She’s an entrepreneur at heart, and this summer, she’s learning the ropes with her goat’s milk soap business, Me My Soap and I. Mackenzie Oke joined the Summer Company program to test being an entrepreneur before she begins an Entrepreneurship Program at Fanshawe in September. It’s good news for us—the program solidified her decision to enroll in the Entrepreneurship program, and she plans to continue and expand her business in the fall.
It started with her boyfriend’s mom making soaps and Mackenzie dabbling in it for fun. She says she was surprised at how much she enjoyed it because she doesn’t really consider herself a crafty person. After trying it though, she discovered that she found the process relaxing. She loves mixing essential oils to make new scents, and has created 20+ different bar soaps to date. She’s learned that some scents don’t work as well, and that others quickly became crowd favourites (the peach mango is amazing!). The peppermint bath bomb is also a best seller from her experience.
Mackenzie says the Summer Company Program, funded by the Province of Ontario and Huron County Economic Development Department, helped her get started with startup expenses, and helped her prioritize what to do in the beginning. Often one of the hardest things for those with an entrepreneurial mindset is deciding where to focus their ideas. In addition to granting startup money, the program provides mentorship and training to students to support them in their business efforts.
Mackenzie notes that her most positive experience so far has been the overwhelming support from her friends, family and community in supporting her business. Her family helps out, and her hockey team has already purchased her soaps as Christmas presents. She loves that her family is learning about running a business together, and jokes that everywhere she looks, she sees opportunity. She has a new appreciation for the cost of things (like signage and marketing materials), and seeks out entrepreneurs to chat about their experiences. She already has an exciting new idea for a future business.
For now, Mackenzie plans to continue making soaps and bath bombs, and has started selling them in local stores in downtown Exeter. Her next mission is to sell them online. You can check out her products at the following upcoming craft shows:
Zurich Bean Fest, August 25th
Hockeyville in Lucan, September 15th
Lucan Craft Show (December).
Check her Facebook page for more dates and details.