Meet The Alchemist!
Hi, I’m Jezicca Yee. I grew up in George Town, Penang. I’m the founder of Rad Alchemist, a line of handmade, botanically-inspired lifestyle products ranging from body scrubs to candles. I formulate the products myself, sourcing materials and supplies that are safer for human consumption and the environment.
What are some of your favourite things?
I love self-help books! I started reading them after I was diagnosed with Stage Two cancer at 21 years old. I had only just graduated and was floored by the diagnosis. At one point, I was searching for a ray of hope. I was at a bookshop one day and I got this book, ‘How To Get From Where You Are to Where You Want To Be’ by Jack Canfield.
It helped me realize that despite the adversities we face, there’s still a lot more to experience in life, and more importantly, that we are completely in control of our destinies. With a positive outlook, anything is possible. Learning that gave me the motivation I needed to fight the disease, to change my entire mind set and to give life a second go. I’m happy to say I’ve been cancer-free for years now!
How did your journey in making beauty and lifestyle products begin?
The chemotherapy from the cancer treatments made my skin very flaky and dry. I would get a severe itch when I used most skincare products. Back then, it was harder to find products that weren’t loaded with chemicals.
So I looked up ways to DIY skincare products. I found that by using coconut oil with sugar from my mom’s kitchen, I was able to get rid of the flakiness on my skin! It was a huge epiphany for me - I could make my own products out of ingredients that were natural, safe and not harmful to the body, and the results were amazing!
When did you know you were going to be a full-time Rad Alchemist?
After I made the discovery that I could transform everyday ingredients into mixtures that helped my skin stay hydrated and healthy, I knew this was my calling! But I didn’t have the experience or money to start a business yet, so I spent a few years in the corporate world and after that, as a part-time personal trainer. I eventually discovered that the corporate environment really wasn’t for me, it didn’t let me have control over my routine at all. Working at the gym gave me a bit more time to immerse myself in the beginnings of Rad Alchemist. With some savings and experience, I’m now working full-time on growing this business.
What’s your process like, when making products for Rad Alchemist?
It’s very exciting for me to mix and match the different components when experimenting on a product. Scents are important - I make sure the blends are infused with relaxing and mood-boosting elements. I then test each product out myself. I have super sensitive skin, so if the products are okay for me, they’re good to go! I also give samples out to my friends, who provide feedback. I look at those feedback and make tweaks to the ingredients if necessary.
How important is creativity to your process?
Very important! My creativity is based on practicality - I look for ways to create products that have multiple uses. These days, it can be a hassle to find the time to keep and use a lot of products. I’m into minimalism and I found it really beneficial when a product has more than one use. I would like to create an experience of ease for my customers too. For example, my scrubs are 3-in-one - with each use, they exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize.
What’s in store for the future of Rad Alchemist?
Aside from expanding on the range of beauty and lifestyle products, I'm looking into experimenting with more sustainable raw materials. My long-term goal is to provide safer, healthier and nourishing skincare products that are good for the body, soul, and our planet.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Rad Alchemist website and Instagram (@rad.alchemist) for updates!
Interviewed by: Dhiyanah Hassan