"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
— Herman Cain
Spreading Good Fortune around the World
Before launching into Good Fortune and Soap for Hope, let me introduce a 10-year old girl named Jennifer.
I was a clever and adventurous girl who passed the time inventing,
crafting, and annoying my brother. My family was never certain if I
would spring out of bed as an Indian, comedian, or zoo keeper-whoever I
was, each day was an exciting journey. I was dedicated to living life
to the full. Fearlessly I took (still take) risks! On one day, I
decided that our family’s pet, Snoopy, needed a snazzy new haircut. Our
entire neighborhood laughed at my horrible grooming skills, but Snoopy
As I matured, so did my business skills, and by 12 I started my first
business called "Jennifer Fantistics.” Not a great speller, I was a
born entrepreneur. Jennifer Fantistics, a handcrafted bracelet
corporation, was known for its customer service. Each order was
carefully packaged with a handwritten note explaining the history of
the company, a detailed invoice, a generous discount for new customers,
and a lovely fortune (kind of ironic, huh?). Business ideas continued
to flow, and I was excited to grow up, go to college, and someday have
a real job (and maybe even own my own business).
Tough times were no stranger to me. I struggled to find my identity (as
most teens do), made some bad choices, and often learned the hard way.
While I always found an outlet in art, I still longed for deeper
meaning to life.
Four years of college helped me learn intense focus and helped with
goal setting, which led to an amazing job as a graphic designer. Within
my first year, I was awarded the highest company honor and employee of
the year. I continued to improve as a designer and photographer, and
within only 4 years was promoted to Senior Graphic Designer. Still, I
longed for deeper meaning in life.
The Turning Point
Through a series of failed relationships, I realized that fulfillment
would not come from men, work, or myself. I felt lost, and through the
advice of a co-worker was encouraged to pray for wisdom because it was
the only thing God promised He would definitely give when we ask. Pray
for it, and you WILL get it. A sucker for guarantees, I began to pray
and ask God to show Himself, help find purpose in life, and to
experience a love greater than I felt.
It didn’t take long for God to make good on his promise. He shared with
me the secret to life and happiness. Wondering why it took so long to
learn the truth, I joyfully moved forward and was ready to start
Armed with the truth that life flows from God, and that God is love, I
was gifted a faith I’d never felt before. To know that Jesus Christ
walked the earth teaching love and ultimately died for my sin, was
heartbreaking, but comforting. I finally knew what unconditional love
felt like and held on to His promises to never leave or hurt me. My
once broken heart was rebuilt and began to overflow with love. I had a
new purpose in life: to learn how to love others as Christ!
Getting Cleaned Up: The Soapmaking Starts
I worked in the corporate world for many years, but was ready for a
change and longed for a different career, a lifestyle that fed my mind,
body, and spirit while also providing a way to connect with and help
others. While lying in bed, praying, and reading a book on soapmaking,
the Lord spoke to a deep down place inside me. Through faith, I knew
instantly that my love of design, photography, and handcrafted things
was my calling. With 110% enthusiasm, I followed the plan that God had
In May 2006, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Good Fortune Soap was born.
From day one I studied soap making, natural ingredients, and the
natural products industry as a whole. The fearless mad scientist I knew
as a child took over as I experimented by making hundreds of batches of
soap, scent combinations, shapes, colors, and more. Self taught, I
perfected the process night and day while working full-time as a
After 8 months in the lab, December 2006 marked Good Fortune’s first
big open house. In just two days, I sold hundreds of bars of soap and
gift sets. Further, two Chattanooga, TN-based gift shops placed orders,
purchasing Good Fortune’s entire collection of scents and gift sets.
This success prepared me for the next step-going full-time with soap.
Most people knew I was clever, but secretly thought I was crazy for
"following a promise from God to make soap.” I knew that by traditional
standards it was a risk to quit my job, and I’d have to give up most
luxuries, but the promise was real. Life was just beginning. Without
hesitation, I took the plunge: sold my house, quit my stable job, and
took Good Fortune all the way.
A Rest Stop
But first I had to take a sabbatical. The timing couldn’t have been
more perfect. My love of people had grown and my love of stuff was
gone. Having given away most of my possessions, having just moved into
my new one-bedroom apartment, I left to go to South Africa for 10 days
with a dear friend. Little did I know God planned to break my heart so
I could love more deeply like Him while also giving me fuel for Good
Fortune. I volunteered to minister and love children while in South
Africa. Witnessing poverty, illness, and homeless children, my vibrant
heart was crushed. Unconditional love, compassion, and generosity took
on new meaning to me. The beautiful people of Mamelodi were the
sweetest, happiest, and most loving people I’d ever met, yet had so
little. It was obvious that God has a huge heart for Africa, despite
their overwhelming needs. Their joy was not based on circumstance, but
on perspective and a love for Christ.
After a few days of singing, hugging, and playing with the children, my
creative business side began to surface. Why did God bring me here and
what did He really want me to do? Was it to play with children or did
God want more? Deciding to spend more quality spiritual time with the
children, I grabbed a crayon and made a "free prayer” sign while my
friend grabbed a desk and 3 chairs. We were amazed at what happened
The free prayer booth grew longer than all of the games, painting, and
activity lines. Without a plan, each child sat down one by one, with
their backs turned from the crowd, waiting to be prayed over.
Amazingly, I never cried in front of the children, though had no idea
what huge problems burdened such tiny hearts. Their precious tears and
stone cold expressions still linger: as they shook there heads "yes”
and told us to pray for their mommy and daddy. When asked why, some
would reply their parents were sick or dead.
The children longed so deeply to be held, touched, heard, and reassured
that it was going to be okay. Who really knew if they would be okay,
safe, fed, or healthy? They were reassured that Jesus is their love,
provider, and Father. Even through their pain and confusion, God was
alive in their hearts and no one could take that away.
My problems paled in comparison to looking into the face of a suffering
child. After all, I asked God to show me how to love like Jesus, and
He’d just shown me. Joyfully, I wanted to know how to continue to love
and inspire others to do the same.
Making it Real
Coming home, I needed to create a business plan that configured how
Good Fortune was going to change the world. I didn’t just want an
amazing product that I could bank. I wanted products that embodied
positive thinking and touched people’s lives physically and
spiritually. The healing ingredients, recyclable packaging, and
charitable donations were marketed to spread the word about the spirit
of the company.
Giving back is a concept that was built into the foundation of Good
Fortune, in fact, that is where we got our name. From the moment God
whispered His plan, He also asked me to bless others. Good Fortune
supported several charities for the hungry, impoverished children, and
hurting women, but nothing felt like a perfect fit. Unsettled by this,
I again asked for wisdom, and again God spoke.
Building a business, creating products, empowering women, and loving
others was God’s plan all along. Soap for Hope sprang from this fertile
The soap idea originated in her heart, started in her kitchen, and grew to her family's dairy in the Appalachian foothills of Tennessee. Jennifer and her mother worked side-by-side renovating her grandfather's dairy barn. Currently, Good Fortune embodies a production studio and store front in Cleveland, Tennessee. The business has grown to include retail, wholesale, private label, e-commerce, and Eco-Friendly Do-It-Yourself parties and classes.
Every Good Fortune product you purchase is like planting a seed and helps our outreach program grow, and helps us love on those in need. Recently, the Lord called Jennifer to Port Au Prince, Haiti in July 2010. Read her blog post on how she taught over 50 people to make soap. We all have gifts to offer the world and we hope you're inspired to go love, serve, and shine His light.Thank you for giving and growing with us.