Meet Our Team
We are all part of the community of Good Shepherd Mission, and the Episcopal Church in Navajoland and a 501 (c)(3) non-profit entity. We began 130 years ago as a medical mission to the Navajo.
Shima's team includes:
Paula Elmore, Assistant General Manager
Office/Bookkeeper: Tonya Jesus
Brock Elmore: Inventory and Production
Annette Sam and Judy Begay - soap wrappers!
Soapmaker Apprentice: Kelli Tso
Today, we still work for the transformation and empowerment of our lives and our families, in part through business endeavors such as our soap-making. SHIMA' of Navajoland incorporates the local life medicines in our soap.
Here is a sampling of our "suppliers" who grow our blue corn and gather or dig (roots) from the nearby hills and canyons.
Rev. Deacon Leon Sampson is our farmer and grower of our Navajo Blue Corn. Here he is on the tractor, with some farming friends and the red bluffs of Bluff, Utah in the background. We use the blue corn in our blue corn soap, and soon we will be offering the ground meal for sale on the website.
WHITE CLAY, SUMAC BERRIES, PINION SAP, CLIFF ROSE, RABBITBUSH
Raina, son Matthew, and grandma (shima' ) Maggie go into
This is Ed Scott who many of you know as a national award-winning Grass Dancer. He also leads our groups on hikes and explains Navajo astronomy and herbal plants. Here, on an early morning in July, he has just gathered the fresh Navajo Tea. It is very green, which shows it was picked in the middle of the pasture, rather at road side. We will use this for our Navajo Tea and Honey soap.
Paula Elmore wears many hats in the soapmaking endeavor. Here, she is picking pinion nuts and sap from the pinion trees that grow in the hills above Fort Defiance. The sap runs in the summer, and nuts come in September and October. She gathers the nuts in a tin can the way she was taught by her mother and grandmothers.
Our premium bars are made the long, slow way (which takes a month for curing) called Cold Process. We begin with olive, coconut and eco-palm oil. These beautiful oils are delivered by overnight train from the West Coast to Gallup, New Mexico. Then we have to get them home to Fort Defiance. Our home-grown system is working well with the new addition of a rafter pulley inside the Power House.
OUR SALES REPRESENTATIVES:
Paula Elmore represents in Phoenix and parts of the southeast region of the Navajo Nation. She also is involved in every facet of soapmaking. She works in our gardens and manages our bees.