Soap Business Giving Trafficking Survivors Employment Skills
WAITE PARK -- Survivors of trafficking are enhancing their employment skills thanks to Terebinth Refuge new social enterprise business.
The Hope & Healing Store offers personal care products, such as natural soaps and deodorants, made by residents and survivors.
The business was donated to Terebinth Refuge to help grow their employment readiness program. Store Manager Melanie Ebnet says it's been amazing to see the women thriving in their roles within the business.
Some are interested in the production piece of it, some are interested in the creative piece of the business. It's very hands on as they produce it, ship it and update a website. They really learn a lot of job skills while doing it.
Ebnet says while they are still adjusting to the soap making process, they are starting to look into new products to keep up with the trends.
CeCe Terlouw is the Director of Terebinth Refuge. She says having a business as part of their program has always been a dream of hers and it's been exciting to see the women in their program seize the opportunity.
I've seen a few women who want to really learn all the aspects of the business. At first they weren't sure and now slowly they are gaining those valuable employment skills.
Proceeds from the store go back to the organization for supplies and wages. The goal is to have the business be self-sustaining within the next five years.
You can find any of the Hope and Healing store products at Gathering Grounds Coffee in Avon, local farmer's markets or online.