C/O Ashantae Handcrafted

Ashantae Handcrafted promotes self-care while empowering the Black community

When much of the world came to a standstill during the early months of the pandemic many people looked for new ways to fill their days. Some took advantage of their newfound time to learn new skills or tackle various projects. 

McMaster University student Alethea Clarke and her mother, Sacha Clarke, decided to use their time to start a business. Their online natural health and beauty business, Ashantae Handcrafted, will officially launch in early October. Currently, their main products are soy candles and natural soap bars.

“[Ashantae Handcrafted] came about as an idea during COVID, sitting around being bored, seeing other people getting their business[es] started . . .  and us ourselves trying to figure out self-care . . . We just decided “let’s start a business”,” said Alethea.

One of the various handcrafted scented candles that Ashantae Handcrafted creates C/O Ashantae Handcrafted

Described as artsy by her mother, Alethea is currently a second-year student in the life sciences program at McMaster. She is passionate about healthcare and finding ways to better people’s health. Collaborating with her mother, she created a business that merges her interests, using handcrafted goods to promote health, wellness and self-care.

“Just finding that time for yourself and to feel empowered to take that break . . . it could be sitting at home reading a book and having a candle lit. There’s just a sense of peace that it gives you,” said Sacha.

“Just finding that time for yourself and to feel empowered to take that break . . . it could be sitting at home reading a book and having a candle lit. There’s just a sense of peace that it gives you,” said Sacha.

Currently based in Oshawa, Ashantae Handcrafted offers delivery only within the Greater Toronto Area, but they will also do regular trips to Hamilton to drop off orders at a designated pick up location.

Alethea and Sacha are aware of the impact the products we use every day can have on our environment. All their products are made by them and use environmentally friendly ingredients, such as soy wax derived from soybeans, activated charcoal and essential oils. They want to do what they can to reduce their own carbon footprints and help others do the same.

Additionally, as a small Black business, it’s very important to them to use their platform to encourage and empower their community as well.

“I feel like it’s important that we address that we are a small Black business . . . and it’s important for our community to just uplift [the] community as well . . . nothing is too out of reach for us,” said Alethea.

“Also, just to empower young people as well . . . to think outside the box and maybe create something and do something that you’re good with. Like if you’re good with your hands, start building stuff and something like that [can] change your direction. Like instead of you now looking for a summer job or job over the holidays, you can create your own,” Sacha added.

While their journey as business owners is only just beginning, both women are happy with the work they’re doing. Undertaking this project together has made the journey even better.

“In terms of what’s been the best part for us so far, I think it’s just working with my mom. It’s pretty cool . . .  having this amazing idea to bring to the community and just to carry that out,” said Alethea, both her and her mother smiling widely.

Going forward, they plan to introduce customizable gift baskets for the holidays. They are also considering adding more products eventually, such as bath bombs or body scrubs. They’ll continue to expand their selection as long as it’s possible for them to make the products themselves and ensure that they’re conscious of both human and environmental wellbeing.  

Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.