Meet Giles (grade 9) and Noah Foster (grade 10), brothers, teen entrepreneurs and founders of Suds Brewing Company.
Giles and Noah Foster, students at Shaker Heights High School, the newest member of the Veale Youth Entrepreneurship Forum, are not only teenpreneurs, they’re social entrepreneurs. The self-proclaimed “Brews Brothas” of Suds Brewing Company convert brewery waste into handcrafted soap, skin and hair care products. Spent grains (hops) have an anti-inflammatory property, and beer is 95% water, so the sibling duo is reusing important natural resources to create their “product with a purpose.”
Converting brewery waste into soap is such a unique and fantastic idea. How did you get started?
Noah: One of our mother’s (Danielle Sydnor) friends sent her a video of a woman in Seattle, WA making beer soap for her son who had skin issues. Since our mom has eczema, Giles wanted to try making some soap for her. A family friend who was at our house saw our soap and wanted to buy some. We then posted our product online, and more and more people wanted to buy our soap. Therefore, we set up a website, and Suds Brewing Company was started!
How long did it take for you guys to figure out how to turn brewery waste into a natural soap?
Giles: After two weeks of doing research, watching videos and doing tons of reading, we were able to order our raw material and make our first batch of soaps.
We hear you’ve won some accolades and awards! Tell us about that.
Noah: We won $2,500 at the Dealership Shaker Heights debut pitch event (a co-work community and partnership between the Shaker Heights Development Corporation and the Economic Community Development Institute). Giles was the only child pitching there. We also completed SEA Change, a business accelerator program and pitch event, and won $5,000.
Giles: We have also recently been featured in Cleveland.com’s 100 things to buy this holiday season, we were on 90.3 NPR and Cleveland 19 News did a story about us.
How have sales been going? Where can people buy your soaps?
Noah: Sales are going really well for us. We have over $6,000 in sales. People can find our soap at B Loft Barber Shop in Cleveland, Lovely Somethings in Akron and Jackie O’s Brewery in Athens, Ohio, and of course, on our website, www.sudsbrewingco.com.
How has Cleveland’s startup community provided you with the help and support you’ve needed to get to where you are today?
How do you juggle school and running a business?
Giles: We have to plan our schedule according to all the activities going on in our lives. We set aside time for making soap, sending emails and other business-related things.
What entrepreneurs have inspired you and why? Who would you love to meet?
Noah: We have been inspired by Ethan Holmes a local millennial entrepreneur from Shaker Heights (CEO of Holmes Mouthwatering Applesauce). We would love to meet Daymond John, one of the “sharks” from Shark Tank.
What’s next for Suds Brewing Company?
Giles: We are looking to redo our packaging in order to get into major retail locations.
What advice would you give to other young founders?
Noah: The advice we would offer to others is to work harder than you want, achieve higher than you need to, so that you can be more successful than you thought you could ever be.