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Ashley Graham yawns as she drives home after shopping for winter clothing at Kentucky Oaks Mall. She set out to solve her daughter’s skin condition and developed goat soap, commercially known as Chloe’s Soap, and wound up a manufacturer and retailer in Paducah.

From Mom to Manufacturer

story by Haiyun Jiang

When Ashley Graham started her handmade soap business, she didn't expect to go this far. "I am not a business person. I'm just a mom," says Ashley.

In 2011, Ashley's daughter, Chloe, suffered from a bad skin condition as a result of eczema that made her extremely sensitive to factory-made skin care products. To improve Chloe's skin, Ashley started researching and experimenting to create a soap that was mild and made from natural ingredients. Ashley's hard work paid off. In 2013, she developed a soap recipe that helped Chloe get better. The amazing functioning of the soap became well-known around Marshall County, and Ashley began to sell soap from her kitchen.

The business was growing bigger. Ashley, 33, and her husband, Ryan, 40, relocated to Paducah and rented a storage unit with climate control at 601 Broadway Street. Later, they opened Farmer's Daughter Soap, a few blocks down, with the star product "Chloe's soap." One ingredient of the soap is goat milk.

Evolving from a stay-at-home mom to a local business owner, Ashley doesn't take the business for granted. For her, top priority always is family. Ashley and Ryan started a blended family in 2010, with six children, Johanna, Blake, Zac, Chloe, Adam and Ethan, ranging in age from 3 to 14. It's a challenge for Ashley to manage both the business and family life.

Ryan works as an engineering technician for CMI Heating and Air Conditioning. He looks after the children after school, after Ashley picks them up from school and returns to work. Chloe and Adam have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Ashley often gets phone calls from the school about troubles they make in classes. Ryan supports Ashley's business and is happy with kids at home after his day's work.

Ashley's extrovert personality and warm gestures, along with her high-quality products, made her soap business boom. She hopes one of her children will be able to take over the business after she retires.

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Ashley Graham, owner of Farmer's Daughter Soap Company, leaves the store with her son, Ethan, 3, to go to the post office.

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Ryan Graham talks with his wife, Ashley, as four of their six children amuse temselves while they get ready to shop for winter clothing at Kentucky Oaks Mall in Paducah. The children (from left) are Chloe, Ethan, Johanna and Adam.

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Ashley Graham takes selfies with her daughter, Johanna Davis, 14, before a homecoming party at Paducah Tilghman High School.

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Ethan Graham, 3, leaves Farmer's Daughter Soap Company, his mother's store, in downtown Paducah, with his grandfather, Gary Graham.

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Ryan Graham consoles his exhausted wife, Ashley, in the dining room of their Paducah home after the four of their children who live with them went to bed. She works hard at maintaining a good family life while running a successful manufacturing operation.