The Soap Industry Hates Her: How This Caribbean Mom Gets The Most Out Of The Last Drop Of Soap
It’s a cool summer day in Ft. Lauderdale. Claudia Barnes sits on her couch watching an episode of Bonanza.
“I’m not entirely sure why you’re here. It’s not really that crazy.”
The “it” in question? Her revolutionary invention that is single-handedly disrupting the soap industry: by adding water to the last few drops of soap in the bottle and swirling it around, Claudia is able to put off buying soap for another week.
Claudia says she picked up the technique in Jamaica when she was a child. “My mother taught us not to be wasteful,” she said. “And now I pass that lesson on to my children. Soap isn’t cheap, especially with 3 kids.”
Claudia’s resourcefulness is seen all around her home: using Royal Dansk tins for holding sewing instruments, stuffing laundry fresh out the dryer in a large shirt to carry the clothes to another room, etc.
However, with any major disruption in an industry, there are those who feel threatened by the potential shift of the status quo.
Ralph sits behind his desk furiously typing away. Jeff paces in the background dictating an email. Ralph and Jeff are two executives from a major soap company that they requested not to be named. Claudia’s idea has turned their lives upside-down. At this point, they believe they are fighting for their jobs.
“Soap is simple. You use it until you get to the last few drops that are supposed to be impossible to get out, you toss it in the trash, and buy a new one,” said Ralph. “What Claudia does is unnatural. Prolonging the life of the soap beyond what we intended. It’s not right. It messes up the entire cycle. Which messes up my paycheck. And I happen to like my paycheck very much.”
Ralph and Jeff are in damage control mode. Q2 is coming to an end soon and they aren’t sure what they will tell investors if profits drop. Both men feel lucky that Claudia hasn’t taken to social media to share her secret. “If this thing gets a hashtag, my god damn goose is cooked,” said Jeff.
“Those two men really need to stop sending me letters. Again, none of this is that serious,” retorted Claudia. Jeff and Ralph have written Claudia once a week urging her to cease her practice. And every week, Claudia recycles the letters. “ Unless they’re trying to send me free soap, I’m gonna keep doing it.”
The soap industry is still attempting to combat the issue. The two executives are planning to throw money at any scientists willing to develop a hydrophobic bottle. But, until then, Claudia will continue using her invention and continue to be a visionary in the science of hygiene.