100% Natural + Vegan Skincare
"All of NIU BODY's products are truly natural, 100% vegan, cruelty-free. We source the finest ingredients from around the globe, formulating only with the purest and most effective ingredients. Made with love in Toronto, Canada."
NIU BODY Founders, Laura Berger and Connie Lo
Behind the Brand: NIU BODY
This week we sit down with NIU BODY founders, Laura Berger and Connie Lo for our "Behind the Brand" interview. In this feature we discuss how the two Toronto natives created their natural skincare brand, their beauty secrets, as well as what inspires them. When it comes natural skincare products, NIU BODY is a brand you want to know! Let's take a look inside...
NIU BODY was founded in March of 2017 by Laura Burget and Connie Lo after being frustrated with the natural beauty products available on the market. Options were limited to either pseudo-natural products which weren't effective or high-end brands which cost a fortune. NIU BODY aspires to be a truly natural, approachable brand, at affordable prices so all babes can enjoy everything green beauty has to offer.
All of NIU BODY's products are truly natural, 100% vegan, cruelty-free and made with love in Toronto, Canada. We source the finest ingredients from around the globe, formulating only with the purest and most effective ingredients. We do our part to keep our environment beautiful by using recyclable packaging and focusing on sustainable ingredient sourcing. We firmly believe skin care should not be one-size-fits-all, and use unique botanical blends with catered benefits for every babe's different skin type or concern in mind. Beautiful skin doesn't have to be complicated!
"We do our part to keep our environment beautiful by using recyclable packaging and focusing on sustainable ingredient sourcing."
Laura has been a life-long supporter of businesses with high ethical standards. Her journey into entrepreneurship began at the ripe age of 9 when she sold handmade crafts and jewelry at her elementary school to raise money for endangered animals.
While in school at the University of Toronto for Chemical Engineering, she ran two businesses on the side. It was through these experiences that she fell in love with entrepreneurship. Laura was fascinated with “creating something from nothing” and being able to make the world a more beautiful place.
She began using coconut oil to remove makeup naturally but was frustrated by the mess it created. After looking for a natural, but still effective and more convenient alternative, Laura wasn’t able to find anything on the market and the idea for NIU BODY was born!
Laura is the mastermind behind formulations, back-end production, and NIU BODY’s website. In her free time she enjoys going on hikes outside of the city to explore nature (she’s an INTP so alone time is essential). She is also an avid gym-goer, enjoys exploring new restaurants with friends, and loves a great competition - watch out board game nights!
Connie’s interest in natural skincare started at a young age, when she would whip up DIY face masks and concoctions for her skin after coming home from school. Her mom always stressed the importance of eating well and taking care of your skin, rather than covering it up with makeup.
In high school, Connie ran her own local businesses and was selected to ring the opening bell at the Toronto Stock Market based on her entrepreneurial spirit. This passion extended to her time at Queen’s University, where she joined and ultimately co-chaired an international entrepreneurs’ competition. After graduating with a Commerce degree, Connie wanted to combine her passion for wellness with female empowerment. When a mutual friend introduced Connie to Laura, it was a match made in heaven!
At NIU BODY, Connie focuses on strategic partnerships, international expansion, and marketing. In her free time, Connie enjoys traveling (her favourite spots so far include Morocco, Japan, and Prague), hitting up the newest fun restaurants and bars, practicing healthy living, and creeping on cute dogs.
OK, LET'S TALK ABOUT NIU BODY...
What inspired you to create your natural skincare company NIU BODY?
"In 2016, a mutual friend introduced Connie, a Queen’s University commerce graduate, to Laura, a University of Toronto chemical engineer. Laura had an idea of creating an all-natural, preservative-free coconut oil-based makeup wipe, something she herself had been looking for but couldn’t find on the market. Connie and Laura were supposed to meet for a quick dinner – it turned into a 5-hour business meeting. It became clear that we could make perfect partners. From there, the idea for NIU BODY’s initial product was born!"
What is the mission of NIU BODY?
"Our mission is to make truly natural, vegan, and effective skincare accessible and affordable, so everyone can enjoy what green beauty has to offer. We also wish to empower women and support female entrepreneurship."
What challenges have you faced building NIU BODY?
"One of the biggest challenges we faced launching NIU BODY is explaining to skeptic customers how we are able to sell our products at a much lower price point than other natural skincare brands. Most consumers are accustomed to the +$80 USD price points of green beauty brands, and are shocked at our affordable prices."
Who are your products created for?
"Our products are designed for those looking to make the transition to using truly natural products, but aren’t sure where to start. With our affordable pricing, and simple, clean ingredients, customers can rest assured that they can make the switch to non-toxic beauty without breaking the bank."
What experience do you want people to have with NIU BODY products?
"We want people to have a luxurious skincare routine that they look forward to every morning and night, at a price point everyone can afford."
What NIU BODY products do you recommend for sensitive skin?"For sensitive skin, we recommend the following products due to their ingredients."
- Calm Lavender Toning Mist – the relaxing blend of floral waters, aloe vera, witch hazel, and glycerin help soothe redness and balance your skin’s natural pH levels.
- Repair Clarifying Facial Serum – the perilla oil in this serum is amazing for sensitive skin, as it’s known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-allergic properties.
- Soothe Pink Clay Mask – French pink clay is the most mild of the clays, making it perfect for those with sensitive, congested skin.
What challenges have you experienced on your skincare journey?
"Growing up, I could eat whatever I wanted without suffering any breakouts or skin reactions. That all changed once I hit puberty in the end of middle school. When entering high school, I was desperate to find quick-fix solutions to my acne. I still recall walking the aisles of our local drugstores and trying any product that had claims to cure acne, testing each one and feeling disappointed each time. After failing miserably at finding a chemical-based skincare solution, I started researching the benefits of natural ingredients. From there, I became enthralled with all of earth’s natural remedies and quickly became a natural skincare fanatic."
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR SKINCARE SECRETS...
What is your skincare ritual?
"I’m always rushing out the door in the morning, so I quickly cleanse my face and follow with our Awake Rose Toning Mist and our Glow Facial Serum, followed by SPF. I take my time in the evenings and really enjoy the practice of taking care of my skin. I love massaging our Calm Lavender Toning Mist and Glow Facial Serum into my skin with a jade roller, which helps reduce puffiness and brighten your complexion."
What personal beauty tips can you share?
- Always wash your face and remove makeup before bed. No matter how tired you are!
- The key to glowing, clear skin is drinking water and staying hydrated.
- Lather up on sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy out.
What are your favorite NIU BODY products?
"I personally love our Awake Rose Toning Mist. It’s the perfect mid-day pick-me-up, post-workout refresher, or travel spray. It has amazing hydrating properties, and helps to reduce redness and breakouts."
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NATURAL BEAUTY INDUSTRY...
What do you love about being in the clean beauty industry?
"I love how shocked people are when they discover how natural ingredients can be just as effective, if not more, than chemical-based products. I also really appreciate the collaborative culture amongst founders and brands in the clean beauty industry."
What drives your passion for your brand?
"One of the biggest drivers for us is when we meet our customers at tradeshows and markets, and see the difference our natural products have made in their lives. Not only are they happier with their skin, but they are also much more confident in themselves. This is what motivates us to continue pushing and creating transformative skincare."
Do you think more people should be investing in natural beauty products?
"Absolutely. I once read an alarming statistic that what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream within around 25 seconds. I truly believe once more people are aware of the negative effects of chemical-based products, they will demand more transparency in the skincare industry."
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in your industry?
"Be authentic and kind. Don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing, and try not to listen to the haters. If you’re lucky enough to find something you’re passionate about, start working on it now. Don’t wait until you’ve perfected the idea, or else you’ll never start. Stick to your gut and work your butt off. Life is too short to look back one day and think, “what if?”
What are you currently working on?"After getting on numerous customer feedback calls, we’ve narrowed down our R&D efforts to 3 products that are our customers and followers are constantly on the lookout for. Keep an eye out, our next product will be launching in the next few months!"
What city is NIU BODY based?
"We are based in Toronto, Canada."