For this edition of our Homegrown Business feature, we spoke with Toronto salon owner, hair stylist and creator of Proudest Pony Shampoo and Conditioning Bars, Ashley Brewsmith.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My business is called The Proudest Pony – we have a hair salon in Toronto that has been operating for 11 years AND we recently launched our own line of plastic-free, vegan, cruelty free and salon-quality hair care products! Our Proudest Pony Bars are professionally formulated with sustainably sourced ingredients in a lab in Canadian to create a professional quality product – PLUS they come in biodegradable packaging.
We have 5 different formulas for different hair types, and each bar lasts 80-100 washes (equal to 3 regular sized shampoo/conditioner bottles!)
What made you want to do this work?
I remember looking around my shower one morning and all the plastic waste that was created from hair care products just hit me…
I became passionate about creating high quality hair care products that would reduce plastic packaging and are made with Ingredients to feel good about.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
I found current products on the market were either good for the environment or good for your hair – and I wanted something that could be both.
I wanted to create shampoo and conditioner bars so people wouldn’t have to sacrifice having beautiful, clean and soft hair to make the change to a better-for-the-planet product.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Proudest Pony products are ideal for eco-conscious people who don’t want to contribute to plastic waste and who also still want professional quality hair care products.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We sell Proudest Pony products at our Toronto salon, boutique salons across Canada as well as online.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
Well hairstylists are everywhere…and for the eco-friendly hair care products, there are lots of other shampoo/conditioner bars available at boutique stores and markets in the city but many of these are homemade and/or don’t come in any packaging (which isn’t always appealing as many people could have handled it.) That said – I think it’s so wonderful and inspiring that more and more people are choosing this plastic-free option – choosing any kind of shampoo/conditioner bar is a huge win in my eyes.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
The best question: Why would I choose Proudest Pony products over a traditional liquid shampoo/conditioner product?
Answer: Our Proudest Pony bars give professional results without any plastic waste or additional water weight to add to their carbon footprint
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is showing people that they can get gorgeous hair without all the plastic waste!
The worst part is trying to convince people who have had bad experiences with other hair care bars that weren’t professionally preforming.
What is your favourite joke about your own profession?
Singing in the shower is fun until you get shampoo in your mouth, then it turns into a soap opera.
Where can we follow you?
Check us out on Instagram!
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Toronto business that you love?
I am so in love with the unboxed market on Dundas west. They offer a really unique way to shop sustainably, and I hope more businesses follow their lead.