Organic Beauty Trailblazer Forges A Digital Path
“The ShopHERE program is a big life saver for my small business. I think this was a huge gift to Ontario small businesses. Not only having someone help build it, but the ad credits, Google domain credit and the Shopify experts are beyond anything I could have dreamed of.”
These are the words Mississauga-based entrepreneur Monique Courbet, who has been trailblazing the organic beauty industry for over 10 years. Courbet is the owner of Restore and Replenish Spa, the first vegan and organic spa and hair studio in the GTA. Ahead of the curve with her passion for all-natural products, Courbet began curating her own collection of organic beauty lines. The vision was to bring high-quality all natural selections to her studio clients, in order to help them navigate where to get the best results without harmful chemicals or environmental damage. Both of Courbet’s businesses were affected by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as she was no longer able to generate sales from her studio or in-store retail products. Collaborating with the ShopHERE Powered by Google Program through Digital Main Street, has allowed Courbet to quickly pivot her revenue source to Courbet Beauty Culture – an e-commerce website on Shopify, allowing her to complete direct product sales, and build a community online.
Courbet Beauty Culture was born in the studio of Restore and Replenish. It is a curated collection of all-natural and locally made beauty products. Courbet knows her client’s needs best and the ability to make organic recommendations to her customers (and for products that are not terrible for the environment) was something that she is very passionate about. The collection currently includes a variety of products from seven different brands. The products are for all ages and range from skin to hair to bath & body. Each brand is committed to chemical-free beauty and environmental responsibility. Unfortunately when lockdown began, Corbet was no longer able to get her retail recommendations into the hands of her loyal clientele.
“Courbet Beauty Culture is an expansion of my spa and hair studio. I retail all Canadian, organic and vegan beauty products. My small Canadian business is based on promoting other small Canadian businesses.”
Courbet knew that with the environment changing so dramatically, she had to think quick on her feet and find a new channel to generate revenue. The issue for Courbet (and so many other business owners) was that her budget was low because overhead expenses for the studio still needed to be paid – with no money coming in. When it comes to business and development, Courbet is very savvy and hands-on, but technology was not one her areas of confidence. Luckily, she was able to connect with the ShopHERE Program. ShopHERE was able to quickly build a website for Courbet to showcase her curated collections of products. The team consulted and trained Courbet every step along the way. In doing so the website was true to her vision, and she received the tools she needed to maintain and update the new webpage.
The website that the ShopHERE Program designed and built for Courbet Beauty Culture allowed a local business owner to continue sales during lockdown. The website allows the business to reach a broader audience through digital exposure, it lets her clients build a stronger community in an increasingly online world. She will now also be posting skin care and hair care tips, top Canadian spa reviews, new and upcoming spa services and trends, and of course product giveaways! And most importantly ShopHERE gave Monique Courbet peace of mind that her business is future proof!
“These past two months have felt like everything has been out of my control. I couldn't spend too much money on advertising for my Spa and Hair Studio because I wasn't sure when we would be shut down again. Having this online store, I feel like I have some control over my business again. I feel like there is some hope and excitement on starting a new journey within my company.”
Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages.
A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19 in Southern Ontario.