Sponsor Spotlight: BioOrigin
Joining us as a first-time sponsor of the L.E.A.D Spa and Wellness Conference, BioOrigin’s founder, Julie LaFrance, has had a long history of supporting and creating education for spa owners. Julie spent many years in product development, marketing and training with some of Canada’s leading beauty and fragrance corporations, before she took the leap into entrepreneurship in the spa products business.
“I decided I wanted to start my own business, and that was happening in 2002, where I had the opportunity to start with the distribution of the mineral salts from Saskatchewan,” recalls LaFrance, “We actually didn’t have any formulas, we didn’t have anything else, other than probably 20 tons of salt. It all started from that.
”With that bold and confident move, and her years of corporate experience behind her; she visited salons, spas and schools over the next few years, producing private label formulas for clients. In the meantime, she listened and observed.
“I waited to see which part of this business was interesting to me and was going to be of value to the industry,” she explains.
In 2008, she began to find a focus as she found potential in the concept of creating a professional product line for massage therapists.
“When I met with a school of massage practitioners here in Montreal Quebec, I began to realize that nothing on the market was made in Canada. In terms of ingredients and the way these products were developed, some of the products that the therapists were using was extremely bad for their skin. I thought to myself ‘this is impossible’ – I mean, how can we sell something to therapists that they’re not going to be able to use five years from now because they’re going to ruin their skin?So, this was my starting point.
”Creating a professional grade brand of massage oils that were safe to use over the entire career of a therapist became a genuine goal shortly after that experience. Early in 2009, LaFrance attended a big spa show in New York City where the idea was solidified.
“I was talking to a lot of therapists and some of them had to work with gloves because they were not able to put their hands in the in the products anymore, because their hands were so damaged by the products. So, this is when we started developing our brand.
”Working with the largest spa in Quebec, BioOrigin went through an intense period of formulating and testing to develop the product line. Ensuring the product had the right glide, was easy to clean and didn’t overpower with essential oils took over six solid months to develop with the input of actively practicing massage therapists and clients. The effort of listening to industry paid off – when the line officially entered the market they met with solid sales from the start.
“At the end of 2009, we really launched BioOrigin and instantly we were able to get into the major places in Quebec because we were Canadian made, basically, and that’s so important. And also, we were able to prove compared to other brands made in the US, that our product was more efficient, was less greasy, was easier to clean and was much better for the health of the therapists and that’s basically how we started all this.
”Aligning with L’Moor for the L.E.A.D Spa and Wellness conference as a sponsor was a natural choice for LaFrance.
“Because knowledge is success to me,” she explains, “if you know more of how to manage your business, if you know more about the products, if you know more about human resources –you’re going to be a better manager and you’re going to be successful. What we want is that the business that we do business with today will be there in 2 years, and 10 years from now.”
“In terms of education I want to mention, that it’s quite important,” she says, “because I was also teaching, teaching to estheticians and cosmeticians, before – in my other life.”
You’ll be able to hear her presentation, developed in part through the work she’s done with several massage organizations in Quebec.
“Because my experience in the cosmetic industry was very valuable and I learned a lot about ingredients and how to choose the right ingredients and what it’s going to do to your skin,” explains LaFrance, “How to choose your massage products is basically, and I’m not talking about BioOrigin, I’m talking about what’s out there, what kind of ingredients are available for you and what are the things that you should be looking for when you make a choice.
”We’re proud to have BioOrigin join us as a sponsor and love the education synergy that contributes to the success of this conference, helping us to give our conference attendees even more relevant knowledge to take back to their business.