This edition of Industry Voices features Jillian Baker of TAMA Cosmetics. TAMA Cosmetics is unique because of the high percentage of natural shea butter in its products. They invest in natural and affordable shea-based bath and beauty products sourced through an ethical and environmentally friendly supply chain.
1. How did you get into the cosmetic industry? Tell us your story.
A bit unconventionally, I started out distributing TAMA Cosmetics because of the social empowerment story. My day job brought me to Ghana a couple of times a year. I became friends with the TAMA team in Tamale and was always stuffing my suitcases full of their amazing shea butter products for friends, family and colleagues back home. One day, they were ready to enter the Canadian market, and suddenly I was on board to lead the way! Since then, I’ve become more passionate about helping Canadians deal with the dry winter air—it’s the worst! Shea butter is a great salve for most things in life.
2. What were the challenges in starting your cosmetic business?
The main challenge has been finding our market niche in an already saturated industry. As a start-up and social enterprise, TAMA Cosmetics was lucky in that we secured funding to do some market research, which was a big help. However, it’s a constant push to secure the market: both e-commerce and retail. We were devastated in 2020 not only dealing with the pandemic disruptions but also with the closure of Ten Thousand Villages here in Canada. Luckily Ghana is faring pretty well, all things considered. The second challenge is shipping: air freight is exorbitant and sea freight takes a long time.
3. What was the experience of importing raw materials into Canada?
Once the market is secured, it’s an easy adventure! Some challenges pop up, but rewarding to see the supply chain grow. Our women shea collectors are paid a fair price as well as the other employees of the the Shea Butter Village. Once you are assured of the quality of the product, the process becomes more simple.
4. Did you experience more hardships with import during Covid-19?
Yes. Ghana closed its commercial air and sea traffic for the summer of 2020. The impact of this was was tough as we were scarily low on inventory. Luckily, the borders opened things up again in September. We were able to resume importing our products. Prices have also gone in up the past year.
5. How do you connect with clients? Is it hard to have an online presence?
Social media is a great connector, so we’ve pushed that a tiny bit and are planning more there. We send out emails to our subscribers. We are on Shopify , a platform that makes engagements and fulfillment very simple. We are looking to tell more of the TAMA story on Instagram and our website.
6. What is one innovation that you would bring to the cosmetic industry if you could?
Paper packaging for oils and lotions would be great! We value sustainability, and I’d love to see more options for green packaging. At TAMA we reuse as much as we can with shipping. For our wonderful cosmetics that are processed up in the north of Ghana, it would be great to contribute to a world that will work for the next generations.
Canada ranks top affordable country for beauty products. Check out Cosmetify for more information.
The Canadian Market is worth 15 Billion Dollars. The skincare market is 40 percent of the entire cosmetic market. Facial products achieve 900.2 million in sales with hands & body products sell second at 282.1 million.
The average Canadian spends on average skincare of 22 dollars a month to the expense of 264 CAD a year. Skincare items are the 2nd most purchased items after haircare. Most commonly the average Canadian consumer shops a few times a year (30.84%), with 22.65% shop monthly, and 15.73% shop a few times a month. Only 4.17% of consumers shops a couple of times a week and 6.44% shop weekly. Products need to be affordable within that range of 20-30 dollars and last a month.
Consumers prioritize family and friends in terms of cosmetic suggestion. Consumer reviews are the 2nd most prioritized step. Unlike personal care items like shampoo, toothpaste and deodorant, skincare products do not have as many loyalties from the Canadian consumer. This means consumers are more eager to try new products. As much as 55% of Canadians believe in research and how it is making better products. Canadian also see Mass-market brands are viewed as just as effective as premium. Shopping trips made specially to get certain products as much as 50%. Price is also an important factor of Canadians with 50% look at price to decide a purchase. Natural products are not a big factor.
Simplicity is preferred over innovations.
Statistics provided by Statista and Euromonitor.
"Canada and the United Kingdom have reached an interim post-Brexit trade agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday.
The Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement extends the elimination of tariffs on 98 per cent of goods exported between the two countries and sets the stage for negotiations toward a permanent and more ambitious deal in the new year. The deal could include "the potential to go further in areas like digital trade, the environment and women's economic empowerment," a release from the British government said." (CBC,2020)
For full article please continue at CBC
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster has enjoyed a great relationship with the UK Cosmetic Cluster. We will continue to support the UK Cosmetic Cluster and collaborate on innovative cosmetic projects in the future.
Please Visit the UK Cosmetic Cluster for More Information on the Cosmetic Industry in the UK.
The Canadian Cluster Will Focus on Research on Cosmetic Wellness and Modern Social/Cultural Consumer Habits
As of 2020, the beauty industry is worth close to 500 billion dollars USD. This global industry has been long thought of as an industry that has unlimited potential in product sales. New innovations in science have led to better products being developed. As we approached the mid 20th century we saw that cosmetics were no longer a luxury but a part of everyday life. In 1944, the British government likened cosmetic products to cigarettes and beer. These items were a necessity for the common man not just for the select few wealthy.
Companies and formulators are in a never ending race to launch a new skincare line or a different shampoo formula. There is a neverending need for new products by consumers. They are eager to try and use a new type of product with the promise of everlasting beauty and youth. The question to ask is why do we need cosmetic products? What is the importance of beauty? Traditionally beauty was linked to health, it was a sign of strong genetics. Signs of youth were associated with fertility. That has been the driving factor for the cosmetic industry for centuries. The last two decades have presented a change in the industry comparable to the industrial revolution. This has largely been due to the growth of the tech industry. Consumers have also changed. Women who were the traditional cosmetic buyers are no longer bound to domestic life and responsibilities. Women have a place in government, business and science. Birth and marriage rates are down in most developed countries. The modern consumer seems not to care about attracting mates and fertility. If the consumer has moved away from its traditional mindset, what are the factors that are leading the industry to its astonishing growth?
The Canadian Cosmetic Cluster is dedicated to providing these answers. We will partner with academic institutions, corporate sponsors and relevant organizational partners to conduct research on the psychology of the cosmetic consumer and the benefits of self-care rituals.
By studying in-depth how the use of cosmetic products affect us, will help us understand the value of products and provide a more precise picture of the industry. The benefit of the global cosmetic cluster is that it allows us to connect to different countries, different markets. This provides a global understanding of the subject. How does political instability affect consumer habits? Do areas with higher millennial populations have higher sales around the world? What is the driving factor in buying skincare, is the act of self-care. Do cosmetics make us feel good psychologically and physiologically? We are beginning to gather research on the topic. There is still a greater deal of research to be done. The Cluster is committed to supporting companies who strive to show cosmetics as self-care aids.
The impact of social media has been vast in modern society. Connections are easily made through email and information can be quickly obtained. This has led people to the false belief that since they can now easily access industry information through the internet, there is less of a need to have live meetings. The simple truth is, that meeting individuals face to face is more important than ever. Nothing will replace the impact of the human-to-human connections that occur during physically meeting an individual. Teamwork in person can provide an opportunity for serendipitous meetings and brainstorming of innovative concepts. Small network events provide a great opportunity to get to know other individuals in a business-like setting. Networking with peers can increase collaboration opportunities. Individuals can also have a chance to encounter new vendors and suppliers away from the trade show floors. The more relaxed setting can help individuals talk more freely. By investing time with industry peers at networking events, those peers can become important friends and business allies. It is important to enjoy yourself during business events. The cosmetic business is full of amazing individuals. This career is rewarding and can be a great deal of fun. Entertaining and networking events after industry conferences can add a layer of enjoyment to a typically serious business environment. You can grow your business by mixing a social aspect as you learn about the cosmetic industry.
Companies greatly benefit from having access to professional office space which enables a company to have flexible access to meet with clients. There is a great advantage to co-working spaces. They provide an opportunity for networking with the ability to maintain social distancing due to the larger area. A space to work away from crowded home life can lead to additional productivity.
The coworking space at Office146 has been designed to provide a sense of community while inspiring optimum productivity. The synergy between on-site events, activities, speakers and networking is a marriage that enables your employees to feel energized with a renewed focus on all the tasks at hand.
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Office 146 has Virtual Office plans where clients can have a business address without the lease commitment, plus they can handle a company's business mails – starting at $30/month. Additionally, they have the Flexible Passes for those who only require office space daily/weekly/monthly starting at $25/day, as well their Meeting Rooms can be booked on-demand starting at $20/hr.
Additionally Office 146 offers a Referral Program, if you refer a client for a private office, 1 person office or higher for a minimum of 1 year commitment, you will receive a 1 month rent commission.
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In this edition of industry voices, we have interviewed Henna Singh. Henn is the blogger behind Canadian Beauty. Henna is passionate about sharing her experiences with beauty products. We ask Henna about her opinions on beauty bloggers and their value for the industry.
1. What led you to the world of Beauty Blogging?
I was always interested in trying new products and sharing recommendations with friends. It was natural for me to turn to blog writing in 2006 to have a place to put all my reviews and ideas. I had great feedback from brands and readers and I've been doing it ever since.
2. How has the beauty blogger environment changed in the last decade? Are these positive or negative changes?
Well, there's been a move to "influencers" and "social media" which, personally, I think isn't great. Sometimes, it's clear that they're being paid and they don't even review the product - just apply it on camera, and then move on, so personally, I don't trust influencer reviews much. I do trust feedback from my own followers and I find that a community is best for really having honest conversations, and that can be on any platform. If you can build that, the right people will come and that's what matters.
3. How do you think the future of beauty blogging holds?
I do. Blogs are easier to search and it's easier to build a body of work that you have control over. People are realizing this as countries ban TikTok and they're losing their income sources because of it. I think you need to diversify but hold on to your own content in as many ways as possible.
4. What do you value in beauty brands? How can they stand out?
I value conversation and transparency. Some brands say that they're interested in any content you produce, but what they don't say is that they're not interested in negative reviews. I think some brands also want you to produce very specific content like tutorials, but won't necessarily say that. I would love for a brand to contact me and say "we have such and such product, and we want you to try it, we hope you'll like it, it's your kind of thing, and then maybe you could do X, Y, Z with it."
Literally, NOBODY says that.
I find that brands are not really open to conversations and brands that can do that will stand out.
I also value them promoting me, like I'm promoting them! Only a handful of brands will cross-post your review or like your posts, or leave comments which again, is a lack of willingness to converse on their part.
I also think that some older brands need to be transparent about ingredients and how they're going to help your skin. The newer, trendier brands are doing this.
5. What does beauty mean to you? Do you see it as self-care?
Beauty means feeling good about yourself. Improving your own image of yourself.
Canadian Cosmetic Cluster Team
Uniting Canadian Cosmetics and Bringing it to the World