FREDONIA — Joanne Smith is an autodidact, teaching herself how to create health and wellness products. Many YouTube videos and a mentor guided her through her journey. She now has become a master of her own making.

“Over the last six years, I had to learn the hard way about self-care. I went from managing everything while working full time, to not being able to,” said Smith, owner of Dare To Dream Soaps & More.

In 2015 and 2016, Smith was practicing, planning and preparing to start her business. In 2017, she established Dare to Dream Soaps and More.

Her spot at this year’s Fredonia Farmers Market and her expedition into the health and wellness market were unplanned, but necessary.

She was attacked in April 2014 while working at the Kentucky State Penitentiary. An inmate attacked her with a metal meat slicer handle, striking her 17 times. As a result, she’s permanently disabled due to brain injuries, she has had several facial reconstruction surgeries, and she suffers from seizures.

Before her employment at the penitentiary, Smith was a housekeeper, so she was accustomed to and comfortable with treating and pampering others. Instinctively, she cares for others before she centers herself.

Smith has three children and resides in Fredonia. Her husband and son relocated from Massachusetts in 2013.

Smith understands what getting overwhelmed with life looks like. She advises others to practice self-care.

“The world will not collapse if you take care of you, but you may collapse if you don’t care for yourself,” she said.

She saw a need to reevaluate her life during her recovery from the attack six years ago.

“I needed to take a step back. Learn what I was able to do and how to take care of me, so I could keep fighting,” Smith said.

Smith suggests stimulating the five senses will ground people in high-stress situations and renew their rhythm of nature. She encourages taking baths with oils, lighting candles or incense, listening to music, and relaxing in a spa-like setting.

Smith’s first product was hot-process soap. She wanted to create a product that can be used on any body. Her products are coconut-based and are free from synthetics and artificial coloring. They are free from most allergens and are all-natural.

She currently has a muscle rub that is patent-pending and undergoing clinical tests. It is primarily used to treat seizures.

April 17 will be Smith’s first time working with the Fredonia Farmers Market. She came across the event’s page on Facebook. She wants to take advantage of the opportunity to conduct market outreach and promote her business.

“We need to get into something because there isn’t going to be any conventions around here for awhile,” Smith said. “I would like to eventually teach people how to make their own products.”

This past Saturday, farmers and vendors met for the first time this year and went over the upcoming event and plans. Hanna York of Fredonia and Arrowhead Acres Nursery is organizing this year’s Fredonia Farmers Market.

Fredonia First Baptist is hosting the event from 9 a.m. to noon April 17 at the church, at 208 Cassidy Ave., Fredonia. For more information, contact organizers through Fredonia Farmers Market page on Facebook or What’s Happening in Fredonia, Kentucky, Facebook page.

Visit www.daretodreamsoaps for product information.

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