In the edition of Industry voices we talk with Laura Mazzuca of Mi-el Skincare. Laura took a passion for beekeeping and combined it with a love of skincare. She became a beekeeper to make a positive impact on saving the bees and helping the planet. Honey is one of the by-product of beekeeping and is also wonderful for the skin. We talked with Laura to learn more about her business.
1. How did you start you cosmetic journey?
My cosmetic journey started when I was about 16 and began using honey to clear up breakouts, I was really into skincare, makeup, and fashion, and my mom always put a large emphasis on using natural products. I went to Ryerson University for Business and after I graduated during the pandemic my boyfriend and I began beekeeping as a hobby. I began to do further research on the benefits of using bee byproducts on the skin and started reaching out to various formulation and cosmetic chemists. I ended up connecting with an amazing Canadian female cosmetic chemist and we began developing the formula for our first product, the Honey Infused Hydration Mask. I found a Canadian manufacturer to produce our formula and that is how my journey in Skincare and Cosmetics began.
2. Why did you choose to focus on honey?
My decision to focus on honey stemmed from a few reasons, one was that I had a personal experience seeing first hand how honey cleared up my breakouts and helped me to develop a newfound sense of confidence and self love at a young age. I always loved bees growing up and was never afraid of them, just fascinated watching them. After I started beekeeping and learned more of not only their benefits on the skin but also the immense positive impact they have on the environment. Focusing on honey as skin care became the obvious choice for me.
3. Was it difficult starting a brand during the Pandemic?
I do think that we faced a few barriers, one was that importing time for packaging took much longer and materials were becoming more expensive and there were some shortages. I think that people are also a lot more conscious of how they are spending their money so I took special care to ensure that the product had very high functioning ingredients that people could see a difference on their skin after only a few uses. I would say that one of the largest challenges we face doesn't have anything to do with the pandemic and that is shipping costs in Canada. We have found that the cost to ship things within Canada is very expensive and it can deter people from wanting to spend.
5. Can you please tell us more about beekeeping and the hardship for beekeepers faced in the past winter?
Beekeeping is such a special process that I quickly fell in love with. Bees are incredibly intelligent insects and being able to assist them with their natural processes to help their colonies grow and thrive is so rewarding. This winter was a really tough one for beekeepers in Ontario and 90% of hives were lost over the winter. We were very lucky that 4 out of our 5 hives survived but it doesn't make losing a hive any less sad. Our main goal for this year is to add a few new hives this year to help replenish some of the lost bees in Ontario.
Canadian Cosmetic Cluster Team
Uniting Canadian Cosmetics and Bringing it to the World