My Interview with the Founders of Three Ships Beauty: Laura Burget and Connie Lo


Three Ships Beauty is a brand I've been partnering with for over one year now, and I am so excited to share this feature today on my blog with the Three Ships Beauty Founders, Laura Burget and Connie Lo.

I love Three Ships Beauty because of their authenticity, transparency and of course, the amazing all-natural skincare products! I've learned so much about skincare and ingredients since I started using their products, thanks to their beautiful, informative website. They have a full ingredients glossary that is an amazing reference. 

I am so happy to have Three Ships Beauty as part of my daily skincare routine - the products are go-to staples in my regime these days!


Laura and Connie come from humble beginnings here in Toronto, Ontario. I have always been inspired by them and how they started this brand, hand-making products in their kitchen and eventually went on to do a pitch on the show Dragon's Den, and recently landed their products in over 500 Target stores. I am so honoured to be a part of their community called The Fleet. Being a Fleet Insider allows me to be one of the first to know about new product launches, promotions and I get to review the products and give my feedback! It's so fun to be a part of this. If you want to be a Fleet Insider as well, you can apply to be part of the program here.

Laura and Connie are truly inspirational entrepreneurs. I love how they show up on the brand's IG page regularly and continue to prove themselves as very hard-working and ambitious individuals! In honour of International Women's Week, I wanted to share this exclusive interview that I had the opportunity to do with both Laura and Connie

This Q&A covers all things goal-achieving, product development and marketing. I even asked them about what new products we can expect this year... read their answers below!


Mikayla: When you started Three Ships (formerly NIU BODY), how did you picture the success of the brand? What kind of goals were you aiming to achieve with your brand?

Connie: We started Three Ships at the age of 23, with just $4,000 CAD in savings. It started as a side hustle, as we both worked other full-time jobs to support ourselves while we built up our business. We always envisioned that we would quit our jobs and work full-time on Three Ships, it was just a matter of time! That day came in September 2018, and our baby grew exponentially from that point on.

 

One of our biggest goals was to partner with our dream retailer, Target. Target was on our vision boards, and often even appeared in our dreams at night. We were so focused on landing Target, given our extremely aligned customer.. When we found out in July last year that they agreed to carry us in +500 stores, it truly was a dream come true! 

 

Another goal that we had was to move manufacturing outside of my apartment kitchen, and to partner with an actual cosmetics manufacturer. It was a HUGE grind in the beginning days. I still remember our first large order for 6,700 units of our makeup remover wipes (shout out to the OG customers who remember that product!); since we made everything by hand, we met up every day for three weeks straight to fulfill that order. 

 

A final goal I recall from our early days was to hit 10K followers on Instagram to increase our brand awareness. Growing our IG organically was a huge grind, but so rewarding once we got that well-earned swipe up feature! It’s funny looking back at our original goals, now that we’ve grown significantly.




Mikayla: The beauty industry can be very competitive and overwhelming when it comes to the amount of brands and products already out there. What keeps you both personally motivated and inspired to pursue your mission with Three Ships?

Laura: For us, it comes down to the issues that we see that still exist within the beauty industry. Yes, it’s definitely a competitive space but there still aren’t any brands out there that we feel are really speaking to consumers in the way that is both non-judgemental, honest, educational and approachable. What keeps us going is the frustrations that we continue to see other consumers go through everyday. Quality skincare is still way too expensive for most people and there is still a lot of green-washing (aka misleading marketing) that is pervasive within the industry. This reminds us that we still have a lot of work to do to ensure that all natural beauty products are affordable and transparent with the ingredients that they use.

Another thing that inspires us everyday is hearing from our customers. Reading their reviews is always the best part of our days! It’s incredible to know that we are helping women to regain confidence in their skin and helping them to lead a healthier life. That’s what really keeps us going! 


What would you say is the most-asked question you get from customers and what is the answer to that question?

Laura: Hmmm this is a great question! I think that the most common question that we get from customers is that they just don’t know where to start. Customers are overwhelmed with the options out there and are trying to figure out what ingredients they shouldn’t/should use and what products will work best for them. It’s definitely a lot to sort through!

To address this question, we try to make it as easy as possible for our shoppers to learn about what products would be best suited for them. We do this via a skincare quiz on our website to match customers with the perfect Three Ships routine. We also have a detailed ingredient glossary on our site that lists out every single ingredient that we use in our products including why they’re good for your skin, where they’re sourced from and even the role that it plays in the formula! For us, education and transparency is everything. 


Mikayla: When it comes to choosing ingredients, formulating products and product development in general, what does that process usually look like? How many rounds of testing do you usually do before you have your perfect final product?

Laura: This is probably the most exciting part of the business! It’s a lot of work and a ton of back and forth with our lab but the end result of creating a product that is innovative, truly natural and delivers exceptional results is SO rewarding. The first step is identifying the product that we want to create and then sending our specs to our cosmetic chemist so that she can start formulating. We think about every detail of the product at this stage, like the scent, texture, skin feel, application method, hero/active ingredients, do not use list (aka the ingredients that we will never allow in our formulas) and price point. Our chemist then takes this info and creates the first round of samples for our internal team to try. We’ll then test it out for 2-4 weeks and send back feedback to the lab for changes. Usually we will go through 3-4 rounds of development before we have a product that we love.

Then we reach out to our own community, The Fleet! This is an exclusive inside group of our customers who get early access to products and also get to be on our test committee! We send around 30-40 pre-production lab samples to these customers for them to try for 2-3 weeks. After their trial period, we have them fill out a detailed survey with their thoughts on the product. This feedback is then compiled, sent to the lab for final changes and then voila we are ready! This entire process usually takes around 6-12 months to complete including production, packaging design and sourcing. It’s quite the process but is so worth it in the end since we know that we are delivering quality products that really work. 


Laura Burget, Three Ships Beauty Co-Founder

Mikayla: When it comes to marketing, what are your go-to tips for staying authentic, real and honest with your audience?

Connie: At Three Ships, we believe that authenticity is key. I remember when we started the brand, Laura and I felt like huge imposters being two young entrepreneurs hand making products, while we compared ourselves to behemoth companies like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder. At the same time, we didn’t see many indie brands really sharing the behind-the-scenes of running their business. Because of that, we pushed past our insecurities and began posting regular blog and Instagram content showing our faces and our day-to-day activities. To our surprise, founder behind-the-scenes content always performed the best, with the highest engagement and shares! We realized that consumers nowadays are just looking for an authentic, honest connection with the brands they choose to support.

One of my biggest tips for authenticity is to avoid comparing yourself to other founders/brands. Stay in your lane and be proud of the work you are accomplishing. By doing so, you can showcase what makes *you* authentically unique, and that’s what draws people to you.


Connie Lo, Three Ships Beauty Co-Founder

Mikayla: What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of with Three Ships so far?

Connie: First off, I’m so proud of the impact our natural skincare products have made on our customers’ skin and confidence. Reading reviews daily is the BEST part of my day! One of my favourite reviews came from a woman who said that she finally felt confident enough to go outside foundation-free for the first time in 15 years, after using our Purify Cleanser. Even saying that now sends shivers down my spine.

Another accomplishment I’m so proud of is our appearance on Dragons’ Den (S15 E02). After watching the entrepreneurial TV show for years, it felt surreal to be pitching our brand in the Den! I’m especially proud of the fact that we got four offers from the Dragons, something that is so difficult to achieve! You can watch our episode here. We also wrote a detailed blog post about the entire experience, which you can read here. 

Mikayla: In addition to Refresh, can we expect any other new products in 2021? And if so, any hints?

Connie: We have many new products launching later this year! I can hardly wait to share them with you. Our launches this year are very ingredient-focused, and have all been products highly requested by our #Crew3S on Instagram. I can’t share too much, but I can tell you that we have a HUGE emphasis on hydrating products.. ;)




It was such a pleasure doing this Q&A with Laura and Connie! I am so truly grateful to partner with their brand, Three Ships, and can't wait to see what will happen next for them!

To stay in the know on all upcoming campaigns, products and skincare by Three Ships, be sure to follow them on IG

If you want to hear more of my thought on Three Ships Beauty products, you can read my full review here. You can also save 20% off any of their products on their website with my code PINKLIFE at checkout

Do you love Three Ships Beauty just as much as me? What are your favourite products? If you've never tried before, what products would you want to try?

Thanks for reading today!

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