Scarlett Floyd, 9, left, and her sister Piper, 11, are making batches of hand sanitizer, lettered signs and jewelry in their Scarborough kitchen for sale to family and friends. Courtesy / Brianna Floyd

SCARBOROUGH — It started as a simple project at home for Piper Floyd, 11, and her sister, Scarlett, 9, to make hand sanitizer for the family to fight the coronavirus.

Now, the two Scarborough girls have turned their efforts into a small business to generate funds to donate to Scarborough’s Blue Point Congregational Church and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.

The operation, run by two children in the family kitchen, is modest, but since beginning the project back in March the duo have sold nearly 100 bottles of homemade sanitizer to friends and family and donated $50 to each charity.

“My email, I have to keep constantly checking because we keep getting orders,” said Brianna Floyd, the girls’ mother.

Floyd said the girls first got the idea while on a family trip to Florida back in early March, when they noticed a scarcity of hand sanitizer even then. The girls have hosted lemonade stands in the past, their mother said, so it wasn’t surprising when they came up with this new idea.

“It wouldn’t surprise us if they run their own company in the future,” Floyd said.

Piper said there are many recipes online for making hand sanitizer at home, but they settled on the simplest one they could find, combining rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel. When asked if it was tricky to get the mixture just right, she said, “At first it was, but we got the hang of it.”

The girls are selling small plastic bottles of the sanitizer along with handmade jewelry and some hand-lettered signs. They even came up with a name for the initiative, Sandy Starfish, and are marketing via word of mouth.

Scarlett Floyd, left, and her sister Piper make homemade hand sanitizer in their Scarborough kitchen. The girls are selling products to family and friends, with proceeds going to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and the Blue Point Congregational Church. Credit: Brianna Floyd

After Floyd suggested the girls donate proceeds to a charity, Piper selected the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, since a family member had been in the hospital’s intensive care unit once as a baby.

“They did an amazing job and I thought I should do something to help them,” she said.

Scarlett said she and her sister have donated hand-lettered signs to local businesses, thanking them for staying open during the pandemic.  When the family drives by and she sees the signs she helped make on prominent display in their windows “We feel very proud.”

Scarlett chose to donate to the Blue Point Congregational Church in Scarborough in part because the church has helped to fund summer camp programs the girls have enjoyed.

The Rev. Marcia Charles, the church’s pastor, said the $50 donation was remarkable, even more so considering it came from local children.

“This is a substantial donation, even for adults,” she said.

Charles said she has seen the final product, and was “absolutely blown away” by how professional the sanitizers are packaged. She said she believes the whole experience serves as a good teaching moment for the kids.

“I think the lesson they are learning is, it’s not just about making money,” she said. “It’s about making something that was needed.”

Charles, like Floyd, has no doubt the girls will nurture that entrepreneurial spirit as they grow up. As for the girls themselves. Scarlett said it’s possible that a career in business lies in the girls’ future.

“We definitely have thought about that,” she said.

Sean Murphy: 780-9094

Email: [email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: