Written by The Strategy
It’s time for the world to realize that the future is female. There are so many female entrepreneurs who inspire us and we wanted to know more about how they got their companies off the ground. Welcome to our series: The Future Is Female, where we sit down with inspiring female entrepreneurs and get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how their companies operate.
We’ve stressed this many times before: our skincare became a near obsession during Covid. And, it doesn’t seem like we’re the only ones.
During the pandemic, Amanda Schuler decided to change up her career in the furniture business, and move into the beauty space. Her passion for bringing natural beauty, health and wellness to women led her to launch Ember Wellness. The Toronto-based company is dedicated to creating beautiful, clean and supportive skincare products, using minimal product combinations and total transparency between the brand and the customer.
As huge fans of the brand, we had to know more about how Amanda created this brand that has us raving to all our friends about.
What inspired you to create Ember Wellness?
I’ve always been into both natural skincare and branding. Despite what a crowded space the beauty industry is, I felt there was a gap; one that uses the least amount of ingredients possible and publishes the ingredients for the user to see in plain sight. I thought that instead of combining so many ingredients, it would be incredible to just use minimal ingredients so each one of them is at a hight potency and therefore shines through and gives maximum efficacy. I also love beautiful objects so the process of creating the brand, bottles, packaging and overall look and feel of Ember Wellness was incredibly fun and rewarding.
How did you come up with the name?
I worked with an incredible all-female branding team, Studio Millie. My friend, Katherine Yip, suggested them to me one day, I had an initial call with them and never looked back. They have been super supportive; they came up with about eight names and Ember Wellness is the one that stuck, and I felt it had a great feeling to it, with a wellness vibe.
What inspires Ember Wellness the most?
The belief that people should know what they are putting their face, seeing people have the “aha’ moment when a customer learns about the act of mixing a facial oil with a hydrosol to make a very simple moisturizer in the palm of their hand. The idea that my brand can have an impact with our Alchemy Fund, giving 1% of profits to people, animals, and the planet on a quarterly basis and that hopefully the impact we make will continue to grow. I also like when people realize that multi-step routines are not necessarily the only way to care for one’s skin and support their skin barrier.
What was the biggest struggle or hurdle when you first started?
The biggest challenge was finding a partner to compound the skincare for Ember Wellness. I wanted to work with someone with a lot of knowledge and experience, so I took a long time to find the right fit. I ended up landing one of the best labs in Canada. They are based in Quebec, with a female scientist on staff who helped bring my vision to life and helped to create the formulations using plant-based oils and hydrosols for the different skin concerns.
I drove to Quebec during Covid, the day when they were threatening to shut down the provincial borders I felt like I had just slid under a closing garage door. When we met, it was obvious that we would be working together. Today they are one of my best supporters. We worked together to create the ideal flower/plant combinations that are alchemically aligned. They test everything for identity, potency, and oxidation so they are the real deal and give me confidence and a true foundation to build from.
What did your career look like before Ember Wellness was launched and how did you get to where you are today?
I was in the furniture space, as one of three founders of Gus Modern Furniture with my husband, David Podsiadlo, who heads up Design and Matt Parass, our President and CEO.
Has there been a moment when you realized you were ‘making it’?
I thin when SSENSE decided to bring Ember Wellness on board, it felt like ‘yes!’. There have been other great moments as well and I’m always moving forward towards accomplishing new goals with the brand because I feel like it has the potential for a lot of growth.
Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs?
Stick to what you love, understand margins and wholesaling before you price, and don’t say yes before thinking it through first.