Virgil's Fine Soaps Proves That Baby Boomers Succeed When Re-entering the Workforce

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As baby boomers are entering retirement age, a new trend is developing. They’re finding that retirement ignites a passion to re-enter the workforce under their own terms.

As baby boomers are entering retirement age, a new trend is developing. They’re finding that retirement gives them new ideas and a passion to re-enter the workforce under their own terms. Virgil’s Fine Soaps is a prime example.

Virgil’s Fine Soaps headquartered in Troy, Ohio, is the brainchild of Katie Schroeder and her husband Virgil. Both are in their mid-60’s. For them, the business is a way to stay active and build something bigger than themselves.

The company evolved from an idea sprung one Christmas holiday while the family was all in town. “The kids were all going to be home for the holiday and I wanted to find something fun to do as a family.” Katie explains, “When they were little we always had lots of crafty things to do, so I bought some glycerin soap and decided that we would each make our own bar of soap.”

Amazingly, everybody got really passionate about their soap. The kids stayed up all night perfecting their scents and the family started to brainstorm about a company. Slowly, a business plan evolved and the idea became a reality.

“Virgil had retired and found himself itching to get back to work. He started working part-time at a local nursery and really enjoyed it, but wanted to be able to make his own hours.” Katie says, “I was close to retirement and wanted to find a way to help us get out, learn new things and stay active.”

The result is Virgil’s line of Fine Soaps and Premium Gifts that appeal to the family man. Every bar of Virgil’s is handpoured by Virgil and Katie and has a signature blend of pumice, loofah Vitamin E and Aloe to exfoliate and moisturize dry skin.

With Virgil's it's all in the family. Virgil’s daughter designed the packaging, logo and website with a homespun "general store" brand that taps into family and tradition. His other daughter develops the gift baskets and his son in law, a professional chef, worked with Katie to test and develop the signature scrubbing blend and scent profiles. His son and daughter-in-law help market and sell the soap.

“If you would have asked me 20 years ago whether I would own my own business, I wouldn't have believed it.” Virgil laughs, “ But I'm really excited about the company. I enjoy working with my kids on a daily basis and learning a new side of myself. Being over 60 doesn’t mean you’re dead!”

Katie and Virgil have learned a lot about business and their family. “It’s a lot of work, but it keeps us young.” Virgil says, “And it really lets me see my kids in a new light. For example, my kids have taught me a lot about sales and relationships. It’s amazing what these kids have learned in school and so forth."

All joking aside, Virgil knows that the biggest thing he'll leave behind is a legacy. His grandchildren are already busy developing video games and soap lines for the future.

"I want my grandkids to have something powerful to remember me by. When they're ready, they'll be able to take over and I'll be ready to rest." He says. "Seeing as how they're only 9 years and 14 months old, that won't be any time soon."

Available on the internet, at, Virgil’s Fine Soaps can be purchased wholesale for retailers and is found in shops and boutiques throughout the United States and Canada.

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Katie Schroeder
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