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Clean Break

A trade show spurred their soapy sales.

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This story appears in the December 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Sometimes opportunity knocks; other times it slips in the back door. When Faith and Scott Freeman, both 44, got the opportunity to exhibit their Primal Elements soaps at the New York International Gift Fair in 1996, they jumped at the chance. They wondered what kind of crowd they'd draw beyond their beach-side store in Long Beach, California's Belmont Shore neighborhood.

A vendor offered Scott a booth at the fair, letting the Freemans skip the fair's long waiting list. Back then, the husband-and-wife team made their soaps in the kitchen of Faith's mother's house. "We scraped everything together [for] this show," Faith says. The response? "It was phenomenal. We were backing people up in the aisles, just to stop and smell the soap."

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