JoAnn Fowler is the Founder of Sappho New Paradigm. As a makeup artist in film and television for over 30 years, JoAnn has enjoyed professional recognition including an Emmy nomination and a Leo Award win.
Sappho was founded just over 10 years ago while Fowler was Head of the Makeup Dept. on Showtime’s cult TV series The L Word. Her journey truly began when one of the actresses asked that she only apply paraben-free products and a thorough search ensued, but none worked on camera. JoAnn was a trailblazer at the time, when she started researching ingredients in 2006, developing her first products, free of any known or suspected toxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors and silicone, over the course of two years and pioneering "clean" cosmetics to her fellow pro artists.
Then called Sappho Cosmetics, she had a thriving business that attracted retailers, consumers and investors alike. JoAnn stopped working on sets full-time to dedicate herself entirely to her company, at the height of her professional makeup artist career. Shortly after, an unfortunate encounter and business relationship with an 'angel investor' saw her fight tooth and nail to keep to Sappho's ethos of safe ingredients, in small claims court and an appeal to BC's Supreme Court, which she won without a lawyer against a team of four. It took everything she had to keep Sappho going - her personal investments and lifetime savings all went into the rebirth of her brand. As of November 2017, now known as Sappho New Paradigm, her company bears a new name for a new era of business: one of true transparency, new standards in business from being women-led and where small actions make a world of a difference.
There is a whole story that surrounds the time of my life when I lost my home and life savings it was a cumulation of seeing patriarchy, misogyny and greed unfold before my very eyes. It was a moment of knowing these businessmen are disconnected and are so identified with their "better than" that they have lost their way as humans. They explain everything they do that affects others negatively as " just business" - a meme used to harm because it is never said if a deal has gone down fairly.
Three years later, Fowler was and still is, excited to be keeping true to her promise to “get greener as we grow”, introducing revolutionary sustainable cosmetic packaging with full product life cycle in mind. Sappho's products are extraordinary: impeccable ingredients, expert formulations, safety beyond acceptable thresholds, uncompromisingly vegan & cruelty-free, biodegradable, spot-on global shades and incredible colour payoff - the future of the beauty industry as it always should have been.
“Sappho New Paradigm is my apology to the next generation. It is a company that embraces diversity, ingredient transparency, sustainability and all creative genres.”
Get to know JoAnn even better by listening to/reading some of her interviews.