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Last Update: Monday July 6, 2020

Key Idea: Consider Prison Labor

Host Hattie Bryant talks about how Donna creatively addresses her need for seasonal labor.

Key Question:


Not as much as you might think!

She saves because she doesn't have to keep a workforce on her payroll all year round, but she pays the going wage for the work.

We know from going to the jail with Donna that she sees her relationship with the jail as a ministry. She pays for the work and the prisoners are required to send the money to either crime victims or their family. In addition, Donna volunteers in the women's side of the jail to mentor and teach classes on how to be productive when the women leave jail.

Questions for this clip: 1 | 2

Think about it

Are there ways for you to create work and do good for people who need your influence?

Clip from: Cowgirl Enterprises: Just Do it! Take charge!

Boulder, Colorado: In this episode of the show we visit with all American cowgirls. They actually ride horses and Harleys. They know how to sweat, roll up their sleeves and get the work done. There are no prima donnas here. They stand in sharp contrast to so many woman in the world. And because they embody the American spirit for freedom and adventure, we encourage the vision, "Take it global, Donna!" Encourage all woman who are held back or in the dark.

So many of our viewers ask, "How do you get a business started?" Here is a good story to study.

Donna Baase had a vision about skincare products that come from botanicals -- herbs, flowers, roots, etc. In the dry air of Colorado, especially in this mile high city, she knows women need and want skin moisturizers that really work.

Go to all the key ideas and videos of this episode...
Go to the homepage for this episode of the show...

Cowgirl Skincare

Donna Baase, Founder

833 W. South Boulder Road
Building A Tel: 303-440-7549
Louisville, CO 80027

Visit our web site:

Toll Free: 888-440-7549

Business Classification:
Personal Products

Year Founded: 1987

Consider Prison Labor

HATTIE: Here is Donna's packaging operation in the Boulder County Jail.

DONNA: I didn't want to build a whole team of employees to do that. And secondly, I didn't know, if I keep doing it this mish-mash way, how would I ever get over the hump of doing more in enough volume? Two of our most important things are keeping it really neat, neat, neat and clean. Why are you a volunteer? Why do you do this?

Unidentified Man #1: It's better than being in other places in jail.

HATTIE: Would you rather work than not work?

Man #1: I'd rather do this than be locked in my cell.

HATTIE: Chuck Pringle is the captain of the Boulder County Sheriff Jail Division.

CHUCK PRINGLE: We do an assessment of every inmate once he or she is brought to the jail. And that assessment includes asking two questions. One question is, `Would you like to go to school?' And another question is, `Would you like to work?' What we found in this facility is that 80 percent of the inmates answer they would like to work and 20 percent answer that they would like to go to school.

Twenty-five percent of the money that we earn goes to restitution. Twenty-five percent of the money goes to child welfare payments. Another 25 percent goes to cost of care. And the last 25 percent each inmate can stipulate a family member or dependent.

HATTIE: So someone watching this program who wants to find a productive day program or an industrial program...

CHUCK: They can call their local jail administrator and ask them if they have a program like this, because we have found, in our experience, that we need resources in the community that we can tap to obtain work.

HATTIE: (The Lighbulb in the Studio) Donna Baase is not interested in running a manufacturing plant. She wants to give her customers unique, botanical-based, skin-care products. So to achieve that goal, Donna is building a virtual corporation. She has just one full-time employee, several part-timers and four business alliances. An outside lab makes the liquid products. Two other companies make the bars and lip balm. And, of course, jail prisoners do packaging.

This is the new way to run a business. You do what you do best, then find others to do the rest. The old way is to hire employees. The new way is to form alliances. This way is efficient and saves you from burdening yourself with infrastructure and overhead. Donna may change her mind as she grows, but for now, she's glad to have teams of people who don't work for her, but with her.

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