I am always looking for inspiring social good enterprises to feature on my blog. This past month, I had the opportunity to speak with Jessie Yoh, Co-Founder and CEO of b.a.r.e. soaps, an all natural, socially conscious soap and candle company that helps women and children in Uganda and India. b.a.r.e. stands for “bringing antiseptic resources to everyone” and was built on the idea that something as simple as a bar of soap can effectively help prevent the spread of diseases and illnesses while improving overall health and hygiene.
b.a.r.e soaps was inspired by Jessie’s friend Clare Li’s mission trips to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Uganda where she witnessed the desperate need for basic health necessities. After every mission trip, Clare returned energized to make a difference but was never sure how. The idea behind b.a.r.e. soaps didn’t arise until August 2012 when Clare was in Uganda, and brainstormed an idea to make her own soap and use proceeds to invest in developing communities that lacked basic sanitation.
After Clare returned to the US, she pitched her good friend Jessie her idea. Jessie, a business major, hopped on board immediately. Upon further research, the pair realized that there was a problem also at home. The soap we typically buy from our local grocer or drugstore isn’t really soap. In actuality, it’s made with synthetic and artificial compounds. Thus, a two-fold mission for b.a.r.e. soaps began: First, to educate and provide an all-natural product for those at home, and second to create a sustainable sanitation program for the children in Kaberamaido, Uganda. While working full-time, the pair launched the business in September 2013 and have been changing lives ever since.
Here is their inspiring story.