The rise of minimalist skincare regimens has spurred the monumental growth of natural beauty brands on a global scale. With each passing year, it seems as though there’s a new skincare fad, a revolutionary new ingredient, or a Fountain-of-Youth-esque skin supplement.
The only trouble people are facing is finding the most effective and affordable options. That’s why Laure and Connie, co-founders of Three Ships, set out to create natural skincare products at affordable prices, but without skimping on quality.
Three Ships specializes in simple, clean, and sustainable skincare, offering a variety of cleansers, creams, moisturizers, serums, masks, and more. “We believe you don’t need a long list of unnecessary ingredients in your skincare products, and you don’t need a 12 step skincare routine to achieve beautiful results,” writes the founders on their company’s “About Us” page.
But for Laura and Connie, the path to success wasn’t so easy. The duo managed to scrape up just $3,300 to launch their company, dedicating evenings and weekends to work on the business while continuing with their full-time jobs during the day.
By the end of their first year in business, Three Ships made $40,000 in sales. Now, Three Ships is heading to large retail stores, selling out in places like Target, Whole Foods, and Urban Outfitters.
The Story Behind Three Ships
Tired of the overpriced and ineffective skincare products available one the market, Laura Burget, a chemical engineer, and Connie Lo, a business graduate, decided to launch their brand.
The company officially set sail in 2017, when Laura and Connie began testing skincare recipes from Connie’s apartment kitchen. The entrepreneurs’ goal was to solve the common problems many women faced in the world of skincare — finding the most effective and affordable solutions.
But why name the company “Three Ships”?
“For thousands of years, there have been tales of adventurers going to great lengths to find the mystical Fountain of Youth,” explains the duo on the company’s origin story. “Some legends even suggest that it was discovered by a very small fleet of just three ships. While we know this to be a myth, great discoveries can still be made with limited resources.”
So, Laura and Connie decided to develop their own line of “Fountain of Youth” products, and their hard work has certainly paid off.
While 2020 was a tough year for many small businesses, Three Ships experiences a surge in sales. The founders even made an appearance on Canada’s Dragon’s Den — similar to the United States’ “Shark Tank.” Laura and Connie managed to seal several investment deals, as well as a royalty agreement.
The pair projected they’d finish off the year with approximately $1.5 million in sales revenue — a significant increase from the company’s total earnings of $850,000 in 2019.
Providing Quality, Affordable Skincare Products
The big thing that sets Three Ships apart from other skincare companies is its loyalty and commitment to its customers. Laura and Connie realized that consumers were being ripped off by ridiculously overpriced and unsustainable beauty brands.
“We believe that the future of beauty is natural and that consumers deserve to have access to products that they can afford, work and are also truly transparent with the ingredients that they use,” comments Laura in an interview with CO.
Three Ships has accomplished that and much more, and the market of skincare and natural beauty is inly expected to grow. In 2019, the global market size of natural skincare products was estimated at $10.8 billion. Current statistics and projections predict the market will hit $16.06 billion by the year 2027, resulting in an annual growth rate of five percent.
While beauty and skincare have always been a hot market, the recent global pandemic has shed even more light on the category, encouraging a future of simple and pandemic-proof skincare regimens.
Understanding Their Target Customer
Much of the company’s success can be attributed to its achievement in getting to know its target audience — mainly because the founders themselves are the target audience: millennial skincare enthusiasts looking for affordable solutions.
Both within and outside the realm of skincare, customers are seeking higher transparency with companies when it comes to how sustainable products are being produced. The market size for sustainable products is currently valued at $11.2 billion, but by 2025, researchers predict the market will grow to $36.6 billion.
Additionally, the Business of Sustainability Index found that nearly 64 percent of Americans are more willing to buy products that have been sustainably produced compared to products that have no disclosure on sustainable or eco-friendly production.
In other words, companies that inform customers about the sustainability and ethics of their products are more likely to be successful than brands that don’t offer any information on the subject at all. Three Ships is achieving success in this particular area by maintaining transparency on the sustainability of its products and solutions.
Expanding the Company
Starting with just $3,300 and working back-to-back shifts, to reaching $850,000 in sales in 2019, Laura and Connie are bringing transformational change to the skincare and natural beauty industry.
After a few years selling in only Canadian retail stores, Three Ships continues to work with reliable and trustworthy retailers all over the world. Now, Three Ships is headed to the shelves of Target, where the company can expect even more growth in over 500 stores.
Paired with their ongoing commitment to clean and effective products and their pledge to sell products under $40 for all time, Laura and Connie look into the future towards further expansion with other reputable retail stores.