Rocky Mountain Soap Company Expands into Ontario with 3 Pop-up Stores

We chat with co-owner Karina Birch about how Canadians view beauty and why now is the perfect time for natural skincare brands to expand.

Rocky Mountain Soap Companyphoto credit: rocky mountain soap company

Rocky Mountain Soap Company has been a staple among western Canadians since the brand’s inception. With 11 retail locations in Western Canada and a head office that’s just steps from Banff National Park, the brand takes pride in sourcing as many ingredients from Canada as possible. But that doesn’t mean this gem is found only in the west. E-commerce sales are growing across Canada and this summer the all-natural brand is bringing three pop-up stores to Ontario. The first opens in July at Cadillac Fairview Toronto Eaton Centre, followed by Toronto PATH and Yorkdale mall locations in August. We got the chance to chat with co-owner Karina Birch and got her thoughts on the growth of natural beauty in Canada.

On how Canadians view beauty

“At the end of the day, what we’ve seen is that regardless of where you live, Canadians want to have healthy skin and they see that as a sign of beauty. We’re not in colour cosmetics. Our approach is really about what we can do to keep skin healthy and glowing and natural so that the appearance of your skin as well as the overall health of your skin is considered at its best.” (Skin is in! Perfect your summer beauty look with a simple 3-step routine.)

On how the natural beauty space has changed in recent years

“At that time [2000], people liked the idea of natural but it wasn’t as important as it is today. I would say we were much more on the fringe at that time. Then we saw this shift. When we first started making natural products in 2000, the understanding of the skin was that what you put on it wasn’t getting absorbed into the body, and so the quality of ingredients in the skincare category weren’t as regulated. Then science taught us and showed the industry that the skin is absorbing what you put on it and these ingredients are getting stored in the tissue in the body.” (That’s why many brands have since gone paraben-free.) “As that started to become more apparent, the link between the ingredients in our personal care products and health started to become more widely talked about.”

On the brand’s expansion into an urban city like Toronto

“I think it’s important for our customers to experience the brand in person, even if they shop online afterward or through our replenishment program. The brand has evolved a lot over the last 18 years, from more of a farmers market brand into a sophisticated national brand. This feels like the right time to enter an urban market such as Toronto.” (Psst: This western city ranked best in Canada for quality of living.)

Here’s how Karina keeps her skin healthy:

Cleanser – An oil or cream so as not to dry my skin out.

Antioxidant (Pomegranate) Day Cream – Rich hydration with loads of ingredients to keep my skin healthy and renewed.

Exfoliate – 2x a week with Bamboo Face Polish. Similar to a microdermabrasion, this gives a thorough fine scrub to remove dead skin cells.

Omega Fish Oils or Evening Primrose Oil – A daily vitamin I swear by to keep my skin free of wrinkles and healthy.

Lots of water and fresh juices – I stay on top of micronutrients and vitamins to keep me energized and give my skin what it needs to combat the day.

Next, read up on 15 more natural beauty brands that you may not know are Canadian.

Rocky Mountain Soap Company Karina Birchphoto credit: rocky mountain soap company

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