Facing the future

Sajeeta with flower
Sajeeta Saroop. Photo courtesy of Sajeeta Saroop.

University of Victoria grad Sajeeta Saroop (BA ‘92) is part of a team producing family-friendly face masks to encourage their use, as well as providing an incentive to share one.

Saroop, who graduated in political science and sociology, now lives in the Netherlands, but collaborated with the Vancouver-based company The Shrunks to create “SuperShrunks,” a line of brightly coloured, reusable, washable organic cotton masks that include a removable filter.

She’s had a busy career since leaving UVic, including working as a marketing director for two non-profit organizations and in leadership roles at two Crown corporations. Saroop first connected with Perry Chua from The Shrunks two decades ago while working as a marketing consultant. “We’ve collaborated on many branding projects over the years and have always had great creative synergy,” she says. “We had a quick phone call and a week later I was in business with The Shrunks to create a new face-mask product line–SuperShrunks.”

The masks include a giving-back component with the “Wear and Share” feature. A family kit of masks includes two adult and two children’s masks, a mesh wash bag, as well as one free children’s mask and a mailer. Kids can simply address, add postage and mail to share a mask with another person. All recipients can plot their location on a map to mark the collective difference being made all over the world. 

Saroop says her experience at UVic prepared her to think creatively and strategically. Her degree taught her lateral thinking, intuition and critical-thinking skills–all considered a huge commodity in today’s business world. She says she was taught by some of the greatest minds–such as the late Dr. Norman Ruff and Dr. Cecelia Benoit. Being part of a smaller-scale university meant that these professors were readily available to her, she adds.  “I felt they really understood us and aided in our development.” 

Before moving to the Netherlands, Saroop was part of the executive leadership team of SkyTrain, responsible for Customer Experience and Performance Reporting. Her life changed after meeting a Dutch man while sailing down the Nile River in Egypt. Three years later, she is living in The Hague, learning Dutch and enjoying her new home.    

Boy wears a ninja-themed face mask.
A little boy wears a ninja-themed face mask. Courtesy of Sajeeta Saroop.