Or carry-on the next time you fly. We sat down with Indigenous entrepreneur Vanessa Marshall, founder of Jack59 to chat about her cool shampoo and conditioner bars—and what sets her Canadian brand apart from the rest. —Catherine Dunwoody
Congrats! We’ve heard your brand is a semi-finalist in Pow Wow Pitch, a program providing resources to support Indigenous entrepreneurs. Can our readers vote in support?
Thank you and yes! People’s Choice voting for Pow Wow Pitch is now open to the public until September 19. The entrepreneur with the most votes will receive $1,000 and advance to the finals and the winner will receive $25,000 to support the growth of their business.
What makes Jack59 different from other shampoo/conditioner bar brands?
Our bars are quite a bit bigger than most on the market, are sulfate free, and the results set us apart. We have an ideal pH balance, 4.5-5.5, and a unique container we created here in Edmonton, which is 100 per cent compostable, holds full size bars and drains well. About 80 washes per bar, it lasts twice as long as others.
Wow! Tell us more about the sustainability that’s baked into these bars.
They’re colour-safe, plastic-free, vegan and cruelty free, with 100 per cent recyclable packaging and 100 per cent compostable shower containers. Each bar can replace up to three traditional liquid shampoo plastic bottles, and up to five liquid conditioner plastic bottles. Presently we offer 11 different varieties to suit numerous hair types, and we’ve prevented 500,000 plastic bottles from our landfills with our eco-packaging and production.
What is your most popular product?
Our Citrus Shine for thick and curly hair. Most of our customers minds are blown when they see how well it works!
What are products you love?
Since Alberta has such a dry climate, as do many places in Canada, our leave-in-conditioners add that extra little pop of wow, keep hair from going frizzy, are loaded with nutrients and proteins, plus they smell amazing. We also have gluten-free products.
Is there one bar that does it all?
Yes, our Jacked bar is a shampoo and conditioner bar combined. You can use it on your hair, face and body—plus many people shave with it.
Have you launched anything new for this upcoming fall season?
We are launching a shampoo/conditioner set for children, where proceeds will go to an Aboriginal initiative similar to Every Child Matters. The packaging artwork was done by an Aboriginal artist from Edmonton. Watch for that launch around September 30, on National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Not sure which bar is right for your hair type? Do this hair quiz.