Marie H Rainville/The Globe and Mail
When COVID-19 hit, the mass exodus from cities to the countryside wasn’t just limited to urbanites in search of fresh air and a good deal on a piece of property. Many lifestyle entrepreneurs such as Jennifer Brodeur were inspired to relocate themselves and their businesses to more bucolic settings. The founder of JB Skin Sävvi moved her head office from Montreal’s Griffintown to a farm in Quebec’s Eastern Townships in April.
For Brodeur, leaving the big city for a picturesque area 90 minutes away made sense both personally and professionally. “There was a time when I needed to be downtown because that’s where everything happens. Now, I could be anywhere,” she says.
Finding success in rural settings is a strategy that many of Brodeur’s beauty industry peers have followed. Tata Harper bases her skincare empire in central Vermont, while Allison Audrey Weldon runs Sangre de Fruta Botanical on B.C.’s Bowen Island. Mary Futher’s Kaia Naturals line is now developed in a refurbished barn in Caledon, Ont.
Brodeur says the decision to leave the city was as much about business as boosting her mental health, and the move coincided with a 2021 rebrand. Brodeur changed the name of her business from JB Skin Guru, the moniker bestowed on her by long-time client Oprah Winfrey, to JB Skin Sävvi, which is more reflective of Brodeur’s MO of empowering her customers (her star roster also includes former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and model Ashley Graham). “My way of doing things is always about, let’s educate and you choose what’s good for you,” she says. “If this month your cleanser is Kiehl’s or this month the cleanser is ours, you do you.” She’s also revamped her packaging to be more sustainable, starting with cardboard boxes that are carbon neutral, FSC certified and 100-per-cent recyclable.
Living on her …….