FOUNDER SPOTLIGHT: MEET JULIE CLARK OF PROVINCE APOTHECARY
This week, we're launching Province Apothecary - a Canadian holistic skincare brand devoted to sensitive and problematic skin, with unforgettable blue packaging and undeniably good formulas.
After struggling with allergies and eczema all her life, Julie Clark began crafting natural, organic beauty products out of her kitchen. Despite her busy schedule as a costume designer and stylist, Julie found herself drawn to holistic skincare, using her time off to experiment with oils, waxes and herbs - all in pursuit of the perfect skin care regime.
In 2010, Julie began studying Aromatherapy, Holistic Health and Esthetics in Toronto. There she formed the foundation of her skincare expertise, experimenting with raw materials and natural ingredients, and gaining a significant following in her clients.
Allow us to introduce Julie Clark, Founder of Province Apothecary.
/ PHOTO CREDIT AFIYA FRANCISCO
Petit Vour: I read that you suffered from allergies and eczema throughout your life and that’s what drew you toward developing your own skincare regime. I imagine it would take a great deal of dissatisfaction with what you were finding in the marketplace to decide to make your own formulas. What was the tipping point for you? When did you say, “Enough is enough—I guess I’ll have to find the answer on my own”?
Julie Clark: I've had eczema since I was a baby and was using so many topical steroids to heal my skin but it wasn't working very well. After having several really bad episodes of eczema in my late twenties and not seeing results with the traditional products, I searched every health food store near me for natural remedies. Still nothing was working but it got me started on the path to find a natural solution, and I started researching ingredients and playing with formulas. After experimenting for a while I decided I wanted more knowledge and sought out a teacher. I found a few amazing aromatherapists and herbalist in Toronto and began studying the power of plant medicine. This is what led me to develop Province Apothecary and work with my facial clients to share my knowledge and help them heal their own skin.
PV: Why do you think holistic skincare works so much better for sensitive/allergy-prone skin than what we’ve been trained to recognize as “traditional” treatment?
JC: Plants are so powerful and healing! When you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin, the right plant oils, essential oils, whole plant (oat meal, lentils) and minerals (clay, seaweed) will nourish, repair, and strengthen the skin. Synthetic ingredients just can't compare and often they just mask the issue and cause more sensitivity. Holistic skincare means ingredients that benefit your whole body and help address the root causes, rather than the traditional approach of treating only what's visible.
/ PHOTO CREDIT BKH PHOTO
PV: Where did you get the inspiration for your packaging? It’s simply stunning and sophisticated—any woman would feel instantly more glamorous having this packaging on their beauty shelf.
JC: I love blue and silver! I like how simple and clean they look together and I consider those colors unisex. My husband and I share all of our PA products, I wanted him to want to use them as well!
When I started making our products, it was really important to put our products in dark glass bottles, to help protect it from light. I also wanted to buy my bottles in Canada, so my only options was brown or blue glass, and I chose blue. I had an old friend help me design the logo and the labels and I love their simplicity. When we develop new products and packaging we always try to go back to our original design and keep everything consistent and true to the brand.
/ IMAGE BY PETIT VOUR
PV: We’re launching a selection of Province Apothecary items this week and know our fans are going to be super excited about what you have to offer. We know a few items that will definitely cause a stir immediately. Can you elaborate a bit on the inspiration and/or development process behind the spot treatment, full brow serum, and the sex oil? (The latter has the office buzzing, truth be told.)
JC: All three of these products were developed because I needed them in my life!
I had originally developed a spot treatment in 2012 and it was no longer serving my needs at the clinic. I was discovering that most of the clients I was seeing were suffering from deep-rooted inflammation and cystic acne and I started playing around with different oils in my facials and would send clients home with vials of oils to see which ones helped the fastest. So many clients saw such great results with this formula, and this is how I developed our Clear Skin Advanced Spot Treatment.
The Full Brow Serum was also developed in our skincare clinic where we offer eye brow tinting and shaping. Many of our clients wanted to help their brows grow fuller and I knew there were lots of plant oils and essential oils that would help make this happen, so I formulated our Full Brow Serum with these effective natural ingredients!
Sex Oil was one of the first products I developed. I was looking for a natural oil-based product and couldn't find one, so I researched different blends and landed on our current formula. I gave it to everyone I knew and couldn't think of a better name for it! I asked everyone to help me name the product and almost everyone responded: just keep it as Sex Oil! I love using it as a bath oil too: add 1-2 tbsp to your bath and a few drops of essential oils. I also use it as a light hair oil and a body oil in the summer.
/ IMAGE BY PETIT VOUR
PV: Lastly, what is the one thing you want the Petit Vour audience to know about Province Apothecary that may not be immediately apparent upon visiting your website?
JC: That we love what we do! PA has grown into a company of 18 hard working women and we are all so honored and happy to be making you the best quality, effective skincare and wellness products. We take great care in sourcing the highest quality, sustainable and ethical ingredients locally (from the Canadian provinces, hence our name) and globally, and we feel so lucky to be able to give back to so many charities and enrich the lives of so many people. As we continue to grow, we maintain our focus on ethical manufacturing and giving back, and it's our amazing community of clients and friends that make this possible. Thank you so much for helping us make amazing products!