In a family accustomed to using medicinal herbs and making soap, it was a natural way to reduce the symptoms of dermatitis and ease issues with sensitive skin. Then it expanded to gifts for family and friends. Now, it is a family business.
Positive Attraction Soaps in Lee County has online sales for dozens of products and is in retail locations around the Red River Gorge area as well as Lexington and Louisville.
Through a SOAR Small Loan Production Fund, the mother-daughter team of Vickie and Sarah Crabtree hope to expand as a wholesaler for retail stores, a supplier of ingredients and a teacher to show others how to create their own organic products.
“It’s important to me to make a quality product that is affordable and provide nice things for people in my community,” Sarah Crabtree said.
The Crabtrees started Positive Attraction Soaps in 2013 as an organic botanical farm. In addition to the soap company, Vickie Crabtree works as an occupational therapist in Lee County and daughter Sarah works as a registered nurse in the ER at the hospital in Mount Sterling.
The company produces a wide variety of soaps, bath products, lotions and scrubs. They also grow organic vegetables and herbs. The vegetables are sold to a number of restaurants in the region, and the herbs are processed into several of the products of Positive Attraction Soaps.
With the $4,000 SOAR Farm Loan, Positive Attraction Soaps is investing in professional labeling. Sarah Crabtree said packaging is extremely important in this market and will help the company transition to a larger operation. It worked with a graphic designer to rebrand the company last year and used Turner Labels to print new, quality oil/water-proof labels. The company also is working to strengthen its on-line presence.
KHIC and Grow Appalachia created the SOAR Small Loan Production Fund is made possible through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund (tobacco settlement funds) and the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP).
From $950,000 in capitalization from GOAP, the fund has made 181 loans for almost $1.3 million in four years. More than $400,000 in principal repayments have been made.