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[In Conversation] Mera McGrew - changing the world through soap!

“We offer a hand up not a hand out.” –Mera McGrew, Soapply
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[In Conversation] Mera McGrew - changing the world through soap!
By Gillian Davis • Issue #42 • View online
“We offer a hand up not a hand out.” –Mera McGrew, Soapply


Do you ever think about what’s in your soap?
I really hadn’t until I had a chance meeting with Mera McGrew, founder of Soapply - a mission driven and ambitious company trying to change the world through soap.
Mera joins me as we discuss how micro-movements drive change, the mission-driven company’s culture, and making every part of a product purposeful.
Back story. I had landed in NYC in the afternoon, feeling very groggy and hazy. It was too late to nap and too early to go to sleep. So I wandered around Soho and I popped into Credo beauty to pick up my all-time-skin saviour (side-note; if you fly a lot or are prone to drying out skin, this will be your new best friend).
Cue Mera.
She asked if I was okay as I obviously looked lost and then quickly admitted that she actually didn’t work there, but was there to run a pop-up stand for her business and probably couldn’t be much help to me. We had a laugh and she started to introduce me to Soapply. I was immediately fascinated by her story and continued to ask her all about it. I think we spoke for easily 10 minutes in the middle of the store and I knew she would be an ace podcast guest.
I LOVE to meet smart people who are passionate about what they do and the problem they are trying to solve. Mera definitely tops the list.
Mera started Soapply after returning from living and working in Africa. While there, she saw first-hand the reality of preventable child mortality and the difference that sustainable investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene could have on an individual, community, and region. Returning to the US, the connection was simple — everyone needs soap and Mera was ready to build a more sustainable alternative.
Mera McGrew - Founder of Soapply
Mera McGrew - Founder of Soapply
Some of my key takeaways; 
🦋Mera shared with me that when her mother was undergoing chemo, her skin became extremely sensitive - which is apparently a common side effect. I immediately sent one to my cousin who is undergoing chemo and has been so thankful. This soap is delicate enough to not irritate the skin under such harsh conditions.
❌ 90% of US households have liquid soap in their kitchen sink - in plastic bottles. Let that sink in (pun not intended).
🙏 We know we have a plastic problem. Mera shares her approach on how they went about designing the Soapply soap bottle so that they offer a conscious alternative that people actually want.
🤔 What I love about Mera’s leadership is that it is so clear what the mission and impact is, it literally radiates through her. She rebalances herself every morning and afternoon so that she stays focused on the greater good, even on the hardest of days. This approach will help her attract and retain the right kind of talent. Here is why mission driven companies are so important.
🥛Loved the ‘milk man’ model for soap! I am so looking forward to watching Soapply’s growth and impact under Mera’s leadership.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Gillian Davis

Helping leaders inspire and enable their teams.

Author: First Time Leader // www.overtimeleader.com //
Reach out @gilliandavis07

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