Former government director turned Yellowknife entrepreneur Jackie Hall has been helping Yellowknifers stay squeaky clean for almost two years through Prosperous Lake Soap Co

Now retired, Hall launched her company in May 2019 while she was still working for the GNWT Department of Infrastructure. 

Side projects that tap into her creativity have been a part of Hall’s life for as long as she can remember.

“I’m always doing something weird,” she said. 

Jackie Hall has always enjoyed creative projects. With Prosperous Lake Soap Co., she turned her hobby into a thriving business. photo courtesy of Jackie Hall.

The Prosperous Lake soaps and self-care products were born out of a soap-making book Hall dabbled in while she was home with her son in his younger years. 

She recalls gifting the soap to friends and family “who were all very kind,” though Hall said her soaps were initially terrible. “They looked like dog turds. Not at all like the pictures in the book.”

That was almost two decades ago. 

Hall eventually lost interest and turned her attention to other creative hobbies until a friend pulled out a soap of Hall’s that she had kept all these years. 

“It reminded me how much I really liked that so I made another effort,” she said. 

She suspected she would sell a handful of products, enough to cover the costs of materials, but never expected to turn her hobby into a proper business. Now, she admits she can’t keep up with demand. 

Through chat rooms, community groups, consulting chemists and trial and error, Hall learned to make soaps fly off of Yellowknife shelves. photo courtesy of Jackie Hall.

Things were going well before the pandemic, but since March, Hall said business has taken off. 

With the stress of the Covid era, people are looking to gift loved ones products that promote self-care, she said, and often that leads them to Prosperous Lake. 

Though Hall admits she sometimes feels overwhelmed by the appetite for her products, producing them “is a joy,” she said.

As a team of one, Hall creates her own soaps, candles, shampoo and conditioner bars as well as the related packaging and marketing materials. All eco-friendly, pure, natural ingredients. If there is plastic in packages, she stresses that it’s been recycled.

When possible, she looks to source her materials close to home. It’s not always feasible to buy Yellowknife-based ingredients in the quantities she requires but Hall said all her supplies are purchased from Canadian companies.  

Prosperous Lake Soaps are made of Canadian-sourced natural oils, butters and essential oils for scent. Owner Jackie Hall said the products help with the dryness of an NWT winter. photo courtesy of Jackie Hall.

Once the ingredients arrive, making the soaps only takes a couple of hours. It’s the curing that takes weeks. Since Prosperous Lake Co. only uses natural oils and butters, the soaps tend to be softer than other generic bars. The curing process, which for Prosperous Lake soaps takes about a month, allows the ingredients to sit and harden.

While the formula for soap-making remains primarily the same between products, Hall is always experimenting with new ingredients, new scents and essential oils to freshen up her repertoire. 

She explained that her excitement for new things can sometimes pose a challenge when one product sells out and she’s already on to the next with a new set of inventory. 

“One of my problems is that I can’t stop coming up with things,” she said. “I want to try this and try that and always want to make stuff.”

“In some cases, I have to terminate certain products and I have to try to limit myself and keep myself in check,” she said.  

Since its inception, Prosperous Lake Soap Co. has partnered with Barren Ground Coffee, the Woodyard Brewhouse, Janet Pacey and other Yellowknife businesses. 

In a collaboration with Barren Ground Coffee, Jackie Hall created espresso candles. photo courtesy of Jackie Hall.

Prosperous Lake products can be bought at Mermaid & Moon Boutique, the Gallery of the Midnight Sun, Flowers North as well as online through the company’s website. 

Hall said she couldn’t have imagined that her soap-making hobby would have grown into the business it is today. 

“Yellowknife is so good to small, local business,” she said. “People are always willing to give you a chance.”

“I want to emphasize how appreciative I am to be in a small community. Yellowknife is so gracious.”

Natalie Pressman

Reporting courts and cops and general news, Natalie started with NNSL Media in 2020. Before moving to Yellowknife, Natalie worked as a community radio trainer in Iskatewizaagegan #39 Independent First...

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