PeopleFund: The “Economic Gardeners” of Texas

As part of our mission at Soap Hope, we invest 100% of our profits into programs that support and empower women around the world. One of those programs is PeopleFund, which was founded here in Texas in 1994.

The state of Texas has long been lauded as one of the best states to start a small business. With low taxes, low cost of living, and a high job growth rate, it’s an ideal environment for entrepreneurs to thrive.

But the resources that might be available to Texans aren’t always accessible to everyone who want to start a business.

Enter PeopleFund, a microlending program and business assistance nonprofit that provides small business loans to those with limited access to resources.

The PeopleFund Mission

Since being  founded in 1994 in Austin, Texas, the financial and educational assistance PeopleFund provides “has helped create thousands of jobs and empowered an even greater number of Texans on a path to financial stability and independence.”

PeopleFund not only issues small business loans to the underserved, but also offers business education and a host of workshops and programs to support the entrepreneurs that are participating.

According to their mission, the goal of PeopleFund ” is to give people the opportunity to turn their talents into a sustainable livelihood and achieve financial stability for themselves and their families.”

Andrea’s Story

Andrea Thomas is a savvy and resourceful business owner, here in Dallas, Texas. Her background as an architect — full of long hours and high demand — was preparation for an even more intense vocation: being a mother.

Andrea PeopleFundAndrea is a devoted parent, and when her daughter developed eczema, she knew she had to do something about it — and that’s how ScratchMeNots was born.

ScratchMeNots are designed to be worn as a cardigan, and were originally created to prevent children from scratching themselves. The clothing is also made from certified organic cotton and bamboo, for kiddos with sensitive skin.

When Andrea realized she needed capital to help grow her business, she turned to PeopleFund.

The financing that Andrea received allowed her to not only invest in more inventory, but she was able to respond her immediate customer demand, so that ScratchMeNots could meet its projected goals.

“PeopleFund has helped us gift parents with peace and their children with relief,” says Andrea.

And we’re thrilled here at Soap Hope to work with PeopleFund so that we can tackle widespread issues and continue empowering women — at home and abroad.
To learn more about PeopleFund, visit their website.

Check out Soap Hope’s mission and how we’re changing the world, one bar of soap at a time.

 

Demystifying Our Dimpled Skin: Natural Cellulite Remedies

The first mention of cellulite in the United States was in the April issue of Vogue magazine in 1968.

Since then, there have been years of debate around what cellulite is, why it occurs, and who experiences the skin condition.

Cellulite is said to affect 80-90% of post-adolescent females. In fact, the condition is so common that the prevailing mindset is that cellulite is the “normal condition of many women.”

Cellulite is a less common skin condition in men, but it is found more commonly in males with androgen deficiencies.

So what is cellulite?

Cellulite, also known as adiposis edemetosa (or “orange peel syndrome”), is the dimpled appearance of skin, usually found on the pelvic region and lower limbs.

Cellulite is what happens when fat cells push against the skin, through our connective tissue (the stuff that keeps our skin and muscle attached). What results is the bumpy, uneven skin surface that so many of us fret over.

Treatment of cellulite

The treatment and prevention of cellulite is also hotly contested. While there is no known “cure” for the condition, there are some ways to improve the appearance of your skin (that don’t involve surgery or harmful chemicals).

Addressing the cause of cellulite seems to make the most sense, but there are several factors can contribute to developing the condition: hormone imbalances, excess body fat, genetics, stress, etc.

As with any skin treatment, we’ll always suggest feeding your body first with the nutrients that you need. Getting enough sleep, managing stress, and building good habits will help address some of the causes of cellulite — and they’re going to improve other aspects of your health, too.

Dry skin brushing

Consider this a lymphatic system makeover. Not only does dry brushing improve the overall appearance of skin by exfoliating and stimulating it, but it helps with blood flow and promotes cell renewal.

A daily dry brushing before your shower is an easy and highly recommended practice — incorporating this into your normal regimen is said to provide near immediate results for healthier, happier skin.

Coffee scrubs

Coffee and Sugar Detox Scrub
Pacifica’s Kona Coffee  and Sugar Detox Scrub invigorates tired skin and smells amazing!

Caffeine naturally stimulates the skin and has a tightening effect on it. Using a scrub several times a week along with your normal skin care routine will help to promote healthier skin — some studies suggest results in a couple of weeks.

Detox and Moisturize

Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Soap
Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Soap

Our fat cells are great at storing all sorts of things — energy, hormones, and especially toxins.

There are a few methods to help remove toxins (diet can help immensely here, too), including massage and a skin care regimen that includes the topical application of natural moisturizers.

One of our favorite methods of detoxing is through the use of seaweed. Natural seaweed is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and nourishing amino acids.

Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Cream
Seaweed Bath Company Detox Cellulite Cream

Seaweed is also a great weapon against toxins, because of its impressive ability to bind to harmful elements and safely remove them.

A Final Note

In the unending battle against imperfections and aging, it’s especially important to accept our bodies while we work on nurturing them. The methods we’ve suggested will not only help the appearance of dimpled skin, but also serve overall health and well-being.

 

 

Our Plastic Bottle Addiction

The use of plastic today is both prevalent and highly profitable.

In 2000, Americans drank 23 gallons of bottled water (per person) annually.

In 2014, that number significantly increased to 34 gallons per person. That’s 10.7 billion gallons of plastic bottled water in a year.

The Plastic Industry

“The single most important factor in the growth of bottled water is heightened consumer demand for healthier refreshment,” Gary A. Hemphill, managing director for Beverage Marketing Corporation, said recently .

“Convenience of the packaging and aggressive pricing have been contributing factors,” he noted.

And recycling these plastic bottles, which only 31% of people actually do, doesn’t necessarily mean they get turned back into plastic bottles. They usually get turned into textiles, like clothing.

And when synthetic clothing is washed, those microplastics just wind up back in our water.

The Solution

Many Americans are aware of the amount of waste that comes from plastic bottles and the other negative implications caused by the industry.

But John Stewart of Corporate Accountability International points out the battle that’s ahead when it comes to fighting the system in place.

“Cities are so desperate that they don’t think about long-term implications of job cuts, rate hikes, loss of control over the quality of the water and any kind of accountability when it comes to how the system is managed,” says Stewart.

“We need to turn all eyes to our public water systems and aging infrastructure,” he says, “and our public services in general that are threatened by privatization.”

Access to clean water is, thankfully, something that a majority of Americans have.

We also have the option of better, more sustainable choices.

Steps in the Right Direction

At the 2010 Conference of Mayors, 72 percent of mayors said they have considered “eliminating or reducing bottled water purchases within city facilities,” with several mayors indicating bans already being in place.

Earlier in 2015, San Francisco passed a law that bans the sale of bottled water on city property.

Companies like Klean Kanteen are also doing their part and adding to the conversation by offering more sustainable solutions to consumers.

“At Klean Kanteen, our commitment to you and the planet drives everything we do,” states their website. “From our stainless steel creations to the company we keep, we are firmly fixed on the task of making healthy, high-quality goods that will faithfully replace a lifetime of single-use items. Our hope is that you will go forth and re-use our products for years and even decades to come. One cup, bottle, and container at a time adds up… to big results.”

We’re thrilled to offer Klean Kanteen’s entire line of durable, BPA-free, high quality bottles here at Soap Hope. Here are some of our favorite items!

 

 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Eating for Healthier Skin: The Importance of Nutrition in Skin Care

When focusing on a healthy skin care regimen, it’s easy to get lost in all of the options that are out there — soaps, washes, toners, creams, butters. While what we put on the outside of our bodies is important, it’s just as crucial for us to be mindful of what we’re doing for our insides, too!

If you’ll remember our earlier post about the microbiome, you’ll remember that balancing our internal flora with healthy, whole foods will also help to improve the condition of our skin.

Instead of turning to harsh chemical peels or drastically changing your routine, start thinking holistically about caring for your skin. Giving our bodies the nutritional resources it needs to function will produce longer lasting results.

Wondering what foods your skin craves most?

1. Good fats

Not all fats are bad, and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are going to help strengthen your cell membranes and provide all sorts of other benefits. “[Omega-3 fats] provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation,” reports a study from Harvard.

You can take fish oil supplements or find omega-3 fats in some of your favorite fish, like salmon and mackerel.

2. Prebiotics and probiotics

YFdIoUsRJCAehcoUnQaS_StrawI imagine you’ve heard all about probiotics — good bacteria that ultimately make our digestive system a happier place.

Prebiotics are what probiotics needs to stay alive. “When combined with probiotics, the two become symbiotic; rich with both live bacteria and the food they need to thrive.

You can get both pre- and probiotics  from foods like kefir and yogurt.

3. VEGGIES!

Vegetables, especially leafy greens, are your best friend. Not just for your skin, but for other bodily functions as well. Foods like broccoli and spinach contain lipoic acid, which is apparently some kind of miracle compound.

Researchers announced they have identified the mechanism of action of lipoic acid, a remarkable compound that in animal experiments appears to slow down the process of aging, improve blood flow, enhance immune function and perform many other functions.”

4. Anything with antioxidants

foodAntioxidants prevent the oxidation of molecules, and that’s important because oxidation means cell damage.

If you’re looking for antioxidants, you’re best bet is BERRIES. Cranberries, blueberries, strawberries — they all pack a hearty antioxidant punch.

So the next time you’re battling a breakout or skin irritation, start looking not just at what you’re doing to cleanse or moisturize your skin, but what you’re feeding it on the inside.

IN THE NEWS: Triclosan found “no more effective” an ingredient for killing bacteria than regular soap

Recently, the Oxford Journals published research on the effectiveness of antibacterial soap versus other “normal” soaps.

“Antibacterial soap containing Triclosan (0.3%) was no more effective than plain soap at reducing bacterial contamination when used under ‘real-life’ conditions,” according to the research completed by Korea University.

What this means: products (soaps, body wash, dish liquid, etc.) containing Triclosan aren’t any better than regular old soap at killing germs.

In fact, because Triclosan is antibacterial, this means it doesn’t discriminate against what kind of bacteria that it kills. So all of those good, healthy bacteria that live naturally on our skin are being killed off, too.

Not only that, Triclosan has been linked to “hormone disrupting effects, bacterial and antibiotic resistance, and impacts on aquatic organisms.”

“[W]idespread use of Triclosan and other antibacterial compounds result in contamination of the nation’s waterways,” with Triclosan being the “most prevalent contaminant” remaining in our waterways, despite being treated by wastewater treatment plants.

Earlier this year, the European Union made a decision to ban triclosan in any hygienic products. According to the European Chemicals Agency, “[N]o safe use could be demonstrated for the proposed use of Triclosan.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that “75% of the U.S. population contain triclosan in their bodies. Triclosan enters the food chain through use of contaminated water or fertilizer on agricultural crops.”

Luckily, you can rest assured that none of our Soap Hope products contain Triclosan or other harmful ingredients — and we disclose information on all of the ingredients that are in the products we sell.

It’s our hope that changes will continue to be made in the way antibacterial products are advertised to customers, and that harmful chemicals like triclosan will be banned entirely.

Breathe Deep: How Breathing More Effectively Can Make You Happier

“Breathing easily and fully is one of the basic pleasures of being alive.” (Alexander Lowen)

Breathing is one of our most basic bodily functions, but despite the fact that we’ve been doing it for as long as we’ve been alive, it’s quite possible that we’re doing it all wrong.

THE SCIENCE

Breathing is one of the few processes that we can control both consciously and unconsciously. It’s the only process that both delivers oxygen to our body and removes carbon dioxide.

Our breath is controlled by specialized centers in the brainstem, which regulates it according to our body’s needs. If we’re sleeping, for instance, our levels of carbon dioxide are lower, which doesn’t necessitate a higher frequency of breathing.

swimmingWe can also actively and consciously control our breath, and if you’re into running or yoga or meditation, this might be something you’re well aware of, having to regulate your breath along with your activity.

HOW YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG

If we’re not breathing properly, this robs our bodies of the oxygen that we need — which can lead to a number of other health problems, including higher blood pressure and weak muscles.

If you’ve ever watched an infant sleep, you’ll see their tummy rise and fall — not just their chest. We’re born knowing how to breathe correctly, but (like everything else) stress and anxiety take their toll on us, especially our breathing.

When we’re anxious, our bodies are in “fight or flight” mode, resulting in shorter breaths and overall tension.

If we’re in a constant state of stress, we’re essentially hyperventilating, and aren’t even using our lungs to their fullest extent. “This leads to a poor exchange of oxygen and CO2 in the bloodstream, depriving our bodies of both vital gases.”

BENEFITS OF BREATHING PROPERLY

Luckily, we’re able to make some small improvements that can make a big impact on our health — relieve stress, increase the delivery rate of oxygen to our body, and help our digestive and lymphatic systems.

By controlling the rhythm of our inhale and exhale, and by taking measured, relaxing breaths, we’re sending a message to the rest of our body. We’re no longer in “fight or flight” mode — we’re telling our muscles to ease up, our heart rate to become steady. All good things.

BREATHING TIPS THAT YOU CAN USE RIGHT NOW

Make a note to check in on your breathing throughout the day — set an alarm if that helps. Are you taking short breaths? Are they shallow? Are you breathing in a rhythmic, relaxed way, through your nose?

Being aware of your breath will help you assess where you might need improvement.

Find a space and time where you can focus on your breathing, and take the following steps. (Note: don’t try too hard. This isn’t about perfection.)

  1. Start by sitting up straight, or you can lie down — the goal is to leave your diaphragm room to move, since that’s the muscle that we engage when we’re inhaling and exhaling. You should be comfortable and settled in your position.
  2. Breathe through your nose. If you’re congested, try a nasal cleanse so that you can breathe more easily.
  3. Focus on your breath and its rhythm. Breathe deeply, and think about filling your lungs. If it helps, place a hand on your belly, which should move gently up and down.
  4. Extend your exhale (this one helps me the most). Your inhale should be about 3 seconds long, and your exhale should be about 4 seconds. Again, perfection here is not the point. You want to regulate your breathing, but it’s not boot camp.
  5. Take note of what’s going on in the rest of your body. You should be relaxed and comfortable, and each breath should ease you further into relaxation.
  6. Try to clear your head, just focusing on your breathe. Our thoughts might drift towards the stresses of the day — let them come and go. Go back to your breathing, focus on filling your lungs, and getting all of that lovely oxygen to your body.

Sometimes I’m just too distracted or scattered to slow down enough for breathing exercises. There are a TON of resources and videos out there that can help guide you through your breathing. I find that listening to a meditation (or even a song I really enjoy) forces me to get lost in something else other than my own anxiety.

Ultimately, the goal here is to be aware — of how tense we are, where we’re carrying our stress, and finding ways to slow all of that down and relax (even just for 5-10 minutes a day).

How often do you take time to breathe?

 

Take 5-10 minutes to breathe, and enhance your experience with a few of our aromatherapy products at Soap Hope!

 

Milaap: Connecting People Through the Giving Experience

While the issues of poverty and lack of education around the world are still daunting, we’re grateful here at Soap Hope to partner with organizations like Milaap, who are addressing these problems with innovative new platforms and technology.

Milaap: Creating Connection through Technology

Milaap means “connecting people” in Hindi, and was founded by three entrepreneurs in 2010 — friends with a single vision “to change people’s concept of giving and make it a personal, transparent, and sustainable process.”

The Milaap microlending program is unique in its implementation of a technology platform that allows for people to lend money to a number of people in need.

Lenders are able to choose from a list of borrowers, based on their needs and loan requirements. The eligible borrowers are selected by Milaap’s field partners, who are “established organizations that have a strong presence at the grassroots [level], a deep understanding of their communities and challenges, and a commitment to serve their needs.”

The borrowers receive 100% of the funds, and lenders are able to track the process of the loan through the Milaap platform, where the stories and progress of the borrowers can be shared with a larger audience.

Usha’s Story

IMG_1949_1438344515

Usha is one of the borrowers who has benefited from Milaap’s giving platform and your Soap Hope purchases.

Usha is 28 years old and leads Samanvaya SHG, a company that produces natural home décor products. Samanvaya has been up and running for the last 8 years, and regular production activities have helped its members to support themselves and save for the future. Usha was able to purchase a small facility in her hometown from her savings.

There are other women who want to join Samanvaya SHG, but Usha needed adequate machinery and infrastructure to accommodate more women, which is why she applied for a loan from the Milaap program.

Supporting Usha will allow her to grow Samanvaya and empower more women in her community to support their families and save for brighter futures.

Creating a Wider Impact

By partnering with innovative organizations like Milaap, Soap Hope is able to create a wider impact with our profits. We believe that businesses everywhere can create this kind of change in the world, but only through the hard work and creativity of companies like Milaap that share this vision.

 

//Photography credit: Milaap

Why your morning routine matters

Over the last few months, I’ve posted about all of the wonderful things we’re doing at Soap Hope — the ingredients we love, the organizations we work with, the team here at Soap Hope.

Fair warning — this post is going to get a little more personal!

Like everyone else, I’m starting to notice the effects of careless choices about my health. Stress hasn’t helped, either, and I’ve had to address some of these issues (insomnia, headaches, etc.) just so that I can function like less of a zombie.

I started seeing an Ayurvedic nutritionist, to discuss my overall health and the choices I’d been making, especially when it comes to eating.

I could write about twenty blogs on Ayurvedic therapy and its holistic approach to health, but today we’ll just focus on one of the aspects of the practice that has made the biggest difference for me already: a morning routine.

My Morning Routine

This last year has been kind of a whirlwind for me — without going into a ton of detail, I found that I’d been burning out. A lot.

Looking at the kind of schedule I’d been keeping, it seems SO OBVIOUS that I’d gotten beyond the point of stressed and scattered, and started to venture into some concerning levels of anxiety.

I knew I needed to work on something, and when I looked at how I was starting my day — forcing myself out of bed, skipping breakfast, rushing into the office and jumping into whatever I had going on — I realized I might start by taking back my mornings for myself.

So when I talked with the nutritionist, I was excited — she didn’t just tell me what kinds of things I needed to eat, but also brought up the importance of a morning routine.

Starting the Day Off Right

From the Ayurvedic Institute:

“A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”

The Institute suggests several habits to adapt when building your morning routine — everything from exercise to water consumption to self massage.

As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, it was a struggle not to adopt ALL of the suggested activities. My therapist suggested working on just a handful of things, so that I’d make my routine something that works for me.

So every morning, I wake somewhere between 6 and 7 AM. I get up and take my dog out, and then I go for at least a mile-long walk.

IMG_6580
Me, on my morning walk.

My morning walk has proven to be such a fulfilling part of my day. I’m getting up and moving, I’m connecting with myself and clearing my brain before I jump into things. I’ve really gotten to enjoy this particular part of my routine.

When I get back home, I drink a glass of water with lemon. It’s refreshing, it’s good for my kidneys, and I like to think it helps wake up my insides.

bgr0045.t1
I use this lovely Sweet Orange massage oil from Badger Balm.

Then I shower, and afterwards, I use a body oil and take the time to give myself a massage. It stimulates my skin and muscles, and it’s another great way to practice self-care.

I go about getting ready, and make sure to sit down and eat my breakfast, instead of just picking it up at a drive-thru or skipping it altogether.

Daily Self-Care and Long-Term Benefits

Stress isn’t just an inconvenience or something that keeps us awake at night. Chronic stress can lead to a number of diseases, weakens the immune system, and can take years off of your life.

According to the APA: “Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but may also protect your health long-term. In one study, researchers examined the association between “positive affect” — feelings like happiness, joy, contentment and enthusiasm — and the development of coronary heart disease over a decade. They found that for every one-point increase in positive affect on a five-point scale, the rate of heart disease dropped by 22 percent.”

By taking the time in my morning to care for and nourish myself, I’m setting the tone for my day. that time for myself is important, and so is my own health and happiness.

Do you have a daily routine? What are some ways that you start your morning off?

Brands We Love: Pangea Organics

Any brand or product we carry at Soap Hope is one that we’ve tested and believe in. The people behind those brands are just as passionate as we are about their products, and it’s always a pleasure to work with individuals and companies that are so conscientious and committed.

Joshua Scott Onysko founded Pangea Organics in 2000. He started the company with a dedication to creating organic skin care products that are nourishing and effective.

Pangea Organic’s message is clear — everything the company makes is natural and ethically sourced, out of a reverence for our planet and commitment to living mindfully.

“Every decision we make affects the greater good,” says Joshua. “When we live with that in mind, life is more fulfilling, more authentic.”

From the ingredients that are hand-picked for Pangea’s products to the company’s mission of creating a more sustainable future, Pangea is dedicated to creating inspiring experiences for its customers.

A Born Explorer

Joshua grew up in the Northeast, and was certainly not your typical teen.

“I didn’t fit in at school, didn’t do very well in my classes, except for art. At 16, I talked to my parents, and left in a VW bus to travel and explore the world. I wanted to experience different cultures,” he explains.

Joshua spent several years traveling, discovering new traditions and exploring other countries. Those experiences and the people that he encountered during his travels inspired the launch of Pangea Organics.

The Pangea Vision

Joshua had been committed to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle before the idea for Pangea came about, and has adhered to his original vision for the company: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.

Pangea Organics prides itself on using only organic and nutrient-rich foods in their skin care products.

joshuacranberries

“We spend months discovering the world’s most effective, nourishing ingredients to create the best skincare products available,” says Joshua.

The Pangea Skin Care Line

We’re thrilled to be able to offer Pangea Organics here at Soap Hope. Joshua’s commitment to finding the most effective and sustainably-sourced ingredients and creating a premium skin care line means we’re able to offer our Soap Hope customers some the best products out there.

With a focus on improving and maintaining healthy skin, Pangea Organics’ products help to defend our largest organ against free radicals, support collagen retention and hydration, and nourish aging skin with nutrients found around the world.

It’s that kind of dedication and commitment to sustainable practices and natural skin care that makes us proud to carry Pangea Organics. Check out some of our favorite products below!

 

The Soap Hope Team: Meet Kyle

About three months ago, I started working at Soap Hope. And that’s where I met Kyle Lukianuk.

Kyle falls into the category of what market researchers are calling “Millennials.” The specifics of what age group makes up this demographic has been debated, but it’s suggested that anyone born between 1980 and 1995 might possess Millennial-type traits. Especially when it comes to work habits and career choices.

Millennials are often determined to be driven and passionate — as long as they actually care about the end goal and reason behind what they’re doing.

Meeting Kyle and working with him has been nothing short of wonderful. He’s passionate and charming, and we joke that he’s the most photogenic of the Soap Hope team.

And I think you should meet him.

————–

Kyle was born in Michigan, and grew up in a tight knit family. He moved around a bit as a kid, after his dad ended his career as an international lawyer and went into a career in Christian school administration.

“I was in highschool when he made the change, and it made an impression on me – he started pursuing something he was passionate about,” says Kyle.

Kyle also made a shift, of sorts. He became more outgoing, and got more involved in school and sports (especially basketball). His dad was principal (for a period of time) at the highschool he attended before he moved to Chicago after his sophomore year, and they grew surprisingly closer.

When it came time to pick colleges, Kyle decided on Southern Methodist University here in Dallas. He had family here, fell in love with SMU’s campus, and he was accepted into the Business Scholar program.

Kyle studied Finance and was able to land an internship with a private trading firm on the Chicago Board of Trade.

“That’s what I thought I’d end up doing, working as a trader on the Board of Trade. It was challenging, and there was plenty of opportunity to reap financial rewards,” he says.

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Kyle, on his recent travels in Iceland

He enjoyed the competitive atmosphere – the work was intense and the lifestyles of his coworkers matched that intensity.

Then Kyle got the opportunity to live abroad during his junior year, and it was this opportunity that would influence a pretty drastic change in course for his career path.

“I witnessed first-hand the issues that exist in communities around the world: poverty, human trafficking – the kinds of issues that force people into cycles they get stuck in,” he explain.

That’s when he realized he didn’t want turn the internship with the Board of Trade into a full-time job.

“I didn’t want to turn into the kind of person that I saw in that work environment,” Kyle explains.

After turning down the position, he started to go through what he calls his “quarter life crisis.”

He accepted a position with Bank of America after graduation, but continued to feel that same discontent.

“I really wanted to start something that would make a difference, that actually mattered to me, and that might impact other people,” he explains.

Kyle started volunteering with different programs locally, and through that involvement he met Salah Boukadoum (cofounder of Soap Hope).

“I brought an idea to him about microfinancing, and after talking with him for a bit, he sort of tore the idea apart,” Kyle laughs.

But they kept talking, and started to discuss the Good Returns model. Yes, that’s the same model Soap Hope uses to send all of our profits to make an impact on women around the world.

Kyle spent a year and a half volunteering with Salah – they wrote an academic paper on the Good Returns model – when eventually Salah brought Kyle on full time to further develop the model and build partnerships.

Kyle manages Operations here at Soap Hope, ensuring that our day-to-day processes run smoothly and keeping our customers happy.

He wears a lot of hats here at Soap Hope, and working with him keeps me on my toes. Always insightful and generous, Kyle doesn’t hesitate to extend help where he can.

Before he left for college, Kyle’s dad told him two things: always invest in people, and that he hoped Kyle would find his calling and passion in life before he did.

“You only get one chance to live your life, and I’m swinging for the fences,” says Kyle.

I’m sure Kyle’s dad is very proud.

——-

Fun Kyle Facts:

soap hope favoritesFavorite place he’s traveled: “Iceland, China, Cinqueterra, and Prague were all amazing.”
Favorite beer: Peticolas Velvet Hammer
Favorite animal: dog
Favorite concert: Ben Howard
Favorite Soap Hope product: A Wild Soap Bar’s Timber and Coal