Rethinking Business: SBG & CO Completely Rebrands Due to the Pandemic
A Toronto based aesthetician was forced to rethink how she did business due to the pandemic as her services were labeled “non-essential”. Sophia is a highly trained aesthetician with international accreditation in the spa world. She had set up her own treatment room that was ready to launch when COVID-19 hit, causing her to completely redefine, restructure and rebrand into a digital business. Sophia decided to completely eliminate the idea of having a treatment room and instead came up with a way to bring the treatment room to her customers’ homes.
SBG & CO has been an educational skin care center focused on natural beauty and wellness, that is socially and environmentally conscious for the last 15 years. What makes this exciting and fun in the digital world is engaging our customers in the treatment. They become more involved in the blending and mixing of the components they apply to their skin. Their clients are no longer just recipients of the treatment. This is exciting to Sophia, owner of SBG & CO because she always remind clients that, ‘it is 80% you and 20% us because you are with your skin all the time!'
“Our team consists of professionally trained and certified aestheticians, specializing in skin and skin care treatments. We curate professional Spa a la Maison treatments for our customers to indulge at home. “
Their mission is to educate their clients by recommending custom home care routines that will help them feel confident. SBG & CO sells essential skin treatments and curated collections with how-to-use instructions that their customers can indulge in, in the comfort of their homes. At the end of the day, the goal is to make sure their customers achieve healthy, radiant and beautiful skin.
Sophia did not want to simply sell her products, she wanted to sell an experience that her customers can take pleasure in and enjoy.
“I took inspiration from the luxury I provide in a facial treatment room (sound of music playing and massage, that almost ethereal feeling) and transferred it to the packaging; white on white (as in the treatment room).”
All of SBG & CO’s products are botanical and plant-based. They sell collections that contain luxurious products curated for skincare treatments. The collections range from ‘The Blueberry Peel’ which is made from plant-based stem cell and peptide technology (great for sensitive skin), the ‘Charcoal Mask Collection’ that leaves you fabulous and fresh for selfies to the ‘Organic Beauty Collection' straight from the Swiss Alps. There is something for everyone and each collection focuses on specific skin characteristics. This business also carries a vegan and Kosher certified line POYA which is made right in the GTA, along with 90% of their personal care products. Customers can also sign-up for subscriptions boxes and Sophia will soon be launching an affiliate program as well!
After being forced to close down her spa, the ShopHERE Program powered by Google was able to support Sophia in rebranding and building an online platform where she could continue running her business from.
“I think it was very beneficial to work with someone who could answer questions, guide me through the process of set-up and help with hands-on set-up where needed. It was nice to not feel alone during this experience.”
Sophia was able to work with an eCommerce Coordinator who was able to assist her in her website build. Together they were able to create something that Sophia was very satisfied with. Sophia honestly tells us that it was a learning curve for her, it took some time to fully be able to navigate the Shopify platform. Having a Coordinator to discuss things with when putting the shop together helped make starting her eCommerce store feel right. She mentioned how small businesses should utilize this program to help take those first necessary steps when it comes to launching digitally.
“ShopHERE is a treasured program for small businesses owners.”
When discussing life as a small business owner, Sophia mentions that it can get very stressful managing everything since a small business owner has to wear many hats ranging from content creation, marketing, ads etc. It can be discouraging sometimes when you put in so much work and don’t see results, but it’s important to have the mindset and determination to make all of this work. Remember why you are doing this. In SBG & CO’s case, Sophia want to stay authentic, they want to educate a wide audience and offer Canadian-made products.
The biggest advice Sophia has for small business owners is,
“Their shop will never be ready. Just start with 5 items, just start and the rest will come without pressure.”
Once you get started, you have overcome one of the hardest steps in starting a small business. Sophia also mentioned how she had to re-evaluate her life and business. On this journey she was able to meet many like-minded women who had the same experiences and managed to overcome those challenges just as she did with SBG & CO. When reflecting on the inspiring women she met Sophia recalled meeting,
“Mature women who plan on splitting the year between here and countries like France, Italy, Greece. The gravitational pull to these countries is not surprising because they are the 3 in Europe who live the essence of life without missing out.”
She then decided to create a private Facebook group for women like-minded manifesting their own #storytime.
SBG & Co is constantly working on curating new collections and their most recent launch is The Cabin Box, aimed to provide essential items to protect individuals from the sun. You can learn about this new launch and all their other collections and products on their website sbgco.ca. If you are looking to have an experience like Sophia’s and are interested in rebranding and working on a digital transformation, sign-up for the ShopHERE Program here!
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.
Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.