Bellevue West offers a fresh club: Soap-making


Lexi Walker

Club members Brittany Horbach, Abby Buddhacharya, Jaque Armas, and Ashley Buddhacarya discuss options for fragrance oils.

Emily Schmidt, Reporter

Bellevue West High School, which already offers a multitude of clubs, is now home to one more: Soap-making Club. Club sponsor and science teacher Cindy Skarda applied for and received a grant to start the club after reading an article on a school in California that had a soap-making business.

Skarda was first introduced to soap-making when her schedule included traveling between Bellevue East and West. A chemistry teacher at East performed a lab with his students and taught her the trade.

“I did it over there, learned how to do that, and now I make my own soap at home and I thought I would just share it with the students here cause it’s a really easy process and ties to chemistry,” Skarda said.

Skarda advertised her club throughout the science department and enlisted a dozen students. While some were drawn to the prospect of trying something new, senior Brittany Horbach was fascinated by the science behind the club.

“I’ve always been interested in chemical processes, and so when I heard that they were making soap I was very interested,” Horbach said.

The new club is a learning process for both the members and sponsor. Skarda allows the students, who have roles similar to the student governments, to make decisions and offer her support and advice as they learn together.

“It’s student-run, they come up with the ideas, they’re going to come up with the scents and things like that. I’m providing just the guidance and we’ll learn the entrepreneurship as we go.” Skarda said.

The club is using the grant money to purchase the materials they need to create their soap. The list includes fragrance oils, molds, and mixing tools. They want to sell their soap at the school store, and the price will be calculated and depend on the cost of the materials they use.

“Initially the money we do make will have to be recycled back into buying more supplies and the hope is that we can offer some small scholarships,” Skarda said.

Skarda describes the club as a developing business plan. They meet during GPS on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but plan to meet more frequently when they get out of the preparation stage and begin to produce their products.

“I’m just looking forward to getting our soap made and in the school store and people to buy it,” Skarda said, “I think the kids will enjoy it.”

A previous version of the photo caption misspelled Ashley and Abby Buddhacharya’s last name. The Thunderbeat apologizes for the error.