SOAPBOX™ BRAND VERY MUCH OUTSIDE THE BOX
Beauty is much, much more than skin deep at Soapbox, our newest personal care brand partner. Soapbox is built on a virtuous and sincere foundation and their safe, natural products are just the tip of their purposeful iceburg. So rare are companies that talk the talk and walk the walk, but walking seems like an understatement for Soapbox. They are RUNNING at all the right things and for all the right reasons. Delta Hotels by Marriott™ sent a clear message about their sustainability vision by partnering with Soapbox to create a one-of-a-kind amenity program.
The exclusive amenity collection
Delta Hotels have been paying close attention to their guests’ evolving needs and have responded to increasing desires for transparency, memorable experiences and purpose by putting Soapbox amenities in each room. Guests can lather up confidently knowing their skin won’t be absorbing any harmful ingredients AND that a donation is being made in correlation. Soapbox created the unique label system “Hope Code,” SOAP = HOPE, which can be found on each and every product that bears their name. Their promise is straightforward: one retail product purchased equals one bar of soap donated and, through the power of the internet, you can see exactly where the “sister product” ended up. And in true Soapbox form, they wanted to apply this to their amenity program, as well. Every Soapbox Amenity Room Set equals one donation that you can trace through their website. This feature helps guests foster a connection with their cause, gives much desired transparency to philanthropic efforts, and leaves guests feeling confident in Delta Hotels, as well. This Soapbox + Delta Hotels partnership will donate 1.4 million bars of soap this year alone.
Soapbox’s beautiful packaging design translates perfectly to an amenity collection and what is on the inside of the bottles and wrappers is as pretty as the packaging. Gentle formulations and subtle scents developed with care are made from natural ingredients and guaranteed free of EDTA, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, paraffin, diethanolamine, and mineral oils. Instead of all the aforementioned yuck, Soapbox amenities are formulated with argan oil which contains nutritive omega-9 and vitamin E which will promote healthier skin and hair.
A winning combination
I was quickly hooked on their retail products. Both the Argan Oil line and Sea Minerals & Blue Iris line check all the boxes and then some. Ingredients are the most important aspect of any product I bring into my home, especially since I have little ones running around, so having Soapbox products in the shower and near the tub is a no-worries situation. The fragrances are spot on – uplifting without being overwhelming and I imagine have a wide appeal. My toddler was actually ASKING to wash his hands with the hand soap because he liked the smell so much. My hair and skin felt great after multiple applications. Finding products that work AND are safe always feels like such a win! I also headed on over to their website and typed in the Hope Code that was printed on the backside of the body wash label and learned that the correlating donation was through the HEEALS (Health Education Environment and Livelihood Society) in India that is working with public schools to bring hygiene items and training to areas effected by poor sanitation facilities. Better hygiene means healthier kiddos which means less school absences. And to think this is just one of many partners – what an impact!
Middleman of empowerment
While getting to know Soapbox and its impassioned creators, the term “empowerment middleman” entered my mind. This company is empowering underserved communities both in the US and around the globe while simultaneously empowering customers to make better choices by understanding the impact of their actions. This is huge. And as more and more individuals choose to make a difference by “voting with their wallets” Soapbox is a no-brainer. Over 3 million lives have been impacted by Soapbox soap purchases to date! In addition to the Hope Code initiative, they invest in hygiene education and fund sanitation efforts to provide tools for communities to improve overall health. But it is something that is missing from their approach that makes it all the more admirable: a savior complex. They have worked hard to develop a sustainable giving model that ensures the empowerment of people in these communities they serve by giving the gift of a long-term solution in the form of knowledge, tools, and resources.
It seems to me that Soapbox is a beacon in the personal care industry shining a light to help guide others in the right direction. For even more inspiration and insight, take a minute to read the below Q&A I was able to have with David Simnick, CEO and Co-founder of Soapbox.
Q: Congratulations on the beautiful Delta Hotels amenity program! Are you prepared for a flood of new fans? We are so excited for the reach this partnership has because it will make a huge impact on the number of donations we’re able to do together! We can’t wait for travelers to experience our thoughtfully crafted line and to fall in love with our products and our mission that they make possible.
Q: What was the first spark for the Soapbox concept? What was your core strategy for putting together such a unique (and stellar) model? The idea of Soapbox was sparked while Dave, CEO & Co-founder of Soapbox, was working as a sub-contractor with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While the clean water initiatives were great, he saw a gap. Clean water was being provided but soap and hygiene lessons were not. Dave started Soapbox with his best friend in 2010, making the first batch of soap in his college kitchen.
Q: What are your “non-negotiables” when it comes to your brand? Non-negotiables has to be anything that compromises the soul of our brand, which is our mission and providing quality products to consumers. Soapbox’s foundation is the mission it serves and that’s done by providing fantastic hair and personal care items to consumers who then join us in donating soap and fund hygiene education to those in need. Parabens, EDTA, animal testing, animal products, gluten, petrochemicals, butylparaben, propylparaben and pthalates are also strictly excluded from our products. Anything that threatens the authenticity or quality is 100% no go’s for us.
Q: Tell me about your thought process behind the product line selection for the amenity program? Our Argan line is a top seller and the hand-crafted scent is one that is fresh, spa-like and gender neutral, making it a great kit for any man or woman staying at a Delta Hotel. Morrocan argan oil is also rich in vitamin E making it fantastic for hair and skin benefits so not only will guests feel pampered with their living arrangements, but also with their washing experience.
Q: Why was Marietta the best fit to help introduce your brand to the hospitality industry? The quality, experience and expertise that Marietta has to offer made the partnership an easy decision for us. Seeing as this was our first time going into the hospitality industry, and with our new thoughtfully crafted branding, we wanted to make sure we did it right and with a company that would best represent us. Also producing our products in the USA is something we want to continue to do as we grow into other outlets.
Q: It must be so exciting to think about all the new people who will experience your brand while traveling. What are the core values that Soapbox and Delta Hotels & Resorts share that made this a great match?
The ease and simplicity without sacrificing quality. Delta Hotels by Marriott provides an impeccable stay for its visitors with an array of amenities, that focuses on “the bare maximum”. Their hotels take out the complexities that other hotels focus on to stand out and rather hone-in on the details that matter and perfecting them. Soapbox, like Delta Hotels, focuses on quality with simplicity by making it easy for consumers to be involved with a charitable brand without giving up the quality they look for in their personal and hair care. We deliver salon quality products without the salon price and offer an opportunity for consumers to be a part of an effort toward the greater good for others simply by purchasing an item that it already on their list to buy.
Q: Will you share one of your favorite aid stories (i know it will likely be hard to choose) That is a tough question. One that comes to mind is that of a woman named Madhuri that Erin Zaikis, founder of Sundara, shared with us. Madhuri currently holds the title of director of a Sundara soap workshop in Mumbai. Sundara is one of our amazing aid partners who sets up soap recycling workshops in the communities they serve. They give women employment opportunities and recycle soap that is then distributed and paired with hygiene education to those in the areas they work in.
Madhuri was a middle-aged, single woman without any traditional skill sets in search of employment to support her ill mother after the death of her father when she first joined the Sundara team. Being a single, uneducated woman from the slums of India was tough and she felt undesired, but Sundara saw so much potential in Madhuri.
“I can’t even remember the person I was before this job. This organization took a chance on me and I want to show them that it was a good choice. A job like this is a privilege. Working hard at it makes me feel good.”-Madhuri
She was offered the job and worked her way up from creating the bars of soap to managing book-keeping and training new hires. Her perseverance and determination are admirable. She’s learning new skills and has taught herself English. Most importantly she sees the value and impact she has made, and continues to make, on her local community.
“I used to think that I could only give back if I was rich, when I was older, if I had a husband…but now I know that even I can help my community in some small way. We all can do our part. I feel proud to be able to help.”-Madhuri
Stories like Madhuri’s inspire us and fuel the extra long work days that turn into work weekends. Our fans make our mission possible and our mission is making a life-changing impact on those we serve. It’s not just about soap. The impact is so much larger than that and Madhuri’s story is the perfect example of that.
Q: Message delivery around philanthropic endeavors can be tricky, any learnings you could share about how you tell your story? One word: authenticity. You must be authentic in the way you message a mission-driven company. Without authenticity, you have no credibility and no genuineness to your brand.
For more information about the brand visit soapboxsoaps.com