To celebrate this International Women’s Day (and really, shouldn’t that simply be everyday?!), we’re profiling some incredible women in the lifestyle space. Meet Andrea Gomez and Rachelle Séguin, founders of beauty brand Omy Laboratoires. —Noa Nichol
Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I am Andrea Gomez, CEO and co-founder of Omy Laboratories, a Quebec-based online retail company, founded in 2018, using artificial intelligence technologies for skin analysis and offering custom facial creams with clinical efficiency testing. Our company stands out in Canada with a growth of over 500 per cent in three years and many innovations. I hold a bachelor of business administration and an MBA in strategy and innovation from Laval University in Quebec City. I am a Colombian by birth, with a background in resilience and perseverance. I advocate for inclusion and diversity, and I want to be a role model for diverse women and young teens from disadvantaged backgrounds to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential. I am fuelled by authentic leadership, innovative business models and the development of strategic alliances and I am a proud spokesperson for my adopted country and I dream of positioning Quebec innovations around the world.
What inspired you to launch your business?
When I was a teenager, I was very self-conscious about my skin because I had redness and acne and I couldn’t find a product that worked well for me. And I wasn’t the only one. Whether you’re going through chemotherapy, getting pregnant, experiencing stress, your skin is always changing. Thanks to our artificial intelligence and our experts, with a photo of your face and a few questions, we are able to create a formula for your skin’s current condition, but also to adapt it throughout your life.
What’s a day in the life like for you?
My daily like is fast-paced and multifaceted. My day typically starts early and may involve checking emails, reading industry news and reviewing financial reports. Then I might attend meetings with marketing teams, product development teams to discuss new product launches, marketing strategies and financial performance. Throughout the day, I also participate in interviews, attend industry events and give presentations to investors and shareholders. Additionally, I spend time mentoring and coaching employees, setting goals and priorities, and evaluating employee performance. My day might end late, as I might work on important projects or attend business dinners or networking events.
How does your brand empower women?
With my company, Omy Laboratories, I try to give back to our community. Whether it is by using ingredients and packaging that do not have a negative impact on the environment, that are natural and vegan or by associating ourselves with causes, we are always thinking of improving ourselves and offering the best to our customers. Among other things, we are partnering with Sibelle to offer a personalized support service to people undergoing chemotherapy in order to advise them on the important changes that their skin is going through. I give a lot of my time to give conferences and inspire young women to start their own business.
What are the current challenges for women in your industry? How do you overcome them?
One of the major challenges is educating customers about the concept of personalized cosmetics. Customers are used to buying off-the-shelf products and may not be aware of the benefits of personalized cosmetics. Companies need to educate customers about the benefits of personalized cosmetics and how they can cater to their specific needs.
How do you create a supportive environment for yourself and your team?
My values are inclusion, kindness and excellence. Inclusion: As a visible minority myself, I am an advocate for human rights and gender equality. We have a diverse team, respectful of different cultures and focused on inclusion and respect for people. Kindness: I consider myself a very humane person and am able to see the potential in every person. I like to take care of people, both my employees and my clients. Omy embodies this value because we take care to understand each person in order to offer them a unique product that will respond to their skin concerns. Excellence: It is important for me to excel in everything I do, and this includes the quality of the people, the products and also our relationship with the environment. For me it is important that our products are made in an environmentally friendly way, that’s why we don’t have any secondary packaging and wish to develop products with reusable refills in a zero waste perspective. If I had to choose only one value, it would be kindness, for our customers, as much as for our employees, and the planet. And that’s what drives me to innovate every day. I’m like the mother of the team, I make sure that they are well in their jobs, that they have stimulating work and clear objectives. In short, I want everyone to be a winner, I believe that is what makes a team successful and happy.
Who has been your greatest influence/mentor in your life?
I am fortunate to have Louise Cordeau as my mentor since the start of our company, Omy Laboratories, in 2019. She is a great inspiration to me and has contributed to my development as a business woman and simply as a woman. I can describe Louise as a strong, influential, humane and accessible woman to her network. She allowed me to gain confidence in my beginnings in the entrepreneurial world and to assume my role as a businesswoman. I can never be grateful enough for her wise advice and her benevolence towards me. She taught me how to position myself, negotiate and take my place in a predominantly male environment. It is thanks to her that I became involved in the cause of women and discovered philanthropy.
What are you most proud of doing/accomplishing?
As the CEO of a company, a mom of six-month-old twin girls, and an immigrant, I have accomplished a lot in my life. However, if I had to pick just one thing to be the most proud of, it would be my ability to persevere through adversity. As an immigrant, I faced countless challenges, from learning a new language to adjusting to a different culture. But I didn’t let those obstacles deter me. Instead, I worked hard to overcome them and build a successful career. Similarly, as a mom of twin girls and a CEO, I have to juggle a lot of responsibilities and face numerous obstacles. I’ve learned to manage my time effectively and prioritize what’s most important. Through it all, I have never lost sight of my goals and my values. I’ve remained focused, determined, and committed to making a positive impact in the world. And that’s what I’m most proud of accomplishing – the ability to persevere and achieve my dreams, no matter what challenges come my way.