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Saturday, March 17, 2018

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by Tumbleweed Smith

Linda Lamka and her family moved to Pecos from Missouri three years ago. She was looking for a home for her horses.

'The area where we were was rather rocky and we were looking for flatter ground,' says Linda. 'We were getting pretty desperate, so I went to one of my chat rooms and just put the message out there that we were looking for property on an interstate highway that was good for raising horses. This one gal emailed me back and said she had property on Interstate 20 in Pecos.'

While growing up in Missouri, Linda read about Pecos Bill, cowboys and grew to love the western way of life, so the possible move to Pecos interested her.

'After about six weeks of emailing back and forth, her mailing pictures and us talking on the phone, we made a deal to buy the property. I had never seen the place in person, had never met the woman, and had never come to Pecos. We just stepped out on a leap of faith and came down.'She and her family hope to raise quality ranch horses. They have twelve horses now. When Linda isn't tending to her horses, she runs her Oak Street Gallery. It features western art and crafts, Montana Silversmith products, rustic home d'cor, books, and her special line of cosmetics and soaps, which she makes.

'Back in Missouri, my son was working for a candle shop that also had glycerin soap. I went into work part time and got intrigued by it and started finding all kinds of recipes on the Internet for lotions, gels and shampoos. I found out where I could order the ingredients and ended up with a pretty nice little business in Missouri. We weren't selling on the internet in Missouri, but we are here.'

Her line of soaps and body products started with hand milled soap and grew to include shower gels, lotions, body scrubs, face cleansers and creams and foot scrubs.

'I make the products with the West Texas climate in mind.'

She calls herself an alchemist.

'I get in my little room, put on my hat and lab coat and just start making things. If you can cook, you can make soap. It's all recipes. You can make it in a cookpot now, instead of the old kettle your grandmother used. I sometimes use the oven. I just add certain ingredients, like oatmeal, which is good for the skin. I make a line of lotions and shampoos using carrot oil. People love it. I don't need a lotion after I bathe because I use a sugar scrub while I'm washing. I have dozens of fragrances, some for men. Our mineral cosmetics are made with all natural ingredients.'

Ingredients in all her products are listed on the labels. Much of her business is conducted on the internet. Her website is www.oakstreetgallery.com.

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