Two New Brunswick “mompreneurs” have joined forces by combining their production space to keep up with a boom in online business since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Both of our businesses exploded during the pandemic,” said Sylvie Roy, who is the owner of Eclair Lips. She makes and sells a line of hand-made lip balm.
Erica Steeves sells a line of all-natural soaps through her business called Rosemary Wellness Soap Company. Steeves is not related to the author of this story.
Both moms started their businesses in their homes
“We have had to pivot to new ways to sell our product,” Steeves said.
Both companies are now filling orders now solely online.
“We got to the point where we were both at the challenge of needing to move our businesses out of our homes because we had outgrown our space,” Roy said.
The business boom could be partially linked to the fact that so many people are washing their hands more often and wearing masks amid the pandemic. But feedback on both of their products has been overwhelming, Steeves said.
“It keeps your hands moisturized so people are experiencing really dry hands right now,” she said.
Roy says that people have been drawn to her line of lip balms as well, and her consumer and retail business has grown by at least 50 per cent since the start of the pandemic.
“People are saying, ‘Oh, this is so nice under my mask, it makes my mask smell good,’ because all of our lip balms are scented in dessert flavours,” she said.
Even the products she produces with a direct reference to the pandemic are hard to keep in stock.
“Our first one was a lip balm that said, ‘Kiss 2020 Goodbye’ and it really performed really well and people were loving it, and this year we have one that says, ‘Kiss Me I am Vaccinated,'” Roy said.
Both women are selling their locally-made products solely online direct to customers and retail stores across Canada and the United States.
They have no storefront, relying instead on clicks, not bricks, and what Steeves said is a growing trend toward supporting small business.
“People are realizing it is the families that need support instead of the big box stores,” she said.
“We found that a lot of people were sending our products to loved ones as gifts to encourage them or to just send a little treat in the mail,” Roy said.
The women plan to ramp up production in their new larger space in the coming months.
“In this space we have the capacity to produce a whole lot more and we are actually hiring for a production position,” Roy said.
Both women said they are feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude that, while other businesses continue to struggle, they have found a way to thrive side by side.