by Heidi Riley
Sharon Quann, owner of Quannessence in Summerside, creates and markets her own specialized holistic skincare line for retailers, professionals, and distributors.
Her journey to entrepreneurship started when she studied to become an Aesthetician and grew with her interest in the holistic pharmaceuticals field.
“Near the beginning of my aesthetics career on PEI, I had a lingering sense that there was something more for me in aesthetics,” says Sharon. “That drove me to seek out the Dr. Hauschka School in Germany, an institute that teaches the importance of a holistic approach to aesthetics (only skincare).
“It was there that I learned about the importance of combining a nutritious diet with healthy skincare ingredients and products that utilize local and naturally sourced plant botanicals. It was under their tutelage that my dream began to materialize – creating and manufacturing a professional, holistic, and botanically based skincare line in idyllic Prince Edward Island.”
After completing her studies in Germany, she returned to PEI, and over the next 20 years performed aesthetic treatments on thousands of satisfied clients. “I was not yet fulfilled, as I was unable to find the holistic skincare creams and serums to achieve the results I desired for my beloved clients. I wanted to give my clients healthy and luminous skin, but every product line I tried fell short.
“During those years of experimentation, I nurtured my dream of creating a holistic skincare line that would perform to my exacting specifications, but, as a single Mom co-raising my two beautiful children, my dream had to wait.”
Fulfilling a dream
“I began by taking pen to paper to give life to my vision and ideas, which were 25 years in the making. I then shared my ideas with a contract formulator, and we started creating and blending nature’s best ingredients.
“We began by formulating serums that would create balance for the skin, followed by our Alchemist Revitalizing Cream, our top moisturizer. I tested all products on myself, followed by my willing clients. Slowly, an entire professional and retail line was created, made up of 48 different products.
“This skincare line, my 35 years of advanced Aesthetic experience, knowledge sharing, a holistic approach, our distributors and my talented and dedicated team are what shaped Quannessence Skincare to what it is today.
“I have also had the incredible good fortune to be supported by Innovation PEI, ACOA, CBDC, Central Development Corp, PEI BioAlliance, NRC, BioFoodTech, PEIBWA, and SkillsPEI.
Quannessence Skincare is a greater success today because of their support, as well as the support of my team, loved ones, and community.”
Two skincare businesses
Sharon now owns and operates QuannSpa in Summerside, which offers a full range of aesthetics services. “QuannSpa was instrumental in getting Quannessence up and running to support the needs of my clients. We perform all of our facial and body services with the Quannessence Skincare brand.”
QuannSpa employs five full-time employees. In addition, one full-time Registered Massage Therapist rents a room at the facility.
Meanwhile, the other side of the business, BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc., which manufactures the skincare line, has seven full-time and two part-time employees. Staff titles include:
- Director of Research & Development
- Director of Logistics
- Director of Production
- Director of Accounting
- Director of Sales & Marketing
- Director of Education
- Lab Technicians.
The company plans to hire an Executive Assistant/Office Manager as well as Lab Technicians. Jobs are advertised on the PEI BioAlliance website.
Effect of the pandemic on the business
After the pandemic hit, Sharon developed and launched a hand sanitizer and focused more on online sales to distributors, professional aestheticians, and the retail market.
“We have actually done well since the pandemic. We were able to pivot and create an online store and offer an online education program for distance learning.”
“In the future, we plan to expand into the Ontario market and to begin exporting to the US by mid-2022. Our current facility is prepared to triple our growth.”