Homegrown Business: Althea Johnson, the owner of Proprlifestyle Korean Skincare & Accessories

We spoke to Althea Johnson, the owner of Proprlifestyle Korean Skincare & Accessories, to learn more about the business!


What is your business called and what does it do?

Proprlifestyle started as an online Korean Skincare business in November 2017; a retail space was added in 2020 after a series of successful popups in the Ossington/Queen St. West area.

What made you want to do this work?

In South Korea, I discovered result-oriented techniques and products to help alleviate issues with my sensitive skin and reduce my eczema and acne breakouts.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I started this business to share my experience and growing knowledge with those who have similar skin issues and want to learn more about how Korean skincare can improve their skin’s appearance. I believe that a personalized beauty skincare routine can lead to glowing skin that retains elasticity.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

My customers range in age from 16-80 years of age. It used to be 90% female and 10% male but my male clients have increased by 60% in this last year alone. I feel honoured that my male customers are comfortable enough to ask for advice on their skin.

The ideal customer is someone who wants to learn more about taking care of their skin while building a customized skincare routine. They may have sensitive skin, acne, or other issues they would like to improve.

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

We have an online store and retail space offering the flexibility of pickup, delivery, or in-store shopping.

Where in Toronto can we find your profession?

Our location is 458 Ossington Avenue in Little Italy. Our retail space has evolved into a skincare hub attracting customers from near and far. We have also become a favourite tourist, attracting skin enthusiasts from all over Canada and the US.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

It is always great when a prospective customer says that they are curious about Korean Skincare, and asks me to advise them on a basic routine to start? After assessing their skin type, current skincare routine and skin goals; I customize a specific skin regime which would include a cleanser, hydrating toner, serum and moisturizer.

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

The best part of this business is when customers come back and tell me how much they loved the product I recommended for them or when they leave a 5-star review on google about their experience in our store. This gives me pure joy. The worst part was launching the store 9 days before the original COVID 19 lockdown.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

I can’t really think of a joke about my profession but there is an ongoing inside joke with my family about what I do. They call me the Dorian Gray of skincare; being able to still look so young while they continue to age around me.

What are your social media channels?

InstagramFacebook | Website

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

I am really liking the newly opened Madras Kaapi Café at the moment as I had never had Indian coffee before. Their interior décor is lovely and makes a great hang-out spot.