November 2, 2017 6:53 pm
Updated: November 3, 2017 10:48 am

Edmonton company plans for growth with an eye on beauty

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton company is forging a path that could make the city a hub for beauty product manufacturing. Vinesh Pratap explains.

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In a small room, people work to fill an order. The Edmonton-based team is working for a Toronto-based client.

“We help them build the formulas, we help packaging,” explains Eveline Charles, the well-known Edmonton entrepreneur behind a successful chain of salons and spas.

Charles founded a new company in 2016 called EC Labs which is a private label manufacturer.

They create customized cosmetics and toiletries: from haircare products like shampoo, hairspray and styling serums, to skincare products such as cleansers, moisturizers, and masques.

Staff at EC Labs private label manufacturer, founded by Eveline Charles, creating custom haircare, beauty and personal care products at their lab in Edmonton, Alta. November 2, 2017.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

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“We help bring it to markets. So we’re not doing just the products, we’re doing start to finish.” Design, R&D and manufacturing — it all happens at EC Labs.

“We’re encouraging our chemists to use made-in-Alberta ingredients.”

READ MORE: University of Alberta engineering students develop organic lipstick

The fledgling company has turned to the recently opened Bio Processing Innovation Centre (BPIC) in south Edmonton for some help to get manufacturing off the ground.

The facility is provincially run, acting as a startup hub.

“We provide sort of that niche area where companies need to generate revenue,” explains David Fielder, a senior scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “They need to find a facility to do it in. They may not have the revenue to build the plant.”

Staff at EC Labs private label manufacturer, founded by Eveline Charles, creating custom haircare, beauty and personal care products at their lab in Edmonton, Alta. November 2, 2017.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

Like with any locally based company, there are the spinoff benefits. In this case — value added for agriculture.

“We work with local farmers to develop bio-actives that we can incorporate in our formulas,” says Lina Heath, the president of EC Labs.

Fielder adds, that’s where BPIC also lends a hand.

“From specialty oil seeds to specialty botanicals and materials like that; and what we do is we help companies develop those ingredients and then they can incorporate those into their finished products.”

“There is such a big market.”

The company has grown to a staff of eight and has further expansion ambitions, including setting up its own manufacturing facility.

“It’s a global market, and we’ll be ready for it,” a determined Heath tells Global News.

The company is projecting revenue of $2 million in 2018.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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