When you discover something that works, you gotta share it with the world. That’s what Heather Curran did when she finally found relief from eczema she’d been dealing with for years. After looking for something to help relieve her pain and dryness to no avail, she eventually learned about tallow, which is rendered down beef fat. What she discovered was so much more. Not only did she find instant relief from her eczema, but it also improved her acne and complexion.

From there, what started as a hobby, making jars for family and friends, turned into vendor shows, turned into booths at local events, and turned into a business: Dakota Tallow.

But there’s more. She’s not only an entrepreneur, she’s also a stay-at-home mom to three (soon-to-be four) kiddos, ages three to 10, and she’s their school teacher.

Having that many littles around not only means she’s a busy woman, but she’s also got some help! From packing the trailer to labeling finished products, the whole family, including her husband, is involved in the business. So much so, it’s even inspired her two oldest to start their own—Raw Dakota Kitchen, a gluten-free baked goods business.

“It’s so fun to listen to them plan, scheme and determine how they want to market it,” she said.

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You can often find the Curran clan at the local Red River Farmers Market.

Heather began making products as a hobby and now runs Dakota Tallow as a business. Special to On the Minds of Moms
Heather began making products as a hobby and now runs Dakota Tallow as a business. Special to On the Minds of Moms

Want to learn more about Curran and how she’s managing it all? Read on:

What I find most fulfilling about it all is...

receiving positive emails and reviews from our customers. Knowing that my products are helping babies, children and even adults is beyond humbling. I also LOVE learning more and coming up with new products!

The most challenging part of owning my own business is..

keeping everything stocked! Since all of my products are all-natural and handmade, I keep everything as fresh as possible.

The most challenging part of doing it while having to parent and homeschool is...

I knew I needed to spend my time educating and supporting my children, but I also knew I had to get products made for orders to go out. I have been able to separate them now and put school and my children first during the weekday and do smaller tasks in the evenings. I spend a lot of my weekends restocking products and creating new products. In addition, my husband has taken on a huge role in our success and it has been a breath of fresh air.

I create work-life boundaries by...

Taking time for our kids and focusing on making memories for and with them. It is easy to attend vendor shows all summer and fall long. But saying "no" is healthy too.

My advice to other entrepreneurs who are also parents is...

make sure you find a balance! It is so easy to get caught up with both parenting and running a home-based business. It can take an emotional toll on yourself and your family.

People most often ask me...

“What is tallow?” Ha! Most people have never heard of it before! After a short explanation, almost everyone is intrigued and tries something! Having someone buy my products after never hearing of it before, is also quite rewarding.

I hope through this experience my kids learn...

ambition, self-confidence and to develop a strong worth ethic.

The Curran family, seen here a couple of years ago, will grow by one more member soon. Special to On the Minds of Moms
The Curran family, seen here a couple of years ago, will grow by one more member soon. Special to On the Minds of Moms

Words I live by as a parent are...

"Children are not a distraction from the more important work. They are the most important work."

I’m most proud of...

Our success and how my self-confidence over the years has grown. Every year we continue to grow and it still amazes me that I am helping so many people.

I can’t live without...

my Frankincense and Lavender facial cream and a coffee!

My best homeschooling tip is...

keep things simple! Learning not only happens with books but also all day, every day! You can over complicate your whole homeschool journey by having too much. We’ve also dedicated room for our school supplies and learning time, which keeps things more in order and less chaotic.

The most important thing I’ve learned thus far in life is...

enjoy life now and don't live for the future.

You can learn more about Curran and her products at www.DakotaTallow.com.