Sharing Love for Natural and Local Skin Care Products Online
Luxuria Studios had been operating for only a few months when COVID-19 hit, and closed down their main selling channels, small vendor markets in Toronto. To sustain her business Jenyse Ramage, the creator of Luxuria Studios, knew that an online presence would be the solution and the ShopHERE Program Powered by Google became the answer. Luxuria Studios can now spread their love for local ingredients and deliver its natural skin care products quicker than ever.
In December 2019, Jen started her entrepreneurial journey by sharing her passion to create handmade alternatives to commercial skin care. She believed in the power of natural ingredients to help with common skin issues, relaxation and act as a natural stress relief. “I wanted my clients to feel great day and night, whatever the occasion because everyone deserves it. By using organic ingredients, we can rejuvenate both mind and body.”
For every product, Jen researches the most organic and wildcrafted botanical plants, oils and butter, and blends them into the perfect synergy. From her little home studio, she pours her heart into each blend as she crafts everything by hand in small batches to ensure the freshness of an item before it is shipped. The ingredients for her bespoke products are all sourced and made in Canada. It doesn’t get more local than this!
When the pandemic closed local vendor markets, Jen realized that in order to survive she needed to reach a larger audience with her message and skin care products: “The major incentive was to be able to tell my personal story of natural skin care and to help others who are fighting side effects of commercial products.” eCommerce became the natural best fit for Luxuria Studios with fast local and international shipping.
“As I gained more popularity and returning customers started asking where I would be, it only seemed logical to start a website that could offer the same service while reaching a bigger audience.”
Through the ShopHERE Program, Jen quickly built her online store with an eCommerce Coordinator who walked her through every step, and made the entire process easy to follow. “My Helper, Arun, did an awesome job showing me features and tricks when building the site. The web themes were a perfect fit and we adjusted the content to better reflect the intention of the brand,” said Jen.
“The whole process of creating the website was extremely easy. You're given a step-by-step tutorial on how to build and run your store, including tips on improving your SEO, marketing and brand content. This couldn't be any easier for a new business who just needs that extra push.”
While already reaching larger audiences, Jen admits that marketing is still the biggest challenge of eCommerce. “With so much competition in the world it's easy to get lost in the mix.” But she believes that through consistent effort she can make it happen, and offers the same advice for small business owners who are dealing with the COVID-19 situation. “During this unexpected time, the one thing I've learned is to create content and give context to all the products or services that demonstrate value. Clients want to feel involved and assured that they are buying something of meaning and importance to their daily lives and values.”
Jen believes that every small business could benefit from the ShopHERE Program: “This initiative is an excellent way for small business owners to build a seamless online presence. The Shopify platform allows easily accessible integrations with other social media platforms as well.” She also highlighted the customized approach to every business owner. “The Program is catered to your personal schedule so you can digest the information and begin creating your ultimate dream website with someone supporting you.” If you would like to get the same support from the Digital Main Street, check out the ShopHERE Program for details.
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, Yellow Pages and Lightspeed.
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.