Brandi Leifso is the founder and CEO of Evio Beauty Group, which is a portfolio of lifestyle brands (according to the media release about the deal with Aurora Cannabis) and is perhaps best known for the makeup brand Evelyn Iona Cosmetics.
“The cannabis industry is uniquely positioned to champion more women in leadership roles,” believes Leifso.
“With the strong support of a dedicated partner like Aurora, we will continue to scale our female empowerment initiatives while addressing pain points in the cosmetics industry,” she tells the press. “By utilizing hemp seed oil and cannabis derivatives, we can enhance ingredient transparency, reducing the use of hurtful animal by-products and ecologically unsustainable inputs.”
A new business partner
Aurora Cannabis makes and distributes medical marijuana products in Canada and sells medical marijuana wholesale in Germany and Europe. The company also makes and sells cultivation systems, consults on greenhouse construction, provides patient counseling services regarding medical marijuana, and more.
"Through this partnership with Evio, Aurora further diversifies its rapidly growing offering across the cannabis value chain, while capturing a unique opportunity to bring the Aurora Standard to cannabis derived lifestyle and cosmetic products," Terry Booth, CEO, explains in the release.
He goes on assert that Evio Beauty Group’s feminist positioning makes the company a particularly good fit for an investment from Aurora: “Innovative, pioneering, noble entrepreneurs like Brandi closely align with Aurora's internal culture, strengthening our spirit of diversity and furthering our female empowerment initiatives. My personal efforts have for many years supported the effort to end family violence, and have been aimed at helping society understand that we must support female empowerment.”
“Aurora's culture, since the first seed sown, has been one of fairness, inclusion and equality,” says Booth. “This has resulted in positions being awarded based on merit, regardless of gender, race or religion. There is no alternative.” (It may be worth noting here that the 5 key executives leading Aurora Cannabis are men, according to the company’s profile on bloomberg.com.)
“We're excited to work with Brandi and the team at Evio Beauty to develop and launch this innovative new line of hemp seed and CBD-based cosmetic products to a large and growing audience worldwide.”
A new beauty brand
Evio Beauty Group also runs the Evio Community website, where the company curates content from nearly 20 partners like HighTea, The Green Beauty Collective, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation on topics spanning beauty, cannabis, fashion, feminism, wellness and entrepreneurship. The community (like most digital ventures) is also gathering data on those topics.
Now as the group moves into cannabis more commercially, Evio has launched a new subsidiary. Iona Cannabis Corp. will “[house] all Evio Beauty Group cannabis activity,” according to the media release.
The products that Evio Beauty Group plans to make in partnership with Aurora are described only as hemp seed oil – based products as well as CBD-based products. “Aurora and Evio Beauty anticipate that the partnership will result in greater brand recognition and cross-selling opportunities to customers of both companies,” acknowledges the release.
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.