Meet Mary Altieri, a Young Entrepreneur that Transformed a Great Idea into a Business

Meet Mary Altieri, a Young Entrepreneur that Transformed a Great Idea into a Business

November 21, 2016

For her eighth birthday, Mary Altieri from Astoria, Oregon received four baby goats. When the goats starting producing milk, Mary says, "I couldn't drink three gallons a day, so I thought I need to do something." And she had an idea – why not make soap from goat milk and sell it?

So at the age of 9, Mary started a business, "Mary's Milk Monsters." She started making soap for sensitive skin and now she sells a wide range of goat milk soap, including orange blossom, lavender, gentle dog, coffee, and oatmeal scents. "I created a special soap for Halloween – the Zombie Survival and Defense Goat Milk Soap," which Mary says customers ask for all year around. She now produces soap from 15 goats.

Mary also makes and sells dish soap, liquid soap, Japanese knotweed jelly, seedless blackberry jelly, and tote bags made from her goats' feed bags. She is also working on creating a goat milk body lotion.

She sells her products online on, at the Astoria Sunday Market and she recently bought a brick-and-mortar store, where she sells her products during the weekend. Many times Mary brings her goats to the store or to the market.

She advertises her products through her business website, Facebook page and at the Astoria Sunday Market. Her plan is to expand her business online. Mary donates a part of the profit to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Mary attributes her success to the Clatsop County 4-H Young Entrepreneurs Club, where she learned how to make and sell her products, manage her business, and be financially responsible.

Mary's advice for those who want to start a business is: "You have to REALLY like what you are doing, because when you work for someone else you work for 8 hours, but when you work for yourself you work for 24 hours. There are going to be lots of curveballs over time, be flexible with your schedule, you might find yourself at 10 o'clock at night or 3 in the morning wrapping soap for an event."