Behind the Bend Team: Meet our Product Development Manager
This week on our Beautiful Life Blog, we’re taking you behind the scenes at Bend. Meet Anna Jean Reid, Product Development Manager. Anna Jean is responsible for formulating Bend Beauty’s products, the research and development that goes into choosing ingredients and testing products to ensure they meet our premium standards for quality and purity.
Tell us about what led you to your role at Bend Beauty.
My path to Bend started with a chance meeting with Marc St-Onge at a chemistry career event at Dalhousie University. Marc’s passion for pushing boundaries and creating products based on science resonated with my beliefs and desire to contribute to health and wellness. After touring what is now Nature’s Way of Canada’s Dartmouth facility, I knew this was a company I wanted to be a part of.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
It can take a couple of years for a product to go from ideation to commercialization, so we are always working on new products. This can look like learning as much as possible about novel ingredients or working in the lab assessing the feasibility of combining different ingredients to create a finished product.
What are the most rewarding parts of your role, and what are the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my role is hearing about or seeing the effects our products have on others’ lives; it’s nice to know I played a role in the product making its way into the hands of our customers. The level of collaboration between departments is also very rewarding. We have a small and powerful team at Bend. Our size means there is a lot of crossover between departments, which exposes me to aspects of the business I wouldn’t necessarily be involved with otherwise. Whether I’m researching new ingredients, biological pathways or hearing consumer feedback, I’m constantly learning, which is very fulfilling.
Innovation is a blessing and a curse. It can be challenging when our team comes up with a great product idea that on paper is feasible, but unforeseen technical challenges delay progress at the bench top level. Ideally, I’d love to see all concepts get to market smoothly, but ultimately there is something to be learned from the time invested in all product development work whether the product makes it to market or not – or not quite yet!
What does creating a beautiful life mean to you?
It sounds cliche, but creating a beautiful life to me is being comfortable and confident in your own skin. It’s taking chances, growing and finding a reason to smile everyday. Knowing yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and others. It’s a constant journey, which is a beautiful concept in itself.
What’s your favourite Bend product and why?
My favourite product is Anti-Aging Formula. I’ve been taking this product from day 1 and it’s diverse benefits suit my ever-changing skin needs. I struggled with acne for a number of years, and I would never have classified myself as having “good skin.” I still remember the incredible feeling when someone complimented my skin; I want everyone to experience that!