Setting a tone for the entire establishment, is the spa’s director, Elena Zinchenko. Spa Inc. recently spoke with Zinchenko about the most important factors in running a successful spa operation today and more!
Lane Edwards remembers kissing her mom goodnight as a child, feeling her dewy moisturizer on her face and seeing the glow of her mom’s skin. Those moments contributed to Edwards’ love of beauty and skincare. Later, when she was pregnant with her first child, Edwards became sensitive to the conventional skincare products she normally used. She began to research the science of skincare and sought out natural products. Edwards went on to create Pura Botanicals, a clean beauty skincare company and natural perfumery that manufactures its cruelty-free, eco-friendly products in its Edmonton in-house lab.
What was the inspiration behind PURA Botanicals?
My mom valued self-care. She loved makeup and fine fragrances. She would get into the bathtub at night and fill it with beautiful bubbles. I remember sitting on the edge, dipping my feet in, and being inspired by the way she looked after herself.
When I got older, I worked for Lululemon Athletica in Sydney, Australia and taught yoga. I was into wellness and holistic health, and, in Australia I discovered natural brands and flower essences.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, my husband and I moved back to Canada in 2009. During pregnancy, I became sensitive to all of my conventional beauty products and turned to skincare that was more plant based. I started learning about the science of skincare and we opened up our lab in 2015.
What sets your lab apart from most others?
Everything is made in our lab. We have full control over everything, and our products don’t sit on warehouse shelves. They’re constantly being made in small batches, and they’re 100% natural with a stable plant-based preservative. We’re not only skincare; we’re also body care, natural fragrance, and baby care. Everything in our lab is 100% plant based, so we have a whole library of oils, essences, and extracts that we use in all of our formulas that are biocompatible. We spent many years of research in that area. We now have a collection of 35 products.
How does your team come up with new products?
We think about what’s missing in our ritual, something people would love to use. Sometimes, an individual ingredient will inspire us and we’ll build from there. Sometimes, we have to search for ingredients that are going to deliver certain results and then build around there to find what’s going to complement the star ingredient. Every product is different. Sometimes, the products go from start to finish in eight months, while others take longer.
Each bottle of Hyaluronic Ruby Serum has a sustainably sourced ruby inside. How was that inspired?
I have a degree in communications, and I’m a bit of a storyteller. I love a product not only to be about what it’s going to do with my skin, but I want it to have a whole energy, a whole background story. The serum was inspired by my love of The Wizard of Oz and Dorothy and her ruby slippers, and how the entire time she always had the power to go home. The ruby symbolizes protection; it symbolizes self-empowerment. Then the sustainability of being able to take the ruby out of the bottle and get it custom designed into jewellery for yourself, it’s about making it special. It’s like a ritual.
Why is supporting other entrepreneurs important to you?
I love our community and want to elevate our city. It’s fun to collaborate with others. It keeps me engaged and inspired. I’ve been fortunate to get to know other entrepreneurs in the city who have built their brands, and I really believe in the attitude of collaboration over competition. The more you’re able to work with brands that complement your own values, the more it opens you up to a new client base — and also for innovation and creativity.
How do you want women to feel when they use PURA Botanicals products?
There are a million beauty companies, yet women don’t feel beautiful. We’re always chasing youth and beauty. I don’t want to be a skincare company that makes women feel shame in aging. In our marketing and branding, we don’t refer to it as “anti-aging.” It’s a privilege to age. I want women to feel like they can age with power.