The Organic Business Journey of Karine Goulet
Meeting with Karine Goulet, founder and co-owner of Kamelya Aromacosmétique, and Buster Fetcher user
Some people’s passion is contagious. Karine Goulet, founder and co-owner of Kamelya Aromacosmétique is one such person. I met with her on a frigid February morning and her warmth made me forget winter for a moment…
All about flowers
In 2010, Karine founded Kamelya Aromacosmétique, a ‘made in Quebec’, all-natural cosmetics company.
Everything started in 2009 however… Like many women, she was not completely satisfied with the quality of cosmetics available on the market, but most of all, she was shocked by the amount of toxic products they contained, all of which are harmful to the environment and human health.
Following a serious allergic reaction to a renowned traditional product, she begins to reflect more deeply on the impact of her choices in terms of cosmetics. She also encompasses shampoos, creams, soaps, detergents, all of which daily come in contact with the skin, the body’s largest organ.
At the time, she works for the Food Inspection Agency and combines experience in fashion merchandising, marketing and customer service. In other words, she is not intimidated by science and business!
In 2009, the market for natural cosmetics is only in its early stages, but she decides to go for it and train in scientific aromatherapy.
I realize just how passionate she is when she tells me: “At that time, I had only one word in mind all the time: FLOWER.” This word becomes her vision, one that will guide her through each step of her project.
Respect, both for oneself and the planet
For a year, she works relentlessly on her product designs, researching nature’s best ingredients, and the quality of her packaging. She believes in being consistent in all stages of product development.
Her mission: focus entirely on health and environment, whether it’s the product or its packaging.
To succeed, she will have to overcome a number of challenges. Starting a business is far from easy, she is well aware.
To start, she moves back to her hometown, Victoriaville. “I figured it would be easier for people to get to know me in a smaller town and I would get more help if I moved closer to my family.” Staying true to yourself and not forgetting your roots is a part of that “natural” process.
In 2011, her brother Carl becomes her partner. His expertise lies in e-commerce, manufacturing, and handling. Together, they will form an effective team.
They partner with suppliers to increase the number of ranges and products to bring to market, and they receive a grant for young entrepreneurs, as well as subsidies to help propel their business to success.
Kamelya Aromacosmétique blooms and flourishes: they now have more than 150 products online, from all-natural skin care to more than 100 different essential oils, as well as diffusers and aromatherapy books.
Values that drive to action
When I ask her what her greatest wish as an entrepreneur is, Karine replies: “Every morning, I wake up thinking that I want my business to outlive me. I want Kamelya to become a lifelong entity.”
Being an entrepreneur myself, I love to meet people who drive me to action. It is so motivating to see someone stand up to the values they hold dear, and make it their job! Kamelya Aromacosmétique isn’t a fashion statement. Its owners truly believe in their work and in all their decisions, they stay true to their values.
A well-deserved recognition
Thanks to the quality of their products, they become the first Canadian business to earn the Slow Cosmétique Award, something Karine is very proud of, having been a long-time admirer of its founder, Julien Kaibeck.
Since 2013, the European association who owns the trademark Slow Cosmétique rewards deserving brands that sell clean, natural products, and promotes them in a responsible way with its Slow Cosmétique Award. A guarantee of quality, the Slow Cosmétique Award is attributed when a brand meets most criteria stemming from its charter.
Any recognition is a win and Karine Goulet makes the business evolve naturally over time. Kamelya now exports its products across Canada et has entered the European market.
All is not so easy, though.
The challenges of entrepreneurship
To succeed, one needs determination, passion and relentlessness; Karine no doubt possesses these three qualities. She’s had to overcome many challenges over time. She tried to set up sales outlets, but there were too many middle-men, contrary to her vision. Ever since, the business only sells online.
Then there is the competition. People are increasingly environmentally conscious and that is a good thing, however it also means greater competition: “We must constantly strive to be creative. You can never sit down and think you’ve made it. In e-commerce, everything evolves so rapidly, it’s ongoing.”
Furthermore, though Karine and Carol work at times with associates and consultants in different areas, they nevertheless do the bulk of the work themselves. People don’t realize all the work involved beyond the product. Managing an online business may sound simple, but really it is non-stop work: you must connect with your customers, retain their business, et be ever-present on social media, among other things. There are no breaks.
A service aimed at simplifying things
And along comes Buster Fetcher to make life easier for Karine and Carl. They first heard of the service through a friend who uses the service and is very satisfied. Like most people, little did they know back then that they can claim for parcels delivered late. “It was so simple to sign up, and it works like a charm!”, she explains.
In fact, Karine Goulet feels all online retailers should sign up with Buster Fetcher. Why? “We recover money and save time! We even get commissions when we refer someone! We can use that time and money to improve our site, or work on advertisement. And if we have questions, the service is great. For us, Buster Fetcher is like a GIFT.”
Clearly, Karine Goulet is good with words. We now associate Kamelya Aromacosmétique to the word FLOWER and Buster Fetcher to GIFT.
Flowers and a gift, what a great pair!
We hope to see this wonderful business continue to blossom and leave its mark. With a woman such as Karine Goulet, for whom entrepreneurship is second nature, we are all but worried!
- To find out more about Kamelya Aromacosmétique and Slow Cosmétique, visit Kamelya.ca
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kamelyaaromacosmetique