We recently interviewed Olive Andersen to learn more about Olive’s Sunset Creations, a new winter market vendor at PFM.
Prescott Farmers Market: Tell us about yourself and how long have you lived in Arizona?
Olive: Both my husband, Jim, and I were raised in the country. He was raised on a farm in Iowa, while I was raised in up-state New York. Jim’s father farmed with a team of horses and they milked 12 cows by hand daily. While they had very little cash flow, they ate like “kings”. My family lived on 90 acres of land. My dad worked in a laboratory near Albany. Each year we raised a huge vegetable garden and lots of chickens. We froze most of our vegetables and chickens.
Jim moved to Prescott in the late 1970s. I moved to Prescott Valley in the early 1980s. We married in 1992 and raised our 2 oldest grandchildren. In 2000 we moved to Chino Valley to up-size and accommodate our growing family. Both kids were involved in 4-H and we raised goats, chickens, pigeons, rabbits, and one market lamb. Along the way we had several horses. While we never made soap during this time, we did make cheese, lots of goat milk ice cream, and were among the first goat farmers to introduce Nigerian dwarf dairy goats to this area.
What do you sell at your booth?
Currently, we sell goat milk soap, made with locally sourced fresh goat milk. I add locally grown vegetables such as purple and/or orange carrots whenever possible. We also sell lip balm, body butter and lotion bars.
How long have you had your business?
I have been making soap since last April—so, less than one year. I have learned so much already, and yet have so much to learn.
Tell us more about the name “Olive’s Sunset Creations”.
Olive is my first name, obviously, and Sunsets because I love the beautiful Arizona sunsets, plus I am in the sunset of my life. This business gives me the opportunity to learn so many new things every day, to meet so many wonderful people and to have a more colorful life. Both my husband and I love it!!
How long have you been a vendor at PFM?
We started out as an occasional vendor at PFM last July at the Chino Valley Market at Olsen’s Grain. This season we are excited to become part of the winter market as a regular vendor.
How would you describe goat milk soap to someone who has never tried it before? How do your products differ from store bought soaps, lotions and balms?
Goat milk soap is soap that is made substituting goat milk for the liquid that is used in soap making. Goat milk often gives soap more lather and is milder and more moisturizing on many people’s skin. All of my products are made using ingredients that are as natural as possible. You and I can pronounce all of the ingredients in the products I make and sell, plus I can tell you why those ingredients are there. I started out using all natural ingredients, such as essential oils for fragrances and using vegetables and herbs as natural colorants: things like turmeric, paprika, green matcha tea, coffee, and wheatgrass grown by another vendor.
Tell us about how you get ready for the market.
We are so new that every week is busy. I try to make 75 – 100 bars of soap on Mondays or Tuesdays. Jim makes my molds, my bar cutters, and the signs for the market. Our friends have been our willing testers—and so far they haven’t complained, although they have made suggestions. On Fridays I try to make up a fresh batch of body butter, adding one new fragrance.
What’s special about your business?
Our business is always changing. We are open to suggestions. I can’t comply with all of the requests, but I am open to hearing them. We have added larger containers for the body butter and have made sure to include some body butter and soap with no fragrances.
What are your plans for the future?
The future includes adding goat milk lotions, for sure! Also, I have not taken enough time to develop and update our website and social media sites. Our grandson has volunteered to keep things updated for us. This should be happening even before the first of the year so stay tuned.
Do you vend at any other markets?
We currently only vend at Prescott Farmers Market.
How can we find you on social media?