Grandmother, granddaughter team up for special business

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 17, 2014

When Decatur resident Anne Butcher starting showing various soaps and other products at area markets, including the Farmer’s Market at the Mennonite Church each Saturday, her special friend started going with her to help load and unload her products.
Her granddaughter, Sydney Augsburger, not only helped her grandmother unload and load products, but she also enjoyed helping her grandma show products and she especially enjoyed visiting with customers.
“It started last summer; one day she started helping me,” said Butcher, of Augsburger. “I wanted her to have something to do; I wanted her to have her own product. I offered her to sell a product with me.
“I started researching,” said Augsburger, the daughter of Derek and Tina Augsburger. Derek Augsburger is an employee at Smith Brothers of Berne.
“I wanted to do something that smells good like her soap,” continued Augsburger. “I searched, ‘products that smell,’ on Google. I found these gel candles.”
Augsburger showed the idea of the candles to her grandma and she loved the idea. She said her family loved the idea because it wasn’t something that would tie her down if she wanted to do something else.
“I take gel wax and measure it into the stove pot,” said Augsburger. “I put it in at 175 degrees and it starts to melt. Then I start putting the color dye in. Then I add the fragrance. How much you put in depends on how much you want.”
Once the product is melted down, Augsburger puts them in candle jars, mainly purchased at the Salvation Army Store or Goodwill. Augsburger shapes and varies the candles according to design.
“I started helping her last summer in Berne. Now I go all over with her,” said Augsburger. “I love to help her.”
“She’s such a help,” said Butcher. “I was concerned that she might get bored during the time but she doesn’t seem to. We enjoy visiting when we have the time to do so. She always tells me that she loves to be with me and she has loved it from the beginning.”
Butcher said that as the product output increases, so the does the need for a larger table. Currently, the duo can be found showing their products at the Winter Farmer’s Market at the 4-H food building during the winter months.
“I’m really thrilled with Sydney,” said Butcher. “Her wheels are always turning. It’s exciting to see her branch out. She is working on publishing a website for us.”
The grandmother and granddaughter pair work under two separate names within the business. Butcher’s name is, “Abundant Products,” and Augsburger’s candle and lip balm business is called, “Savory Products.”
Butcher said that the duo started at the Decatur Farmer’s Market, but their involvement quickly spread to the Berne Farmer’s Market and now, this winter, at the Adams County Farmer’s Market.
Augsburger said that her lip balms are all made from essential oils, including sweet almond oil, bees wax, shea butter, coconut oil and sodium lactate.
Butcher said that the reason she started the business was because she had originally purchased homemade soap for a year and a half.
“I liked it so well; my husband liked it,” said Butcher. “I said, ‘let’s make soap’; I researched the internet for a month and a half. I have a lab tech background so I was familiar how to make these things. My husband made wooden molds. It turned out so well, we started making it for markets.”
“Just being here with grandma and meeting all sorts of people means so much to me,” said Augsburger. “Grandma said that I might eventually take over the business.”
Augsburger said that she loves being able to share time with her grandmother.
“Grandma means everything to me,” said Augsburger. “She is great. I love helping her all I can. I love to listen to her and watch her make what she likes so well. I love all of the time that we can spend together.”


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