People: Matt McClanahan, owner
Place: Escape Goat Soaps (1018 Mound Street, Davenport). They sell their own line of soaps in addition to many additional brands of soaps, bath bombs, and skincare products.
As of writing, Escape Goat is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 am - 5 pm, Wednesday 11 am - 4 pm, Saturday 10 am - 4 pm, and Sunday 10 am - 2 pm (closed Monday).
Brendan sniffed approximately 4930 bars of soap and chatted with Matt about his shop in the Village of East Davenport.
One of the things I love about visiting local businesses is learning the stories behind how they got started. When I visited Escape Goat Soaps recently, I learned that owner Matt McClanahan entered the soap business when his family bought some Nubian goats.
"It was quite a learning process," Matt said. "I learned from the neighbors how to properly milk them, medicate them if needed, all that."
Something that a certain city boy (me) had sort of forgotten was that goats produce milk. Matt first tried making goat cheese and "failed miserably" and wasn't a big fan of drinking goat milk. He had dabbled in soapmaking previously and decided to try using the milk for soap. After some trial and error, he started selling his soaps at maker and craft fairs in the region. He gives major props to local businesses like Crafted QC, The Machine Shed, and the former Soap Box store in the Village of East Davenport for helping him to get started by carrying his products.
After making soap for several years without a physical store, he heard that a storefront was going to be opening up in the Village of East Davenport and decided to take the leap of opening his own shop in early 2018.
I figured that as a guy, I'm perhaps not the target customer of a small soap store, but Matt carries a good amount of men's products, too. In addition to selling his own products that are made in-house, he carries a variety of other specialty brands like C.F. Maidlow (a line of men's products based in Davenport), Outlaw Soaps, and more.
Matt explained to me that different soaps can serve different needs - for example, if you have dry skin, you might want to choose a different product than if you have oily skin. In addition, bathing should be a time to chill out and enjoy some "you" time, so picking carefully-crafted products can help you make the most of it. "Taking a shower's an experience," Matt said. "I've always viewed it as your personal time to relax."
In the coming months, Matt plans to start offering a soap punch card so if you frequently buy his Escape Goat line of soaps, you'll occasionally earn a free bar. He occasionally teaches soapmaking classes at Crafted QC and has also done birthday parties and other events in the area. He loves being part of the Village of East Davenport community and recommends that folks check out the other shops and restaurants in the area.
Thanks, Matt! Check out Escape Goat Soaps in the Village of East Davenport.
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