Homegrown Business: JoAnn Fowler, Founder of Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics

Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics provides high-quality, vegan and cruelty-free makeup and makeup services. This woman-led business is focused on providing and creating a thoughtful and sustainable makeup brand for a variety of skin types. We spoke with JoAnn Fowler, Founder of Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics, to learn more about them.

Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics

What is your business called and what does it do?

It is called Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics and we offer the world organic vegan cosmetics made in Canada. We’ve created incredible complexion products like foundation, cc cream and concealer, skin luminizer, a gentle vegan mascara, brow pomade, refillable powder products, lip gloss and a range of imported cruelty-free makeup brushes, and there’s more in the works!

What made you want to do this work?

I was an Emmy-nominated makeup artist when I read the book Not Just A Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan. I became aware of how governments don’t have the technology or money to test every ingredient, and because corporations have been in charge of what goes into personal care items, we have ended up with plastic, hormone disruptors and now PFAS or “forever chemicals” in our blood.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

I want to offer the world a line that scientifically tests the cleanest on the planet: at SAPPHO we want people to know what they are purchasing. Only 120 or so PFAS, out of 12000 detected, have been studied, but their presence can be measured in the amount of organic fluorine in a product, formula or packaging component.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Mostly women, aged anywhere from 18-70 years old but the core are in their late 20s up to their 60s.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

We sell our makeup line to retailers in North America (many of them independent businesses, with a focus on wellness and beauty) and online, direct to consumers, at www.mysappho.com.

Sappho New Paradigm Cosmetics

Where in Vancouver can we find your profession?

There are a lot of makeup artists in film and a few have companies that offer their services to the public for special occasions, weddings, etc.

A few stores in town carry the SAPPHO New Paradigm line, including Finlandia Pharmacy and CurliQue Beauty, plus The Detox Market at Indigo Robson and Willow’s Wax Bar carry our very popular Vegan Mascara.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

When you say you sell clean cosmetics what does that mean?

It means we sell cosmetics that not only perform, they are also vegan, use only ethical minerals with low heavy metal, organic (pesticide free) ingredients, and are tested for organic fluorine (PFAS). Undetected <10 ppm is the best you can test for (both the packaging and the formulas), as well as being paraben, phthalate, dimethicone, mineral oil and talc free.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

My best part is my ability to pivot and my sense of humour, my worst part is my panic and manifesting it by raising my voice.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

What car do makeup artists drive? Compacts!

What are your social media channels?

SAPPHO is on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok. You can also visit our Website.

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Vancouver business that you love?

Kílala Lelum Urban Indigenous Health and Healing Cooperative. They do such important work!