Teaching Soapmaking to Girls Inc.
This week, I had a unique opportunity to share my passion for soap making with a 4th grade Girls Inc. entrepreneurial class at the George Washington Elementary School in Kingston, NY. It was an extremely rainy day outside, but inside our classroom, the Girls Inc. group had a blast learning about something they may never have even considered before: handmade soap making!
Girls Inc. is an incredible organization dedicated to girls’ empowerment, with chapters in many urban communities around the country. Girls Inc. “delivers life-changing experiences & programs that help young girls overcome serious barriers to grow up strong, smart & bold.”
These girls, typically facing tough economic, gender or race inequities, spend one class period a week and extracurricular time, learning the ins and outs of running their own business & demonstrating what it means to appreciate their self-esteem. As a group, they develop a business name, logo, product to sell & engage in the many aspects that go along with being in business. Overall, this is a group of extraordinary, explorative female students who love to have fun and learn new things.
For me, it was a chance to boil down the complexities of soap making to its most basic “fun” parts. Color, scents, decorative botanicals, and the satisfaction of creating something you can use & enjoy. We talked about the difference between handcrafted & conventional soaps, and the benefits of using handmade soap. Seeing the smiles light up the faces of these students expanded my heart and my idea of the positive effects on youth I can have through my business.
The girls poured their own soaps, decorated them and then created ‘wraparound’ labels for their soap bars.
As part of Heart & Arrow’s mission to empower women & girls around the world, I look forward to teaching more classes like this and finding ways to contribute my soap making passion to the community. I think this is a direction that will end up being a big and rewarding part of Heart & Arrow’s future.