Angel investors are a well-known concept in Silicon Valley, where their deep pockets help start up cash-strapped businesses. Have you ever heard, however, of the soap angel concept?
Soapmakers are a generous bunch, as the Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild has witnessed many times over. This past week, that generosity of spirit surfaced again, when HSCG member, Scentability owner and soap angel Tricia Samundsen mobilized the soapmaking community to raise a record-breaking $1300 in 11 hours for fellow soapmaker Sonya Black.
Sonya is the owner of Luxuriously Natural Soaps, a soap, candle, and handcrafted personal care product company based out of North Carolina. She met Tricia through online networking forums for soapmakers, where she is a frequent presence. Sonya had been saving for many months to be able to attend the 2013 HSMG conference in Raleigh when a breast cancer diagnosis turned her world upside down and canceled her conference plans.
With the HSCG conference quickly selling out, Tricia was inspired to make sure that Sonya was one of this year’s participants. She kicked off her secret mission Easter Sunday, using Facebook to invite all of her soapmaking friends to a group called “Soap Sisters and Brothers Unite!” Within an hour of the first invites, Tricia had raised over half of the conference fee. Bolstered by her early success, she decided to raise not only the conference fee, but also enough money to cover Sonya’s hotel stay and an extra meal ticket, should Sonya decide to travel with company. Hundreds of soapmakers pitched in their verbal and monetary support to help send Sonya to the conference.
Ultimately, the group raised almost $2000, enough to meet all their initial goals, provide Sonya with extra spending money for the conference (gotta enter those raffles!), and purchase her an HSCG membership with insurance. Reflecting on the experience, Tricia shares “the love and sense of family and a true tight knit community was so present that night, I cried tears of joy a couple of times!!”
Says Tricia, “Sonya is such a sweet, loving and special woman. Just having her around on the FB Groups has been a treasure! Now being able to meet her in person and to be able to say I was one of many people to help her get to this year’s conference is great! I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the response I received from my idea! SOAPERS ROCK!” Truly, a story of a soap angel if we’ve ever heard one.
Thank you, Tricia and Sonya, for allowing us to share this story. We can’t wait to see you BOTH at this year’s conference!!