While clean/green beauty continues to become a priority amongst Canadian consumers, there still remains only a handful of Canadian-grown trailblazers in the clean/green beauty space and Jennifer Freitas, founder of The Truth Beauty Company, is without a doubt, one of them.
We call her a trailblazer, because not only has Freitas built an online platform (and two brick and mortar locations) where Canadians can shop a carefully curated selection of the best and most current products in the clean/green beauty and eco-friendly lifestyle space, The Truth Beauty Company also hosts regular Masterclasses and Workshops where interested people can meet the faces behind some of the industry’s most coveted brands. For example, JoAnn Fowler, founder of Sappho will be at The Truth Beauty Company’s Guelph Location this Friday. Past events include a meet and greet with Indie Lee, the founder of Indie Lee and a Masterclass with Jessica Burman of Cocoon Apothecary.
All images from The Truth Beauty Company Instagram Feed
We sat down with Jennifer to find out her inspiration, how she selects brands to carry, her advice for brands just starting out and what clean/green beauty products she’s loving for spring.
What led you to start The Truth Beauty Company?
It was actually a personal need! I had moved from Toronto to Waterloo in 2010 to raise my twin daughters and could not find ‘clean’ shampoo that was not stripping my hair (personally, the brands that I found in health food stores, while they met my ingredients criteria as far as being non-toxic, I didn’t find them nourishing!) I figured I wasn’t the only one in the region who was seeking clean, luxurious and performance-based personal care products. When my minis were 18 months old, I opened our Waterloo store.
When it comes to selecting the types of brands and products you carry at The Truth Beauty Company, what do you look for specifically?
We have a five pronged approach:
1. Is it clean? (free of toxic ingredients)
2. Is it different from other products we presently carry?
3. Is it effective? (like, will the deodorant actually work?)
4. Price-point? (we like to offer a range of prices so price is not necessarily an exclusionary credential, but rather simply something we consider)
5. Is the packaging appealing?
We have different categories at Truth Beauty so it must fall under a type of product we would even carry; we focus on personal care so if it is in that vein and meets the 5 points above, we will review a brand / product.
What Canadian beauty brands do you feel are making an impact in green beauty space?
I think many of them do actually! I know Province Apothecary really looks to source Canadian grown ingredients – hence the name ‘Province Apothecary’. Cocoon Apothecary packages mostly in glass because the founder feels it is important to reduce plastic consumption; it raises an issue so even if it gets you to think about how you are consuming, she is making a difference. Woodlot uses only essential oils in all of its products – including its candles! That is a big deal as it takes a lot of essential oil for the scent to carry and linger – which most people want their candle to do! Sonia, Woodlot founder really believes in the importance of being pure.
Really, I think clean beauty brands all want to make a difference. They entered clean beauty from the outset to make a difference and I think many of them operate from a place of authenticity – and that is certainly true of the brands that I have fallen in love with.
What advice would you offer an independent green beauty brand that is trying to get started in this space? For example, how could one make an impression on you enough to consider carrying it at The Truth Beauty Company?
The market is fairly saturated and I know it’s competitive – so first piece of advice would be: Get ready to hustle.
I would suggest that before you even begin hustling, know your angle. How will you be different? Why will people know about and seek out your line? (This is my prep for newbies, essentially reiterating that it will take a lot of hard work).
Ultimately, a brand needs to stand out. It if stands out and a retailer, like Truth Beauty is interested, it is great when a company is prepared, meaning they should have a press kit, an understanding of the minimums, tester policy, vendor buy-back policy, preferred shipping methods and rates, are able to offer demo support, etc.
Running a business is hard work. Building a brand is even harder.
What 5 products are on your ultimate must-have list for spring this year and why?
My Must-Haves for Spring! Oh so fun!
I love simplicity with make-up so products that really double up are faves of mine. I am really loving Kosas Duos these days – especially in Velvet Melon; the juicy peach hue I just can’t get enough of! It’s so fresh looking on the cheeks. Get Kosa’s Velvet Melon here.
Graydon Skincare’s Face Glow is also a staple because it is so versatile. It acts as a primer, offers some sun protection, adds some luminosity and evens out my skin tone. Only thing this gem doesn’t do is the dishes. Get it here
I really fell in love this year with gel based serums – they offer so much moisture that is long lasting, yet feel fresh upon application and are incredibly light-weight. The one that is on heavy rotation for me these days is the Pai Back to Life Serum.
Spring also gets me back outdoors. I am out running, gardening and just generally being more active … so a deodorant is a staple. We recently introduced Canadian brand Hola and I think it is my favourite to date! The texture is firm, not gritty and most importantly, it is effective.
Lastly, I am offering a year round must have – the Woodlot Palo Santo spray … for my hair, my linens, my room … I spray this stuff anywhere and everywhere. It just calms me and makes me feel beautiful.