NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley’s young entrepreneur Braden Somers, 14, did not let the COVID-19 pandemic stop her business. Somers, now a Nutley High School freshman, has kept busy creating her all natural soaps and other products.
Somers 27 Soap Co. began through the Nutley Trep$ Marketplace program supported by the Nutley Education Foundation, when she was in grade 7. “I really wasn’t expecting to have my own business and continue with it,” she said during an interview via Zoom.
In addition, Somers, a Girl Scout, started on her mission to ban single-use plastic bags in grade 6, which she continues to strive towards by attending various municipal meetings in Nutley and surrounding towns. Her idea for Trep$ to create goats’ milk soap she discovered while browsing social media. “It matched with reducing the plastic waste because it was a bar soap,” she said.
Somers 27 soap is different from the soap you can buy at the local grocery store. “The soap from the store is probably packaged in plastic. Second, they are filled with harsh chemicals and toxins. I make my soap with just simple ingredients with goats’ milk and olive oil. The goats’ milk is good for people with sensitive skin such as eczema or psoriasis because it moisturizes the skin and matches the pH balance,” she said.
Somers is always creating new items to add to her inventory. This year, she has added lip balms, mango butter lotion bars, toner, beard butter, and a solid all natural dish soap. Other products include goat milk and honey shampoo bar, beard oil, all natural laundry soap, wool dryer balls and accessories for the bars. Her products are for both men and women.
Somers explained the process of creating her soaps takes a day but 3-4 weeks to cure, to be hard enough to use. She said some items such as the lip balm and lotion bar are ready sooner. She receives support from her parents. Her father sometimes helps make the soaps and her mother drives her to the markets. They also help deliver products to customers in town.
Somers spent her summer and fall weekends selling her soap products at the Nutley and Little Falls Farmers Markets. Her merchandise is also located at Pretty Handy Gift Shop and Makerspace, 175 Franklin Ave Suite 202, a barbershop in Fair Lawn, Etsy.com and a nonprofit eco-friendly organization trying to stop the use of plastic based in Indiana. Look out for her at local markets this winter.
Somers 27 Soap Co. is also on Facebook and Instagram. Somers said people could also directly message her through social media or email her at email@example.com to purchase products. She intends to have her own storefront one day.
Somers said she is happy to see her customers return, and she thanks them for supporting her business.