Although it’s been fairly depressing in Calgary for the past couple years, the silver lining of a plummeting economy is people are being more creative with how they spend their time and make a living. So many fabulous ENTREPRENEURS have emerged from the downturn and now Calgary is full of a huge community of local products, services and brands. Even though it’s a struggle for all Calgarians, we are part of an exciting time as Calgary diversifies itself. People always comment on how involved I am in the community, but it’s hard not to spread the local love and continually feature all these great brands.
I recently became the brand ambassador for LAVAMI and couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you the amazing products they offer. I was following along on Instagram forever, and always spotted the products around the city so I was pumped to be chosen to rep the brand and share the passion, energy and love behind the natural skin care brand. I sat down for coffee to chat with owner and founder Noni Doig, to hear about where Lavami came from, and of course to ask for advice on keeping my skin looking fresh and hydrated: “My beauty routine follows the KISS principle and is pretty simple. Lightly cleanse with some gentle soap and follow with a moisturizer like a serum or a body butter. Moisturizing is key to healthy skin.”
If anyone knows anything about skin care and organic, natural products it’s Noni. Since she was a kid she’s had psoriasis and extremely sensitive skin, making it hard to find products that weren’t irritating. Her constant label and ingredient list reading made her hyper aware if what goes into the products we all use every day. Lavami was founded on her motivation to provide products that were natural, simple, effective and still luxurious. The name Lavami means “WASH ME” in Italian, and was chosen by the other co-founder (who is no longer a part of the business).
With any brand, choosing the right products to sell is key to success. So how does Noni decide which products to create and which scents to use? “New ideas are always coming to me. I’m always thinking of and testing new products when I have time, and choose the best ones to add to my line. I have a few essential oils that are my favourites, so when I’m creating a new product I bring out all the bottles and start combining the smells based around the ones I like.”
When scrolling through the website, there are soo many amazing looking products to choose from, it’s very hard to just pick a few. The Rose Body Butter and the Elixir Facial Serum are the two star players for Noni right now. “I pretty much coat my entire body in body butter during the winter because I have really dry skin. The Elixir has always been my favourite. It’s like a miracle worker.” She highly recommends both products especially this time of year when we are smack dab in the middle of cracked-skin-dry Calgary winter.
When chatting about being an entrepreneur, you can just feel the passion and energy that Noni is putting into the business. It’s a contagious attitude that makes me appreciate all the hard work that goes into building a business and watching it grow. For Noni, the most rewarding part of starting her own business is “being able to see my products, something that I created, on the shelves on stores and in the hands of people who use them. It’s the best feeling in the world.” On the other side, unsurprising, the most challenging is finding a work/life balance. She’s been so focused on the business that it’s taken over: “I’m actually having to set aside blocks of me-time and time to go out and see friends.”
To other entrepreneurs, her advice is to NOT GIVE UP. Building a business is tough and exhausting, but if you stick through it, it will be worth it in the end. The motivation that keeps her from giving up is the fact that she gets to spend her days doing what she loves. “There’s always something exciting to work towards or something cool that I get to do, but if I’m ever feeling unmotivated, coffee fixes it.”
What’s does the future hold for Lavami? “There’s some BIG things on the horizon for Lavami, we’ve been expanding across Canada and are working our way into the US. I’m pretty excited for the next 6 months, the hard work is starting to pay off!”
The products I’m using right now are the BREEZE BODY BUTTER, FLORAL BATH SOAK, and LEMONGRASS SOAP. I can’t even pick a favourite because they are all amazing. I have incorporated them into my skin care routine; the body butter has done wonders for my super dry skin (especially after coming home from Hawaii – I’ve been able to save some of my tan). I’ve added the floral bath soak to my weekly bath to help me de-stress and relax. It is made with Epsom and Dead Sea salts, lavender essential oil, lavender buds, hibiscus flowers and rose petals – the combination smells as good as it sounds and it helps remove toxins, remineralize and nourish the skin and body. What are your go-to Lavami products?