Homegrown Business: Natural Skincare from Three Ships

Skincare should not be expensive or bad for your skin! This week we spoke to Laura Burget and Connie Lo, co-founders of Three Ships, about how they’re making natural skincare accessible for all!

Laura Burget and Connie Lo, co-founders Three Ships
Laura Burget and Connie Lo, co-founders Three Ships

What is your business called and what does it do?

We’re Three Ships and we make natural skincare products. We’re on a mission to make clean beauty accessible for all women, with 100% natural, certified cruelty-free and vegan products forever under $60 CAD. Since launching three years ago with just $4,000, we have a full product assortment made in Toronto, including cleansers, toners, serums, moisturizers, masks, and lip exfoliators. Our average review rating is 4.8/5, and we are carried in +400 retailers across North America! You can find us on Instagram @threeshipsbeauty.

What made you want to do this work?

We started working on Three Ships after being frustrated with the lack of affordable natural beauty products. Brands were either extremely expensive, or cheap and greenwashing their products. As recent university grads with limited budget, we simply couldn’t afford to spend $80 on a cleanser, but didn’t want to settle for something pseudo-natural either. With this problem in mind, we set out to create our own natural and affordable skincare company, Three Ships! We started by hand making products in our kitchen, after working our 9-5’s.

What problem does this solve?

At Three Ships, we offer truly natural skincare products at prices people can afford. Customers no longer have to sacrifice on quality, or spend exorbitant amounts on a full skincare routine. Further, we encourage our customers to #lookcloser (our tagline) at the beauty industry. We are all about ingredient and formulation transparency, which is a common problem consumers face. We challenge our customers to look closer at the crazy pricing, at the science behind the marketing claims, and at the claimed results within the natural beauty industry.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

The majority of our customers are millennials between the ages of 25 – 40, who live in North America. They are interested in wellness, sustainability, and living a healthy lifestyle. They are either already aware of the benefits of natural skincare, or are looking to learn more and aren’t sure where to start. We strive to be the go-to skincare brand and resource for these women who are just starting their clean beauty journey!

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We sell our skincare products on our website, as well as in our wholesale (retailer) partners’ brick and mortar and e-commerce stores.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

You can find us on threeshipsbeauty.com, or check out our Stockist page for Toronto-based retailers!

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

What is your definition of “natural”?

Because there’s no singular legal definition in the beauty industry (shocking, we know!), it’s important to understand what standards each brand follows. For us, natural means 100% plant-derived, with no artificial ingredients. We formulate according to the EU guidelines for personal care, meaning we avoid over 1,400 potential toxins in our formulations (the US, in comparison, bans 30). You can learn more about our formulating philosophy here.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part of our jobs is reading our customer reviews. We work extremely hard to create products that create visible results, and it’s always so rewarding to see how they’ve helped our customers. One that stands out to us is from a woman saying that for the first time in years, she’s felt confident enough to leave the house sans-foundation, after our products helped clear up her skin. Our customers’ satisfaction is our north star, and will continue to be our main motivator moving forward.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

Entrepreneurs are the only people who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?

Evergreen Journals. We love their Habit Journal, which we have found incredibly helpful in tracking our habits! We’ve noticed considerable improvements in our mental wellbeing and daily habits since using the Habit Journal. It’s really incredible what the co-founders, Lulu Liang and Allie Mastoras, have built. In just 4 months, they’ve sold thousands of journals!