Enactus, Central Plains team up to sell soap
PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University chapter of Enactus, an international student business organization focused on changing lives through entrepreneurial action, has developed a new project, working with the Central Plains Center (CPC) in Plainview to create, develop and sell Diamond Suds fragrant soap.
Through the project CPC clientele with intellectual and developmental disabilities work in their own soap-making business to create, package and sale the Diamond Suds product.
Wayland’s Enactus group looks for new projects each year that meet a need in the community. Business students then develop the business plan and marketing and management objectives necessary to meet those needs. The Central Plains Center, an organization that assists intellectually and developmentally disabled (IDD) individuals, needed a project or program to raise funds and employee clients.
“Enactus is always looking for new projects every semester,” said Obet Medina, a sophomore business major from Plainview. “The project we developed is to make hand-made soap and let the clients at CPC make it and sell it. The profits made from the soap will benefit the CPC, and the clients also get paid to do this.”
IDD Director Brenda Garcia said the project means a lot to the clients working in the business.
“They love it when we make soap,” she said. “They love the new product. It brings worth to them. It’s something they enjoy doing. They get to take home a paycheck and that means something to them.”
Medina, the Enactus social media and marketing officer, said making the soap is a fairly simple process. After determining the best method of production, Wayland students developed a poster that explains the process, then spent each Friday afternoon for about 5 weeks working with clients to teach them how to make the soap.
“We taught them how to mix it up and put it in the molds,” Medina said.
The soaps come in a variety of fragrances including: lavender, green tea and ginger, lemon, pumpkin and brown sugar, mint chocolate chip, hot cocoa, cinnamon and sugar, and rustic winter and rum. Some of the fragrances are seasonal and were developed for the holiday season.
Wayland students also developed a website www.diamondsuds.com where people can view the inventory and order the soap. The cost is $7 per bar on the website, which includes shipping costs, or $4 when purchased at the Central Plains Center. All proceeds benefit the Central Plains Center and its clients.
Dr. Barry Evans, dean of the School of Business at Wayland explained that projects like this not only benefit the CPC clients, but the education benefit to his students is priceless.
“Wayland students get to see and work with a start-up business created from scratch. The students are integrally involved in starting a brand new business,” Evans said. “They do everything that anybody starting a new business in Plainview will do.”
Evans explained that the students are in charge of everything from determining a need and target market to delivering the product. Students had to develop a business plan that included securing appropriate facilities, securing raw materials, purchasing production equipment, determining cost and resale, how to market the product, and the logistics of shipping the product to meet the needs of those who order it. Enactus students also got some unique management experience in training individuals with disabilities to produce the soap.
“You could put together seven or eight classes in the School of Business, and the students get real-world experience on how it all works,” Evans said.
The Wayland Enactus team consists of 11 business students. The group will present its project analysis at regional and national competitions next May. Medina said the group is already looking into a project for next semester that will involve setting up a small retail shop to sell toiletries, some food and snacks, and other necessities to dorm students.