A terminally ill mum and her children are raising marketing funds to keep their natural vegan skincare brand in Boots.
Single parent Asal Shirazi, 54, of Chiswick, and her five children are hoping to raise £100,000 towards marketing for their products, as well as offering shares to the donors.
A few years ago, Asal was diagnosed with a life-limiting autoimmune condition which is progressive and incurable, leaving her unable to work, and applying for a loan has been unsuccessful for herself and children as they are too young.
She said: “I’ve tried for the past three or four months to get a loan, either under my name or my kids, they said they’re too young and they don’t work – and I’m sick, so that’s it we’re stuck.
“Without marketing we can’t run the business, we have a product on the shelf in Boots and nobody knows about it.
“It’s vegan, it’s completely chemical free and it works.”
Her five children Melodie, 22, Donya, 19, Hanahmae, 17, Josh, 10 and Daria, 10 are the owners of luxury skincare Jeunvie and pregnancy skincare Essentiel Vie.
Asal said: “They have all helped equally in one way or another, I just front it as the eldest is most credible, but it’s their business.”
After Asal was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, severe Sjogren’s and Raynaud’s disease, her five children wanted to create the business which was inspired by her illness.
She said: “The kids came to me and said, maybe it’s something you use on your skin, let’s change it.”
Jeunvie is the first natural vegan skincare to be approved by a senior consultant. It was thought of by the five children and formulated by their mum to try and help prevent others who are suffering in the same way.
For five consecutive years, the brand has been coming up top in innovation in Europe and Asal has been awarded titles by the European Government.
“It was just a little something for us to do together – as the kids got older they got more serious about it.”
Asal said they have all have done it, they have all stayed up late and worked really hard.
“They’re very young and they looked into it, they made skincare butters and were mixing oils – they still do, they still help me.”
She added: “This was something for the kids to look forward to and to distract them from the fact that I’m unwell.”
“They feel quite insecure actually because this was supposed to be making them money so they can have a future, and well, they can’t now – without any help they can’t.”
“These kids need some support, I don’t know how much longer I’ve got – if it wasn’t for the kids, life would be pointless.”
Essentiel Vie products are sold at Boots stores across the UK and prices range from £10-£12.99.
The products are plant-based, chemical free, paraben and sulphate free, vegan friendly, Halal suitable, travel size and suitable for sensitive skin.
Essentiel Vie skincare is suitable for mums-to-be and is multi-functional, whereas Jeunvie is luxury spa-style products.
Asal said: “We don’t add colours, we don’t add preservatives, we add nothing.
“We don’t do it cheaply, I want something made that I would use myself and it’s the same with my kids, they want quality.
“The kids have thought of everything, they’re the ones who give me the ideas and inspire and test.”
The brands can be found on Instagram at @jeunvie and @essentielvie.
Send a donation via JustGiving here. Feature image shows Daria and Josh, 10, and eldest Melodie, 22 (centre).