Crookston's Real Good Bath & Body selling bath products to help Ukraine refugees
Real Good Bath & Body owner Carol Simmons is selling Ukrainian flag-colored bath products and donating the proceeds to efforts that help Ukrainian refugees.
CROOKSTON – At Real Good Bath & Body, “real good” refers to the high-quality, natural ingredients Carol Simmons uses in her products. Perhaps it also could describe the business's impact on the world.
Simmons has a history of donating products and profits to those in need, and she has now focused her efforts on Ukraine.
“The whole idea is to do real good in the world, so we’re always looking for things where we can make a difference,” she said. “Just seeing the devastation in Ukraine, I think everybody was wondering what they can do to help.”
For Simmons, help has taken the form of making and selling bath bombs — a fizzy bath product — in bright blue and yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian flag. She calls them HOPE bath bombs and donates all of the proceeds to efforts to help Ukrainian refugees.
Simmons is the owner of Real Good Bath & Body, and has stores in Crookston and the West Acres Mall in Fargo, where she sells products like soaps, bath bombs, massage oils and lotions . After donating personally to help Ukrainian refugees, she realized she could help even more by selling a special product at Real Good Bath & Body and donating the proceeds.
“I saw some people making soap,” she said. “Soap takes a long time to cure and I wouldn’t have time, but I could do bath bombs because those have a quicker turnaround.”
HOPE bath bombs sell for $10 each, and Simmons is splitting the money made from the bath bombs between two different groups helping refugees from Ukraine. She also is donating her labor and materials, allowing all of the $10 to be donated.
Both relief efforts are run by friends of people Simmons knows personally.
The first fundraiser is for a group of men in Ukraine who are giving women and children rides to the Polish border to help them escape the country, which is under attack by Russian military forces. The men providing rides are required to remain in Ukraine, but are using that time to help others get out. Men ages 18-60 are banned from leaving the country under martial law, so they can be called on to defend Ukraine. The trip to and from the border is around 500 miles, and the men are making the trip with multiple vans each day. The men now have seven vans, says Simmons, and donations primarily go toward paying for gas.
The second fundraiser is for a group of volunteers who are bringing refugees from Romania’s borders with Ukraine and Moldova to shelters in Romania. Donations help provide toiletries, medical supplies, snacks and other supplies to those refugees.
Simmons says proceeds from the bath bombs will be split equally between the two causes.
“It goes straight to the people doing the good,” said Simmons.
So far, Simmons has made around 200 HOPE bath bombs. Since introducing them on March 23, the bath bombs have been a popular item among customers.
“I think when you have a physical object, it really represents something and it gives a place for people to focus,” said Simmons.
She plans to have HOPE bath bombs in stock indefinitely at her locations in Crookston and Fargo.
“As long as people will buy them, we’ll have them,” she said. “As long as there are places to donate to, we’ll have them. Unless there’s a ceasefire, but even then I would even assume that there will still be ongoing aid efforts for quite awhile while they rebuild.”