In 2014, Patrice Mousseau, a proud Ojibway entrepreneur from Fort William First Nation, Ontario, created Satya Organic Skin Care from scratch. Based in Vancouver, the company offers steroid-free, fragrance-free, plant-based skin care products to reduce eczema, with a goal to repair all forms of dry, inflamed and irritated skin.
When a doctor prescribed a steroid cream for her baby daughter's eczema, Mousseau was determined to find an organic solution. She decided to combine her knowledge of medical research and traditional Indigenous medicine to experiment with multiple natural ingredients. After the long process of trial and error in her kitchen, she finally figured out a combination of simple and organic whole ingredients were necessary to soothe skin and reduce inflammation. Reputably, the company's first product was introduced, the Satya Jar. Health Canada approved it as an effective topical anti-inflammatory and the line has since expanded to include easy-to-apply stick versions, bath soaps and gift sets. Satya is sold in over 900 stores Canada-wide, thrives online and exports globally.
The Satya brand originated with the company trademarking the word Satya and its logo, the petals of a calendula flower, a prime ingredient in all their products. The word "Satya", meaning "truth" in Sanskrit, resonated with Indigenous values and provided a foundation for what the company embodies through its mission and ethical practices. Notably, every product is refillable and reusable. Customers have the option of purchasing a compostable, refillable pouch (made of non-GMO corn and wood fibre) containing the same volume of formulation as the original product they would have purchased. From manufacturing to packaging, Satya uses only renewable material, to fight plastic pollution.
The Satya trademark allows the company to stand out by promoting sustainability and brings about a moral aura in its customers. Mousseau believes that having a distinct intellectual property (IP) strategy not only adds an intangible value to a business but also advances a company's innovation engine, by increasing research and development, protecting innovative ideas and helping maintain a competitive edge. She also believes in seeking external expertise throughout the process. Satya has a dedicated team of corporate lawyers and an IP consultant to handle its IP affairs.
Mousseau encourages future entrepreneurs to not only solve problems with a lucrative goal, but also aim to bring a positive environmental impact. It's important to reflect and take a hard look at your company and ask yourselves, "how can we appreciate diverse perspectives and change the world in a positive way?"
Satya is proud to have an inclusive and family-oriented corporate culture, which it feels is key to entrepreneurial success. Additionally, maintaining a good network with other entrepreneurs is crucial to developing effective partnerships, whether it's supply distribution or reaching a different market. This helps gain access to new knowledge, experiences and resources that can benefit the company.
Furthermore, for Canada to emerge as a global innovation leader, Mousseau advises that more funding be available to all ventures, especially to female-led and minority-founded ventures. This way, under-funded enterprises can grow and support our local economy.
With such an enviable product, Mousseau is a role model for all creative Indigenous women with a business flair.