A Formula for Success
Jana Bass combines her natural goat milk product line with a passion for helping others
Jana Bass talks to third-graders about Beatrice’s Goat, a true story about a Ugandan girl who received a goat through Heifer International, allowing her to sell milk and afford an education.
Accompanied by a goat from her farm, Bass hopes to inspire the class in its fundraising mission to purchase a goat to help another family become self-sufficient.
This is just one example of Bass’s energy and spirit. When challenged, she more than rises to the occasion. This is especially true of the events that motivated this 36-year-old wife and mother of four to create Bass Farms’ all-natural goat milk skin care line in May 2009.
Within months, Bass’s mother Versa passed away from cancer, and her 54-year-old brother Donnie was diagnosed.
“My brother and my dad needed help, so I decided to quit my personal fitness job,” she says.
To make ends meet, she sold produce from her garden at the Shelbyville Farmers Market. When she learned its soap vendor wasn’t working out, Bass stepped up.
Her goat milk soap did well, but Bass wanted something her customers could try hands on, so she expanded her product line to include lotion.
Vanilla Bean and Oatmeal, Milk & Honey are her most popular lotions. To meet customers’ desires and needs, Bass continually experiments with new products and now has 40 body products in 150 scents.
It’s all paying off. Bass was asked to provide products for gift baskets for Super Bowl XLVI festivities. Her best-selling product, Baby Butt Butter, was trademarked in February, and sales are so good that Bass is currently looking for a manufacturer to continue to meet the demand for the product.
It’s almost kismet
Networking and word-of-mouth testimony have done wonders for the growth of Bass Farms. Customers give back by spreading the word about how happy they are with the products.
Always looking to improve her products and business, Bass is open to all feedback. Fortunately, most of what she hears is positive.
“Customers are pulling up their pant legs or shirtsleeves to show how using my lotions helps alleviate their psoriasis and other dry skin ailments,” she says.
One of her biggest fans, her now-late father, Leon Petro, always told her, “You’re going places.” And he helped her get there.
“My dad was in Johnson Memorial Hospital with cancer and was asking me for business cards,” Bass shares. “He would tell nurses about my stuff and hand out my card.”
The nurses loved the products, and the hospital’s gift shop soon became Bass’s first retail location.
Bass also made connections through her sister’s boss to sell Baby Butt Butter to medical customers. While cancer patients are undergoing chemotherapy, their skin tends to be drier, and the rich Baby Butt Butter formula of lanoline, coconut oil, beeswax, aloe, shea butter, cocoa butter, neem, frankincense, goat milk and honey keeps their skin healthy and moisturized.
The karma of generosity
Discovering that her product comforts patients hit home with Bass. As a result, part of her mission has become to support hospices with some of her profits.
“The nurses at the hospices were so great when my mom, dad and brother needed care, so I want to give back,” she says.
She also wants to keep her products affordable.
“I believe that people shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to have a decent, natural product,” Bass says. “I’m the most frugal person you’ve ever seen –– I know I wouldn’t pay certain prices –– so why should my customers?”
For more information, log on bassfarms.com.