Located on a picturesque 40-acre farm at the base of Central Oregon’s Cascade Range, the Johnson’s and their ten children are a real farm family. On a hot summer day, you’re likely to find the kids fearlessly running barefoot on the hunt for lizards, chasing each other through the irrigation ditch, or diving into the pond. Just behind the house, you’ll catch a kid or two strapped together soaring across the zip line built by Dwight. And when the snow falls, the gravel driveway turns into an epic sledding hill for the kids and parents alike. On a powder day, you may even catch a glimpse of the boys flying off the roof on skis. Between the shenanigans, you’ll find them in homeschooling lessons with Marilee or down in the Soap House making or labeling products.
Dwight and Marilee
What's better than running the world's greatest business? How about true love and raising seven super studs and three darling little girls for starters!
Long before marriage, Dwight was a first-class martial artist always looking for his next adrenaline fix! He could be found jumping out of airplanes, or scuba diving in exotic locations around the world. Beyond his adventurous nature, he’s always been driven by a strong entrepreneurial spirit, too.
In business, Dwight helped manage his family's 3rd generation glass-decorating company near Los Angeles, California. He then traveled the West Coast making and selling pine furniture and weathervanes at craft shows until he was completely worn out. After relocating to beautiful Central Oregon, Dwight was introduced to a global nutrition company that gave him his life back and opened his eyes to the incredible, God-made nutrients available to us. His passion for health and nutrition continued to grow as he pursued a career with the nutrition company, becoming enthralled by the scientific research regarding our health. A new season of life started with marriage to Marilee, a life-long friend of the family who had finally “grown up” and made her way into Dwight’s heart for life. With a common faith and a mutual desire to work together, they joined hands in business, building homes and starting a local window-washing company. They started a family together, bought their first goats and soon dove into all things farm-related. Dwight values quality time with his family above all else and lives out his dream daily as he works alongside his children.
Marilee grew up on a hobby fish farm in upstate New York before moving to California for college where she received a bachelor's degree in Accounting. She had a crush on Dwight for ten years before their paths crossed in Oregon and they got married. She loves working alongside Dwight in all his creative ventures, often being the implementer, administrator, and creative mind behind her man’s vision!
Marilee enjoys the labor and craziness involved in raising a large family (i.e. How do you feed 10 kids and your husband breakfast? By cooking 40 eggs and a huge pot of oatmeal, that's how!). Her hobbies have changed over the years, but currently include taking pictures of her photogenic subjects, staying a step-ahead of the kid’s next shenanigans, playing the piano, and listening to Dwight's ideas. She's always enjoyed parties and says that she's been blessed because "the Lord gave me a party of my very own!"
Living a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important to the Johnson family. In the past, they’ve raised their own beef, pork, and chickens for meat and eggs, ground their own wheat to make bread, and are always aware of what they’re putting in and on their bodies. In 2007, Dwight and Marilee welcomed their very first goats onto their farm in Bend, OR and began their journey with goat milk soaps a few years later. Learn more about the origins of Bend Soap Company here.
The leader of the pack, Burnell loves to teach, constantly serving as an inspiration to his little brothers. He loves music and rocks the piano. He's also fascinated with equipment, often boasting that he can run any piece of machinery on the property and it’s true! - tractors, bobcats, mowers - he’s a natural with them all. After milking goats for years, Burnell now works just a few days a week making products at the Bend Soap Company warehouse. Between school, work, piano, weight-lifting, and phone calls with friends, he keeps very busy! You can often find him on the ski slopes or at the skatepark in his spare time. When he was younger, he had fun building his own business, creating videos, and even bought his first truck at age 12.
Orin found his sweet spot at Bend Soap Company working with the team at the labeling and shipping tables. He is FAST! There’s something fun about trying to beat the clock when it comes to labeling a tub of soap or building a Flat Rate box. He’s a total tease and loves to make everyone laugh. He stays quite active, enjoying throwing a backflip or performing scooter tricks wherever he goes. He recently turned 15 and bought his first truck (the Lil’ Pumpkin) to drive around the farm. Orin is fascinated by beat-boxing and is a pro at entertaining his younger siblings with his gift of humor.
Chance is our third oldest son whose battle with eczema sparked the foundation and mission of the Bend Soap Co. you know today! He moved into a Production Assistant role at Bend Soap Company last year and is loving the pace. We’re impressed by his attention to detail and thoroughness in his work! In his free time, you'll find him making up some creative new game, making laps around the hayfield for a little exercise, or acting and singing with his big brothers. When he was younger, we even caught him serenading the goats! We nicknamed him, "The Goat Whisperer," since he had such a way with the goats; he's patient and calm and they seem to just love him.
Chance still holds the record for fastest soap box builder. He's a machine! Although, he may have some competition from Orin, Quint, and Royal in the future. They're the competitive ones!
Ty is constantly making us laugh with his funny antics and hilarious comments. He loves a good grapple and is always showing how tough he is. He does have to keep up with his four older brothers after all! For all his toughness, he‘s also a total sweetheart, always telling Mama how pretty she is and wanting to take her on dates . Ty is kind-hearted and a real servant, giving foot massages to his Mama and back rubs to Daddy regularly. If you need anything, Ty is your man!
During the summers you can find Ty poring over the garden plants with his younger brother, Quint, or spending countless hours out in the fields or in the pond with his brothers. Rough life, right?
Quint's personality is as laid back as they come, but with a sly bit of mischievousness. We find him to be quite the entertainer. He's built like a brick, given the nickname “Quintus Cerilius Maximus” because of his stout physique. He’s a wiz at math and can’t seem to move through his online courses fast enough! He has a green thumb and is currently growing 10 avocado plants in pots around the house. Quint is always in project mode and is quite the accomplisher. He's taken on the role of water maintenance man, helping to turn on sprinklers, wheel lines, and pumps, especially when Dad is gone. We see a possible landscaper in the making!
Quint is the leader of the youngest brood of boys which includes himself, Wyatt, and Royal. These three are always together playing games around the house, or running around the property.
Wyatt is our little crazy man these days! He has been really developing his fun, happy, and often goofy side. He always has a good attitude and is a big helper to Mama in the kitchen. He and Royal are two peas in a pod; he's a very corrective big brother and helps him with rights and wrongs. As a recent reader, he can’t seem to get enough of the Bible. He’s growing into an eager make-it-happen personality with amazing follow through.
Vienna Rose — our first daughter! — is quite the little tomboy, yet she can almost always be found in a dress. When the baby goats arrived, she would dance around with them in her fanciest dress. She has a bright and cheery personality and if you were to ask her what it's like to have six protective, doting, older brothers, she would tell you she loves it! When she was younger, she would say, "Where are my boys?" as she sought them out. To this day, you’ll find her chasing around her big brothers and trying to out-do whatever they do, all while wearing a skirt. She mastered the "bounce" on the trampoline at a record age and can speed across the “gyminator” in the back room like a monkey, so you know she's a go-getter. She now has two little sisters and has simply adored being their little "mother". Vienna’s favorite thing about Bend Soap Company is the soap that’s named after her! She keeps a bar under her pillow and smells it daily.
Royal is our eighth child (and seventh boy)! What a little charmer he is, cute to the bone, sweet, and content. Royal adds so much life and joy to our crew. He's started to develop a little commanding spirit in which he goes around taking care of "business" by helping with trash chores and anything that needs to be done. He'll be a force to reckon with! You can often hear him singing out in a loud voice as well. He’s a musical one for sure!
Royal was so happy when both Holly and Victoria were born as he had prayed for little sisters. He loves being their protector! We were not surprised when one of Victoria’s first words was “Royal.”
Holly is number nine and our second girl! What a dramatic and spunky little lady she is. She adores kittens and small friends that come to visit us on the farm. Her sweetness has a side of spice these days and she’s often found teaching her older siblings a thing or two. She is as cuddly as they come and loves to “do school” while Mama is teaching the older children. And now with her own little sister to play with, she finds lots of opportunities to “mother” her little sister. You can always find Holly carrying around the holiday lip butter that was named after her.
The only thing difficult about little Victoria was agreeing on what to name her, which took one full month to the day! She is full of smiles and laughs and willingly snuggles for days! Since we weren’t out and about much in 2020, she’s a little more shy and reserved but can still hold her own among the bunch. The youngest of 10, she handles the “baby-of-the-family” role with ease and is doted on constantly. We have yet to name a product after her, so she just carries her bottle of goat milk around for now.