Prim Goods products are a critical component of life-transformation at the Primrose Hill Teen Challenge. Not only do they provide much needed financial resources for this life-changing ministry, they also provide opportunities for students to reestablish work ethics, learn organizational skills and develop their leadership and character traits through interaction with one another and the products’ consumers.
The Prim Goods products are community builders because they are people builders. Very seldom do ministries work toward some degree of financial self-sufficiency as is the case with Primrose Hill. In so doing, the micro-business complements the ministry as the ministry builds the business and the business builds the ministry with both seeking to positively influence lives along the way.
Most students arrive at Primrose Hill having lost trust with family and employers. Many have lost a great degree of the skills needed to maintain active and productive employment. During the 12-month period that students seek freedom from drug and alcohol addiction through a relationship with Jesus Christ, they are also exposed to business concepts and principles which can be the basis for a new start in a job or business subsequent to graduation. The complementary aspect of Primrose Hill and Prim Goods allows for a more holistic approach to recovery and healing.
My wife loves the Prim Goods soap products. She is especially fond of the Sweet Dreams and Honey Bunch lines. Most importantly, we love to see the student’s signatures on the soap bars. Their signature reveals their active role in seeking Christ-centered help for themselves. As a result, the community to which they return will be strengthened as well.
Living and working with excellence is an appropriate description of our goal in the Work Experience program at Primrose Hill Teen Challenge called Prim Goods. The establishment of Prim Goods derives its inspiration from the Bible, which views work as one of the central purposes for human existence.
“Then God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.’ “ - Genesis 1:28 NLT
Work is the fruit of a repentant lifestyle. Where one has led a less than wholesome life involving anti-social behavior, there is further moral imperative to compensate for the wrongs done by providing for oneself, and to have enough to give to those in need.
“If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work and then give generously to others in need.” Ephesians 4:28 NLT
Work also wins the respect of the community. One of the primary objectives of the PHTC program is to encourage students to live in repentance from a self-destructive lifestyle. Participating in work assignments is one means by which students may practice and develop the habit of a repentant lifestyle prior to their return to society.
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands…Then people will respect the way you live and you will not need to depend on others.” 1Thessalonians 4:11, 12 NLT
Working in Prim Goods often help surface unhealthy attitudes towards work, authority and God, and sometimes, racism, dishonesty, and disorganization. Work may also reveal why students may have used drugs and alcohol to cope with their failures. Exposing and addressing attitudes, provides the staff the opportunity to teach students the benefits and blessings of mature Christian character. Participating in Prim Goods is designed to teach a positive work ethic, responsibility and taking pride in a job-well-done. Because Prim Goods helps to generate funding for PHTC, students are given the opportunity to contribute to their own recovery through their work, which gives them a sense of productivity and dignity.
Work also prepares students to live a productive life after they complete the program. Students learn specific principles regarding a healthy work ethic such as punctuality, collegiality, collaboration, initiative, correlation between job production and future wages and the satisfaction of a job well done.
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives.” Titus 3:14 NLT
Prim Goods permits the PHTC staff members the opportunity to train and equip students to apply first-hand the lessons they are learning as they seek to undertake a new drug-free, mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well and spiritually alive lifestyle upon their graduation from PHTC.
Our students say it best:
“After being a failure for so much of my life, in Prim Goods, I can now create something of beauty and value. My favorite product is the sugar scrub. It smooths my skin –even my dry feet, and the affect lasts for days.”
“I was never a team player. Making bath and body products at Prim Goods, with the other women, has taught me how to work with others to achieve a goal.”
“I pray over each product as I label them.”
“To make quality products in Prim Goods, is very exciting. We have repeat customers –they are not just buying because they feel sorry for us –they really like them!
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23 NLT
Soap making has been somewhat of a journey for me. I first heard the concept of making soap while I was in detox. I remember being rather medicated when I did my phone interview. I couldn’t believe what I had just heard – “making soap” was a foreign concept to me. I may be from Tennessee, but I’m from a city and we go to the store for our soap!
At first I wanted no part of making soap. Even though protective gear is worn, when I heard of all of the potential hazards, my words were, “I’d rather clean baseboards for three hours.” I value my eyesight too much to mess with lye! My choice was heard and every day during work hours I was assigned a different task. I had hours alone to talk to God as I cleaned, pulled weeds, or did whatever they asked me of me. The Lord took that fear away and I decided I wanted to make soap.
No exaggeration – I LOVE to make soap no! At 1:00, after all of our chapel and schoolwork, we all assemble for work time. Our kitchen turns into a mini soap factory until the building across town is ready for us to start production there. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
Each day 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm is the time that I enthusiastically do work for the Lord. I was never very productive in my old life and when I make soap, I have a feeling of accomplishment. To me making soap is a parallel to my life. The majority of the ingredients on their own are an oily mess and the lye is dangerous. That’s like my life before Primrose Hill. God is molding and shaping me into something that will bring a sweet smell for His glory.
One of my favorite things is having a collection of my favorite items surrounding me – using a bag made by women in Guatemala, my favorite blanket that I found on a magical day in a favorite antique store, the random things friends have given me from travels. What I own may not all go together, may not be in similar color patterns or make sense to a designers eye, but they have a story. And I love having stories all around me.
Social products support stories – products made by people across the world who are using creative resources to create jobs, to make beautiful products, to meet needs of creating products people want. Social goods are becoming more common – a merging of ways for people to meet needs in the social sector through business. A making of products, building of a business to form jobs and use resources. Microentreprises allow people to support others in their area or across the world by buying products they might buy anyway, gift to another, or something special they found that is beautiful and they want to support the story.
Prim Goods are products with a story. Their body care products are made by the women of Primrose Hill, a residential facility supporting mothers with addictions where they can bring their children with them, allowing the family to receive the holistic help that they need. Women in the home are focusing on healing the wounds of the past, the issues that have led them to addictive behaviors. They are focusing on getting healthy so they lead a more fulfilled life free from addictions and be in a better position to care for their children. But Primrose Hill also cares about developing the whole person, setting people up for success after they have finished the program. While these women are in the Primrose Hill program, they are able to help build a business. The focus here is not only future job employability, but teaching business skills. Trading in shame for confidence and a productive future.
Buying Prim Goods is choosing to support the stories of these women. It is choosing to surround yourself with the story as a reminder of the grace we are all in need of, the unpleasant pasts traded in for something more fresh and beautiful, and supporting each other as we all move forward together.
The products you buy and where you choose to spend money is a vote. It is a vote for the kind products you choose to support, the type of food systems you want to grow, the people who are employed through your dollars. It can be a vote for local employment, for your local community, for products made by local hands or hands that need the work. There is power in your money, no matter the amount spent.
Prim Goods is excited to be a part of a growing movement of companies and people who seek to buy locally – choosing to spend their money in local stores and support products made in their area. Prim Goods are made by the women of Primrose Hill, a residential facility supporting mothers with addictions where they can bring their children with them, allowing the family to receive the holistic help that they need.
Besides making it easy for people to support the work of Prim Goods through online purchases, local shops are making it easy for supporters and fans of Prim Goods products to be purchased locally. We are happy to announce that the following stores are currently carrying Prim Goods:
Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO)
Hill's Pharmacy (Moberly, MO)
Randolph Mercantile (Moberly, MO)
Plume (Columbia, MO)
The Urban Tub (Rodgers, AR)
Cactus Creek Boutique (Neosho, MO)
Please support these stores as they choose to support the women and children of Primrose Hill. And if you are interested in carrying Prim Goods, please contact us to join the growing family of Prim Goods supporters!