Lost in the Sauce and Sweet Tea Cosmetics to launch in Student Center next week

Sauce retail and color cosmetics store to open for business under the Missouri Student Unions Entrepreneurial Program.
Senior Teanna Bass sits behind her "Girl Boss" sign while putting the finishing touches on her store set to open Sept. 12, 2018.

New student-run businesses will soon open in the MU Student Center in affiliation with the Missouri Student Unions Entrepreneurial Program. Lost in the Sauce and Sweet Tea Cosmetics will begin business on Monday, Sept. 10 and Wednesday, Sept. 12, respectively. These two will join another currently operating Entrepreneurial Program project in the Student Center, What’s Poppin’!, a gourmet popcorn shop.

The Entrepreneurial Program allows students to submit a business proposal and, if approved, the organization will be allowed to occupy a space in the student center for one academic year, according to the program’s application.

Senior mechanical engineering major Jack Schroder is the owner of Lost in the Sauce, which will open in room 1206 of the student center.

The business will sell various sauces in order to give MU students access to a wide range of more “obscure” condiments that might not be available in big retailers like Walmart Inc. or Hy-Vee. Though Schroder said that Lost in the Sauce’s main focus is hot sauces and barbecue sauces, it will also carry various condiments such as mustards, ranches and ketchups, as well as sauces from local, regional and international providers.

“What we sell is sauces sourced from all over the country and some outside the U.S. with the goal of exposing students at Mizzou to a wider range of flavors [and] cultures, even if just a little bit,” Schroder said. “Also, just providing a way for students to kind of spice up their foods and make it a little bit more interesting without spending a lot of money on steak or lobster or something like that.”

The idea for the business came to Schroder and the business’s head of research and development, Robert Enyard, when they were studying abroad in Ireland through the College of Engineering.

“While we were there, we visited a small coastal town called Portmagee, I believe,” Schroder said. “We went to a restaurant, and they had this mustard that we had never tried before, and it was delicious. We were like, ‘Why isn't this in the US? Why can't we find this anywhere?”

Schroder envisions the business having an easy-going yet informational environment where students can have fun and try new things.

“We want to be a source for people to kind of explore different flavors,” Schroder said. “We want to be a fun, casual setting for people to look into other cultures.”

Down the hall in room 1212B, senior textile apparel management major Teanna Bass will launch her business, Sweet Tea Cosmetics, which she describes as “a makeup salon mixed with a color cosmetics store.” The business will carry lip lacquers in colors “Stunning” and “Cat’s Meow,” and pressed shimmer powders in colors “Moolah” and “Gold Plated.”

Bass emphasized the business’s goal of making inclusive products that anyone can use and enjoy.

“Sweet Tea Cosmetics is a fresh, modernistic makeup brand that is dedicated to serving face to everyone,” Bass said. “And by serving face to everyone I mean literally everyone, from the person who watches YouTube videos and just dreams of being able to do makeup as well as whoever they may watch or from the professional makeup artist who probably would just so happened to find this in their makeup kit, anyone.”

Bass said that the name for the business was derived from her twin sister’s love of sweet tea, her nickname “Tea” and the common phrase “What’s the tea?”

Bass’s drive to start Sweet Tea Cosmetics came to her in a time of personal uncertainty during her sophomore year.

“I didn't have the best GPA that I wanted, [the] lowest GPA I probably had in my educational career,” Bass said. “I was working a lot, had like three part time jobs, had just switched my major over, which was kind of defeating because I thought I was going to graduate on time.”

During this time, Bass arrived at the idea for Sweet Tea Cosmetics. Before applying for the Entrepreneurship Program, Bass started the brand out of her apartment, where, armed with a ring light made of tin foil, cardboard and Christmas lights, she would makeover various clients. Additionally, she began to develop branding for Sweet Tea Cosmetics, as well as products such as false eyelashes.

“I wanted to see if other people would believe in it, and the more I saw other people starting to mess with the idea of me owning a business, and it being Sweet Tea, I was actually believing it too,” Bass said. “And the solidifying factor, I guess, was applying for this and actually getting it.”

Both Schroder and Bass were appreciative of the Entrepreneurial Program and its impacts on the MU community.

“I think, first, for people like me and people like Teanna Bass, it gives us an outlet to kind of test ourselves and test our ideas in a relatively safe environment,” Schroder said. “We don't have to pay rent. We still have the liability of a business, but we're kind of protected from a lot of the issues that businesses out on their own, like downtown, have to deal with.”

He said these unique businesses keep campus current.

“This has never been on campus before, an idea like this. I don't know that there's ever been something like Sweet Tea Cosmetics on campus,” Schroder said. “So it keeps the campus fresh and innovative and keeps things interesting for the other students around.”

Edited by Morgan Smith | mosmith@themaneater.com

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