Meet the founder of Bouvi!
Shalaine Bouvier is setting a new (and incredibly high) standard when it comes to hair extensions. Her goal is to make quality real-hair extensions more accessible and easy to use – and to spread that gorgeous confidence that comes with them.
Shalaine grew up in Green Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada, and is a descendant of the Canoe Lake Cree First Nation. She is a woman who knows the power of hair, and years of working in the beauty industry helped her find her true passion: helping people look and feel their best. So, she decided to launch Bouvi (pronounced Boo-Vee) to do more of just that.
“Bouvi is for everybody, for people of any age and hair type,” Shalaine said. “I love the way extensions can make someone feel.”
Finding a shiny, beautiful niche
Shalaine was a sporty kid growing up, playing basketball, volleyball and badminton, but as she got older, she fell in love with all things beauty. The same competitive edge she had for sports helped her excel in hair school, and it wasn’t long until she moved to Toronto, Ontario – Canada’s largest city.
It was there she secured a job at one of the most prestigious salons in the city, sweeping hair off the floor for a good six months before working on clients and shadowing the salon owner for two years.
“It’s where I learned all of my techniques and tricks and got the confidence I needed with hair,” said Shalaine. “That’s why that salon is so memorable to me – it taught me so much and separated me from other stylists in the industry.”
Shalaine eventually moved on to other salons, becoming the go-to stylist for cuts and colour before carving out a niche with extensions.
“Extensions were my favourite thing to do,” Shalaine said. “But at the same time, I always wanted to do something on my own in the beauty industry and feel that same passion I felt when doing clients’ hair.”
It wasn’t until Shalaine had her twins that she realized she could take her passion for hair and translate it into a business she loves while serving an even wider audience.
“At Bouvi, we cater to everyone,” Shalaine said. “That’s why we’re launching with four types of extensions – tape-in, clip-in, keratin fusion, and clip-on bangs, so clients can have some fun and try some new things right off the bat.”
Breaking down barriers in the beauty industry
Shalaine’s hard work and dedication to her craft have gotten her far. But, as one of the few Indigenous-founded beauty brands, there is an intense lack of representation in the industry, which Shalaine is hoping to change.
“My generation has broken down a lot of barriers,” Shalaine said. “We’re setting the foundation, so the younger generation won’t go through the same difficulties – it will be different for them because they are so supported.”
That’s why Bouvi is so much more than a brand for Shalaine; it’s a way for her to inspire her community. And she’s starting with her own family first.
“I want to show my kids that anything is achievable when you put your mind to it. When you work hard and stay focused, success will come,” said Shalaine.
What’s next for Bouvi?
Shalaine has a lot on the go. From launching her company to raising her twins, she’s taking everything in stride but has big plans for the future. She’s looking to introduce more products to the brand and to help all kinds of folks, no matter what they may be going through, love the way they look.
“We’ll be launching wigs soon, which is great for people looking to try them for aesthetic purposes, but also for people who may be struggling with an illness and want a sense of normalcy back,” Shalaine said.
Bouvi will eventually carry shampoo and conditioner specifically for extensions, specialized brushes, and hair perfume. Anything to do with healthy hair, Shalaine hopes to carry. And luckily for her, she’s found an incredible team to support her with her many upcoming endeavours.
“As a mom, it’s a lot, but now that I’ve established an amazing team, I’m so excited about what the future holds,” Shalaine said. “I’m doing what I love, and I know the rest will follow.”
Extensions are (literally) an extension of yourself. Find your perfect look.