Founder Highlight: Province Apothecary
For Julie Clark of Province Apothecary, discovering aromatherapy was a welcome escape from the grind of her busy life. It is when she began studying holistic health, that her pursuit of experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients for a better skin regimen started.
People are becoming more mindful than ever of what they put on their bodies, as well as the impact that certain ingredients have on their overall health and wellbeing. Julie Clark was no stranger to this practice. A lifelong struggle with eczema and allergies became a driving force behind the creation of her own natural skincare products in her kitchen.
Julie began laying the foundation for her brand long before its inception in 2012. After moving to New York and juggling a demanding career in costume design and wardrobe styling, Julie consistently found herself drawn to holistic skincare, using whatever time she had off to experiment with oils, herbs, and waxes. It is this passion that brought her back to her native Canada to study and obtain a degree in Aromatherapy, Holistic Health, and Esthetics.
With a focus on locally-grown ingredients, Province Apothecary derives its name from its sourcing of the highest quality, certified organic ingredients across the Canadian provinces. This ranges from organic seaweed from Nova Scotia to glacial clay in British Columbia, with key ingredients coming from each region in between. Creating products with naturally derived ingredients that are gentle on even the most sensitive complexions continues to be at the core of Province Apothecary’s philosophy.
As an entrepreneur, Julie has always had a hands-on, individually-tailored approach to both skincare and the growth of her business. Performing facial treatments at her holistic skincare clinic located in Toronto has allowed her to continue to experiment and create. It is by tailoring fresh, seasonal ingredients that address her client’s specific skincare and wellness needs that she is continually inspired and able to lead product development at Province Apothecary.
Although Julie wishes she had gained experience in the beauty industry prior to launching Province Apothecary, this barrier didn’t stop her from creating a successful brand that remains committed to innovation, sustainability, and small-batch skin care of the highest quality. Reflecting back on the biggest challenge she has faced as an entrepreneur, Julie says that the inception of the company itself was a hurdle that she was not prepared for. It is this naïveté, she believes, that allowed her to continue to press on in pursuit of her dream. Now knowing the demands and challenges involved, she thinks she would have talked herself out of it long ago. We’re thankful she didn’t!
Her biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs? “Invest in people to help you grow your company! Also, hire people with more experience than you.” This is exactly what Julie did when she partnered with Natalie Sischy, Province Apothecary’s Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Sales. Prior to joining Province Apothecary, Natalie had been working in the beauty industry for 17 years. During this time, she worked for global brands like L’Oréal, Revlon, and Luxury Brand Partners. Fate and mutual friendship brought the pair together because of their shared love for clean beauty. It is because of this partnership that Province Apothecary has been able to double in size.
Women rule at Province Apothecary, where everything from esthetic treatments, to operations, finance and marketing are managed by female leaders. Having a repertoire of talented women behind her, it is no wonder Province Apothecary is a staple in the Canadian natural beauty landscape.
If you are interested in browsing Province Apothecary’s entire collection, click here!