Reminding people to ‘Take Care’ through their effortless beauty storage organizers.
Toronto ON- In the social media. and digital age, it seems as if most women are ‘always on’ and aim to have a flawless appearance no matter the time of day. This trend has seemingly increased since the rise of social media influencers and the need to keep up a certain level of appearance. With this also comes the partnerships of influencers and beauty company’s in paid promotional sponsorship videos, or ‘shout outs’ of certain products.
We can only imagine the amount of time and money that has gone into buying and trying all of these different products. The next question then is, where to keep them all? Always on requires being always ‘ready set’ for the camera, and makeup and other necessities must be available on hand if anyone needs a touch-up. Natalie Gardner, and Peta-Anne Lenon, two Toronto locals, and founders of Curae Beauty have created the perfect solution.
A little bit about the founders of CURAE:
Natalie Gardner and Peta-Ann Leon are the co-founders of Curae Beauty Co. We are first cousins, born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. They both have a passion for beauty, makeup, tech, and wellness.
Natalie (28) went to school at Humber College, where she earned her Bachelor of Commerce Degree and now works as a solutions consultant for a social media and technology company. Peta-Ann (25) went to the University of Western Ontario where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology and Economics and a Diploma in Public Relations. She now runs an online marketing agency.
Our family immigrated to North York from Jamaica in 1980. They are thrilled to see us fulfill our dreams of doing what we love. Together Natalie and I share so many interests, from health and wellness to music, entertainment, and culture. During a trip to Coachella Music and Arts Festival in 2018, we found inspiration and decided to just go for it.
About CURAE, and how it came to be:
Our business was founded on the idea of providing solution-based products (and eventually services) in the beauty sector.
With input ideas from our other two cousins, Samantha Delfosse and Micaela Evans, we wanted to produce a subscription-based model where annual subscribers and our corporate clients could sample new beauty products, tools, and gadgets. That was the idea for our first product, ‘Beauty Box’. Early in 2020, the idea of being entrepreneurs was refocused when our signature product, The Lighted Beauty Boxx, became the central focus for the business.
Now, our two-person team, with support from international partners and local consultants, operates the Curae brand in-house and works to fulfill client orders while remaining invested in the search for more modern beauty solutions.
Tell us a little bit about the products you offer!
We offer luxury beauty and wellness tools designed for optimal storage! Our signature product, The Beauty Boxx, is a Makeup Storage Organizer built in Portable LED Ring Light Mirror. The regular case is offered in two colors, Blush Pink and Milky White. The larger case arriving in the Spring will be available in Blush Pink and Powder Blue.
The prices of the beauty boxes, range anywhere from $65.00 – $90.00 CAN.
We decided that free shipping is a vital selling feature for us because we appreciate it when our favorite stores don’t charge additional shipping. Both our website and our Etsy shop offer free shipping within Canada and the United States. We have a standard rate of US$15 shipping to the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Australia.
Curae has received dozens of positive product reviews on our shop and Etsy pages. One of the most common reviews we get from buyers is that our processing and shipping times are very fast. As soon as an order is placed, we thank and communicate with the customer and inform them of the estimated shipping and delivery timeline – a lot of people like the personal touch. Operating a successful brand means being transparent and giving the best customer experience at every available opportunity!
What differentiates your product from others in the market?
Our brand. We aim to build a recognizable brand whose purpose, mission, and sentiment will be fully transparent to our clients while becoming a nimble, thoughtful purveyor of beauty products. In Latin, Curae means ‘care, concern, or thought’, which are our brand’s hallmarks. Our overall sentiment can be summed up in two simple words that live in our logo: Take care.
As simple as it seems, and as busy as we all are, sometimes we forget to just ‘take care’ of ourselves. Whether that’s personal care, mental health, or self-enrichment, we want the message of care to resonate with our customers. This, we feel, will make us stand out in the competitive market.
What makes your product stand out in the very competitive beauty industry?
More than ever, our society is shifting (due to the pandemic), and we feel that the beauty industry was already coming out with many versions of the same products. Our product, the Beauty Boxx, was designed around simplicity. Clean lines, lightweight, and compact products create an easy, clutter-free design while offering solutions to help remove some of the stuffiness we see with other beauty tools, especially on-the-go. By combining a hard shell compact storage case, with a rechargeable bright and dimmable LED ring light, we stand out; we illuminate. Curae aspires to help the beauty community by offering the space, means, and solutions to help streamline that transformational shift.
What is your organizational mission?
Our mission is to empower women in an ever-changing society. Both co-founders are enterprising young women with strong professional drive, proclaiming forward-thinking ideas, and are skilled collaborators. We value education and diligent work to create a better outcome for ourselves and others. As women whose professional skill-sets fall within the technology industry, we know that there is greater visibility for female entrepreneurs to leave their mark. If we can inspire anyone to shoot for the stars when the odds are stacked against them, then we’ve done our job.
Whom is your business catered towards?
Our audience is very diverse. Being both visible minorities and entrepreneurs, it was essential for us to make an inclusive brand to all people, especially BIPOC. We do not discriminate, and although we may not be there now, Curae Beauty Co. will be an equal opportunity employer one day. Our website is fully accessible as well.
Where are your products available?
Website – www.curaebeautyco.com
Black Owned TO Store – Scarborough Town Centre (May 2021 – January 2022)
What is a major challenge you faced as an entrepreneur?
A significant challenge we faced was launching our business in August of 2020, during a global pandemic. Starting a business has its challenges, but creating an online business during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging because it forced all of our internal strategic opportunities to redirect online.
A part of our initial strategy was to get our product into trade shows and on retail shelves of beauty, hair, and nail salons. Unfortunately, all of that was rendered useless when restrictions were implemented. We overcame this by creating a through and diligent e-commerce strategy, leveraging other marketplace platforms like Etsy, and a concerted effort into building an organic following of people who saw value in The Beauty Boxx.
How has your business changed since the pandemic?
We launched during the pandemic, so we haven’t been able to take our products and shop it around. We aren’t able to meet up in person and are reliant on online modes of communication. Same with taking our business plan around. We want to promote our mission and our signature products, but we have to make do with online connections and virtual meetings with retailers and collaboration partners. It’s also challenging because there are so many great features to the product that you have to experience in hand, such as the dimmable light or rotating mirror so for now we will use our best to showcase the features on a digital space.
What support do you need right now to see your business flourish further?
To take our business to the next level, the Curae brand needs more exposure. We have some upcoming projects that we are excited about, but the goal is always to reach more people. We love sharing our story and want to be honest and transparent about our journey so, getting more opportunities to speak about who we are and what Curae stands for will be monumental to our prolonged success. We have talked about angel investors and are staying open to all opportunities that come our way. They must, of course, align with our brand mission and sentiment. If we continue to innovate, create more visibility around our products, promote the solutions-based wellness mission, and take care sentiment, then we can organically scale and keep Curae a family-run business.
How is your business looking in 2021?
For Curae Beauty Co., 2021 is looking great! We have some exciting new products that we want to introduce to our audience. The Beauty Boxx response has been so positive; we can’t wait to introduce the new sizes and colors available in spring 2021.
We are also excited to share that Curae will be a featured product, the first of its kind, in the Black Owned Canada store from May to December. We are honored to be selected to have our products sold among other hardworking minority entrepreneurs and have made our mission the best-selling product in the shop! To do that, we need community support, so if you are interested in and supporting Black Owned Businesses and other local businesses, then check us out at the Black Owned Canada store opening at Scarborough Town Centre this May.
Any advice for anyone starting out or young entrepreneurs?
Align your purpose with your passion. The actual reason Curae exists is because we have committed ourselves to growth and alignment with our desires, and we took our time to do it right. Just go for it, but make it worth the effort you put in.
We also suggest that young entrepreneurs be ‘sponges’ to everything around them. Apply the lessons you see online, hear in the media, and read in books if it resonates with you. Soak up all the knowledge and lessons around you from prior learned experiences, and be strategic. Time is your commodity right now, and access to information is at the tip of your fingers.
Author: Emma Mitro, Lifestyle, Content Writer for The Onside Media, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]