News / Economy

Make-Your-Own Soap Entrepreneurs Clean Up

Make-Your-Own Soap Entrepreneurs Clean Upi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Faiza Elmasry
November 05, 2012 6:42 PM
Soap is a product that people need and use virtually every day. A ready market like that has inspired some entrepreneurs to make soap at home and sell it locally. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
Make-Your-Own Soap Entrepreneurs Clean Up
Faiza Elmasry
Soap is a product people need and use virtually every day. A ready market like that has inspired some entrepreneurs to make soap at home and sell it locally.  

Some of these handmade soaps can be found at Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Maryland. They include little soaps for children, shaped like watermelon slices, cupcakes, ducks and building blocks.

“Each soap comes with a little prize," Dancing Bear’s Joanna Rizzo says. "And the kids want to get the prize out of their soap, so they'll wash and they'll wash and they'll wash until they get that Lego out, or whatever it is that's in that soap.”

Rizzo says the soaps from the SoapPrizes company are popular with her customers, who become even more interested when they learn the products are made locally.

“We'll always tell them they're started by this wonderful girl named Julia,” she says.

That's Julia Schillaci, a seven year old who wanted to start her own business.
SoapPrizes handmade soaps on display at Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Maryland. (VOA/A. Greenbaum)SoapPrizes handmade soaps on display at Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Maryland. (VOA/A. Greenbaum)
x
SoapPrizes handmade soaps on display at Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Maryland. (VOA/A. Greenbaum)
SoapPrizes handmade soaps on display at Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts in Frederick, Maryland. (VOA/A. Greenbaum)

“I just wanted to see how it was like," says Julia, who makes the soaps with her mother. "I also wanted to get ready for when I really have a real company, when I’m a grown-up. I do like when we get to take the soaps out of the molds and see how they look. The best part is if the soap doesn’t look the best, you melt it down and make it again.”

Beth Schillaci founded SoapPrizes with her daughter last year. The marketing expert saw it as an educational opportunity for Julia.

“Business isn’t easy. There's not always sales coming in," Schillaci says. "How do we get more sales? How do we introduce more products to keep it interesting? She’s learning about money, as well. We can’t spend money we don’t have. We can try this new mold, but we need to sell this much more to do that.”

It has been a learning process for mother as well as daughter.

“A lot of trial and error," Schillaci says. "We had a lot of soap around the house to use that wasn’t ready to be sold. So it took a while to get the product the way we wanted to.”

Schillaci says their goal is to constantly improve the product, making them as natural and organic as possible.

Making an all-natural soap bar is what inspired army veteran Ken Stopinski, 48, to start Alexandria Soap Works two years ago.

“I started researching a little bit more about how do you make real soaps," he says. "And I've come to find out real soaps are made with natural oils. So I did a little bit of testing and after maybe six months or so, I had a formula that I perfected.”

Stopinski’s formula includes water, sodium hydroxide and three types of oil: coconut, palm and olive.

“Each one of those three oils have different textures," Stopinski says. "Some have cleansing properties, some have conditioning properties. Some have actually properties that harden the bar, which are good.”

After mixing the ingredients, Stopinski pours the blend into a wooden mold.

“Then it’s wrapped up and it sits maybe overnight," he says. "Then, the next morning, I take it out and let it cool down for maybe 30 minutes before I can cut it.”

He cuts one large block of soap into 22 bars, and sets them aside for two months.

“You’re waiting for the water to evaporate," he explains. "That makes the bar a very nice, hard bar.”

At first, Stopinski gave his soaps as gifts to friends and acquaintances who urged him to start selling them.

With a passion for their product and a head for business, small soapmakers are cleaning up.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8143
JPY
USD
119.23
GBP
USD
0.6390
CAD
USD
1.1596
INR
USD
63.304

Rates may not be current.