Toronto-Based Entrepreneur Opens Unique ‘Beauty Bar’ Inside Hudson’s Bay Store in Ottawa Amid Expansion [Feature Interview]

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Toronto-based Eye Love Beauty Bar has partnered with Hudson’s Bay at Bayshore Centre in Ottawa, bringing a new experience and clientele to both companies. Hudson’s Bay has been welcoming more concessions into its stores, and Eye Love Beauty Bar jumped on the opportunity to expand into the Ottawa market in an already proven high-traffic location.

As some background, Eye Love Beauty first opened in 2011 on Queen Street West in Toronto with the concept of brow shaping, lashes, makeup, and skincare services. Before becoming a brows artist, the founder Mary Dang, focused on makeup; however, she decided to open Eye Love Beauty because she noticed a gap in the cosmetic industry as no one solely focused on brows. 

“My inspiration behind Eye Love Beauty was before the big eye-brow craze when brows were just an afterthought, and you wouldn’t really go into a brow shaping studio. As a makeup artist, if you create beautiful makeup on someone’s face but their brows are not properly shaped, there is no amount of makeup that would fix that. Brows are an essential part of your face and I felt we needed something just focusing on brows instead of an add on service,” says Dang. 

New Partnership

Eye Love Beauty Bar in Hudson’s Bay Ottawa Bayshore Centre (Image: Eye Love)
Mary Dang

Hudson’s Bay reached out to Eye Love Beauty just before the pandemic offering a partnership. As for the location, Dang said at the time of the offering she had just found out she was pregnant. As her family lived in Ottawa, the store would allow her to work and get additional support from family which made having a business in the city attractive. 

“We needed more support from family because Covid was such a big thing, and we were so isolated as we were not around a lot of family so that is when we decided to explore spreading outside of Toronto and into Ottawa and killing two birds with one stone.”

Dang said Ottawa was also her top choice because she noticed the city did not have a lot of offerings where brows where the main thought, or customized brow shaping. 

“We are about emphasizing what you naturally have and bringing back what you naturally have, pretty much brow rehab. So, I thought Ottawa would be a great way to experiment if Eye Love Beauty would be successful here, which I think it will be.”  

Dang said the new partnership has been a learning curve for her and she needed a lot of help and hired a business attorney to make sure everything was in place and her needs were met. Other than figuring out the legal logistics of the partnership, Dang said it was a great experience, a lot of hard work, and has appreciated the Hudson’s Bay’s patience and guidance as she went through the process. 

“It means a lot to me a great company like the Hudson’s Bay recognizes the importance of what we are offering, and they want us to be apart of their amazing department store and offer our services to their clientele. It makes the brand feel more real.”

Dang said this partnership will help both companies as it will improve brand visibility for Eye Love Beauty while bringing in new clientele to Hudson’s Bay. Eye Love Beauty’s demographic ranges between 20 years-old to around 50 years-old and it services both women and men. 

The New Store 

Eye Love Beauty Bar in Hudson’s Bay Ottawa Bayshore Centre (Image: Eye Love)

Eye Love Beauty is in the cosmetics department of the Bayshore Hudson’s Bay store, where it will be offering similar services as the Toronto location expect for makeup. Services at Eye Love Beauty include brows, lashes, and skin treatments. Eye Love Beauty has private rooms for facials, while brows and lashes are done outside for more visibility. 

The space at Hudson’s Bay is 300 square feet and customers can also buy products to take home to help with makeup, brows, lashes, and skincare. The store in Toronto is 900 square feet located at 988 Queen Street West where it offers its full-service menu. 

Loyal Followers 

Image: Eye Love Beauty Bar (Queen West)
Eye Love Beauty Bar on Queen Street West (Image: Dustin Fuhs)

“The first month has been great, the one thing I discovered is we have such a loyal following, there are clients I haven’t seen in years that have moved out here. There is such a great support from clients who have already experienced Eye Love Brows that have moved, or they shared with their friends out here.” 

One obstacle Dang is hopeful she will overcome is Eye Love Beauty’s price point as it is a little higher than a usual brow waxing. 

“The price point is a little higher, so I am getting the same reactions as when I first opened Eye Love Beauty 11 years ago. Clients are used to paying a certain price for their brows whereas when you come in for the first time with us, it’s a full-on appointment, its like a hair appointment. You would discuss your concerns, goals, and I will show you how to take care of them at home, so people are a little bit hesitant based on the price, but I think once they experience the service, we will win them over.”

The initial appointment will be a 45-minute service, as apposed to 10-15 minutes at a salon, and will be $45. The first initial appointment is recommended as it allows the brow artists to “dive right into the brows, access, and point you into the right direction.” 

Dang said the goal of this new partnership will to be expanding across Canada, but she will have to see how well the company does first before making any plans. Eye Love Beauty is also going to be introducing its sister brand and they are in the process of crafting a brow cosmetics line. “It will be our hero products to create the most natural effortless brow. It will be two products that we will be out that we use to fill in our brows everyday to give you a realistic brow and easy to use for our clients.” The new line is expecting to appear at the end of the year or early next year. 

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Article Author

Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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