There’s a goat cam in Athena Steadman’s barn. On her Simply Eden website, anyone can watch live-feed video of her Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats which provide the main ingredient for Simply Eden’s goat milk products.
Simply Eden has grown from an experimental cottage industry to a much-in-demand supplier of natural soaps and lotions. “No way did I ever think it would be this big,” says the accidental entrepreneur. “My husband suggested getting a goat, and I thought if I’m getting a goat I should make something from it.”
Having outgrown her modified home basement, Athena recently opened a storefront in Eden Center, a cluster of handsome single-unit log structures located just west of Eden, Utah’s Valley Market Grocery.
Though her handmade soaps and lotions are uncomplicated, running a small husbandry-based business means that Athena and her husband Coe not only raise and breed goats, but also market, make, package and distribute product, and manage a blog, website and dynamic Facebook page. “My philosophy with the products is to keep it simple, which is funny,” she laughs, “because everything I do is so complex.” The Simply Eden store also provides a retail outlet for other northern Utah artisans.
Balancing responsibilities has contributed to Athena’s success, as has offering quality goods made with natural ingredients. In fact,even without pushing brand visibility, Utah businesses now are approaching her asking if they can carry her products.
“I love having the freedom to do what I want,” says the Ogden Valley impressario. “I do love the goats, and I love living up here.”