Your Elegant Essentials: dependable, sustainable and local self-care products

Kate Ayers community entrepreneur healthy Island Good local Nanaimo network passion skincare sustainable Tastes Local Vancouver Island vegan Your Elegant Essentials

This Nanaimo-based business creates a range of quality cosmetics for those with sensitive skin

Your Elegant Essentials originated out of pure necessity for Shannon Lord. Now, she and her business partner Devon have a successful natural cosmetics company that provides customers with products that work on the most sensitive of skin types.

Addressing a need 

Shannon is deeply connected to and personally invested in the effectiveness of her products, because she also uses them every day.

Your Elegant Essentials “got started because I have extremely sensitive skin. I had trouble finding products that I could use that weren’t going to cause some sort of reaction,” Shannon says. “It started out of a personal need to make things that were a little more sensitive-skin friendly.”

The business grew organically from the creation of her first product. After seeing the successful results of Shannon’s homemade skincare products, her friends and family members wanted to try them as well.

In fact, Healing Whispers Body Butter, one of Your Elegant Essentials’ most popular products, was inspired by Shannon’s good friend who was dealing with skin irritations.

“Normally, the ingredients that are in that product, I would have never thought to combine them. But I blended them purely for what they do, not how they smell,” Shannon says. “It was specifically made for her skin – to treat the redness and itchiness. To this day, it is the only lotion she can use and it is one of our best sellers.”

Committed to the process

When Shannon and Devon launched Your Elegant Essentials, Shannon also worked as a nurse. Before retiring from nursing in January to focus on their business, Shannon was in this profession for 15 years, working as a bedside nurse, in management positions and she did some teaching. As a result, she has extensive experience in treating wounds and other skin injuries. Her understanding of injury treatment also led to another product line called Ink Kare, which is a tattoo aftercare system.

Shannon also has great interest in developing new products and the chemistry that is required to make them so effective.

“I’ve always loved the behind-the-scenes formulations and I really enjoyed making products that I found worked for me,” Shannon says. 

“A lot of the time, I couldn’t even go online to find recipes that worked. I had to really play with ingredients. For example, oils react differently and materials have different melting points. I love the creation piece.”

As a result, Shannon has crafted soap, hair care products, lip moisturizer, floral water, body butter, deodorant and even pet products.

All of Your Elegant Essentials’ products are federally licensed, registered and trademarked. The products also comply with the Cosmetic Regulation requirements of the Food and Drug Act and product labelling meets Health Canada regulations.

In addition, all products are made in small batches to ensure consistency and quality. Every product batch has a unique identifier and all batches can be traced to individual ingredients, production date and more!

In fact, all of Your Elegant Essentials ingredients are produced right here in Canada.

“We only source Canadian sustainable ingredients from our suppliers,” Shannon says.

In doing so, they support other small business by keeping their purchases local.

Caring for skin and the Earth

Your Elegant Essentials strives to provide a “classy and elegant-type feel and we want it to be products for everybody that you use on a daily basis,” Shannon says. 

Shannon and Devon address these needs all while doing their part to reduce their environmental footprint.

“All of our body butters, deodorants and soap boxes are available in compostable containers,” Shannon says.

“Everything that we can is in compostable containers,” she says. Products that require sterilization or have hygienic considerations are sold in recyclable plastics.

Shannon and Devon want to preserve the land they love and enjoy so much. 

Vancouver Island “is our absolute favourite place in the world. We are big outdoors people. We love how much there is to do,” Shannon says.

“The weather allows us to be active all year long. We have beautiful places here and we love being able to step away from civilization and go remote camping for a few days to take a break. We hike and camp a lot with our dogs.”

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