Cassine online turns the page on women’s retail
Some businesses are moving out of downtown Hamilton, but Cassine is moving in.
Cassine will be opening their first storefront at 25 Reid Street in Hamilton tomorrow, selling environmentally friendly and non-toxic make-up, sunscreen, clothing, jewellery and other items.
“Opening a brick and mortar store is taking a leap of faith,” said owner Jennifer Page. “It is against all the odds, but we hope that it will be a welcome and refreshing shop.”
She launched Cassine online in 2018 with her daughter Mia Page Gregory, a singer.
Ms Gregory said online shopping is convenient, but after the isolation of the pandemic, many people long for an in-person boutique experience.
“They can come in and have that in-person one on one exchange,” Ms Gregory said. “When you are looking for make-up or skincare, it is so personal to who you are.”
She said the Cassine experience gives shoppers the chance for a little “me time”.
“That feeling could only be experienced and curated to a point digitally,” she said.
Ms Gregory said it was great to be a part of Bermuda’s whole retail picture, and have something different to offer the community.
They are two-time winners of TheBERMUDIAN magazine’s Best of Bermuda awards in the beauty care category and they have quite a following on Instagram and Facebook.
Ms Gregory thought the secret to their success so far, has been staying true to their roots.
“I think we have been able to promote the brand by connecting with other Bermudian creatives and entrepreneurs,” she said. “From the beginning we have connected with local photographers.
“We have used local models. We have tried to show Bermuda in such a beautiful way, and really emphasise the beauty of it all and also that we need to protect it.”
Ms Page first became interested in “clean” beauty care a few years ago when she noticed visitors swimming in the lagoon at Blue Hole Park in Hamilton Parish. When they left there was a strong smell of coconut sunscreen in their wake, and a greasy film over the water.
“I said this is a pristine, untouched paradise, and now it is covered in this oil slick,” she said. “What is that doing to the fish and the corals?”
Through research, she learnt that chemicals in traditional sunscreens, even in low concentrations, have been linked to coral reef bleaching. Soon she was also looking at the environmental impact of clothing, jewellery and make-up.
She read that many of these items were not just bad for the environment, but also bad for human health.
For example, the average woman ingests 7lbs of lipstick or lip product within their lifetime. And a 2013 University of California Berkeley School of Health study found that the average use of some lipsticks and lip glosses can result in excessive exposure to chromium, a carcinogen linked to stomach tumours.
“I had just left the insurance business and I was trying to figure out what I could do next,” Ms Page said. “I was asking myself how can I contribute to solving these problems locally? What can we do? So many people want to do something, and don’t know where to start.”
Wanting to do her part, she opened Cassine. Some of the brands she sells are RMS, well-known in the clean beauty sector, Province Apothecary, and Green People.
Ms Gregory said in the old days environmentally friendly often meant an inferior product.
“It used to be bamboo and mud,” she said. “But now the clean beauty industry is so cutting edge, and scientific. It is the future. It is really cool to be involved in it. It is mind blowing.”
Her mother said “clean” does not have to mean expensive, either, although some products are a little pricier because they are more complicated to make.
The online Cassine platform will continue to operate in tandem with the store. They are getting ready to launch a new shopping platform on November 14.
For more information see cassine.shop