Erin Macklin and Purity Life Health
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With the vision of being Canada’s most valued natural health product distributor, Purity Life Health Products LP has carved out a niche as one of the most trusted and leading distributors of natural healthy living products. Their range of products include dietary supplements like vitamins and supplements to natural body care, to eco-friendly household goods and natural health food products.
Thanks to its founders David and Elyse Chapman, their entrepreneurial instincts helped create a unique company servicing the Canadian health industry now owned by Matthew James, President and CEO and Banyan Capital Partners, employing over 180 team members across Canada.
Launched in 1984, in Acton, Ontario, Purity Life has since expanded to Vancouver, Calgary, and in June, Quebec. Empowering people to create well-being in their lives has been central to the success of Purity Life. It’s easy to see why Erin Macklin of Everton, Ontario felt at home being a part of their team as Trade Marketing Manager.
What drew you to this work? What are you passionate about?
It might be a cliché, but it’s true – there are no straight lines to a career path. It’s funny how an early experience working at a store as a supplement advisor has brought me back full circle.
One of my first jobs was working at a small retail store. I loved the customer interaction, helping people select the right product, providing solutions. I wasn’t an avid sports enthusiast. But the products had a healthy lifestyle component – vitamins, supplements, probiotics, etc. The more I learned and saw first-hand the difference it made in customers’ lifestyle, the more it piqued my curiosity in understanding the science behind the products from a botanical perspective. That introduction took me to a few other different independent health food stores, and that’s when the windows in that world opened. There’s this whole other side to natural health products – their origin, how they are grown, harvested etc., and how they can help people achieve a healthy lifestyle.
What impact does Purity Life have on the wellness of Canadians? What drives you?
We provide a very innovative portfolio of products to health food stores and to the natural health industry in every pocket of this country – both large and small independent retailers. So, that allows us to make sure the products customers want are available. We distribute more than 440 different natural health brands, plus have a catalogue of more than 11,000 different products to some 2,500 businesses, like health food stores, independents and chains, grocery stores, pharmacies and online retailers. So, we definitely have a corner on the market, which we know serves the end customers. We think of ourselves as a one-stop-shopping distribution hub – with the product and expertise needed to help our customers get in front of their customers.
Purity Life is known as having a Dragon Den’s mindset. Can you explain?
Mentoring some of the smaller independents to flourish and get their products out there is key to Purity Life’s strength. It’s great being a part of a company that helps others who share the same vision, providing products supporting a healthy lifestyle. It’s exciting to be part of a company that walks the talk.
What have you learned on your wellness journey?
COVID-19 has changed the trajectory of our lives, and I think it has placed a bigger emphasis on living a balanced, healthier lifestyle. Taking care of number one has moved up the scale. Sure, physical activity is essential but so is paying attention to our dietary regime and its effects on our mental well-being.
Why is mentorship important?
Purity Life has always been supportive of its employees. Along with Julie Drapeau, Director of Sales, we saw an opportunity to expand our knowledge and help other women in the health and wellness sector. We created an industry Facebook group called Natural Born Leaders.
It includes women from within the industry. Our goal is to give women an avenue to share and, most importantly, support each other as they carve out their careers in this exciting industry. It isn’t really about sales. It’s about what we can do for each other – providing a helping hand and being that all-important sounding board. We have great people within this industry, and it’s important we learn from each other. Not only does it make us stronger, but it also opens the door to new ideas and talent. Our goal is to lead by example — who better to do that than the women who share in the knowledge of being Natural Born Leaders.
As one of the Natural Born Leaders, what advice would you like to share with other women?
Every woman has something amazing to contribute, which will impact another woman. But most importantly, every woman needs to be willing to receive that support. For some, a tougher hurdle but perhaps the most rewarding.
Last question – trend seeker or trendsetter?
Neither. It’s about providing the best quality solution to meet your plan for a healthy lifestyle.