“You’re a piggy. You’re being a piggy.” Louella LeBlanc scolded the swarm of miniature milking goats that had formed around her. The bleating mob chomped incessantly at the bag of carrots dangling from LeBlanc’s hand. LeBlanc laughed and shook her head, her tone maternal, “You little oinkers.”
The city slicker-turned-goat farmer nuzzled her youngest goat Pepper, a gentle 5-month-old Nigerian Dwarf with ice-blue eyes. “It’s just the craziest thing,” LeBlanc said. “Never in a hundred years did I think I’d be a goat farmer of all things.”
LeBlanc is the proprietor of Triple L Glamour Goat Company, a business she launched in January to peddle her goat milk infused skin care products.
LeBlanc began her transformation from longtime suburbanite to “goat mother” three years ago when she and her family relocated from The Woodlands, their home for over 15 years, to Bedias, TX, a small town of less than 500 people.
Tucked away on their family farm, the LeBlanc and her husband Edward care for 13 goats, dozens of chickens, two horses and a plucky mule named Margarita. Before relocating, LeBlanc and her husband had little experience caring for farm animals.
“Moving here three years ago, I had no experience with animals like this,” Leblanc said. “But I mean I feel like if I can do it anybody can do it.”
LeBlanc began making her handmade goat milk soaps and lotions about two years ago to help her youngest child, Angela, who had struggled with eczema since she was a newborn. The topical steroids her daughter used to treat the skin condition barely kept the rashes at bay and caused a handful of harmful side effects like skin bleaching.
“She would have bleeding and scratching,” LeBlanc said. “Kids at school would ask her what’s wrong with her and it made her really self-conscious.”
Desperate to help Angela and out of options, LeBlanc tried something unconventional: she began making lotions using the goat milk from the “little mowers” lazing around in her own backyard.
“I read a lot about goat milk and the benefits of using goat milk in lotions and soaps to help with her eczema and so I really wanted to see if that was an alternative we could use. It was like a chemistry project putting together a recipe.”
Dozens of scrapped batches and nearly a year of experimenting later and LeBlanc had settled on a handful of recipes. Now, she said Angela's eczema is “finally under control.”
“I started making it for ourselves and its just sort of grown from there,” LeBlanc said. "I hope it can help other people who struggle with skin conditions."
After developing a set of recipes, LeBlanc purchased more goats to aide in her budding business. She said goat milk is a crucial ingredient.
“The biggest thing with goat milk is it’s full of natural vitamins and one of them is Vitamin A, which helps heal and protect the skin,” LeBlanc said. “They add it in a lot of commercial products but it’s naturally in the milk.”
LeBlanc’s glamorous goats don’t just help her with her business, they’re an important part of the family.
“They’re kind of like a dog,” LeBlanc said. “I get to have 13 extra dogs. They’re just very friendly. They’re loving and they all have their own personalities.”
When LeBlanc isn’t tending to her goats or whipping up new batches of goat milk lotion (which she usually makes fresh just hours before she sells them at whatever market she's headed to), she works as a therapist.
“I help people in my profession and so it’s nice to hear though when customers come back and say ‘Hey, I love it,’ ‘Hey, this is working for me,” LeBlanc said. “You know, it’s kind of the same thing. It’s just a different kind of health care.”
LeBlanc peddles her goat milk skin care products at artisan markets throughout the Brazos Valley. Prospective customers can visit her tent at The Local at Lake Walk Town Center every Tuesday afternoon or head to the company’s Facebook page to purchase LeBlanc’s handmade soaps and lotions online.