HALIFAX – Ariel Gough and Edwina Govindsamy want their customers to smell good with their coconut-oil based perfume oils, and also help Ugandan girls stay in school.
Gough and Govindsamy are launching Bailly, a company that sells cruelty-free, vegan perfume oils with a softer scent for people sensitive to fragrance. They’re giving 15 per cent of each sale to Just Like My Child Foundation‘s Girl Power project.
Through this program, impoverished girls aged 12-15 in the Eastern African country receive workshops, mentoring and other tools for two years so they can stay in school and avoid child marriage, early pregnancy, violence and disease.
“We have a goal of [raising] just over $10,000 for the foundation in our first year, because that would help us support over 50 girls through their Girl Power project,” Gough said in a phone interview with Huddle.
Gough and Govindsamy chose this project to support because it includes adults and young boys in the process, giving them training in human rights and the impact of education in a girl’s life.
The pair met when Govindsamy’s mother introduced her to Gough three years ago. Both women come from minority backgrounds, and the two decided they wanted to create something together.
“We both have businesses on our own, but we wanted to do something more impactful. A perfume oil was something that we both agreed would be worth doing because it was such a staple in both our beauty regimes,” Govindsamy said.
“The whole idea was inspired by women like us – young, diverse women who are into fashion and beauty, and who are goal oriented and ambitious, but who are also socially conscious,” Gough said. “We’re all about supporting women and connecting with like-minded women. So we thought, what a great way to also give back to the next generation of women by partnering with the foundation.”
Govindsamy does the marketing for CBRE’s Atlantic offices and owns a commercial cleaning company with her sister. Her family immigrated to Saint John, N.B. when she was nine years old. She moved to Halifax three years ago.
She said New Brunswick was a lot less diverse when she was growing up.
“There weren’t many people other than my mother that looked like me,” she said. “Beauty now is a lot more diverse and it’s a good way for people coming from minority backgrounds to see people like them and visualize themselves with make up, or clothing.”
“For me, and I think Ariel too, we wanted young women to see diverse women like us doing amazing things and hopefully set a great example and set a path ahead of them,” she added.
For Gough, who has a marketing consultancy company, her heritage is her inspiration.
She comes from a long line of African-Canadians who settled in Nova Scotia’s Upper Hammonds Plains community in the 1800s.
“When they got here, there was a lot of hardships and of course racism and discrimination. So I really grew up with an understanding of my heritage and just the perseverance of my ancestors and particularly the women in my family,” Gough said.
“For me the motivation to give back has always been because of the rich heritage that I have and the many, many strong women who contributed to where I am today,” – Ariel Gough
Customers can begin buying Bailly’s first fragrance, called Brilliance, online later this month.
“It’s more of a gourmand or sweet scent. It has black currant, pear, patchouli, vanilla, chocolate bean,” Govindsamy said.
Bailly’s perfume oils will be made with natural ingredients, but are not 100 per cent natural. Made by a perfumer in New York, the oils will also be paraben- and phthalate-free.
More products will be launched over the next six months. Customers who want free samples can reach out to Gough and Govindsamy via Bailly’s Facebook and Instagram pages, or receive updates by subscribing to the newsletter through Bailly’s website.