Let your light shine through.
When it comes to marketing beauty, this seems to be the mantra-of-the-hour with everyone from news anchors to the selfie-crazed stripping off their masks.
And yet, local entrepreneur Julie Michaud has managed to build the kind of original business that gets you nominated for a “best concept” award in the Small Business BC Awards simply by following through on the premise.
“Although I do sell amazing lotions that will make an impact on your skin and will improve the feel and look of your skin, no amount of lotion is going to make you prettier,” says Michaud as she sits down in her kitchen, not a stitch of foundation or mascara on, to be interviewed.
Porsche-Ella is a brand new online sales portal which stresses natural beauty from a holistic perspective, highlighting the fact we are all uniquely stunning in our own way. And while its founder does believe in highlighting one’s assets, the focus is clearly placed on a healthy acceptance of one’s self.
Michaud has done the research and selected natural products from across Canada for this creatively-branded platform to make shopping local and finding healthy options easy. With headlines like “Beautiful minds inspire others” and life-impact programs offering guidance on showcasing your true assets, it’s hard not to feel good or inspire flipping through its windows.
“I have noticed how much woman are willing to pay, to try and risk their entire health for the belief that a product will make them better, or what they think is better,” said Michaud. “…If you want to look like Barbie, that’s your thing, so be it, but there is a better way to do it.”
Self-awareness is an area the young French-Canadian was born to showcase.
In April, she finished her last surgery to correct her cleft palate, a long, arduous process she is both “so done with” and, at the same time, quite clearly glad to have drawn insight from to share with those who so easily pick themselves apart.
Over the years, she explained, she has had a piece of her hip bone used to fuse together the roof of her mouth, had new teeth built to cover her small teeth and fill the hole, and had her nose shaped to form the straight functional unit most are gifted with at birth.
“In my life, I’ve gone from pretty to not so pretty—with different faces actually,” she said. “I’m telling you from experience, it doesn’t matter.
“What matters is what you find inside of you.”
Sitting up straight, with a big smile on her face, she looks as confident as any model in her marketing shots, and this is the aim.
Her program Grace and Beauty teaches the kind of insight that affects our outer presentation in the world, while Peaceful AssertivenessTM gives a thorough assessment of the impact of beauty, inner peace and assertiveness in the professional world.
Michaud, her partner, Stavros Angelatos, his sister Veronika Angelatos, artist Lori Mairs and Richard Kempe were the driving force behind Night of a Thousand Lights, a neighbourhood art event which drew in 2,000 people to their Lawrence Avenue block this fall. Her efforts caught the eye of Mairs, who then made the nomination.