meet Onnia. she’s a south side Chicago native and a mover + maker at the soap factory we built in her neighborhood. we recently asked her a few questions about what exactly she moves + makes for us, and how the South Side Soapbox has shaken things up locally.
tell us how you spend your days at the South Side Soapbox (SSSB)?
i operate the silk screen machine that prints the foaming and gel hand wash bottles. i’m responsible for trouble-shooting the machine and making sure the fine print gets on the bottles.
what aspect of your job are you proudest of?
well, i was only hired a few months ago. i’d never worked on a machine and didn’t even know how the tools worked, so i’m proud that i’ve learned new skills. it translates into my life outside of work… i’m handy now!
everyone who works at the SSSB is pretty passionate about it. what’s your favorite soap factory feature?
i think the location on the south side of Chicago is the most special thing. i used to have to travel 2-3 hours to get to work, but now i’m just 7 minutes away. it’s creating new jobs for people in the Pullman community, and that’s really special. i also love that we have a greenhouse on the roof!
what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done at work?
well, some people would say it’s my happy dance. when the machine breaks down and i fix it, i do a little dance. one time a coworker said the machine kept breaking because i hadn’t done my dance, so i did it and the machine started working.
what’s the biggest mess you’ve ever had to clean up on the job?
sometimes a bottle will jam in the silk screen machine and the ink will leak everywhere. thank goodness we have lots of all-purpose cleaner.