Maternal love spawns ‘pure’ Trumbull home business

TRUMBULL — Shasha Cadet has always known maternal love was powerful, but she didn’t expect a successful business to grow out of it.

Cadet, 44, of Trumbull, co-owns the home-based business Pure By Shasha, with her husband JR Cadet. The Cadets create and sell a line of organic, handmade body butters, face scrubs, candles, aromatherapy mists and other products.

Since the business started in 2019, it has gained traction, getting sold at farmers markets throughout Fairfield County, through a pop-up at the SoNo Collection shopping mall in Norwalk, through the company’s website and elsewhere. For Shasha Cadet, it’s been phenomenal to go from teaching math to seventh and eighth grade special education students in Queens, N.Y. to running her own business.

And it all started because she wanted to help her son, Major, now 5. When Major was 2 “he developed really bad eczema,” Shasha said. Doctors prescribed a steroid cream, but Shasha wondered if a more natural solution might be more suited to her son.

“I started researching different plant extracts that heal the skin,” she said.

Shasha has always had an affinity for plants and concocting natural cures, according to her husband.

“She’s a kitchen witch,” JR said. “If something is wrong with our body or we don’t feel right, she goes into the kitchen and does something and it helps.”

Sure enough, Shasha Cadet’s research turned up a number of natural products that were said to help with eczema, including shea butter, jojoba and vitamin E. She said she combined the products, applied them to Major’s eczema, and it worked.

“We were blown away,” Shasha said.

A number of her colleagues also had eczema, she said, so she brought the creams in to help them. They were a hit.

“When everybody had one of the butters, they said ‘What else you got?’ ” Shasha said.

That’s when she started creating some of the other products, including aromatherapy mists and oils.

“Sometimes, you smell a certain scent and you just feel calmer,” she said.

Shasha even used aromatherapy in her work, and said the special education students she taught responded well to certain scents, including lavender.

As she created more products, she and JR began to realize that this could be a sustainable business. Shasha was also starting to think that she might want to leave teaching, even though she loved working with her students.

“It was really rough teaching during the pandemic,” she said. “I taught kids with special needs and teaching remotely wasn’t as effective.”

The whole process took a mental toll on her, she said.

So when her product lines took off, she decided to take a risk, quit teaching and pursue her business full-time. This had another benefit, as it allowed her and her husband to home school Major, which they had wanted to do for a while.

Pure By Shasha is run out of the Cadet’s home. They have a separate work kitchen downstairs in their home, where the entire family works on the line. JR’s responsibilities including opening and sanitizing jars for the products and even Major helps with the labels. Shasha, meanwhile, creates the product.

Trumbull community and economic development director Rina Bakalar said she supports the growth of businesses such as Pure By Shasha in town.

“I feel strongly that home-based businesses and cottage industries are an important part of our business community in Trumbull,” she said. “We want to support these businesses and when they grow, we want them to grow in Trumbull.”

The business has been growing, Shasha Cadet said. She said, in 2021 alone, she quadrupled her sales from 2020.

Being able to do this for a living still surprises her, she said.

“I’m telling you, I just feel like I’m dreaming,” she said. “I was minding my business teaching and thinking I would retire when supposed to retire. (This business) was absolutely born from a mother’s love.”

For more about Pure By Shasha, visit https://purebyshasha.com/.