Eden Valley women feeling Empowered
Business: Cosmetics consultants come to First Nation community
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 06:00 am
A pair of Eden Valley women are feeling empowered after becoming independent consultants for a cosmetics company, which has been established in the foothills.
Ronine Ryder and Celine Dixon held their first open house at the Stoney Adult Education Centre as sales consultants for Empower International Inc. on April 30.
“To me this means I can be more independent,” the 21-year-old Dixon said. “This will also help us to encourage other First Nations women — to show them they can also be financially independent.”
Black Diamond resident Darlene Cox established Empower International Inc. after talking to a fellow Metis friend, Wendel Haugen, about a year ago.
“He suggested why don’t we put a First Nations twist on this idea,” Cox said. “That really got me going because I have a great passion for First Nations, I have been working out of Eden Valley for a couple of years.”
Haugen, who also lives in Black Diamond, is one of four principle owners.
The owners’ goal is to create a cosmetics and skincare business, which would focus on helping First Nations women.
“I have seen the struggle they have supporting their families — getting jobs — that is where the idea came from,” she said. “We are incorporated in Alberta, but we are able to enrol consultants from all the provinces in Canada, other than Saskatchewan… but we are not limited to First Nations people.”
At present, Empower has 30 consultants, 14 of whom are aboriginal women from Alberta, B.C. and the Yukon.
Ryder was one of the 13 founders of Empower, providing input to the ingredients and the sales of the product for approximately a year before the company was launched on March 1.
“I wanted to do it because I had no job and I have a young family and I want to keep myself busy,” Ryder said.
“I have been going to school and now we can start selling the product.”
Empower is a social selling similar to Mary Kay.
Ryder has started her team and Dixon is the first one on her squad.
“We went to this meeting at the Stampede Ranch (near Eden Valley) and I got a look at the products and I love it,” Dixon said.
She said the product helped her clear up some acne issues as well as gives her hair a boost.
The products, which range from skin-care to hair-care, is aloe based and has other natural ingredients. Saskatoon berries from the Hartell area will be used in the next batch of product shipped to Empower’s warehouse in Black Diamond.
Cox said the product is ideal for Eden Valley residents, who often face transportation difficulties because Empower will deliver the cosmetics to the customers’ doors. She said it will take a while for the product to take hold in Eden Valley, but the team is willing to go through some initial growing pains.
“It’s a new concept and it is going to take a lot of work to get the community’s head wrapped around it,” Cox said.
“Trust is a big thing and as the company’s owners we know that. The founders are the ones who will build trust in the community.”
Ryder’s face beams not only because she uses the natural products, but for the opportunity Empower has provided her.
“I see myself making money for myself and my family and being more independent,” Ryder said.
Cox agrees, adding Ryder and Dixon have a bright future thanks to their work ethic and the support they will receive.
“It takes a family and we have to support each other,” Cox said.
The Eden Valley launch was just the start. Empower had a booth at the Calgary Women’s Show May 3-4 at the BMO Centre.
Cox said while the weather kept the attendance down, the Calgary show provided exposure for Empower.