SENSE | By Kass
Sanitizing on a Mission
I was introduced to SENSE | By Kass by my wife and when I learned of the mission behind the brand, I knew I had to feature the owner, Kass, on the community and entrepreneur spotlight. SENSE | By Kass hand-makes hand sanitizers that are infused with heavenly scented essential oils. She began making these products as a gift for her frontline co-workers during the Covid-19 Pandemic and the rest is history. Check out her interview below!
Note* All pictures were provided by Sense | By Kass.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Kassandra, but everyone calls me Kass. I am a Critical Care Registered Nurse of seven years, a dog-mom, and the daughter of an incredibly loving, selfless, kind, & strong-willed single mother who is the reason I am who I am today. Although I am not always successful, I try to find the little blessings hidden in things that don’t seem so wonderful. Something I try to remember in daily life is that everyone is fighting a battle we know nothing about, and kindness is so incredibly underrated.
How did the idea to start SENSE | by Kass begin?
This year (2020) has been rough, to say the least. My Pediatric Intensive Care Unit coworkers were burning out from the steep learning curve and constant changes in protocols for patient care given the rise of COVID, the overtime they were putting in when other nurses were sick with the virus, the strain of having family members out of jobs but no fewer bills, and for some, the stress of losing friends and family to COVID. I felt that they deserved a physical token of appreciation for their care, especially as we all watched other facilities be rewarded hazard pay and bonuses for pushing through in similar environments while we waited in uncertainty. I wanted to give everyone a small something that conveyed the message, “Hey, I see you. Thank you for all that you do. You are appreciated.” Now, prior to the chaos of this year, I used to add essential oils to my own personal pocket-sized hand sanitizers because it was a brief 5-10 second escape for my senses in a very hectic environment. I decided I wanted to create a similar aromatherapeutic escape for my coworkers, and thus the Infused Sanis came to be. Shortly after people began inquiring about how to buy more, SENSE | by Kass came to life.
What products do you sell and are your products all-natural?
I design, what I called, nature-based skin, body, and soul care. All my products contain organic and natural ingredients. Some of my fragrance blends contain premium grade fragrance oils which are phthalate-free fragrances that contain plant extracts. My very first product, and the one I am most known for, is the Infused Sani. This is an essential- and premium fragrance oil-infused hand sanitizer, made with isopropyl alcohol, aloe, and organic jojoba oil. I also offer an all-natural plant-based skin soothing gel called SENSEible, which can be used for all kinds of skin irritations and dryness. Fun fact: this one was actually never intended to be an advertised product; I had offered to whip up a blend made of plant-based anti-inflammatories and an all-natural organic antifungal for a parent on our unit whose daughter had a horrible diaper rash that was not resolving with any of the over-the-counter products they were using. It is made from 4 simple ingredients: distilled purified water, organic chamomile, aloe, and organic jojoba oil. That’s it. Within 4 days, according to her mom, the rash had practically healed. This mother then encouraged me to share this product with others.
When you are creating scents for your products, how do you know what scent combinations work together?
Haha. I’ve been asked this by quite a few people. My answer remains the same: I don’t. Not for sure at least. I get ideas and simply decide to find out what will work. I do my research and sometimes to get an idea started, I’ll look at essential oil fragrance wheels (which define categories of essential oil aromas and what they can be paired with) and I just start toying with base, middle, and top note scents until I come across a scent that smells balanced. I use my own personal experiences as inspiration. I might get a whiff of something and think, “Ooh what is that smell? It smells like [this scent] and [this scent]. Let’s see if I’m right.” Other times, I use personal nostalgia and memories, as well as requests from customers as the motivation behind fragrance blend development. I would say it’s similar to cooking: the more time you spend doing it, the more you can identify which elements will marry well with others, and the flow becomes increasingly natural.
How does it feel knowing that what you are doing is impacting your community in a positive way?
Oh my Lord, I LOVE IT. I have always LOVED giving (haha I’m almost certain that’s why I became a pediatric nurse). Seeing people’s joy from something that I did or made or gave them makes me feel so incredibly warm and whole and fulfilled. I don’t need anything back. The smiles and joy are more than enough.
How can we purchase Sense | by Kass products?
I have an Etsy website, sensebykass.etsy.com. All my products are listed there with detailed descriptions. I usually post product updates and special coupon codes on my Instagram (@sensebykass) and my FaceBook (/sensebykass). I also take local in-person orders, including for people who work at my healthcare facility. For these orders, people usually email me their order, are sent an invoice, and pay me via CashApp ($KassGold) or Venmo (@kgold723).
If someone wants to make a contribution to Sense | by Kass, how can they do so?
Oh, that’s too kind. I actually feel kind of uncomfortable accepting donations. Like I said, I’m a giver. However, for those who remain insistent (you know who you are), all donations via my CashApp and Venmo are immensely appreciated, so much more than you might think. I promise its being put to good use!
Did you experience any challenges starting/running SENSE | by Kass? What lessons can you share with those who are interested in a journey similar to yours?
Oh jeez.. its been an interesting journey thus far. It’s just me here at SENSE | by Kass. I handle the marketing, the production, the design creation and editing, the supply orders, the research, the development of fragrance blends, the product testing, the packing and shipping, and the finances. All of that was and still can be so overwhelming when I consider the list of tasks I’m responsible for. Marketing and beginning of bulk orders were also challenging, but with the help of friends with knowledge of the tips and tricks of small businesses, I was able to adapt and become more efficient. In no way am I saying that I have this down, though; I’m still a work in progress!
The only lessons and advice that I can share with others who want to start their own little businesses is that there will be setbacks but you mustn’t let that discourage you. Above all, do what you absolutely love or feel a passion for or calling to, or all it is going to feel like is work
Will SENSE | by Kass be expanding in the future? If so, what other products will you be creating?
I actually recently developed LumineSENSE, a plant-based whipped body butter, and EsSENSEtial, a plant-based handpoured lip salve. A plant-based body scrub is currently a twinkle in my eye. I really just want to provide an aromatherapeutic plant-infused body care line that people can feel good about using. Stay tuned!
Is there anything else you want others to know about Sense | by Kass that I have not already asked?
I run on joy. All my customer’s proceeds help me to continue what I started out doing: creating my products to give to essential workers of all kinds (healthcare staff, sanitary personnel, technicians, tired and worn down families of critical care patients, grocery delivery drivers, pest control personnel, and more) for FREE. Thank you SO much!