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From the Forest City: A Fresh Start with Bel Col Cosmetic Technology

Welcome to From the Forest City – your source for exciting ideas, innovations, and expertise coming out of London, Canada.

In these videos brought to you by the LEDC, you’ll soon discover why companies are investing and growing in London, and how their talented teams and products are making an impact. You’ll hear from growing local businesses about how they're expanding into new markets, launching new products, making investments, and local industry experts on topics that are relevant to your business. Every now and then we will speak with experts outside of London who have valuable insights to share with local businesses.


Episode 3

We are speaking with Nayara Tavares, Foreign Trade Manager, and Ariel Tavares, Retail and Wholesale Trade Manager, at Bel Col Cosmetic Technology, a Brazilian company that produces skincare products. In 2015 after discovering international expansion opportunities through a local event in Brazil, the company saw Canada as an ideal location. With many pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers established in London, their interest in expanding grew. We talk to Nayara and Ariel about their experience expanding the business into a new country and moving here, as well as what's next for Bel Col in Canada.

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Their Story

Operating in the Brazilian market for the past 30 years, Bel Col Cosmetic Technology recently made their first ever expansion into London, Canada. With a focus on cosmetic technology, high quality ingredients and a balanced formulation of each product, Bel Col focuses on creating products that best suit varying skin types. From toners and cleansers to moisturizers and anti-aging creams, the company produces over 200 products at their São Paulo facility.

In 2015, Nayara Tavares, Foreign Trade Manager, and Ariel Tavares, Retail and Wholesale Trade Manager, discovered international expansion opportunities through a local event in Brazil and saw Canada as an ideal location. With many pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers established in London, their interest in expanding grew.

Having received continuous support from the team members of the London Economic Development Corporation and the Government of Canada, they made the decision to expand to London and for the past two years have been establishing their Canadian presence and building brand awareness.

As newcomers to Canada, Nayara and Ariel express they’ve had positive experiences and have been able to build friendly relationships with the people in the local community.

“We have only had good experiences. The community is great, the people are polite and nice” says Nayara.

Bel Col’s Canadian office has plans to open up their own manufacturing facility in the city, which will also have the warehousing capabilities to export many of their products to Europe. Currently, their Canadian office is selling its products Canada wide and to the United States, while continuing to build their brand awareness with local consumers, estheticians, and beauty salons.


I'm Nayara Tavares and this is Ariel Tavares. Bel Col is from Brazil and we've been in the market in Brazil for almost 30 years now. We have two sets of product lines that we call professional that is focused on the estheticians, beauticians, and clinics. We also have the personal care line which is focused on the daily use. We have everything that a skin care routine may need, toners, cleansers, moisturizers, serums and aging products for acne prone skins. Everything is focused on high quality ingredients.

The name Bel is from Beleza which in Portuguese means beauty and Col from collagen. Our main ingredient that most of our products will carry is collagen which is the largest protein we have in our body and also in our skin because the skin is the biggest organ of our body. Everything we do, we based on technology so the focus is on results and technology will bring that to us.

Balance is the key, because usually like when you talk about vitamin C, people talk about how much is in it. If It's large amount, I'm going to buy it but nobody talks about how good. How good is this ingredient that you're using? Do you need that much? like salt when you're cooking, it’s not about like putting more salt to make it better meal, so it's the same for cosmetics. We tried to find the best formula that’s going to work best for your skin. That's why we have almost 200 products because every skin needs a very specific ingredients or a very specific formulation. Our goal is to sell well, not to sell very fast. We need to know for sure that the product/products is going to work in your skin.

Canada was prospecting in Brazil in Sao Paulo and they set up an event in the Chamber of Commerce. We attended because we were interested in expanding the business internationally. Because London has a lot of pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, it sounded interesting because of the similarities in the manufacturing process.

After that we called LEDC, from there, we expanded the conversation, and this was in 2015. Once we got in contact with anything from Canada, we had a very good reality shock because culturelike Canada is a very trustworthy Country and community. That gives us the sensation that it was reliable so we could actually go to Canada and have support and not need a lot of money to build the business.

It was actually quite incredible the way everything turned out and we could come as a small company to grow the business. As newcomers personally, it's been fantastic. The community is great, best neighbors in the world, people are polite, they are nice. Here in Canada? we had the chance to see that when you have the right support from the correct agencies and the government itself, you only have to worry with your clientele and your product and that's amazing.

Although we are currently set in London, we sell to all of Canada because we are online as well. I would say we're in the stage of awareness, we're trying to get ourselves known, so there will be some interests. Once the stage of awareness is built and we jump to market share, we plan to open a manufacturing plant. It will be our second one, the first one being in Sao Paulo in Brazil, and then we'll have this one to tend to all Canada in the US market.

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