Own Your [Woman Owned] Business Story: Three Ships

Beginning March 17th (Buy Women Owned Day), Sitti is elevating the stories of women-owned businesses through an ongoing blog series titled, “Own Your [Business] Story.” Throughout the past year, we’ve recognized (and experienced first hand) the hurdles for small businesses to pivot and push forward through the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic challenges that have come with it. Through it all, these businesses have shown determination, grace, and resilience. In this series, we get up close and personal with some incredible women so you can hear more about their business stories: what (or who) inspired them to start their brand, what are the challenges they’ve met along their journey and what keeps them going.

 

 

Meet Connie Lo, co-founder of Three Ships Beauty, a Toronto-based skincare brand focused on providing clean, natural products that are accessible and affordable to all. The brand was created back in 2017 in response to the lack of affordable and natural products on the market. Today, they pride themselves in being Leaping Bunny certified, 100% vegan, and cruelty free. Three Ships follows European guidelines (aka the strictest guidelines in the world when it comes to skincare products) and prides itself on creating clean and natural products filled with scientifically proven ingredients. Check out their website for all your skincare needs and the Three Ships Beauty Quiz - a 2-minute quiz to create your personalized routine. Read more about Connie what inspired her and her team to create Three Ships Beauty. 

 

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company, Three Ships Beauty, and how it started. 

Founded in 2017, Three Ships was founded by myself and Laura Burget after wondering why  natural, vegan skincare cost so much. With only $4,000 CAD in our bank accounts, we started making our own formulations in my apartment kitchen with the goal to create effective and affordable natural skincare products.

 

 

Q: What makes your skincare product different from what’s already on the market? 

We aren't interested in being natural* with an asterisk. To us, being all-natural means using 100% plant-derived ingredients. We avoid >1,400 potential toxins (the US, in comparison, only bans 30 for personal care!). Further, our level of transparency is truly unparalleled. We share everything about our company, including our ingredient sourcing, scientific studies behind our formulations, and even the team running our brand. We believe in having the most authentic and direct relationship with our customers.

 

Q: What has been a challenge you have faced as a woman entrepreneur?

We've been at trade shows where buyers assumed we weren't the owners of the business given how young we were (23 when we started Three Ships). I think it's easy for people to disregard women-owned businesses, or assume we don't know what we're doing, which is SO fun because we can prove them wrong!

 

 

Q: What other women-owned social enterprises do you admire? Why? 

The Forum - Their mission is to help women entrepreneurs access the resources and community they need to thrive in business. We are huge believers in the quote, "a rising tide raises all ships," and The Forum truly espouses this value.

 

Q: What is a recent exciting success?

We appeared on Dragons' Den (Canada's Shark Tank) and left the Den with four offers! We also recently launched our new Buttercream Hydrating Lip Mask, which has been a fan favorite.

 

 

Q: What is a piece of advice you would give to women-led small businesses/business owners? 

Learn how to sell. Sales is such a critical skill that it seems many women shy away from. Being an expert salesperson can help you in so many aspects of running a business, including negotiating with manufacturers to get reduced minimum opening quantities (MOQs), pitching to investors, and selling your company to potential hires.

Go get all your skincare essentials with our discount “SITTI20” for 20% off! Happy Shopping! 

 

 

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