Beyond Soap: The Impact of Prim Goods

Author: Rachel Reardon, Staff Member

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My name is Rachel Reardon. In the last 6 months I have had the opportunity of being the Prim Goods supervisor for Primrose Teen Challenge. This means I lead the students in making the Prim Goods products. It has been quite the journey! In the beginning I learned alongside the students the process of making these goods, and we have all grown together from that point.

I remember when the “soap lady” came to teach us how to make our first product which was bar soap. This was a big task! There are many details involved in making this product. The Teen Challenge kitchen had pans of oils being heated, fragrances mixing together, and smiling Moms wearing goggles and rubber gloves. Everyone was excited to learn this new trade. Some said they were going to start a business in their home when they graduate the program. So we made our first batch of soap and then our second and third… Once this product was mastered, we began with other items such as our sugar scrub, lip balm, lotion, and liquid soap.

While some jumped right in from the beginning, some of the women did not believe in themselves or were simply not motivated to do the work. One student had no desire to work or make soap. I have seen her change into an amazing worker, and she is now our most enthusiastic soap maker (you can read her blog on our website: “A Day in the Life of Prim Goods”). Another lady simply did not believe in herself to do the meticulous details that are involved in the background of soap making. She almost gave up one day, but instead she stuck with it and finished the task. I cannot be more proud of her for accomplishing what she has. Now I see her teaching others around her.

I love the small victories, because they mean something much bigger. I love to be there when a woman   believes in herself for the first time in years or ever. These are the moments when she has the thought, “If I can do this, what else can I do?” These are the times when creativity is able to grow and come alive inside of hearts. I know that the skills the women are learning are going to carry with them into the world when they leave PHTC. That is my favorite part of the microbusiness.