Shaker Heights brothers using beer waste to brew soap
SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Noah and Giles Foster are young entrepreneurs who are turning beer waste into hand-crafted soap. Suds Brewing Company got licensed in 2016, and the Shaker Heights boys are growing the operation daily.
"There's a process, and if you go wrong you have to redo," said 12-year-old Giles.
For now, company headquarters is the family kitchen. It's where the brothers scoop, measure, pour and mix the ingredients.
"Beer contains hops which is a plant essentially which has anti-inflammatory properties for your skin," 14-year-old Noah said.
The Foster boys started begging their mom to experiment with essential oils, lye and other ingredients after hearing about a Seattle woman making beer soap to help treat her son's eczema. It's a condition Noah and Giles mom also deals with.
"It's not every day a kid gets to crack open beers to pour it and boil it," Giles said. "There's of course no beer consumed in the soap making process because we're not of age."
Customers started coming soon after the first batches of soap were made. Word of mouth advertising has been critical to their early success.
"People were like, 'Where can I buy the soap?'" Noah recalled. "And we were like, 'What do you mean- where can you buy the soap?' And eventually it just took off."
A radio show interview brought even more customers and the brothers have made more than $2,000 so far. A website is helping showcase their products.
"I couldn't be prouder of them," said Danielle Sydnor, the boy's mother. "You think about all the statistics that we see of young African American men and these stories are not often shared. The fact that they started something, they're sticking with it and they're pouring their extra time and free time into making sure that it's successful it just makes me excited and really proud as a mom."
Noah and Giles are taking entrepreneurial courses and networking to grow their business. They hope to be able to move their operation out of their home and into a facility in the next few years.
"We're young entrepreneurs and this probably won't be the first business," Giles said. "And what I'm really excited about is for the future- like what other business will come to us."
Suds Brewing Company's latest partnership is with Jackie O's Brewery in Athens, Ohio.
"They have a particular product that they use to raise money for cancer, and so we're doing a collaboration with them where one dollar from every bar of soap from our Cocoa Honey Nut will go toward local cancer charities."
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