Q & A
1. What do you find inspires you most when creating new products?
“We are constantly inspired by listening to our customers’ needs and wants. We absolutely love hearing their requests, whether it be in-person at pop-ups and markets, or online via email, website chat, or Instagram DM’s. We make it a priority to know what new products our customers are looking for, and frequently use the Instagram stories to get their opinion when formulating new products. For example, we’ve been toying with the idea of a new toning mist, and weren’t sure which scent profiles people would prefer. By creating a poll, we realized that 85% of our customers were interested in a eucalyptus mint toning mist, which we’ll be launching next week! At the end of the day, we choose to create products that are most requested and add value to our customers.” —CONNIE
2. Which specific NIU BODY products do you recommend for dry skin, oily/acne prone skin, aging skin, and combination / sensitive?
“You can actually shop by skin type and concern on our website! Just scroll over SHOP > Shop by Skin Type. We also have Skin Kits for dry, normal, oily, and mature skin, so you can shop products recommended for your skin type, at 20% off versus buying the products separately.” —CONNIE
3. What challenges do you find most difficult as a small business / brand?
“I constantly feel like I don’t have enough hours in the day. I currently wake up at 6:15AM, and am actually debating setting my alarm earlier to try to squeeze in more during the day. No matter how much Laura and I plan to get tasks done in advance, it always seems like we are weeks or months behind schedule! We’re looking to expand our team in the new year, which should hopefully help alleviate some of the time pressure and stress….
Another difficulty I personally experience is balancing work and personal time. I know that me-time is very important, but I struggle a lot with carving out time for myself. For example, last week I told myself that I’d take an hour to relax in the tub, which I did… but then ended up bringing my laptop in with me and working on our #BOSSBABE series. It was fun, but definitely not as relaxing as it should have been!
I am actively learning to shut off completely. One tip I’ve learned is to literally schedule in me-time in my calendar. I also use the Pause function in my email inbox, so I won’t receive emails after 10PM. I also like to try different classes mid-work day to clear my mind, such as yoga or meditation.” —CONNIE
4. If you had to pick 5 words to describe your line/brand what would they be?
“Vibrant, Integrity, Transparent, Empowering, Fun…” —LAURA
5. What words of advice would you give to others who are seeking to break free of the norm and follow their passions?
“Great question! I would look closely at what you like to do in your free time, because it’s probably what you’re most interested in! For me, I always loved DIY skincare ever since I was a kid. I’d spend hours and hours research new skincare trends and natural ingredients I could steal from my mom’s kitchen to make myself face masks.
If you already know what motivates you and have an idea of how to get there, then you should just start! I know, it’s scary, but trust me when I say that there will never be a perfect time. I always say that my biggest fear is growing old and looking back one day thinking, “what if?” ” —CONNIE
6. What are your current, and long term goals for the brand?
“Current goals are around product development. We have some very aggressive targets to launch 8 new products in the next year! Right now in natural beauty, there is an epidemic of “green-washing” where brands market themselves as being natural when they really aren’t. So, a huge focus of ours is to develop products that our customers can truly trust.
Long term goals are to expand our brand overseas (likely to Asia). We’re going through an accelerator program to help us learn the ins and outs of export law which has been immensely helpful for us. It’s a very lengthy and involved process but one that we know will be worth it!” —LAURA
7. What are some of your favorite green brands/companies and why? (clothing, makeup/cosmetics, household products, etc)
“I’ve always very much admired Tom’s of Maine. They have been a staple of the green product industry since its start in the 1970s, and essentially created many new product categories (like natural toothpaste). I believe that the green consumer goods industry would likely look very different today without them as they were the first to take their line to the “mainstream”.
For cosmetics, I love Clove + Hallow. They’re products are beautiful (both in terms of their formulations and their packaging) and they have a high degree of integrity which is always something that we admire. We have worked with their Founder, Sarah a few times and she is such a kind and generous person!” —LAURA
8. What are some of the biggest skincare and beauty myths you’ve heard and want readers to know about?
“There’s two that jump to mind right away to me. The first is that if you have oily skin, you should avoid products that are oil based. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Using an oil cleanser or facial oil can work wonders for oily skin as it helps to decrease oil production. Many cleansers are loaded with alcohols which is what gives your skin that “squeaky-clean” feeling after, but also leaves it stripped of natural oils. This causes your skin to produce more oil to compensate and so begins a small vicious cycle.
Another common myth is that you can “shrink” your pores. This really isn’t the case, you cannot actually change the size of your pores, you can only reduce their appearance by using products that help to exfoliate dead skin and remove built up dirt/oil. Be weary of products which claim to give you a pore-less finish!” —LAURA
9. Book Recommendations….
“I have so many book recommendations! One of my guilty pleasures is spending a few hours in Chapters Indigo by myself. I always find myself leaving the store with 1-2 new books to add to my never-ending roster…” —CONNIE
Here are a few of my recommended reads:
The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by Ben Horowitz
Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight
Start With Why, Simon Sinek
Zero to One, Blake Masters
Girl Code, Cara Leyba
Mastery, Robert Greene
48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene
The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg
How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie
You Are a Badass, Jen Sincero
Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely
SO WHAT MAKES NIU BODY SPECIAL?
“All of NIU BODY's products are vegan, certified cruelty-free, 100% natural and made with love in Toronto, Canada. We source the finest ingredients from around the globe, formulating only with the purest and most effective plant based ingredients. We do our part to keep our environment beautiful by using recyclable packaging and focusing on sustainable ingredient sourcing. We firmly believe skin care should not be one-size-fits-all, and use unique botanical blends with catered benefits for every babe's different skin type or concern in mind.
We’re also not afraid to have a little fun, as we believe your daily skincare routine should be exciting! We were tired of natural products which were overly stuffy, so our products bring colour and a new perspective! From our quirky packaging to our distinctive products, we truly hope NIU BODY adds the extra “oomph” you’ve been searching for.” —CONNIE + LAURA, FOUNDERS
WHAT'S IN THEIR PRODUCTS:
100% botanical ingredients
Pure, high quality essential oils
Entirely recyclable packaging
WHAT’S NOT IN THEIR PRODUCTS:
Thank you guys for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning about these 2 incredible women as much as I did. I cannot wait to try more of their products and watch them continue to grow and expand their impact and collections!
As always, if you’re interested in making the switch to a clean, nontoxic beauty and skincare routine, just send me an email here!
Till next time beauties, keep glowing and learn to love the skin you’re in!