• Rachel Lingenfelter

Mixing It Up: Local Business Makes Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Trade Secrets Skincare has been within our area since opening their shop in 2017. The husband and wife team, of Andrew and Stephanie Hite, started out with natural skincare products and later expanded into more, including a six-person salt room. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local businesses have had to close their doors, per the orders of Governor Wolf. This left business owners wondering what they were going to do in order to make it by. By getting the chance to speak to co-owner, Stephanie, of Trade Secrets Skincare, we learned how she is getting by and how she’s helping out the community along the way.

One of the ways Trade Secrets is getting through is by the creation of their own, homemade hand sanitizer. “Right now, our hand sanitizer is available as long as we can get materials. We’ve been shipping those and we’ve had local customer picking up. Many companies are also ordering and they want more. We are working with ADT and New Enterprise to name a few,” says Hite. “There still are local companies who have workers out there installing and delivering, and they might not be able to get these products. We’re happy to be able to provide that for them.”

Customers at Trade Secrets had requested the hand sanitizer for the last few years, but the demand for the product became bigger with the COVID-19 pandemic happening. This made it clear to Hite that this had to be the priority, the production of this product for not only the customers but for people who are having trouble purchasing the sanitizer elsewhere. “The need is there for the product. As long as we were able to get the ingredients and the bottling, we would take a week or so to fill the orders but we would get it done.”

So, how are they making their hand sanitizer? By following the CDC guidelines, Hite and her husband have created a great quality, unscented, hand sanitizer. “For this particular virus, 70% alcohol was necessary to kill it. The typical percent in other sanitizer was 63%, that’s the stuff you would use on a daily basis. So, we’ve increased the alcohol. We mix our own gel, the water and glycerine. Fortunately, we have the equipment for mass production and we’re able to fill these bottles and orders in a reasonable time frame.” For now, they are only creating one size, which is 4 oz. bottles for $6.00. For companies who are purchasing bulk orders, they are discounting the orders of 50 bottles or more.

When asked about how she thought small businesses were doing during this time, Hite comments on how she was thankful she had her website launched just in time. “We just had our website launched with Michael DePiro in November. If we didn’t have that, we definitely wouldn’t be able to do the things that we’re doing now.” With having closed doors, she’s thankful for the internet and is sure other businesses are, too. “Our website is carrying our business at this point and for those who can rely on websites, that should be the main focus. People can still access us online, whether it’s through Facebook or our website.”

For other small businesses out there, the support from the community is needed every single day. “Basically, the support we are getting is going to determine whether we can open our doors when this mandate is lifted. Hopefully, everyone is able to re-open. Support from the community, for small businesses like ours, is so, so important.” Hite continues to reflect on how the pandemic is having an impact on her current situation. “My husband and I, this is our only source of income and we solely depend on it. There are other households who would have a different situation but with ours, this is our lively hood. We’ve had to lay two employees off and now it’s just back to him and I, making our products and selling them. And we will continue to do so until this is passed.”

For Andrew and Stephanie Hite, the pandemic has created a world full of change that came unexpectedly. Their business continues but needs the support of the community, as do the other businesses out there. Buy local, buy smart, and keep yourself safe throughout this pandemic. Businesses like Trade Secrets Skincare show just how resilient we are!

Follow Trade Secrets Skincare on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TradeSecretsPa

Follow Trade Secrets Skincare on Instagram: @tradesecrets_skincare

Check out Trade Secrets Skincare’s website: https://tradesecretspa.com/

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