“Still looks white,” exclaims Lilly, a six-year-old girl who is stirring food coloring into a batch of soap, aiming for the perfect purple shade, to match the liquid’s lavender scent, something she frequently does with her mother, as part of their soap company “Lavender and Lilly.
“Lilly and I started making some little soaps, some heart soaps,” said Lilly’s mother Beth Jurkowski. “And then we started kind of telling people about it and some of her friends and our family wanted to try some and so we kind of started making more and more and then started making bigger ones, and then it just kind of caught on, didn’t it?”
“Yes!” shouts Lilly.
But they didn’t start with selling in mind. After Lilly was diagnosed with high-functioning autism last year, the pair began experimenting with essential oils as a way to help Lilly cope.
“Lilly just fell in love with lavender, and not everyone in the house was real crazy about us diffusing lavender all the time, so we started to kind of put a couple drops in her bath tub, and then Lilly decided ‘hey let’s turn it into soaps,’” said Jurkowski.
Making creations in different scents and shapes like soap donuts, dinosaur bars and unicorn cupcakes, each batch is handmade in their home by Lilly.
“This one didn’t turn out good,” said Lilly as she examines some of her creations.
“So I heat everything for her and then she is in charge of molds, colors, everything. And it’s just a lot of fun,” said Jurkowski. “I grew up crafting with my mom, and my mom has passed and so I think Lilly enjoys the fact that we’re doing something that I did with my mom too.”
Beyond just a bonding experience, the soaps also help Lilly focus and relax.
“Before she was kind of going around counting different things and you know writing down numbers, and it kind of didn’t make a lot of sense, so now it’s nice that she can actually write down her orders, how much things cost to buy, how much money she’s taking in, kind of balance her own budget. Hence why most everything is $5, it makes it a little easier for her,” said Jurkowski.
And while Lilly has been able to save some of the money for herself, she has also given much of it to charities like Buddy Up Tennis and the Respite Endowment Organization.
Setting the bar, for a successful future.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.