Dollars, scents

Dollars, scents

Businesses in spotlight during open house at incubator

November 21st, 2010 by Randall Higgins in News

Staff Photo by Randall Higgins Jennifer Jack prepares to make some of her all-natural soaps and lotions for her Good Fortune Soap Co. at the Cleveland/Bradley Business Incubator on Friday.

Staff Photo by Randall Higgins Jennifer Jack prepares to...

CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Jennifer Jack moved her Good Fortune Soap Co. into the Cleveland/Bradley Business Incubator six months ago.

Her mission is to create and sell all-natural soaps, lotions, candles and other products and to extend a helping hand to others.

"It started as a hobby and, in eight months, it was so confirmed and lucrative that I was able to sell my house and quit my job and start something new," she said.

"I make things I want to use," Jack said. "I have really sensitive skin and I don't like overly scented or perfumy things."

Good Fortune, plus Complete Choice Bakery and Kona Ice, were in the spotlight Friday and Saturday during an open house at the business incubator.

Located at 3505 Adkisson Drive next to Cleveland State Community College, the incubator offers affordable rent and an array of business technology such as videoconferencing and high-speed Internet for fledgling entrepreneurs.

An art director and graphic designer in Chattanooga, Jack said she wanted to be more creative and help others.

During the open house Friday, Good Fortune employee Maura Bradshaw explained the company's products on a display shelf, from the regular best sellers to holiday gift sets.

Through months of national economic uncertainties, the incubator has maintained a full house of startup businesses, interim manager Hurley Buff said.

"We have truly been blessed," Buff said Friday.

The incubator board is considering adding a second building, also at Cleveland State, she said.

Jack said that she hopes to use her business to give back to society. She has joined forces with The Oak Project, a ministry for single mothers in Chattanooga, and started working with people in Haiti.

She was invited to take a ministry trip to Haiti to work with women at an orphanage, she said. In the country, she taught five soap classes, teaching 50 people to make soap. Good Fortune sells the soap, then sends the proceeds back to Haiti.

"I brought back all the soap and sold it on their behalf," she said. "We were able to send back $250, which gave each person $5, which is a week's salary in Haiti."

She plans to return to Haiti in February to teach sustainable soapmaking.

"That's my goal, to be able to use this business," Jack said.

Contact staff writer Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfree press.com or 423-314-1029.