New York native Hogan Peters grew up surfing and playing hockey, using environmentally unfriendly products to build up tackiness and grip on his surfboard and his hockey stick.

After moving to California and attending an environmental class at Loyola Marymount Univeristy, he developed a sports wax using natural ingredients, including beeswax, to replace harmful chemicals used to create the wax products.

“I thought, especially for surfers like myself, there was some irony that every time we were paddling out into the water whether we knew it or not, we were harming the environment,” Peters said.

So, last year, Peters formed the Manhattan Beach company Yew!, which makes non-toxic sports waxes from beeswax. The all-natural wax is better for the environment and has the added advantage of fighting bee colony collapse, said Peters.

Then, the novel coronavirus hit and, similar to alcohol brands who pivoted to making hand sanitizers, Peters had the idea to use his wax molds to make soap.

“I didn't want to be producing something that we as a society can’t be using with the beaches being closed,” Peters said. “So I stopped production entirely about a week and a half ago.”

Peters manufactured the soap from a couple hundred leftover pounds of beeswax.

“I ordered some all natural and organic suds mixes,” Peters said. “I came up with a formula; took me about three tries. Now we have an all-natural soap that literally looks like our surf wax minus a little bit of color differentiation.”

Peters manufactured a few hundred bars of the soap, though he said he wished he could have made millions for charity.

The entrepreneur is donating the soap to the El Camino College Warrior Pantry, a program that helps students who face financial challenges.

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