Surf’s Up Bath creates sanitizer to keep first responders and community safe
Back in early March, Brooke Hansen was shopping at stores all across the county and, like most local Santa Barbarans, had trouble finding necessities needed to help protect oneself against the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of these necessities was hand sanitizer.
“I shopped for five hours before I found six bottles of hand sanitizer,” Ms. Hansen recalled with a laugh.
“Everywhere I went, nobody had hand sanitizer, and even for the people working there, there was no sanitizer, and that was alarming to me. I thought, ‘Wow, how could these people, who are working and sacrificing their health, not have hand sanitizer? This is insane.’ ”
Seeing the lack of help, not just for herself, but especially for frontline workers, drove Ms. Hansen to come up with a solution of her own: Make her own hand sanitizer.
“We have been manufacturing products for 25 years, and when this (pandemic) happened, before it fully came to the United States, and I knew we were going to be in trouble so we need hand sanitizers, we need to start making products that people need, and we accomplished part of that,” Ms. Hansen said.
The hand sanitizers can be purchased at surfsupbathco.com..
At first, Ms. Hansen did want to provide people with the option of buying hand sanitizer as the market was really drying up. But as she went along during the process, she was really shocked at the lack of aid for first responders.
Knowing that, Ms. Hansen knew she wanted to help in any way that she could.
As a result, Ms. Hansen not only created the hand sanitizer line, but will be donating 10% of its inventory indefinitely to provide relief to those first responders.
On the sanitizer launch date, Ms. Hansen and Surf’s Up Bath Co. donated 1,000 bottles to local nonprofit One805 to support COVID-19 relief, before the company even sold a bottle.
“It’s always been my vision for running my own company: How can I contribute to society? And this was just a perfect opportunity for us to say ‘oh my gosh let’s make something we can give back.’ Even if we don’t sell anything, let’s make something that we can give to all these people as opposed to sitting back and doing nothing,” Ms. Hansen said.
Ms. Hansen said the entire process of making the sanitizer to be able to ship it out took about eight weeks, but it was a bit difficult.
Due to the current pandemic, there has been a shortage of lots of things, such as ethyl alcohol,which is needed to make hand sanitizer, as well as caps, bottles, pumps, etc.
Luckily, it all came together.
Their manufacturer eventually got the alcohol, and Ms. Hansen had a slew of packaging that she was able to repurpose to sell the sanitizer in.
“We were sitting here on a huge amount of inventory getting ready to fill for our spring and summer, and I thought I can use all of our existing packaging and it all just worked perfectly,” Ms. Hansen said.
Now, a couple weeks after launch, Ms. Hansen has seen such a positive response from the community on all the hard work her, her husband and everyone else involved provided.
First, she received wonderful responses from first responders, especially because of the convenience.
“The first responders were really excited because we donated the two-ounce travel size, which, when they’re out on the in the field, they don’t have time to take a huge pump or bottles with them, so they can just put it in their pocket and then have easy access and they can use it between stops which they love,” Ms. Hansen said.
Then the community started to order the product.
Orders came not just from local community members, but managers and shop owners as well to keep their employees safe.
Ms. Hansen is happy with she can lend a hand to those who need it.
“It feels so good to do something that you love to do,” Ms. Hansen said. I mean I love my job, I love packaging and making premium products and the fact that I get to do this and contribute is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
Even though the pandemic has most people in a daze, Ms. Hansen said the opportunity to be able to create has also been a huge help to her mental health.
“It’s so easy to get frustrated with being locked down and not seeing your friends but focusing on doing something that you love in any way that you can think is necessary for our survival,” Ms. Hansen said.
“I feel fortunate that I can make products that have such an effect and the benefit, and I wake up every morning and I’m filled with gratitude.”
FYI To purchase Surf’s Up Bath Co.’s hand sanitizers, go to surfsupbathco.com