11 year old’s soap business helps the homeless

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – He is 11 years old and has an amazing talent for soap making.

Now, he is starting his own business, and he is trying to help people in the process, donating to the same organization that helped him and his mother find a home.

Donuts, ice cream and hamburgers—treats that look so good you could just take a bite out of them.

“Someone actually licked one,” said 11-year-old Donovan Smith.

That someone quickly regretted it.

The treats are actually Donovan’s soap creations.

He makes soap with Aloe Vera and goat’s milk for his bath product business, Toil and Trouble.

Donovan chooses the molds, the colors and the fragrances.

“Darth Vader smells kind of like cologne. I tried to make it smell what Darth Vader would smell like,” he said.

Once Darth Vader smells just right, he sells him and the rest of the gang at the Rail Yards Market each Sunday.

He is the youngest vendor there.

He said his Yoda soap is one of the best sellers. It takes about an hour to make twelve of them.

Twenty percent of the sales from his pie-shaped soaps will go to Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico, an organization Donovan and his mother, Casey, said helped get them back on their feet three years ago when they struggled with homelessness themselves.

“He was still going to school every day. I was having meltdowns during the day because I could not see this getting any better at all,” Casey said.

Casey is a former Navy cryptologist, still dealing with PTSD and a leg injury as a result of her time in the military.

She said she couldn’t find a job during the recession, hearing she was overqualified.

Now, with the support of local groups, she has a job, an apartment and a hobby, helping her son with his budding business of soaps.

“They’re fun and the fact that they have the potential to help someone else makes it even better,” Casey said.

Donovan chimed in with, “We should make a jello one.”

The ideas just keep coming.

Donovan has a booth at the Rail Yards Markets on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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