Farmers Market regular Zehra Kapasi is a familiar presence to marketgoers. She owns and operates Rose Best, an all-natural hygiene products startup specializing in homemade soap, lip balm, body butter, facial scrubs and more.
Kapasi, who lives in Farmington Hills, has been a vendor at the market for 11 years. In that time, she has bonded with shoppers and fellow vendors, growing a base of loyal customers and friends. And even though this summer she wears a mask just like everyone else, she is easy to identify, thanks to her vibrant traditional dress. Kapasi is a member of the Dawoodi Bohra community of 130 Muslim families living in Metro Detroit.
A psychologist by trade, Kapasi has always believed that hygiene should never be a barrier in addressing mental and physical health. With COVID-19, she saw an increase in that very need to wash hands and maintain physical and mental health. But hygiene does not top the priority list for populations struggling to meet basic needs.
“That’s why Rose Best has already donated 90 soaps for kids and families in local homeless shelters, with another 70 ready for donation,” said Kapasi. “We donate 5 percent of proceeds right back into the community in the form of soap. I am hoping to donate 1,000 soaps this year.”
Kapasi first started making soap in 1998 as a way to relax and connect with mind, body and soul. In an effort to broaden her scope, she started researching how to make other products like body butter and lip balms without alcohol. Last summer she demonstrated her soap-making technique at the market.
These days she devotes most of her time to Rose Best. It is most gratifying for her as she works hard to reinvest in the community in which she lives.