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SoapBox Soaps hits $1M in sales and expands product reach

SoapBox Soaps, the Alexandria-based personal care product company with a social mission, is expanding its reach and launching a second line of products. In addition to Target, DMV-area Giant, Winn-Dixie, and Hy-Vee stores, SoapBox is now offering its original products at Sam's Club and at 1,700 CVS locations across the United States. A new line, SoapBox Elements, will debut at Whole Foods, Earth Fare and other higher-end stores in June.

The company, cofounded in 2010 by David Simnick, hit $1 million in sales at the end of 2014. "People in the industry who have been doing this for decades [ask], 'How are you growing so fast?'" says Simnick. "I think …we're doing something really unique in the marketplace—there's not a lot of really interesting things happening in the soap market, believe it or not." It's a combination, Simnick says, of a great team, a social mission and an "amazing product. Everyday consumer purchases can add up to help [our aid partners]."

SoapBox's mission is to bring soap, clean water and vitamins to those in need, whether in the United States or abroad. It's a "buy one, give one model," and recently, the company has become even more transparent about donations by printing a "Hope Code" on its products. Buyers can enter the codes on SoapBox's new website (launching in June) to learn exactly where their donated product will be going.

Cici Pandol, SoapBox's director of communications, says that 66 percent of the company's soap bar donations go to U.S. locations. "We found out that food stamps and the SNAP program don't cover personal care products," she says. "And people don't bring personal care products to food banks. There is a real need in the market." SoapBox partners with Global Soap Project to create and donate the aid soap bars.

The company has also launched a fundraising program. Instead of selling chocolate bars to raise funds for schools or other groups, people can now sell soap. "When a bar of soap is purchased, an equivalent aid bar will be donated to a food bank or homeless shelter in that state," Pandol explains. "It's going to be really hyperlocal giving, and we think that it's going to do really well."

SoapBox is looking to add two people to its team of seven—a director of business development for the Elements line and a financial controller.

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
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