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.
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:
Favorite 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