30 Under 30: Alexandria MacFarlane built a community around her skincare line

MacFarlane followed in the footsteps of her entrepreneurial parents.

MacFarlane followed in the footsteps of her entrepreneurial parents

Alexandria MacFarlane, 28

Founder + CEO, Truly Lifestyle Brand

Life Story: Even as a child in Abbotsford, Alexandria MacFarlane was highly entrepreneurial, selling old toys and Halloween candy to other kids. Having watched her mom and dad run businesses—a bridal store and a defence technology manufacturer, respectively—she knew she’d start her own one day.

But first, MacFarlane gravitated to social media and entertainment, spending several years as a TV producer and host with Shaw Communications and dabbling in the influencer world. She then became a social media manager at Prospera Credit Union, where her supervisor asked what she wanted to be doing in five years. “I was like, Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t want be here,” MacFarlane recalls. “In that moment, a light bulb went on. I was like, But I love skincare.”

Launched in 2019, Truly Lifestyle Brand specializes in skin, hair and body products created with natural ingredients. MacFarlane started out making the original skincare line herself, but as the business expanded, she turned manufacturing of its smartly packaged offerings over to a local formulator. Asked how Truly stands out in a saturated market, she explains that she’s built a community by treating customers like best friends. “I love talking to people,” MacFarlane says. “What mostly sets us apart is our connection with everybody who uses Truly.”

Bottom Line: Truly’s revenue quadrupled during its second year in business, cracking seven figures. The company, which moved into a Surrey warehouse in late 2020, has three full-time and three part-time employees. The bulk of its business is domestic, but U.S. trade is picking up, MacFarlane says. Although most sales take place online, Truly is in 27 boutiques throughout B.C. and Alberta, and several big retailers have shown interest.