DIEPPE – Sylvie Roy’s do-it-yourself natural lip balm project has become a business that has reached as far west as British Columbia and as far south as California. Now, she’s ready to reveal the new face of her “quirky” company, Eclair Lips.
“Lip balm has always been a favourite product of mine since I was 10-years-old. For me, it represents more than just something you put on your lips to moisturize. It was something fun and I liked how it smelled,” she said.
Roy started making lip balms at home when she and her husband were planning to have children. The mother of two had wanted to avoid chemicals, especially from her favourite cosmetic product.
“But there wasn’t anything natural that has fun flavours – they were all, like, honey and lemon, or tea tree. I wanted super fun dessert type flavours.”
After making lip balms at home for some time and getting good reviews from her family and friends, she decided in 2015 to use her background in cosmetics marketing to start a company.
At the time, she and her family were living in Mississauga, Ont. Roy was juggling life as a mother, a full-time college recruiter and an entrepreneur. She sold to only one store in Toronto and sold to customers directly through Etsy.
It was a year later, after she and her family moved to her husband’s hometown of Dieppe, that her business started blooming.
The family had always planned to move back to the Moncton area, she said. But an autism diagnosis for Roy’s oldest daughter pushed them to make the decision faster. Insufficient resources in Ontario would mean at least a one-year wait for her daughter to get early intervention therapy, she said. Whereas in New Brunswick, her daughter was enrolled right away.
Roy also enrolled her business into programs that helped it expand. Eclair Lips became her full-time gig.
“I got into the [Community Business Development Corporations] programs, and everything really started growing,” she said. “I was just amazed at the quality of the programs and how helpful everybody was. There’s really this sense that people want to see small businesses grow in New Brunswick. You feel like people really believe in you.”
“I was hoping I’d have more time when I moved [to Dieppe], but I wasn’t expecting all the resources and support that I got. I can’t believe how loyal and encouraging people are. I think that’s what made the biggest difference,” she added.
Roy’s lip balms are now sold in 60 stores in North America, around 60 per cent in Canada and 40 per cent in the United States. Customers can also buy the lip balms directly through Eclair Lips’ website. Each tube of 4.25 grams cost $6 at retail price.
Eclair Lips has a gender-neutral product line, a line for kids with flavours like “Unicorn Kisses” and “Hippo Hugs,” and a line for women.
“As I learned more about my customers, I thought, ‘Ok. I need to reel all of this in and make it look really cohesive and also be talking more to my customers’,” she said.
The rebranding will make Eclair Lips look bolder, more colourful and more quirky to match Roy’s personality.
Currently, Roy and her husband Mario LeBlanc, Eclair Lips’ Consultant of Sales and Smiles, can sell up to 3,000 lip balms a month during peak season.
“We’re trying to ramp things up because we can actually produce about 10,000 units a month if we have the sales for that. That’s what we’re going for. We’re hoping to be the go-to lip balm brand in New Brunswick for sure, and in the Maritimes,” she said. “Maybe even open a little facility in the next couple of years and hire people to take on more production.”
Eclair Lips will have a free re-launch party on August 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cocoa Room in Riverview.