Keeping Small Businesses Alive During COVID-19

Keeping Small Businesses Alive During COVID-19

Soapwalla deodorant
Soapwalla's citrus deodorant cream, a best seller from the skincare brand. (The packaging as been updated since this photo)

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Rachel Winard is the founder of the small-batch skincare brand Soapwalla, based in Brooklyn. Walla means “master” in Hindi, and the name stuck after a close friend dubbed Rachel the “Soap Walla.” Rachel started making soaps and skincare products after suffering from skin rashes due to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She has been a small-business owner for 10 years and prides herself on using high-quality, food-grade ingredients such as ground oats, almonds and organic raw sugar. Soapwalla products are 100% Vegan, certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics’ Leaping Bunny Program and PETA’s Caring Consumer Program. Everything is made in small batches by hand in Rachel’s Brooklyn warehouse. 

Consumers have notoriously rejected natural deodorants for their ineffectiveness until now. One of Soapwalla’s bestselling products is the deodorant cream. Rachel has formulated a powerful, clean cream that doesn’t cause irritation, keeps odors away and made entirely from sustainably sourced ingredients. Soapwalla’s ethos is community first and geared toward sustainability and reusability. 

“I am doing something that is unheard of in business. I am dismantling the standard protocol: grow grow grow, never stop to rest, never slow down that upward swing,” said Winard.

“Instead, we spent the last year examining every single aspect of the business. We are throwing out what no longer serves us – old packaging, old ideas. We are rebranding. We are changing our look and we are changing our outlook. We are throwing away the rules for ‘success.’ And we are still doing this all on our own, without investor funding.”

According to a recent L.A. Times report, small businesses are getting hit hardest by COVID-19. A federal stimulus package, known as the CARE Act, is designed to provide relief to businesses and individuals who were furloughed because of the pandemic. However, many businesses aren’t receiving the loans promised by the federal government. 

Rachel recently posted a live video on her Instagram page sharing ways to help support small businesses. One way Rachel says people can help keep Soapwalla alive during the pandemic is through purchasing gift cards to use once business resumes to full capacity. Gift cards help lessen the production and shipping processes that are currently limited. If you want to support Rachel’s small business, head over to the Soapwalla website to purchase a gift card or one of her popular sustainably-made skincare products.


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