Selling soap for shelter


An earlier version of this story said Nature's Formulae donated 4,600 bars of soap to Inn from the Cold. 

In reality, Nature's Formulae donated approximately 1,200 bars of soap that were not for resale and were for use at Inn from the Cold, or to give away.

About another 4,500 bars of soap were sold to the shelter at a reduced price for the purpose of resale. 

A student business group from Okanagan College is selling soap to raise funds for the Inn from the Cold shelter in Kelowna.

Enactus is a non-profit student organization that works on sustainable solutions for problems around the community.

When Nature's Formulae Health products donated 4,600 bars of soap to Inn from the Cold, Kyleen Myrah, an Enactus faculty advisor who also sits on the board for Inn from the Cold, saw an opportunity to get the students involved.

"We came up with the idea to start a social enterprise and we got brain storming," said Enactus Kelowna vice president Stephanie Baziuk. "Since then we've done all the marketing and packaging and really kind of transformed it." 

The bars are seconds that Nature's Formula wouldn't sell in stores. There are only minor issues with the bars such as irregular grain in the soap - otherwise it's perfectly functional and made from natural products.

"Rather than have it go to waste, we're repackaging them, repurposing them and selling them to raise money for Inn from the Cold," Baziuk said.  

The Enactus team in collaboration with Inn from the Cold rebranded the soap under the name InnSpire and hope the bars are just the beginning of a sustainable business.

Baziuk said they're looking at furniture made from pallets next as a way to get Inn from the Cold users involved in creating something they can sell. 

On Saturday afternoon the group had a little over 400 bars of soap for sale. By 1 p.m. Baziuk estimated they had sold about half of their product. 

"We're really happy and proud to be a part of this," Baziuk said.

They will be posted up at the first annual Christmas market at KLO Middle School on KLO Road until 3 p.m. Saturday. They are also at Touch of Christmas Fair at New Life Church Saturday.

They are also selling soap Tuesday and Thursday at Okanagan College, Dec 7 at the Christmas Shop and Swap at the Laurel Building, and at Save on Foods at Orchard Plaza Sunday Nov. 30 and Dec. 14.


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