self-esteem. Uh, I would like to have a place where they can, they can actually come stay. Uh, ISGA healing homestead is my idea right now. And to actually will have a place set up. We make soaps and things like that. And if they wanna help with that, they can help with that. They can help me in the store.

Angie Cherubini (35:43):

That’s fantastic. That’s awesome.

Salena Thrasher (35:46):

And then just a lot of healing work, you know, ha uh, to, I mean, get themselves back on track. I

Pat Cherubini (35:57):

That’s awesome.

Salena Thrasher (35:58):

I, I, I am, it’s just, it’s slow and it’s hard for me to be patient, but that, yeah. That’s my long term dream for what I would like this company to, to do.

Pat Cherubini (36:12):

That’s

Angie Cherubini (36:12):

Really cool. That is fantastic. I would never have ever guessed that Would never have guessed that, but it it’s, that would be so neat for them to feel like they had a place that they could stay, they could use quality products, they could help make those quality products and actually feel like they’re worth something at that point. And that they’re contributing.

Salena Thrasher (36:35):

Yes. Yeah. That’s and, and I would, I’d really like to, um, incorporate the, the farm into that also. Um, we’ve seen in so many ways that animals are good for rehab mm-hmm, <affirmative>, uh, just working with them, that connection. Um, yeah. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something there that, um, working with an animal really, really helps.

Pat Cherubini (37:08):

We, we have a, we have our friends have an Airbnb out here and it’s just little, two bedroom Airbnb. That’s fantastic. There’s lots of people that stay, but they have their kids, right. Goats or not for, uh, for four H four H they showed goats. So Uhhuh, they ended up with a couple left over that were right outside the door of the Airbnb. And they kept saying, we think we’re gonna get rid of these goats, but every single review talks about how awesome it is to have goats outside the door.

Angie Cherubini (37:40):

<laugh> so that’s what they’re known

Pat Cherubini (37:41):

For. They sit on their porch and watch the goats, cuz these people are coming from cities to stay out in the country and they gotta keep the goats <laugh>

Salena Thrasher (37:49):

Right. Yeah. And they, they are they’re um, and I all animals have their own personalities, you know, and have their own quirks and things like that. But yeah, they’re, they’re a lot of fun. I could waste a lot of time sitting out there watching my <laugh>

Angie Cherubini (38:04):

I’m sure. I’m sure.

Salena Thrasher (38:08):

Well,

Pat Cherubini (38:10):

I got one last question until she, until Angie’s last question. So for that person that’s sitting around, that’s got a couple of acres they’re thinking about. I might want to goat. Do you have any advice to give of the people that are thinking about starting something like you started?

Salena Thrasher (38:27):

You have to have more than one, uh, seriously, they’re a herd animal and your life will be much easier with two than it would be with one, um, it and very strong fences Plan on putting a lot of money into your fence. Um, and then finding a, um, get your goats from someone local that is willing to be a mentor and help you with any questions that you have because they’re, um, being a room in it. Most of us aren’t familiar with how their bodies process things and it is quite different that yeah, they’re, they can be a very sturdy, healthy animal and then they could be an animal that will go down really quick.

Angie Cherubini (39:21):

Really?

Salena Thrasher (39:23):

So, yeah. Yeah.

Angie Cherubini (39:25):

Well, that’s good. Good advice. Now what I’m gonna do is I ask a question out of my little question box and it, it could be anything random, so it’s just really, but it’s been fun so far, so we’re gonna do it.

Pat Cherubini (39:40):

Like everyone’s been perfect question. Oh,

Angie Cherubini (39:43):

Would you rather visit a big city or the countryside?

Salena Thrasher (39:48):

<laugh> definitely countryside. Yeah.

Angie Cherubini (39:51):

Yeah. That was easy. That was easy for you.

Salena Thrasher (39:53):

That was, that was, that was really easy. I much prefer, uh, nature over manmade things.

Angie Cherubini (40:01):

Mm-hmm <affirmative> yep. I like both, but

 Pat Cherubini (40:06):

Nature’s way more.

Angie Cherubini (40:06):

Yeah. Definitely way more. So are there, are there any questions that you have, or is there, you know, any other advice in terms of, oh, she’s gone? Well, unfortunately we lost connection with sele, uh, just a few moments ago, but

Pat Cherubini (40:25):

We were on the last question, so that’s okay. We, we, uh, we want to make sure Selena knows and we’ll talk to her again.

Angie Cherubini (40:33):

We’ll put her

Pat Cherubini (40:34):

Information ele, we’re gonna get this out real quick and, and we’ll

Angie Cherubini (40:39):

Put your contact information in the show notes in the show notes on all the social media that we post this on. So, you know, she’ll be taken care of. And if anybody wants to get in touch with her, if they wanna start a goat farm, or if you’re interested in her products, like you heard, I use them. So they’re quality products. Um,

Pat Cherubini (40:59):

That’ll come kinds of cool stuff. Yeah.

Angie Cherubini (41:00):

Great

Pat Cherubini (41:01):

Website, check her out. Um, support local and support people like Selena. We’re glad that she offered her time to be with us and talk about her story, which it sounds like there’s a lot,

Angie Cherubini (41:13):

Like we’ll have another story.

Pat Cherubini (41:13):

She’s got some big dreams and does we love so,

Angie Cherubini (41:17):

And we’ll have to revisit that. Hopefully

Pat Cherubini (41:20):

Absolutely. We’re gonna do all we can to help her get to those, uh,

Angie Cherubini (41:24):

To get to that level.

Pat Cherubini (41:26):

I can’t remember what she called it now, but

Angie Cherubini (41:28):

I know,

Pat Cherubini (41:28):

But that sounds awesome. And people like that are what the world needs. So until next time do all the stuff that we love you to do. Like subscribe, share all that

Angie Cherubini (41:37):

Fun

Pat Cherubini (41:38):

Stuff at, reach out. If you want interview we’re, we’re still, we got a lot booked, but we need more. And if you know somebody that we should interview and it

Angie Cherubini (41:46):

Doesn’t have to be local to us, no

Pat Cherubini (41:48):

Local anywhere, small business. That’s what local means to us. It’s not a chain, not a corporation. Yep. A big corporation, at least. So until that time, keep the local vibes live

Angie Cherubini (42:01):

Peace out.

Pat Cherubini (42:02):

Peace.

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