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Omy Laboratories

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

Personalized, tailor-made skin care, customized remotely

Omy Laboratories is the result of a passion for the design and production of personalized, natural and 100% vegan beauty care products that don't contain any unnecessary ingredients.

Andrea Gomez and Rachelle Séguin are both passionate about the cosmetics industry. They met in 2018 and then decided to pool their expertise in chemistry, pharmaceutics and business management.

Founders of Omy Laboratories, Andrea Gomez and Rachelle Séguin, in their lab.

Networking

Starting without a lot of resources but with a vision of how they saw their future business, they took part in several competitions and events for entrepreneurs. "The key to success is networking. Being seen and being heard. It's through networking that we met people who wanted to help us and support us, who wanted what's best for us," says Andrea Gomez, co-founder and executive director of Omy Laboratories.

With the help of Futurpreneur, the pair obtained their first loan, which allowed them to start their business. Futurpreneur is the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to help new business owners aged 18 to 39 launch successful businesses that can contribute to sustainable economic development in their communities and in Canada.

Strategy

From the beginning, Omy Laboratories has been a company that knew the importance of developing an intellectual property (IP) strategy to protect its innovations and increase its value. In order to compete with established companies, Omy Laboratories has focused on research and development. Andrea and Rachelle quickly improved their formulations, resulting in unique and high-quality marketable products. "If you want to stand out from the competition, you have to innovate," says Andrea.

So how do you protect products that are customizable and always changing?

Brand image

Innovation in the industry happens very quickly, but the most important connection to their customers is their brand image. "In the cosmetics industry, brand names are the most valuable thing," Andrea explains.

As a result, they filed a trademark application in Canada in 2018 and another in the United States in 2020. Earlier this year, they also filed one in the European Union.

Trade secrets

Behind the brand image lies Omy's knowledge, skills and proprietary information. The company's strategy involves ongoing improvements to its formulations in order to meet the changing needs and expectations of its customers. The company has its own research laboratory and team of scientists.

A trade secret was the most appropriate type of IP at this stage to protect Omy's data and innovations. But the risk of employees leaking trade secrets is very real. However, as Andrea says, "It's through employees that we develop trade secrets, that we get results, that we become who we are as a company." But it's also important for Omy Laboratories to have contractual agreements with their employees, including confidentiality agreements and IP assignments. The contractual element is present at Omy, but a work culture of trust, transparency and recognition is at the core of the company.

Masked lab worker adding drops to an Omy Laboratories bottle with a pipette.

On the path to a promising future

According to Andrea, the autonomy afforded a company that has its own team of professionals and experts, its own production facilities and IP rights makes it extremely valuable. "Today, investors are looking to partner with unique companies and products that are not easily replicated," she says.

Omy Laboratories has big plans for the future. The company is preparing to break into the US and international markets and is considering adding other types of IP rights to its portfolio, such as patents and industrial designs. The objective is to protect new processes in its production chain, such automating customization of products. Another project involves creating reusable cream jars and refills.

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