Nurse finds new calling after traumatic brain injury

Made in the Carolinas
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT
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TRAVELERS REST, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - An Upstate nurse finds a new calling after experiencing a life-changing injury.

We took a trip to Double Blessing Farm in Travelers Rest to learn more about the goat dairy and soap business.

“We got our first goats in 1998 and we were a certified dairy by the year 2000, and ever since we started, we were making soap as a hobby,” Rachel Palacino, co-owner of Red Clay Soap, said.

Rachel Palacino is proof life can change in the blink of an eye. “In 2011, I had a traumatic brain injury.”

While on winter vacation with her family, Palacino was struck in the head by a large piece of ice. It fell from a roof five stories above.

Palacino said it’s nothing short of a miracle she survived, and spent months in outpatient therapy.

“That kind of put a squelch on the nursing career. I could no longer do that,” Palacino said.

She began her journey into a new career and didn’t have to look much further than her own back yard.

Palacino and her husband, John, started their business in their basement. That’s how Red Clay Soap was born.

“The soaps were always holiday gifts. People loved it. We would always ship them to our families all over the country, and give them as local gifts,” Palacino said, “Then, we knew that we would still be milking the goats out of necessity for what my family needed.”

Double Blessing Farm now makes more than 30 varieties of soap, including everyday favorites to seasonal specialties.

Red Clay Soap is named after the topsoil found in the Upstate. Palacino said the soap is so effective it cleans away the red clay.

The secret ingredient should come as no surprise.

“Goat milk is the magic bullet and I believe the magic ingredient in the soap that helps so much,” Palacino said.

The soap is made with 25 percent goat milk, essential oils, and all-natural ingredients like olive oil and coconut oil. Palacino said it’s good for your skin and good to the environment. She finds joy in helping others, one handmade batch at a time.

“I miss being in the hospital setting, or my last few years working as a school nurse,” Palacino said, “I enjoy staying in touch with the community and being able to educate them about local foods and local products that are being produced in Greenville County.”

Double Blessing Farm will be hosting a market with other local vendors every Saturday in October from 9:30am until 12:30pm. The farm is located at 2310 Tigerville Road in Travelers Rest.

Find out more about Red Clay Soap.