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Article: MAKERS | Q+A with Artifact Skin Co.

MAKERS  |  Q+A with Artifact Skin Co.

MAKERS | Q+A with Artifact Skin Co.

NAME  |  Narae + Elie
BRAND  |  Artifact Skin Co.
LOCATION  |  Hamilton, Ontario
Coffee or Tea?  |  Coffee in the AM, herbal tea in the PM.
Currently Listening  |  Once I Loved, by Astrud Gilberto
Favourite Quote  |  "...people will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou

In 10 words or less, what do you do?
We mix magical potions your skin and hair will love!

What motivated you to start your business?
In 2012, the idea of starting our own skincare company began when I (Narae) was working as a cosmetician while Elie was finishing up architecture school. At that time, the green beauty community was not as broad as it is today. We couldn't find clean, effective, beautiful and fun products that we would like to use ourselves. The face masks were traditionally presented in a line of products - and seemed more like an afterthought. What we wanted to do was make the masks the main attraction. We definitely saw the need in the market and the need to fill in this void motivated us to immediately drop everything and begin this crazy journey.

What has been your most rewarding experience since starting your company?
There has been two most rewarding experiences since we started our company. The first, when we got to 'physically' hold our first finished product in our hands. It's so rewarding knowing that this product went from an idea and sketches, to formulations and testing, to final product. We've come out with a few new products now, but it's the same fuzzy feeling each time! The second, as cliché as it may sound, is when we get love notes from our customers. We always appreciate it when they take the time to tell us how much they enjoy our products. It's really sweet and it makes our day - even when we haven't been outside for a few days! It motivates us to create more effective, clean, and beautiful products for their daily routines.

What does a typical day look like for you + your crew?
It always starts with a cup of coffee (and a glass of water).
The great thing about working with your husband/wife is that you actually get to have breakfast and drive to work together. On our drive to our studio, we usually to listen to podcast stories from other businesses, to get our minds focused for the day. No day is quite like the other - however, in the studio, we are mostly in producing to fulfill orders, responding to emails, and photographing/marketing products. We never stop researching, learning and formulating. After the end of each week, we have a tête-à-tête to regroup and set our goals and tasks for the following week.
How did you grow your business from a hobby to a full-time job?

When we started Artifact, Narae had just finished her architecture degree and I (Elie) was working on my own design projects. We jumped feet first into this whole thing. We really believed that we could succeed and knew that this would need our full attention. We sold whatever we could in order to fund our first line of products. In the beginning, while we were working on creating our own brand and researching/formulating products, we started a blog teaching people different ways to take care of your skin, using everyday ingredients. This helped us learn a lot about what people were interested in and also gain an audience for when we eventually launched our online shop.

Work / Life balance, how do you maintain it?
Most business owners would agree that the balance between both work/life is sometimes hard to keep, especially when the owners are husband and wife. It always seems that you are working, if not, you are thinking about it, especially in the early stages. Moving our business out of our home and into a studio space has helped us organize our lives and keep our home for living and our studio for working. Even though we work long hours, we are grateful that we are able to carve our own path.
What’s the next milestone for your brand?
Our next milestone is to open up an Artifact flagship store, where customers can test out unreleased products and for them to physically experience our brand.

SALT WISH LIST  |  Artifact Skin Co

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