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Founded in 2010 by Sharon Quann (President) and Reid Barnett (CEO), BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc. is Atlantic Canada’s only manufacturer of a full-service fully integrated professional skincare line based on natural ingredients for esthetician clinics and home use.
Sharon Quann was 18 when she arrived in P.E.I. from New Brunswick to work in a beauty salon. “My Dad drove me over the bridge, and I never left.” By the age of 20, she’d launched a Summerside holistic beauty clinic and has been entrepreneurial ever since. “It was meant to be. A friend was closing a business and had equipment to sell. My clinic’s name — Mystical Touch – suddenly came to me.” Sharon studied at the German institute of renowned naturopath Dr. Rudolf Hauschka and vowed to create her own product line – with natural ingredients for skin health and wellbeing – in P.E.I.
She connected with seasoned industry professional Reid Barnett to envision a unique skincare line addressing existing gaps in the sector. The two became a dynamic business team. Reid creates formulations, manufactures product, and manages operations. “There’s a huge opportunity in skincare. People are concerned with wellness, not just cosmetics.” Their strengths are complementary. “The lab’s on one side, and Sharon’s on the other. She’s creative and intuitive; I’m the pragmatic scientist. We develop products and see results in the clinic.”
There was slow progress early on with door-to-door sales and esthetician training. “We had to do everything ourselves,” says Sharon. “I’m a single mom and had to work.” Federal and provincial support, plus assistance from the NRC and BioFoodTech to develop bioactive ingredients and extraction technology, have propelled BioSpa to a new level. It also participates in the P.E.I. BioAlliance Emergence incubator program for startups pursuing commercialization. “Regis Duffy and others are mentors,” says Sharon. “What an amazing gift for a young company.” Maritime Beauty Supply is promoting regional distribution and, with growth doubling annually, there are plans to expand throughout Canada.
“Fine P.E.I. Skincare” is prominently featured on all products with various ingredients locally sourced. “It’s the essence of our brand reflecting the Island,” says Sharon. “People across the country are intrigued by the P.E.I. connection. Something pulls them here.”
"It’s not about making the sale, or the money. If it is, you don’t truly love what you do. Create something great for people, educate them, and the money will come. If you follow your passion and don’t listen to naysayers, there’s nothing you can’t do."
-Sharon QuannOriginal Article From www.islandadvance.ca
Sharon Quann, owner of BioSpa Cosmeceuticals, Reid Barnett, left, company CEO, and Elmer Arsenault, right, co-owner of Rem-ilator Inc., meet with P.E.I. Innovation and Technology Minister Allen Roach following an announcement in Summerside, Thursday, that their companies will receive $25,000 from the P.E.I. Pilot and Discovery Fund.
© Mike Carson/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE - Two Prince County companies have successfully competed for awards under Innovation P.E.I.'s Pilot and Discovery Fund.
"BioSpa Cosmeceuticals of Summerside will complete their development of a full line of skincare products for the professional skincare industry and Rem-ilator of Wellington is developing a unique disinfection technology for health-care facilities. These two companies are developing innovative products to serve customers on and off Prince Edward Island," said Innovation and Technology Minister Allen Roach.
"As the province's lead economic development agency, Innovation P.E.I. will provide support to help these innovators explore the commercial potential of their products."
Each will receive $25,000 in funding to further research and development work.
Reid Barnett, CEO of BioSpa Cosmeceuticals, said the company started three years ago to address needs in the cosmetic industry.
"We wanted to make sure that we used very functional ingredients," he said.
"We really wanted to use a natural and holistic approach to what we were doing. Our products have all been extensively tested. The lab is here and we go back and forth in a testing process. We don't put them on the market until we see dramatic results."
He said one of the ingredients is an oil accessed from plants in Kensington.
"We're trying to access ingredients from Prince Edward Island," Barnett said.
"We're looking at doing some extraction technology so we can actually include plants that are from the Island.
"That's where our focus is going to continue to take us."
BioSpa Cosmeceuticals is owned by Sharon Quann who has developed the line Quannessence.
Quannessence incorporates the latest, cutting-edge peptide technologies for skin remodeling and anti-aging improvement.
The products incorporate high concentrations of active ingredients that compete with, or exceed, the efficiency of all other advanced skincare lines on the market, she said. Safe and healthy products are the focus of the Quannessence Skincare line.
"Our mandate is to make the safest products possible and our focus is natural and some of our products are 99.5 per cent natural," Barnett said.
"We are collaborating with a major distributor, Maritime Beauty Supply. We're working with a great company that is really going to help us throughout the Maritimes."
Quann said the provincial funding will lead to bigger markets for the product line.
"BioSpa has invested considerable resources developing a P.E.I. brand that is beginning to be recognized as offering some of the most effective natural based products in the professional skincare sector," she said.
"The funding provided under this program will play a crucial role in developing the last key products needed to complete the line and enabling BioSpa to expand into a larger national and international markets."
Rem-ilator Inc. is a new venture for Robert Gallant and Elmer Arsenault.
They saw a need in the health-care industry for an easy and cost effective way to clean the doorknobs and handles to prevent the transfer of illnesses.
They began work on a door mounted, automatic cleaning device that uses UV light to disinfect door knobs/handles.
The Rem-ilator 1 unit is encased in non-processed stainless steel with a retractable stainless steel inner sleeve with sensors that react to touch.Original Article From www.theguardian.pe.ca
Reid Barnett, CEO of BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc., and Sharon Quann, president, are developing, testing and manufacturing Atlantic Canada's only line of professional skincare products at the company's site in Summerside.
Early in her career, Sharon Quann, a leading P.E.I. skincare aesthetician and natrotherapist, had a life-changing experience studying with Dr. Rudolph Hauschka in Germany. His renowned company WALA Heilmittel, a pioneer in holistic pharmaceuticals and homeopathic medicines, launched a unique line of 100 per cent natural skincare products utilizing nature-based rhythmical processing and the highest-quality plant and mineral ingredients returning skin to a healthy, beautiful state. Quann vowed one day to pursue these same principles, incorporating naturally sourced bioactive compounds at the peak of potency to promote skin health and overall well being through her own line of products - and to do it in P.E.I.
Ten years ago, Quann had the good fortune to encounter Reid Barnett, a Charlottetown-based consultant helping companies with the commercialization of innovative technologies and inventions. With a bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry (University of New Brunswick) and an MBA in marketing and finance (St. Mary's University), Barnett was also highly conversant with the skincare industry.
The happy result of their business partnership is BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc. with Beauty from the inside out Quann serving as company president and Barnett as CEO.
BioSpa's Quannessence Skincare system, Atlantic Canada's only line of professional skincare products developed, tested and manufactured here, is designed for both professional clinical treatments and home care use.
Its Skin Trilogy approach has a threefold strategy, addressing the breakdown of the skin barrier, moisture and nutrient loss, and the degradation of collagen and elastin. The deeply hydrating formulations help correct skin conditions, including superficial wrinkling, premature aging, blemishes, dry and oily complexions, blotchiness, and hyper pigmentation - and are highly absorbent.
All products originate at the company's Summerside, P.E.I. site where Quann also provides professional skincare services through Mystical Touch Therapeutics.
BioSpa focuses on sourcing P.E.I. active and functional ingredients for its products. Crambe, an oilseed grown by Island famers and refined in Kensington by Technology Crops International, another P.E.I. bioscience company, is an essential element in Alchemist Revitalizing Cream, a hydrating moisturizer soothing redness and inflammation while promoting skin rejuvenation.
Canadian Willowherb, with an active ingredient combating acne bacteria, is an advanced emollient in Luminess Face Lotion. And Labrador Tea, a powerful skincare antioxidant, is found throughout Prince Edward Island.
"We work with the National Research Council and BioFood Tech in Charlottetown developing ingredients through extensive research and investigation," says Barnett.
"That's why our local bioactive compounds attract the interest of licensed aestheticians, dermatologists and other professional skin care providers in the region."
The company, emblematic of the broad range of concepts and applications encompassed by the P.E.I. bioscience sector, also benefits from its association with the P.E.I. BioAlliance, ACOA and Innovation P.E.I., which have assisted with business planning, marketing, and packaging.
BioSpa is a proud Prince Edward Island company with "Fine P.E.I. Skincare" prominently featured on all its products.
"I want to brand P.E.I. and all its goodness, its soil, and everything we grow here," says Quann, who has lived on the Island for 30 years. "We promote a natural, holistic approach no other competitor is pursuing."
BioSpa is already generating sales outside the region, with dealers in Ontario and California, and overtures from European distributors. Its six serums, particularly the QTox Firming Serum, an innovative Botox alternative incorporating three advanced peptide technologies including synthetic Temple Viper venom, are in high demand.
"People are getting older and are looking for youthfulness," says Barnett. "They crave natural ingredients that provide optimum benefit."
The light, fragrance-free, vitamin-rich products are also popular with men, as Barnett can attest, who uses the formulations regularly.
For Quann, the creation of BioSpa Cosmeceuticals in Prince Edward Island is the culmination of a life-long dream.
"I want to do something exceptional and do it here in P.E.I." says Quann. "We stand by the products we sell. They match up to anyone in the industry and we're doing it in Summerside."
Quann continues to be committed to the healing power of nature as it relates to humanity and the earth.
"I believe in beauty from the inside out. It's not external or topical. Our natural ingredients help people nurture health and wellbeing - the essence of beauty - and put them in touch with the vitality of nature itself."
Margaret Magner, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist in Charlottetown (www.magnerink.com). This is one in a series of articles on P.E.I.'s bioscience sector.
Dragon's Den associate producers Priscilla Sreedharan, left, and Brian Corcoran, second left, start auditions off with business owners Sharon Quann and Reid Barnett during a recent visit to Charlottetown.
© Guardian photo
Big dreamers with even bigger visions were coming in and out of Charlottetown-some lugging advertisements and prototypes, some with a sample speech to showcase their businesses and ideas.
Although every person was vastly different, they all had one thing in common, they believe they have the next big thing to impress the Dragons of Dragon's Den for this season of CBC's reality show.
"This year we're looking for anything and everything," said producer Priscilla Sreedharan.
"We're gong into our ninth season of the show so at this point the Dragons have seen quite a bit. We're definitely looking for unique businesses or just different types of businesses that the Dragon's haven't seen."
Sharon Quann and Reid Barnett think they have what the Dragons are looking for with Quannessence Skincare of Summerside.
"With any luck we'll be screened and be able to do our presentation in front of the Dragons," Barnett said.
The team already has had success with their line of skincare but are looking to expand and go further.
"This is extending our opportunities and if we had the opportunity to get on the show, it would provide use with very strong promotion," he said.
I'm lying on Sharon Quann's comfy aesthetics bed at Mystical Touch Therapeutics in Summerside, my face slathered in chardonnay. Yes, you read that correctly. Only it's not the kind of chardonnay you'd buy at your local PEILCC. Instead, it's a facial peel made from real chardonnay grapes. It smells just as delicious as a glass of the good stuff only this chardonnay is working like a thousand little PacMen eating away at dead skin cells to reveal healthy, vibrant skin. It tingles slightly, but Quann tells me that's how you know it's working. I'm debating whether or not it would be inappropriate to lick my face. I decide just to lay back and let Quann work her "mystical touch" instead.
Quann has graciously welcomed my lucky plus one, Elizabeth Landrigan, and myself to her underground oasis on Central Street to experience her brand new line of high-end skincare products aptly named Quannessence. The line, which is manufactured on site, currently consists of six potent serums and a complete skincare collection to be launched in the coming months. It'll be sold exclusively in select salons throughout the Maritimes and eventually throughout Canada and the United States.
"Sharon and I looked at all of the product lines that were out there and they are pretty much focused on symptoms of problems with skin," says Reid Barnett of BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc., who co-developed and manufactures Quannessence Skincare with Quann, an established aesthetician, naturotherapist, business owner, and President of BioSpa (Quann) Cosmeceuticals Inc. "While they are addressing that symptom, they're not addressing the problem. We wanted to look at this line more holistically and therapeutically as opposed to just addressing a bunch of problems."
The duo recognized three areas of skincare that need to be looked at: the breakdown of the skin barrier, moisture and nutrient loss (replenishment), and degradation of collagen and elastin (remodeling). They named this threefold approach SkinTrilogy and Quannessence products are specifically designed to address each of these factors. "As your skin ages or as it is damaged by the sun and the environment, things happen physiologically to your skin," Barnett explains. "Of the six serums we have, five of those will address that SkinTrilogy."
Included in the serum line is a cutting edge Botox alternative that contains three advanced peptide technologies, including a synthetic version of the venom of the Temple Viper. QTox Firming Serum provides an instant effect and is currently a top seller that retails for $110 for a 30 ml bottle (a little goes a long way)…but you'll have to wait to get your hands on it. "We're not even officially selling it but we're out of stock," laughs Barnett.
And it's not hard to see why. Quannessence serums, while small in packaging, deliver maximum results. They're extremely light, fragrance free, and contain no artificial colouring. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, they are easily absorbed and immediately leave your skin feeling smooth and refreshed. "I believe in beauty from the inside out," says Quann. "It's not just external; it's not just topical. You have to work from the inside out in order to get beautiful skin."
As Elizabeth and I finish getting the full Quannessence experience, Quann treats us to one more luxury facial treatment before sending us back to the office. It's called The Cosmecanique Lift, or The Natural Face Lift, and Mystical Touch is the first and only spa on PEI to offer this vital tool for total skin fitness.
Oh. My. Word.
Using different attachments that are connected to a very large (and very expensive) machine, Quann applies magnetic pulses that work like a mini vacuum cleaner to stimulate the skin on the face and neck area. There are no injections, no surgery, and absolutely no pain or discomfort, but Quann assures both of us that if she only did one side of the face we would notice a difference (thankfully, she did the full face). The Cosmecanique Lift naturally stimulates the skin's collagen, elastin, and circulation, making the skin look flatter, firmer, and smoother. And it works. Both Elizabeth and I noticed our skin felt better, looked brighter, and even felt tighter.
The may not be an actual fountain of youth, but Quannessence Skincare definitely comes close. And lucky for us, we don't have very far to get it.
Quannessence serums are currently available in select spas across PEI. For more information on Quannessence Skincare products, visit biospadistributing.ca.
Meredith Morrison/ @Tweet_G