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Cambridge woman helps human trafficking survivors with soap store
Timea Nagy’s soap store “Timea’s Cause” is helping turn victims into victors.
The Cambridge shop is Nagy’s latest approach to giving hope to human trafficking survivors.
“Every single dollar we are making is going toward an employment program,” she said.
Nagy, a survivor herself, made soaps for others while working at a safe house. It was here that she had a vision for the future.
“I wanted to start a store one day where we can make soaps and employ survivors,” she said. “Having them work here and meet the community and other partners really makes them believe that everything the trafficker said was wrong.”
The store owner recalls one of the women working for her making bath bombs when they suddenly fell apart in her hand. Nagy comforted the employee and said they’d turn it into powder bath champagne.
“It’s one of our best sellers now,” she said.
Nagy’s partner Michelle Furgiuele is also a survivor.
“When you’re entrenched in that lifestyle, you truly are a victim,” she said. “It’s hard to see the bigger picture. It’s really hard to integrate back into society.”
Furgiuele adds that a year ago, opening a store was beyond her imagination.
“I worried about paying my rent, feeding myself, keeping transportation under me,” she said. “Everything was a struggle.
“This opportunity honestly saved my life.”
Mike Josifovic, a police officer who helped Nagy years ago, was on hand to surprise her at the store.
“Today was just a special day for Timea,” he said. “I thought I’d drop by and say hello.”
The store is only open on Saturdays in May and will expand its hours in June.
It’s volunteer-run at the moment, but plan to hire paid, full-time staff once business picks up.