STEPPING UP IN 2020 - THE UNPRECEDENTED ONE
While 2020 can be summed up as unprecedented, it will definitely be one for the books for Ellie Bianca. We hit the ground running at the top of the year after we drafted our plan for the year and had our annual meeting with our distributor Purity Life to see how to get our products into more stores. In 2020 we were ready to keep rising and shatter even more glass ceilings. After the pandemic swept over the world, just like many others, we struggled to find our footing and had to go back to the drawing board. We strategically pivoted, shifted our priorities and continued to remain firm to the pillars that guide us: Kind to Your Skin | Kind to the Earth | Kind to Women.
We invite you to read some of our highlights from 2020 - the unprecedented one.
Ellie Bianca making a mark at Vivaness 2020 & CHFA West 2020
We got a chance to attend the world’s largest trade fair for natural and organic personal care, Vivaness, held in Germany in February, 2020. It set the stage vibrating and unleased all the possibilities. It helped us highlight our brand and its alignment to the global green beauty industry. Furthermore, it gave us a chance to connect with people from all over the world including potential ingredient suppliers and distributors. All this could not have been possible without the incredible support we received from the Provincial Government and Federal Trade Commissions.
Closer to the end of February, we also attended one of Canada's largest trade associations dedicated to natural health and organic products; CHFA West 2020 with our distributor Purity Life. We are so grateful to have created such meaningful relationships with businesses from all over the country. At Ellie Bianca, we are committed to creating partnerships that work cohesively to achieve goals and strive towards success.
Launching the Radiance Serum
In April 2020, we launched our beautiful Radiance Serum formulated for the bold, beautiful and courageous women we know who don’t shy away from ageing gracefully. Delicately formulated with moringa, marula and plant based squalane which work synergistically to deliver moisture, manage wrinkles and hydrate skin, the Radiance Serum has been a bestseller from the start
Pivoting - Launching the Ellie Bianca All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
As a member of the Vital Voices grow one-year mentorship program, our founder, Evelyne Nyairo was invited along 47 others to attend the Global Achievement Awards to be attended by some of the renowned personalities including Hilary Clinton. However, during this time the WHO declared a global pandemic - resulting in having to cancel this amazing opportunity. Nevertheless, we believe in trusting the process and remain optimistic that when the time is right the opportunity will come back around.
When the Government of Canada sent out a formal invitation to join the fight against the pandemic in April, we answered the call with a lot of hope. We immediately went to the drawing board and used our expertise to formulate hand sanitizers which have been in high demand as a result of the pandemic. We managed to hire individuals who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic as well as students who were actively looking for work during this time.
In creating the sanitizer, we did not want to create any ordinary sanitizer, but a sanitizer that stays true to our ethos of being all-natural. Our All-Natural 100ml sanitizer, which is approved by Health Canada, is formulated with 62% food grade ethyl alcohol to effectively kill bacteria and 200 times potent aloe-vera leave juice which calms and softens dry skin leaving the hands soft and clean. In the next phase, we launched our All-Natural Grapefruit + HA sanitizer which also has plant-based hyaluronic acid, and grapefruit essential oil to nourish and calm the skin. In May we received the Letter of Appreciation from the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry thanking Ellie Bianca for stepping up in the fight against the pandemic
Continuing the fight against the Pandemic with the Ellie Bianca All-Natural Liquid Hand Soaps
Soon we realized we had more to offer when it came to keeping the public safe. At Ellie Bianca, we are cognizant of the fact that hand washing is a crucial step in stopping the spread of germs and potentially harmful viruses. We decided to formulate a luxurious line of effective and powerful All-Natural Liquid Hand Soaps in 6 variants that cleanse without stripping the skin off its moisture and are made with all-natural ingredients. Their gentle nature makes them excellent for use in high-frequency environments such as schools, offices, supermarkets, and even hospitals.
Further expanding our offerings
In addition to our Skin Oils Collection, we also launched our 30 ml Face Oils in January 2020 to keep the face radiant and glowing. As the world slowly opened up in August 2020 we also launched the 3 ml Mini Oils and Serums for those on the go who want to carry some Ellie Bianca goodness with them.
And our efforts did not go unnoticed
As we kept hustling, we received unexpected applause from various quarters as we continued to inspire hope in our community. In the press we were able to tell our brand story through features in the Calgary Herald, Telus for small business, Women of influence three times, Huffington Post, Womanition, Avenue Magazine- 5 good things that happened in Calgary, Cosmetics Design, New York Magazine, The Strategist, UPS, Calgary Guardian and television and radio - CTV, CBC-The National, Global News, 660 News to name a few.
And our work in keeping Canadians safe with our soap and hand sanitizer was appreciated as our founder, Evelyne Nyairo was given the Covid-19 Leader award.
We were also invited for the private Women's Entrepreneurship Roundtable with the Minister Mélanie Joly on the topic of economic development and recovery, along with other meaningful discussions with BDC, UPS and Cisco Chat on embracing resilience, inclusion and diversity.
Our Citrus Verbana Face Oil has been the showstopper that keeps giving and this year it bagged the best face oil award for the fourth consecutive year. Furthermore, Ellie Bianca was nominated for the Made in Alberta awards.
Cultivating Strong Community Support
The pandemic brought a cultural shift in the minds of consumers. More than the fact that importing products was becoming expensive and it was taking longer than expected, everyone just wanted to support local businesses to keep the Canadian Dollar home. Everyone came together to contribute to their local communities, and we at Ellie Bianca noticed a slow rise in consumer support within Calgary and around Canada. This was further inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement which put a spotlight on the need to support Black-owned businesses and we are thankful to the community that rallied around us in support.
Through Ellie Bianca, we have found ourselves surrounded by a group of powerful, passionate women that constantly inspire us to be better. From community engagement to fundraising and awareness, the women in our lives constantly work to lift up those around them. In October, we brought together a group of passionate and highly driven women from all walks of live for our first Ellie Bianca Women Campaign.
The holiday shopping looked a little different this year, and we at Ellie Bianca wanted to adapt the way we connected with our loved ones this special season. We held a series of virtual connects throughout November and December. We got our Ellie Bianca Women back for a second season to ignite authentic conversations, focus on the positives, and talk about enhancing well being, all while sipping on that wine or hot cocoa from the comfort of our couches.
To all our clients and retailers: At Ellie Bianca, community and inclusion is everything, and the support our wonderful community, including both men and women, from all over has shown us this year has been so inspiring. We thank you for coming on this journey with us 2020 was definitely one for the books but we keep rising. Here is to an even better 2021. Happy New Year!
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