Sponsored by:

SATYA ORGANICS INC. – NORTH VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Many people would recognize Patrice Mousseau from her broadcasting career, but these days,  Mousseau is the creator and owner of Satya Organics Inc, which makes topical anti-inflammatory skincare products.

This business venture started as Mousseau sought a solution to her young daughter’s eczema. “I just started looking at traditional medicine, academic studies, the existing medical research, and I created something in my kitchen crockpot that cleared her eczema up in two days.” She offered the leftovers on Facebook and then made three more crockpots to meet the demand. Recognizing a need, she started selling her product at a local farmer’s market in 2016.

From these humble beginnings, her skincare balm is now produced in a lab and is available in about eight hundred stores across the country, including HBC and Indigo. She also exports products to Hong Kong and the United States. Her sales are equally divided between online and retail.

For Mousseau, it has always been important that her business has a social conscience. “I can do good in the world while still trying to help people.” To make a positive difference, Mousseau ensures that her packaging is environmentally responsible by being refillable and recyclable. She is in partnership with the Great Bear Rainforest to be carbon neutral and is affiliated with the Plastic Bank. Also, pulling from her experience as a single parent, Mousseau provides flexible working arrangements (task-based, instead of hours-based) so that she can tap into the workforce that is unable to work standard shifts.

However, her greatest joy is seeing the difference that she can make in the lives of others. She recounts one success story. “I remember one little boy who was just head to toe in this dry, flaky skin, very shy, wouldn’t talk to anybody. I would see him, you know, quite often with his mom because she would buy from me directly. And one day, he just ran up to me and gave me this giant hug. And I felt so wonderful. I knew that I was helping him. So having that kind of personal impact on people has been incredible.”

Mousseau advises people to take advantage of business groups and, if possible, to find a mentor or a community of other business owners. “Because the reality is that unless you have gone through the process of running and starting your own business, you really don’t understand it. It’s a very unique way of moving through the world, and you need to have people around you who understand the journey that you’re on.”

While recognizing that it takes courage to run a business, Mousseau loves the challenge. “The great part about running a business is you’re constantly challenged. You are never bored. You are always finding new things to tackle and take on in innovative and creative ways.”

Mousseau attributes part of her success to Tale’awtxw Aboriginal Capital Corporation (TACC). Funding is crucial, and obtaining it can be difficult if you don’t have equity to leverage with a bank. “They [TACC] have been an ongoing partner with me since the very beginning, and they are so easy to work with. I mean, they are just incredibly helpful. I can’t say enough good things about TACC and the team there. They have been incredible.”

For her next steps, Mousseau is focused on marketing as well as expansion into the US market. “And doing it cautiously because, of course, the US is a giant market, and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. So slow and steady.” 

Mousseau encourages others to find their passion and the courage to start their own business. “It’s in our culture to be entrepreneurial. It’s in our culture to have community. It’s in our culture to give back to others. So that makes us perfect entrepreneurs. We are the way of the future. And, you know, I encourage people to go out there and be a part of it.”

 

 

Learn more about some of the Indigenous women entrepreneurs that the Aboriginal Financial Institution network has supported at nacca.ca.