Entrepreneur, 4, is a hands-on helper
If you need to schedule a meeting with entrepreneur Kasci Stoneham, you might have to wait until after her nap.
Kasci is only four years old and still in preschool.
She and her mother, Kadijah Lee-Smith started Hands on By Kasci a year ago, selling safe and organic crafts, everything from playdough and slime to shea butters, soaps and bath bombs.
“My favourite thing to make is play dough,” Kasci said. “Pink and blue are my favourite colours.”
And no, she isn’t really clear on the manufacturing process.
“I help mummy,” she said, shrugging.
“Kasci helps with the pouring, colouring and mixing,” her mother clarified.
The business started when Kasci asked to make slime.
Because Kasci suffers from eczema, Ms Lee-Smith had to be careful what went into it.
“I’m allergic to bread and eggs,” Kasci said.
Wanting to provide skin-friendly slime and play dough for other parents, and maybe save them the hassle of making it, Ms Lee-Smith and her daughter started making it in their kitchen to sell.
Soon they branched out into other eczema-friendly products such as soothing body butters, soaps, scrubs, milk baths and other things.
“We offer about 20 different products,” Ms Lee-Smith said.
One of her most popular items is shea butter for eczema flair ups.
“It really does work,” she said.
She started making it because shea butter in local stores seemed expensive.
Now she delivers to individuals, and also sells at vendor markets.
Kasci doesn’t help much with selling. She’s a typically active four-year-old.
“If I bring her, she likes to run around and I spend all my time chasing after her,” Ms Lee-Smith said.
But next year, she hopes to bring Kasci along more, particularly if the event is near a field or playground where she can run around.
Ms Lee-Smith’s last vendor event was earlier month at the WOMB market at the BAA Field.
“I did very well there,” she said. “A lot of people were interested. All my business cards went and I got a few new orders afterwards.”
Also this month, Ms Lee-Smith led a workshop at Seeds of Indigo on Cavendish Road in Pembroke, showing people how to make body butters, bath milk, slime and other items.
Ms Lee-Smith said one of the hardest things to make are the bath bombs.
“If you over-wet the bath bombs they will swell,” she said. “You have to really measure it out properly. If not, it won’t come out good. The secret ingredient to making it fizz is citric acid. I get it from the Chef’s Shop.”
Sometimes bath bombs won’t fizz when they hit the bath water.
Kasci handles some of the product testing for the bath bombs. Once, when her mother’s back was turned, Kasci threw five bath bombs into her bathwater at once.
“There was water all over the floor,” her mother said. “I guess because they fizz a lot.”
Also, Kasci might have helped the process along by splashing.
“She was laughing,” Ms Lee-Smith said. “She likes that type of stuff.”
One of Ms Lee-Smith’s challenges is that she’s a single mother. Sometimes when she’s working on her products she needs someone else to help her watch Kasci. She works full-time, and also runs another business Click Errands.
“Both businesses take up a lot of time,” she said. “I have to have very good scheduling.”
Being as fastidious as she is, she likes to make her house and work area spotless before working on her skin-friendly products.
Her inventory ranges from $8 to $50. She also sells diaper cakes and other items for baby showers.
• For more information see their website www.handsonbykasci.com or Facebook @handsonbyKasci or call 777-6155
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