Fanshawe student celebrates business anniversary

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MACKENZIE OKE
Fanshawe student Mackenzie Oke, showcased her stunning display of various products from her business, Me, My Soap and I, which recently celebrated its one year anniversary.

Fanshawe College's Mackenzie Oke recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of her business, Me, My Soap and I.

In addition to this shining example of successful entrepreneurship, Oke was nominated for an Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the South Huron Business and Community Excellence Awards Gala.

Founded in her final year at South Huron District High School, Me, My Soap and I has shown tremendous success since its launch.

While already showcasing a variety of products such as soap bars, chapsticks, bath bombs and moisturising cream, Oke said she plans on continuing to increase the types of products available every four to six months.

“The first two months were just experimenting, since there are hundreds of goat's milk recipes for soaps, Oke said. “My boyfriend's family has a goat farm and his mother was the one who introduced me to the idea of making soap from goat's milk. It was a lot of fun, I felt like a mad scientist exploring all of the recipes.”

With the experimentation phase over, Oke now has her recipe down to a methodical craft. She begins with a pre-made base when creating her soaps.

After melting the base down, she then adds the various oils and colours before cutting it up and packaging it for shipping.

It was an expensive process starting out and finding a recipe. However, explaining why she decided on using goat's milk as the base for her products brought to light what truly makes her business stand out.

“Goat's milk has quite a few benefits to it, which is always attractive in health and beauty products,” Oke said. The vitamins and minerals in it help to repair dead skin cells. The Ph levels are the same as those found in the human skin, so it's easily absorbed and keeps the skin really moisturised.”

Ingredients aside, Oke further explained how larger companies shy away from these methods as they are expensive and a lot of hassle. However, it's this extensive effort and personal touch she puts into her products, her customers can deeply value.

Oke is a curious case, as she arrived at Fanshawe's LEAP Junction doors with what most applicants seek, a complete and successful business.

Fanshawe's LEAP Junction is part of the campus-linked accelerator program, an initiative of the Ontario Government and administered through the Ontario Centres of Excellence. Ontario's continued support for small business and youth-entrepreneurship has led to over one-third of youth-owned business across Canada being located in Ontario. Although research is invaluable in any field, Oke declared her preference for practical, handson learning approaches, and sought out resources that would give her business the momentum it needed to take off.

Oke also applied for and received a grant this past summer from the Huron Small Business Centre, as part of the Summer Company program.

When asked about why she was continuing her education, she explained that her parents were still encouraging her to go to school despite the business.

However, as a well-versed businesswoman, she brought her own terms to the table.

“I'm a homebody, I don't like being away from home and so if I was to go to school, it would have to be within driving distance,” Oke said. “I chose Fanshawe because what made the entrepreneur program stand out for me was that it's an intensive, one-year program that provides an excellent overview of everything you would need to be successful in the business industry, from accounting and bookkeeping to small business creation, financing and product design.”

While reflecting upon her first anniversary as a successful business owner, Oke had some inspiring words for any and all future entrepreneurs.

“If you have a business idea, whether you think it's too big or too small, go through with it and have fun with it. Even if it becomes stressful, remember the positive sides of learning and experimenting through your ideas,” Oke said.

To learn more about Oke's business, visit Me, My Soap and I on Facebook.

To find out how you can access the many programs and services Ontario is providing for youth-entrepreneurs, visit

To learn more about Fanshawe's LEAP Junction program, visit