Shakylah Sampson, with her mum Kristiann, have created a range of New Zealand-made soaps.
Eleven-year-old Shakylah Sampson has always had an entrepreneurial streak.
The Waimea Intermediate pupil has tried out a few business ideas, including selling mystery boxes and making candles. But it’s her latest venture that looks set to clean up.
Shakylah has launched a soap business, Aesthetic Soaps NZ, from the kitchen in her Richmond home.
Her range, made by adding mica powder and fragrance oil to soap base, includes vanilla and honey, kawakawa and goat’s milk, and watermelon. She pours the mix into moulds to create different shapes, including an ice lolly creation that looks good enough to eat.
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Shakylah’s mum Kristiann Sampson said the idea to get into soap came about during lockdown, when the talk of the day was hygiene.
“A lot of people are in that mindset at the moment, and the soaps are cool. Who doesn’t want to wash their hands with a watermelon, or an ice block?”
The soap-making process meant a lot of research, and a lot of mistakes, Sampson said.
“We never run out of soap, we have a few boxes of soaps that didn’t work out.”
But the trial and error paid off. What began as a hobby became a business when Sampson realised they were running out of room for their creations and decided to sell the soap online.
She launched Aesthetic Soaps NZ on Facebook, and was inundated with requests.
“It went crazy, I was up till the early hours replying to messages.”
A graphic designer, artist and photographer, Sampson helped her daughter with design, and ran the digital side of the business.
The two of them worked well together, she said.
“We boss each other around.”
Turning her interest into a money-making venture was “pretty cool”, Shakylah said.
“I want to do this for the rest of my life, if it works.”
Shakylah has some ideas to expand her range, including whipped soaps, and hopes to sell her products at local markets.