KPU Business Students “Give the Gift of Light”

Under company Shaseux, proceeds from care products fund charity in Africa

Shaseux Students

(Alyssa Laube)

KPU Business Students “Give the Gift of Light”
Under company Shaseux, proceeds from care products fund charity in Africa
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor

As a sustainable, local, and charitable company, a group of KPU business students are proud to call Shaseux their brainchild. The project that began as a necessary part of a student group’s practicum has become something much larger, producing thousands of dollars of revenue, some of which went towards student scholarships, while the rest was donated to SolarAid, a company which brings solar lamps to families without electricity in Africa.

Shaseux offers two products: bath bombs and soy candles. The bath bombs are moulded by hand and contain only baking soda, epsom salt, citric acid, cornstarch, coconut oil, and witch hazel. The candles, which are made of pure soybean oil, are biodegradable, kosher-certified, and cruelty-free. They contain no paraffin, beeswax, pesticides, herbicides, toxins, colourants, dyes, or genetically modified material.

Each of the four fragrances crafted by the Shaseux team is designed to represent different areas of The Fraser Valley and Vancouver. The scent Aura is soothing and sweet, with notes of milk, oats, and honey. It’s what you might inhale inside a spa in Whistler. Lux is classy and extravagant—like a penthouse suite in Yaletown—and smells decadent, like blackberries and vanilla. Soleo is warm and rejuvenating, with notes of bonsai, citrus, and ginger, like lying on one of the North shore’s beaches. And Surge is the wild child, smelling sharply of butterfly orchids, to symbolize the bustling streets of the city centre. It was designed to be a more traditionally male fragrance.

The team decided to sell these products because they feel that making small, daily efforts towards mental and physical health is essential to the well-being of university students.

“It’s so hard to turn off the productivity switch as a student, so spontaneous self-care came from that notion of reminding ourselves, as well as everybody who hears about Shaseux, that it’s okay to do that spontaneously,” says Shaseux Co-Founder Joseph Watson-MacKay. “You don’t have to wait until you have two weeks of vacation one time a year … that’s what we want to move away from.”

When it came to agreeing on donating their proceeds and wages to charity—in addition to KPU student scholarships, as the course requires—SolarAid emerged as a fitting and ethical choice. Because of Shaseux’s tagline, ‘Give the gift of light,’ it made sense to donate to a charity that provides solar-powered lighting for African communities that struggle without electricity.

Shaseux started on Jan. 25 with a $200 budget. One week later they had sold out all 95 candles they made and raised $2000. Bath bombs have not been produced or offered yet, and the company has not launched its social media.

They will be displaying and selling their products at markets around the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver over the upcoming weeks, and are over halfway to meeting their target revenue goal despite being only one eighth of the way through their practicum.

“We have considered potentially continuing this business even after we finish,” says Watson-MacKay. “It’s been really satisfying to come to this point in our programs and business educations where everything that we’ve learned on paper, everything that we’ve done in theory, everything we’ve been tested on, we now have to apply to running a business.”

“We’ve built this from the ground up. It’s sort of like our little baby. We’ve very passionate about everything,” adds Co-Founder Ada Tsang.

She continues, “Currently, we only have plans to stick to these two products, but introduce certain bundles and sets, for things like Valentine’s Day.”

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