Beauty Consultant Magazine's journalist, Preciuos Walker, interviewed Lisa last month.
We thought we would share the link to give you some background on Indigena's history and plans for the future. Did you know Lisa started out at 18 as a beauty professional?
Here are several background questions and answers that give a detailed look behind the brand and Lisa
- Tell me a little about your background and where you are from.
I am a beauty professional, educator, formulator and manufacturer. I am from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s easternmost province and one of the world’s last and most pristine eco systems. I grew up in a tiny fishing outport, Bay de Verde. My parents instilled a strong work ethic in my and my two brothers. My Mom was the first woman to work full time in the community at Quinlan Bros Ltd as a General Store clerk, my Dad was a teacher for all ages and started out teaching at the age of 16. Our family life was very social, my Mom came from a family of eleven children so family gatherings were huge, we all love to cook and get together often. Going berry picking in summer and Fall was my favourite thing to do, living in harmony with the seasons is a beautiful way to live.
2. What was it about the beauty industry that intrigued you? Coming from a very small remote community in rural Newfoundland I was always intrigued with beauty products. My Mom and her sisters loved perfume, soaps, hand and face creams whatever was most popular in the USA they managed to get it. The aura and mystery of Chanel #5, Mom’s favourite perfume sealed the deal for me with my beauty obsession.
How did you get started in the skincare business?
I registered for a Cosmetology course right out of high school at the age of 18 years old. I learned how to do facials, makeup and manicuring in that course ,I was hooked on the skincare aspect of my training form the beginning. It was a one year course.
One of my classmates, Teresa Evely, secretly registered me in our provincial pageant, Miss Newfoundland and Labrador and convinced me to do it. That changed my life. I went to the Miss Canada Pageant in Toronto Ontario. I wasn’t into the antics of pageant life but I was so intrigued with the hairstylists and make up artists. I met Robyn Barker of Robyn Barker Salons, a famous Hairstylist in Canada. Just hanging out with him and his team gave me inspiration to open my own salons and follow my dreams. I finished my teaching and arts degrees in 1993 and that same year I opened my first salon, Impact Image Studio, in St. John’s Newfoundland and Labrador's capital city.
I love the beauty industry, my most favourite part of my work day in all the positions I have held throughout my lifetime of working in the industry was driving to work early morning and getting at the salon to prepare for the day before anyone else arrived.
What made you decide to start the Indigena brand?
I had issues with my health due to chemical exposure, the beginning years of nail tech industry, my work as a Colorist and Stylist had far reaching effects on me. I got sick a lot, mostly lung infections, so I decided to make a beautiful but healthy product range for hair skin and body. I was a Redken Salon with Aveda for my skincare and make up, both those brands had a big influence on how I planned my skincare business.
3. How hard was it for you in the beginning to get customers, keep business afloat?
I started Indigena in 2009 in a remote province with 1/2 a million people where there was no manufacturing base and no one with any expertise in this area. It’s taken a lot of time to establish the brand for several reasons. I worked full time from 2009 to 2012 while I sold on weekends at Farmers Markets and through my network of friends and colleagues. Having a supportive family was the key to allowing me to focus on my goal of getting the brand off the ground.
We got a big break in 2013 when we were invited to attend the Secret Room Lounge for the 70th Annual Golden Globes. in Hollywood, then locals started taking me seriously and the brand got investment from 2 local businessmen.
4. What exactly is Indigena Skincare and what do you offer?
We are a natural skincare brand who uses indigenous ingredients from our land and surrounding sea of Newfoundland and Labrador to hand craft antioxidant rich skincare. Most of our botanicals are hand picked near my home town and surrounding communities.
We offer skincare, haircare, body care, botanical hikes, lunch and learn events and soon this coming Summer - product making classes.
5. How does your company differ from other Skincare brands?
We have focused on research and development (R&D) using botanical blends that effectively reduce redness, prevent acne and promote age prevention with exponential antioxidant rich formulas that are clinically proven to work. Most natural brands are “story focused” We love our story but the science we’ve invested in is key to our products working fast to correct skin problems and improve skin on first contact.
Indigena is an experience for the customer who wants to connect to nature no matter where they are, it provides an escape to feeling beautiful and healthy. Our bodies and minds draw sustenance from nature. Taking a bath in a botanicals hand picked in the wild is a mindful and body nourishing experience. The pretty combinations of ingredients are visually appealing ( Sea Goddess Bath Crystals)
We hand pick, hand craft in small batches and are a homegrown company committed to never compromising our ethics. We have been “green” from Day 1, cruelty free, we wild craft the most antioxidant rich botanicals on the planet that exponentially work together to improve sensitive, problematic and aging skin.
Being from the beauty industry as it has grown from the 80’s has given me the opportunity to create formulas that satisfy even the most discerning customer and understand the history progression from chemical to natural ingredient based skincare.
6. What factors do you believe greatly contributed to the success of Indigena Skincare?
My upbringing, and my background in beauty, teaching Hairstyling and Aesthetics.
Education and my vision for a healthy but beautifully inspired brand.
My passion to succeed and create a unique brand. You have to be tenacious, no one is going to hand you anything without you hustling to make it happen.
My mother and brothers believing in and supporting me no matter what challenges I had to face. Mom was my best friend and she understood what I was trying to do and more importantly she believed I could do it. No one was judgemental when I decided to quit my job and pursue my goal of growing Indigena Skincare. Allowing me the time to focus on the research and development of the brand vision.
There is no substitute for hard work and being prepared before an opportunity arrives.