Jennifer Jack, owner of Good Fortune LLC, recently became the 2010 winner of the Cleveland State Community College Small Business Rising Star Award.
The Rising Star award is given annually by the Small Business Development Center to a business that best exemplifies not only business success, but an outstanding working relationship with the local SBDC and the use of the services it provides. In giving the award, the local SBDC is also recognizing the entrepreneurial spirit of the business owners and their contribution to the local business and economic environment.
Good Fortune Soap was born in May of 2006. In addition to working full-time as a graphic designer in a corporate job, Jack taught herself how to make soap by studying soap making, natural ingredients, and the natural products industry as a whole. Since then, she has gone from focusing only on natural soaps to also creating many other products, such as lip balms, lip scrubs, body lotions, massage candles, element sprays, bath salts, and more. The business now includes retail, wholesale, private label, e-commerce, and Eco-Friendly Do-It-Yourself parties and classes.
In the short time Good Fortune has been in business, it has grown tremendously. It is currently being sold in many cities throughout Tennessee, as well as over 20 states. Jack is now a certified soap maker in the U.S., noting Good Fortune as one of the highest-quality producers of natural soap. She was recently awarded “Best in Show” and “Best Package Design,” the two highest honors at the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild Conference in Burlington, Vt.
Despite these awards, perhaps the biggest honor to Jack was being featured in last October’s Southern Living magazine in a section called “Stylish Gifts for Fall, Made by Southern Hands.” Jack credits much of her success to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CSCC.
“The CSCC Small Business Development Center offers confidential, cost free services to all small business owners as well as those who are interested in starting new businesses,” stated Jack. “I first found out about the SBDC through my sister-in-law, who works at Cleveland State, and I’ve been meeting regularly with Brenda Sheehy (SBDC Director) ever since. Brenda and I share a lot of the same passions. She owned three businesses herself, so she knows the hardships that come with owning your own business. She is very personable, confidential, and reliable. I would recommend the SBDC to anyone interested in owning a small business one day.”
“Jennifer’s business has shown incremental growth and has gained national exposure as she was recently featured in Southern Living magazine,” stated Sheehy. “She is currently outsourcing her product and has accounts with some national chains. She also partners with various charitable organizations, and we all like to shop where we know a portion of our money goes to support a good cause.”
Jack is also currently in the early stages of launching an outreach program to spread “Good Fortune” around the world. Since the beginning, Good Fortune has partnered with various charitable organizations to empower women, offer hope to orphans, and support mission work.
Jack said the purpose of her program is to give disadvantaged girls hope by teaching them life skills, entrepreneurship training, and a chance for a college education. Through a mentorship program, Good Fortune will teach the girls to make soap and body products. They will then buy back most of the products from the girls so they can start college savings plans. Every product is like planting a seed. Eventually, the program will grow, and young leaders will emerge.
“Jennifer is extremely deserving of this award and we at the SBDC are very proud of her success,” stated Sheehy.
“Brenda asked if I would accept the honor of the Rising Star Award, and I graciously accepted,” stated Jack. “This award means a lot to me. It’s definitely an honor for them to recognize all of the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my business. I hope my story is an inspiration to others trying to start their own small business.”
For a list of locations that sell Good Fortune products or to find out more information about Good Fortune Soap or their outreach program, contact Jack at (423) 715-2647 or visit her website at www.goodfortunesoap.com. For more information on Cleveland State’s Small Business Development Center, visit the website at www.tsbdc.org or to make an appointment for a free consultation, contact their office at (423) 478-6247.