Emmaus Beauty Products Store Culminates From a Decade of Humanitarian Work
By Colin McEvoy on January 4, 2018
Khine Alkhal started her chemical-free bath and beauty products store a little over a year ago, but in a way, it’s a culmination of more than a decade of work as a humanitarian and philanthropist.
Alkhal, 33, of Macungie, has traveled to more than thirty countries as a humanitarian worker and researcher, where she learned about the devastating effects of human, drug, and sex trafficking, and was instilled with a desire to help empower struggling women like those she had met.
Her Emmaus-based store, Khineder Creations, does exactly that, with a portion of all of the proceeds going toward providing struggling mothers and survivors of abuse with an income that offers independence.
Alkhal will be the next featured guest in the Lehigh Valley LaunchBox event series LaunchBox Ladies: From Passion to Profit, which is focused on the unique challenges and victories of female entrepreneurs.
“I’m inviting everyone to join me in my 2018 resolution: to be healthy inside and out,” Alkhal said. “I believe that less complaints, less worries, and less expectations will naturally lead to healthier diet, more outdoors and physical activities, and spending quality time with loved ones.”
The event featuring Alkhal will be held Thursday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m. at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus in Upper Saucon Township. The first speaker in the LaunchBox Ladies series was Tanya Wright, an actress known for her role in Orange is the New Black.
“Our hope is that this event, and subsequent LaunchBox Ladies’ events, will encourage all attendees to become the support system others seek in their startup journey,” said Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley. “With the safety net and sage advice of female founders to other female founders, we can bridge the gap between men versus women-owned scalable businesses.”
Khineder Creations, which opened in September 2016, features products made from traditional Burmese recipes and locally-sourced organic produce. The store advocates chemical-free living, consuming and using organic and all-natural products.
These products were informed in part by the healthy lifestyles Alkhal learned about from various cultures during her travels. Through their personal connections and friendships, Khine and her husband purchase products made by survivors of sex trafficking, smuggling, and domestic violence.
Alkhal was born and raised in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and obtained her Ph.D in Human Security from the University of Tokyo. She came to the United States in 2013, and has worked as a Senior Officer for women and children at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
While traveling for her research, Alkhal said she encountered many unfortunate children and young adults who were smuggled and forced into such heinous activities as prostitution, arms trafficking and smuggling drugs.
She worked with local law enforcement to bring justice to some of those families that lost their children, helped several of the children find permanent homes, and got them employment with local factories that lent support and provide vocational training, Alkhal said.
Alkhal is dedicated to bringing awareness about sex and arms trafficking, forced labor, and how communities can help prevent such crimes in the future. She appears as a speaker and panelist at international conferences and symposiums on sustainable solutions for irregular migration and reintegration of migrant workers’ families in developing countries.
Nichola Gutgold, professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley and a member of the LaunchBox Ladies Advisory Council, heard Alkhal speak at one of these engagements, and was impressed by her passion and compassion, as well as her dedication to helping victims of sex and human trafficking.
“By using the age-old recipes of her Burmese relatives, she produces natural products for hair and face that not only benefit her philanthropic causes, but also everyone who uses them,” Gutgold said. “Khine will share with us the extension and, arguably, the responsibility of entrepreneurship to impact a greater good. I am sure that our students, and everyone who hears her, will be inspired.”
Gutgold will interview Khine during the Launchbox Ladies event on Jan. 18.
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