This edition of industry voices is with Claudia Murillo of Lovacado. Lovacado was founded in 2013, Lovacado started as a family ritual turned leap of faith. From Grandmother’s kitchen, to carefully perfected recipes, these all-natural wellness and beauty products were designed to nourish you from the outside in, using an organic approach that matches your healthy lifestyle. The Lovacado philosophy is going back to basics. We know that every inch of your body absorbs what you put on it, which is why we use the most nutritious ingredients from our Earth and ensure every Lovacado creation is made free of toxins, synthetic ingredients, parabens, artificial colouring, and additives. Also, their products are never tested on animals, vegan, and Non-GMO. We ask Claudia about her opinions on the cosmetic industry and its future.
1. What led you into the raw material industry?
By chance, I created Lovacado in 2013 and I was forced to look for avocado oil as the main raw material for my beauty products.
2. What makes Avocado Oil great for cosmetics?
Avocado oil is an antioxidant, emollient, and anti-inflammatory. It's an excellent source of antioxidants, such as vitamin E, which help to absorb free radicals so we can protect ourselves from environmental damage. In addition to vitamin E, avocado oil contains potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturize the skin. The outermost layer of skin, known as the epidermis, easily absorbs these nutrients, which also help to form new skin. Avocado oil can act as an emollient and has occlusive properties, which means that it both softens the skin and traps humectants and emollients onto the skin.
3. How sustainable is the process of avocado oil manufacturing?
Our extra virgin avocado oil comes from a farm in Mexico. The company (a family-owned and run business) has been growing avocados and manufacturing avocado oil for many years. They're located in an area that receives rain all year and this minimizes the possibility of droughts in nearby rivers. In addition, many of the company workers have been with the company since inception and this helps to maintain the local economy. Also, the company works hard to plant trees every year and install water treatment plants to reduce water consumption.
4. What are the challenges of importing into Canada? Does the government provide support?
I currently import avocado oil from Mexico, and there haven't been any issues. The Canadian government doesn't provide a lot of support for my type of business, especially because I sell a raw ingredient that is from another country. Also, most programs are designed for the tech industry, I'm not aware of any grants or assistance for my type of business.
5. How did your company handle Covid-19?
Spas closed so we lost the opportunity to sell directly to spa customers. We are only selling online now and take extra steps to disinfect products before shipping. This increased our cost a bit and it can't be recovered because you can't pass the additional cost to the customer. In the end, these extra steps increase our overhead cost.
6. Is the distribution of raw materials easy in Canada?
In general yes, for me I sell my product online and haven't had any issues.
7. Do you have any advice for start-ups in the industry looking to succeed in Canada?
Depending on the industry of the business, I suggest they follow the lean start-up model. Also, focus on the Canadian market first before venturing to the South. I did this at first and spent a lot of money with little return. Love what you do, be patient, consistent, work hard and smart, and be reliant.
Canadian Cosmetic Cluster Team
Uniting Canadian Cosmetics and Bringing it to the World