In the fall of 2012, Mike and Patty Smith began an adventure born out of the desire to create quality products for friends and family. Mike fondly remembered watching his grandmother make soap in a large black pot in the backyard, so naturally he wanted to begin making soap. He began researching soap recipes and made his first batch of Cabernet Cream soap. Inspired and encouraged by the process, he quickly made several types of soaps and began to gift them to friends and family members. The soap was an instant hit!
In late September, Mike and Patty set up a booth at the local farmer's market. Business was slow at first, but they quickly made friends with the farmers and vendors at the market. With each sell, their confidence and excitement grew. They encountered many fellow soap makers who shared their expertise and encouraged them to continue in this new endeavor.
Soon their calendar was filled with farmer's markets and craft shows across Texas. They perfected the soap-making business offering over 40 varieties of soap, including all-natural, scented, unscented, shampoo soap and even dog shampoo soap. In addition to soap, they began making lotion, sugar and salt scrubs, massage oil, bath salts, sunburn relief cream, foot cream, insect bite cream, 100% soy candles, wax melts and car air fresheners.
Truly a Family Business
As their business grew, they recruited the help of their family to help tell their story. The name was provided by their son-in-law, Corey, one Saturday as the family relaxed on the back porch. Corey posted a status update on Facebook that said, "Hanging out with the family at The Country Escape." Just like that, their home would forever be known as "The Country Escape" and when it came time to name the business there was no other option.
Their daughters, Jenni and Kristen, provide invaluable marketing and PR advice. They have introduced The Country Escape to social networking, suggested products, share color and scent input, provide word-of-mouth marketing and encourage their parents daily.
Mike and Patty have four granddaughters who have jumped at the chance to help. They help with packaging and scent testing. Of course, they also request that "Nana" and "Poppy" make all of their candles purple.