I met Sanja when I was spinning at YYC Cycle a few months ago and we started chatting about bogging and small businesses. She mentioned she started a company called Vossity that brought together the best of the best natural, organic beauty products. I started following her Instagram ASAP and was pumped to try out some of the products she was carrying. Right now I’m trying out Amber Rose Conditioner, Juicy Bamboo Deodorant, and Super Elixir Alkalizing Greens. Vossity has brought together an online store of skincare, body care, makeup, and nutrition that are made with organic ingredients, free from harsh chemicals, and cruelty free.
The Amber Rose Conditioner is my favourite out of the products I am trying. I have long, dry hair, and it takes extra product to keep it moisturized and voluminous. This 4 in 1 conditioner acts as a traditional conditioner, a nourishing scalp cream, a leave-in conditioner and a high performance styling tool. I used it mostly as a leave-in conditioner after I washed my hair before I went to bed.
Charcoal is everywhere right now, and this Juicy Bamboo detox deodorant is on the wagon. Activated bamboo charcoal is ideal for eliminating toxins from your body and has the power to clean deep inside sweat glands. With its amazing detoxifying abilities, it is used as a universal antidote for poison in virtually every hospital in the world. I found I smelled a bit more than usual for the first day or two, but after that I haven’t had to worry about carrying deodorant around in my bag, even after spin or the gym.
I have been drinking the Alkalizing Greens for the last week, and the digesting powers have bee amazing. The powder contains a balanced blend of 45 key ingredients including bio-available alkalising greens, Chinese herbs, digestive enzymes and members of the maitake mushroom family. The all-natural whole food elixir is designed to support your healthy nutrition at a cellular level and optimize the functioning of all 11 systems of the human body; the digestive, endocrine (hormonal), integumentary (hair, skin and nails), circulatory and nervous system. I put it in my smoothies, I couldn’t just drink it on it’s own.
Getting to know Sanja & Vossity
One of the best parts of supporting local is meeting and getting to know the people behind the business. I grabbed a coffee with Sanja to learn more about where Vossity came from and where her and her business partner want to take it. The name Vossity is derived from the word vivacious – full of life and healthy and beauty. Sanja & Avalon, the co-owners wanted a word that reflected their value and mission, but also incorporated some of the letters of their names into it.
My first question was what Sanja’s skin routine was, I figured she would know a thing or two about how to keep my skin clean and fresh. “I cleanse in the shower, using a cleanser that we have, depending on what my skin needs. Get out my a toner on, put a facial oil on. My everyday makeup is light – foundation, eyeliner, brows. The whole thing is like 20 minutes – it’s super easy. Just think about the makeup you’re putting on your skin everyday and the impact those ingredients can have sitting on your face all day. The makeup Vossity carries is clean and non-toxic. Even something simple as changing the type of makeup you where can make a huge difference, and once you’re aware of what goes into your products, you become more conscious about your routine without even thinking about it. Sanja tries to find products that are organic, but if not at least vegan or cruelty free; “I just choose better.”
All the brands Vossity carries are hand picked by Sanja and Avalon, and each one brings something to the table. Indie Lee is one of those products. The Owner had a brain tumour when she was 30, even though she was healthy and active. She created a beauty line so she didn’t have to use toxic products anymore. To get those parabens out, you really have to change. Sanja took the strength from Indie Lee’s founded and channeled it into this passion project; “When I saw people using bad products, I wanted them to know about what they were putting in their skin. Our goal is to change people’s outlook on this kind of stuff and stop giving these industries who are hurting animals and giving us toxins money, because it’s us that suffers.”
To decide which brands to carry they created something called a “ditch these ingredients list” on their website. It’s a spreadsheet and formula that they use when they search up brands and products. The formula with highlight ingredients to avoid in products – trigger words like sulfates and parabens. That’s why they currently only carry one hair care brand, it’s the only one that’s been truly organic because there are no regulations and limits on what ingredients can be used. The majority of the products Vossity carries have 8-12 ingredients in them. As soon as something has more, they do a double take to make sure it qualifies.
When asked what her favourite products are right now, “If I had to pick my top 3 fave – I would have to say the detox deodorant, the Indie Lee toner, I really love our dry shampoo but I also really love our sleep elixir, but If I had to pick, I would have to go with the dry shampoo.”
The most rewarding part of starting her own business, is being able to tell her daughters about it. “When we had our info session with TJK, and the first thing she said was ‘it’s so inspiring to see two young women and being entrepreneurs’ it’s a really being testament to our generation and millennials. Our generation asks questions, what’s in this, who does this? The most rewarding thing has been to say I started this project that helps people, and to really make a name for millennials. We have ideas and they aren’t cookie cutter things, and we do things because we really believe in what we’re doing.”
On the other hand, the most challenging part is the sporadic hours and having email coming at you 24/7 from people all over the world. Also, getting people to believe in you as a brand. “Lots of people go to the site, add stuff to their cart but don’t buy anything. We want people to trust our brand, and change their perspective. The challenge is getting the people there and to order the products because we care not because of money.”
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
“Manage your money, don’t feel pressured to go with the first thing that’s offered to you. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate – don’t be afraid to just ask for what you want. We realized we didn’t have to follow the limitations – don’t be afraid to ask and don’t be afraid of rejection. Know your worth and don’t devalue yourself. Most of the time you will get what you want – people want to help you. Being an entrepreneur and reaching out to people, people have the same vision. People want to support local, and that has been amazing. And last one, don’t run out of money – start ups usually run out of money.”
Staying motivated is easy because Sanja, and Avalon believe in it and the message they are spreading. Sanja also has her kids as motivation, “I’m motivated to start something for them. I want to show my daughters young women can be successful and start their own business.”
The next steps for Vossity are really focused on getting the brand out there. You’ll be seeing their booth at plenty of trade shows coming up: The Health Shows in Calgary, Vancouver and Saskatoon; the night market in Eau Claire. Sanja and Avalon use these shows to get out there in person, meet people and let their customers put a face to a name. In the long term, the plan is to open up a brick and mortar, and after that “it’ll just be wherever we can go”