In The Purple Gem’s inaugural #TownshipsTastemakers interview series, we shine a spotlight on local entrepreneurs making a difference, starting with Jennifer Brodeur, the founder of JB Skin Sävvi.
Brodeur’s namesake brand, JB Skin Sävvi, is a Certified B Corporation that crafts high-performing, sustainably made skincare products, formulated with natural, anti-inflammatory ingredients such as peony extract, green tea extract, lingonberry seed oil and skin-protective vitamins. Peonies, the star ingredient of JB Skin Sävvi, are picked straight from the fields of Brodeur’s flower farm in Knowlton, Quebec.
Since the made-in-Canada brand went international in 2016, Brodeur’s bespoke facials and luxurious skincare products have garnered praise from beauty editors and high-profile clients such as Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau. Her minimalist product line includes cleansers, masques, serums and essences, formulated with free radical–fighting antioxidants and nourishing plant-based ingredients that bestow a luminous, natural glow to your skin.
Read on for our conversation with Brodeur as she shares her morning routine, her top skincare secrets and her favourite hidden gems in the Eastern Townships.
Meet the founder of JB Skin Sävvi, Jennifer Brodeur
What is JB Skin Sävvi’s connection to the Eastern Townships?
When I was around 10, I started going to summer camp in Magog, right by the lake. The drive down for me was the best part. The pull towards the Townships was always very strong.
Five years ago, I was giving a class on vision at L’École d’Entrepreneurship de Beauce. For a specific exercise, I created a video. I explained how I saw myself in the Townships early in the morning with my Aigle rainboots on, coffee in hand at sunrise listening to the birds, and watching my peonies grow. I knew I needed to be connected to something, grounded in order to bring JB Skin Sävvi to where I want it to go. Only two years later, we made it happen!
What initially sparked the idea and vision for JB Skin Sävvi?
Initially the brand was only sold in our skincare clinic in Montreal. Then, Oprah got involved – meaning she wanted to launch it in her “Favorite Things” list. Needless to say, it changed everything. (Editor’s Note: The list was published in O Magazine‘s December 2016 issue.) I sold the clinic, and on November 3, 2016 – as we launched worldwide and my face was all over Times Square in New York – I made the decision to dedicate my full attention to the brand.
Where do you find inspiration for JB Skin Sävvi products?
All around me, from nature and from all the amazing women I meet.
What’s your best skincare tip for spring?
As you start using more sunscreen, don’t forget to cleanse your skin well in the evening. Often times, the skin starts to look dull if we aren’t cleansing properly.
Daily non-negotiable for your health?
Water, reading and the art of being still!
Your secret weapons for getting it all done in a day?
I use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rule. Even if there is something I am dreading (it happens), I count down to 1 from 5, and once I am at 0 I get up and do it.
What is your personal beauty philosophy?
Less is more. Over the years, I can honestly say I have come to realize that when people try too hard it shows. Everything is strained and gets dull and tired. From over-cleansing to exfoliating to over-tanning, the list goes on. Everything in moderation is the key to happiness, longevity and healthy-glowing skin!
Favourite affirmation of late (and why):
I am grateful for all that I have and will accomplish. My best is enough.
Being in my industry you accomplish something, and the first thing people ask is, “What’s next? How come you are not doing this or that?”. Over time, it gets to be difficult and very tiring. So, I am now reminding myself daily that my best is enough!
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring young entrepreneurs, what would it be?
“We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary” – Brené Brown.
Expect setbacks, expect success. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the wins: if you don’t over time, you will be going from one goal to the next and you may become insatiable.
What are some of your favourite hidden gems in the Eastern Townships?
There are so many amazing places. I’m in love with the LA PANTRY de Knowlton as they have gluten-free options. Being Celiac, this is great. When we first moved here, the owner of Virgin Hill Coffee, Tara, was beyond welcoming. Recently, I discovered Mollies Café Dinette Buvette in Sutton (they also offer gluten-free foods)! My goal this summer is to venture out a little more, as I am sure there are other hidden gems.
What’s your go-to morning ritual?
Whenever possible, I start my day off outside – rain or shine – just to get grounded. I make sure, regardless of what’s going on, to be grateful for at least one thing. Once I’m back in the house, I drink a full glass of water, followed by a banana and then my coffee. My skincare routine is very simple: a splash of cold water on my face, then I add a drop of L’extrait followed by La crème peoni. If my skin is really dry I will add Le masque. I only apply sunscreen later in the day.