Hi All! Willow here.
Lots is going on with Fall and Back to School, but I’m also feeling reflective - and a bit stunned - that Holy Lamb Organics is turning 15 next year! I don’t think I’ve shared this story with you yet of how this company came to be.
Let’s go back to the year 2000…
It was a brand new century...I was 20. I was just out of college and not sure what I was going to do with my degree. Frankly, I didn’t have much time to figure it out as I was also working three jobs.
A fateful trip to the camping store
One day I was planning a trip with my best friend - a backpacking trip to the Redwoods in Northern California -
I decided to gear up & go get a couple of things...I saw some pillows in the corner of this big camping store...and thought, how luxurious! to bring a pillow on a backpacking trip? Right? So I went over and took a closer look.
And it was….
This little travel pillow had its stitching coming undone, and the synthetic fill was kind of... pouring out of it. I thought to myself, “This pillow kinda sucks even though it’d be really cool to take, this pillow sucks.”
But I bought the sad little shoddy-made pillow anyway. I asked for a discount and knew I could make a better one.
And I knew IMMEDIATELY how I would make it better and what I would use for materials.
“I’d put organic cotton on the outside and I’d use wool on the inside.” Knew it right away. No question.
So, from there I decided I was going to start a business. And I was going to make pillows. Wool on the inside, organic cotton on the outside. From the start. Just as you see it today.
Business plan born while backpacking
So me and my best friend went on the backpacking trip. We hiked into the Redwoods and ended up at the beach. And during that time, there was a lot of time to think, and go inside and get clear.
I dreamed up the business plan on the seven day trip and came back with a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do.
So I got started right away...by buying a school bus
I bought a little... well, big... school bus and started the business in there and ran it from 2000-2005 right in the bus
I started with a basic travel pillow and a backpacking pillow with a stuff sack. I was still so inspired to make something better than what was currently available. Something natural and well-made with quality materials. It still drives me today: to make something better.
So I just started making them. And selling them to our local food co-op, which is a huge part of our community, The Olympia Food Co-op. They were my first customer.
Developing more wool & organic cotton products
So with a base in travel pillows, after awhile, I developed bed pillows...then expanded into comforters, then toppers and then on with our baby products. Later we added organic mattresses so we could provide for all of our customers organic bedding needs.
14 years? How did THAT happen?
And, now, what seems like a flash later, 14 years have gone by and we’re still developing wool and organic cotton products. I’m so proud of my team, our story, our practices and our products. It’s inspiring to still want to make something better. There’s still a fire in me for that. So stay tuned….there’s definitely more to come.
Thanks for reading our story. If you have questions or would like to reply, please share them in the comments section below.
Welcome friends! Look who's blogging now!
With our updated website, we decided we wanted to share more frequently and directly about natural and organic bedding. A blog is our chosen medium.
We've worked hard to make good decisions for the last 14+ years, not only about what we make, but who we work with, how sheep and crops are treated (or not!), and more, to make exceptionally safe, gentle bedding we can all be proud of...and sleep well on!
So, part of the blog will share how we've come to decisions in business, what we do day to day, and we'll answer questions. All in an effort to reach out to you.
We're "Raising the Baaaa"!
There's just so much to share.
You're invited, literally and digitally, to join us here at The Little Bit, our 100+ year old headquarters. We're making traditional, breathable, natural wool and organic cotton bedding that can be recycled back to the earth. And that's just the start.
So, Welcome. We're glad you're here.
Our doors, ears and hearts are open to your feedback about the new site, the blog, specific questions. We'd love to hear from you.
This is where you'll be hearing from us.
Holy Lamb Organics shares about what's behind our choice in using our organic cotton fabric.
We don’t make the cotton, but we use it, which, in turn, supports how it's grown and made.
We choose organic because we support how it's made, and who it's made by. Small eco-minded farmers.
First, a little about conventional cotton
Most conventional cotton seeds are actually GMO seeds. It’s amazing that even the seeds get treated with pesticides or fungicides, before they ever hit the dirt.
Once in the ground, that’s when the real “treatment begins.” Synthetic fertilizers, multiple applications of herbicides: first by treating the soil to inhibit weed germination and then multiple times after to attempt to kill the weeds that DO grow. And they do grow.
Where does it all go?
The thing is, the soil is where the nutrients are. Minerals and rich soil content that will grow the cotton that will ultimately be really close to our skin...we wear it, use it and sleep on it ...in some way...daily.
Uh. We haven’t even gotten to pesticides or the insecticides yet (those ARE two different products). To review:
Herbicides are for the weeds…
Pesticides are for pests…
Insecticides are for the insects - both the harmful and the beneficial ones.
Again, spraying, oftentimes from the air, and then again - with some regularity - to address insects and even rodents harmful to the crop.
Little Known Facts
Fact: Conventional cotton crops are the fourth most heavily sprayed crops, behind soybean, corn and wheat.
Fact: Each set of Queen size conventional cotton sheets takes just about 1.25 lbs of pesticide, herbicide and insecticide to create.
Not many people know even this much about the conventional crop of cotton. Believe us, we haven't even scratched the surface of information here yet.
One more concept before we go
Let’s’ just touch a theory that “there is no they”...
There is no “throwing away” because there is no “away”.
When we spray from an airplane, drip poison into the soil, and even chemically harvest (oh yes) the cotton from the plant, WHO are we spraying, dripping and chemically imbuing? Ourselves.
We are “they.”