Natural care company takes business online amid pandemicAlberta · Jul 14, 2020
Pippa Blair and Neige Blair of Routine Natural Goods in Calgary
Since launching Routine Natural Goods in 2012, sisters-in-law Pippa Blair and Neige Blair had largely relied on in-store distribution to grow their brand. The pandemic changed everything – but instead of letting fear paralyze them, they’ve continued to move forward by reinventing their digital sales strategy.
“Hang in there and keep on innovating. Remember, you aren’t alone and everyone is going to come out of this with smarter, kinder ways of running their business.” - Pippa Blair and Neige Blair, owners of Routine Natural Goods.
When you can’t find the right solution, you create it.
That’s what Pippa and Neige Blair did after identifying a gap in the marketplace for high-quality natural deodorant. Made with none of the chemicals found in many big brands, Routine has grown from 4 natural deodorants to 45 personal care products including 15 scents, with one for every pheromone.
Their goods are carried in thousands of retail locations in multiple countries. But when non-essential businesses were forced to close down due to COVID-19, they needed to reinvent their customer channels.
“We were predominantly an in-store retail brand,” Pippa explains. “We hadn’t really focused on e-commerce, as to not take away business from our brick and mortar stores.”
Routine has since created a sophisticated e-commerce and social media strategy to drive online sales, while also improving other aspects of their expanding business. “We’ve taken this time to focus on innovation, new product development and design, as well as planning the launch of our new refill store here in Calgary.”
While the sisters-in-law miss seeing friends and customers in-person, they definitely don’t miss the business meetings that used to consume their calendar. “They take such a huge chunk out of your day,” Neige says. “We find we’re having 20-minute power calls instead of driving, meeting, and driving back, which really wasn’t ideal for the environment anyways.”
Prioritizing personal and environmental health is central to Routine’s mission – and they suspect this crisis will trigger some long-term changes in regards to what (and how much) Canadians choose to consume.
“We hope that people learn to make-do and waste less now,” Pippa told us. “We’ve been living in this society where it’s instant gratification all of the time. But if you really step back and look at what you need versus what you want, you’ll find you need less.”
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