PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Two communities that sometimes feel more separated than they really are can introduce us to a soap company that stands for much more than a clean scent.

Out of a garage just outside of the city of Rochester selling soap to anyone who wants to smell just that much better — Rainbow Cammo is the one "who knocks."

"There are some soap makers that are very like 'oh, this is crap.' And here I am Walter White-ing in my basement with a chemical fume respirator," said Malcolm Keim. "I'm fairly certain that because I bought this, I'm on a list."

He works diligently in his basement, working on perfecting a product that sums up a lot of his life.

"A lot of people don't realize just how volatile the soap process can end up being," Keim said. "But the thing is, once you actually drive the reaction and become soap, it's completely harmless."

There has been plenty of trial and error.

"The chemical process is moving along as I'm working with it. So it wants to start hardening and become soap," he said. "Sometimes I have to fight it into submission and other times it does what I want."

It's been a long road.

"I don't know exactly how you go from jarhead to scientist, but it kind of happened," said Keim.

He spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, nearing a decade out of uniform.

"Like a lot of other vets, I was a little lost. I had no idea what I was doing, what I wanted to do," said Keim. "It was just very, very touch and go for a little while. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I knew it wasn't in the Marine Corps anymore."

Seeking guidance on the next steps, Malcolm took an aptitude test and three potential roads revealed themselves.

"Medical laboratory scientist, pathologist which requires med school ... I didn't have enough time on benefits or mortician," he listed. "Apparently, I like science — who knew?"

Through school, he stumbled on what would be a side hustle with growing popularity.

"It just kind of turned into a thing where some of my peers were like, 'Oh my God, this smells good,' " Keim added. " 'You should make more of this,' and then that just kept happening until I turned it into a business."

It resulted in Rainbow Cammo, personal products for the fierce and the proud.

"I thought it was a cute little play because you don't exactly like everybody knows, you know veteran owned business," said Keim. "Everybody knows LGBTQ-owned business, but a lot of people don't put the two together."

Malcolm wasn't always able to express himself.

"The first half of my enlistment was still Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So that was a huge thing," he said. "There is a community that doesn't really put a lot of that out there because they were in Don't Ask Don't Tell. They're not comfortable. It's just so easy to just stay hiding."

The policy was officially repealed in 2011.

"It was nice being in a position when that happens. So it's like a weight lifted off my shoulders, like I don't have to pretend to be the super macho butch Marine," Malcolm said. "Like, you know, 'grrr,' big guns, heavyweight jarhead."

As freeing for so many as the last decade has been to serve, Malcolm hopes his business and presence at Pride festivals that have fueled his business growth will reach more than a growing clientele.

"I did the military and then call center jobs and then college and now I'm a scientist. And now I do this like crazy, wacky, Walter White, not making meth, I promise it's soap, in the basement thing, right?" he added. "So I've done a lot of things, and the only thing that I hope people can take away from that is that just keep doing you. Focus on what you want and what makes you happy. Just follow that wherever it takes you."

Rainbow Cammo is really trying to branch out using social media, and Malcolm learns something new at every event he goes to. He says one of his favorite parts about the business is failing when making a batch of soap so he can learn from that, even though he admits part of going into business is because soapmaking is not exactly a cheap hobby.