A Kelowna business’ CEO and founder is on a mission to help emerging women entrepreneurs break into the beauty industry.
For her work shining a light on other women brand owners, Julie Michaud received the BDC Woman of the Year Award from Kelowna Women in Business on Sept. 16.
Through her skincare and makeup retailer Portia-Ella, Michaud established a “business incubator” program, providing management, mentorship, and shelf space so other women who have a focus on clean and low-waste beauty can have a start in the industry.
“It’s really special, actually, to work with so many women that are absolutely driven to want to make this industry something and really switch how things have been done,” she said.
As she works on opening doors for fellow entrepreneurs, Michaud also advocates for mindful consumption and moving people towards a more holistic view of beauty. She said Portia-Ella’s goal is to make clean beauty accessible to everyone and to change the mentality that clean and organic beauty has an unattainable cost.
And being named the Woman of the Year because of her work is an honour, as well as a humbling experience, especially as many other business owners continue to try to change and evolve during a challenging year.
“That was really special because I feel that when we work on our purpose, we get so passionate about what we do and we want to go ahead and make these changes.”
“And we forget. Sometimes in the midst of all the work, we forget the impact and we forget how people’s lives change (because of what we do),” Michaud said.
As for others who are juggling many roles in their lives like herself, Michaud has a few words of encouragement.
“Don’t let your ego get in the way of the decision you need to make… I find that quite often, we’re so proud and we want to offer something big and we have this vision, but the work to do in order to get there is not always pretty and we have to be ok with that.”