Coconut & Company: Business Tips & Inspiration
Unlike many girls with dreams and aspirations of becoming a Veterinarian or a Doctor when they grew up, my dream was to become a Cashier. Yes, a Cashier and though it may sound funny, my dreams came true. Little did I know that this was my inner Entrepreneur(ess) talking to me at a very young age.
I had always thought that if you were a cashier, you would get to keep all the money that came in to your register. My most favorite childhood memories were from when my four younger siblings and I would pretend play restaurant serving ham and cheese sandwiches with Fruit Roll-Ups and CapriSuns or run right up to our rooms after going shopping to play clothing store, making sure all the tags were still in tact so that we could scan them and ring them up on our made-up conveyor belt. Those were the days I will never forget and seems as though they were the days fore-telling my future as a business woman as I grew up to be.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and it was literally the last month in college when I had an epiphany. I remember the day like it was yesterday when literally the light bulb in my head went off. The thought that ran through my mind was, “What in the world am I going to do after I graduate?, What am I going to do with my adult life?, Oh, I know, I want to do business.”
So, long story short, I met my husband, fell in love and then I un-plugged him like in the movie, “The Matrix”, he says. He worked in the IT field and this is when he said to me, this is what freedom is like? “OH MAN!” This was when all the magic started, in August of 2007.
I didn’t grow up rich, only rich with an abundance of love and heart. My dad is an Electrical Engineer, my Mom at the time was a Computer Chip Programmer and my Step-mom was a stay at home mom!!! Although I am very blessed to have three parents, they weren’t wealthy and they sure weren’t into business, they were all about the corporate life. They were very supportive in my decisions though and gave me much moral support when I needed it the most. With the only job I had, I would literally cry on the way home to my mom because I told her that this is NOT what I wanted to do, and that I felt like a slave and was so unhappy. She said to me, “Remember why you are doing this, it’s only temporary.”
Yes, it was only temporary. This even fueled the fire in me to succeed and to make “it” happen. My husband and my first BIG business venture was opening our own chain of frozen yogurt shops in our area. We grew to 6 brick and mortar locations with the plan to franchise our our brand but ended up scaling back due to the economy and the saturation of the frozen yogurt shops that started popping up on every street corner. The competition was fierce and the price wars started. Our first location was in Washington DC and we were doing great, doing on average of about $2000 in frozen yogurt sales PER DAY! It was ridiculous. Then we opened our second, third and so on. Looking back at it now, when you are in the grind of things, you just don’t know the things you have accomplished or how far you have come. But you really have to take yourself out of the daily grind to reflect on how far you have come and the accomplishments you have made.
So what did I learn from being in business?
There is so much truth to what everyone who has made it says. I haven’t made it, yet, but there are so many commonalities to what every successful person says:
1. WORK HARD AND DREAM BIG, NO ONE ELSE IS GOING TO DO IT FOR YOU
2. PERSEVERE – DON’T GIVE UP OR YOU AUTOMATICALLY LOSE
3. FOCUSING ON DOING ONE THING AT A TIME AND BE SUCCESSFUL AT IT
4. IT’S NOT ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT, IT’S WHAT YOUR AUDIENCE/CLIENTS/CUSTOMERS WANT
PROVIDE QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
5. FAILURE IS NEVER A FAILURE, YOU TAKE BITS AND PIECES OF EXPERIENCE AND MAKE A “YOU PIE” WHICH
MAKES YOU WHOLE AND MOULDS YOU INTO WHO YOU ARE TODAY
6. EXECUTION IS KEY. THE GRAVEYARD IS THE RICHEST PLACE ON EARTH, AN IDEA BANK. YOU HAVE TO THINK
IT, AND THEN DO IT. OR NOTHING WILL EVER COME OF IT.
7. START NOW, DO NOT REGRET IT LATER
So, how does this relate to beauty? It sort of doesn’t but what happened me to was two of my most favorite passions came together (BEAUTY & BUSINESS) and this is how my beauty brand was born!
It all started with the idea of making my own, gentle, non-alcoholic, organic, gentle, super, duper make-up remover. The make-up removers that I used always left my eye area red from rubbing it too hard with a cotton round to get all of my make-up off. I told my husband, “There’s gotta be something better than this. Ah-ha coconut oil make-up remover!”
At that time, there weren’t too many coconut oil based beauty products on the market and I was determined to start one which sprung Coconut & Company (COCO & CO.). It was a great niche because people already, sorta new about coconut oil, but didn’t really know and all the coconut oils were in the grocery isle. So our concept of The Purest Virgin Coconut Oil for Beauty was born. Coconut Inspired Beauty. #BEAUTYINAJAR / with our raving #COCOBESTIE ‘s!
Coconut oil in general is super healthy for you but I realized that everyone was basically using the oil from the cooking isle of the grocery store. This is also what I had been using also but the quality was just not there. It felt like I was slathering myself with vaseline. It was so thick, gritty and just sat on my skin. I thought to myself, there has to be something better. So after researching, sampling, taste testing, we came across THIS coconut oil. The PUREST quality, perfect for beauty use. It all starts from the purity and meticulous extraction process itself that differentiates our coconut oil from the rest and of course the farm that it comes from and also how it’s made from small batches. Very superior. That is how we decided to market and to educate our clientele of the different coconut oils and the purity of each and why ours would be best for their beauty use.
And I think by the quality product that we provide with the great results that everyone is getting, COCO & CO. Coconut Oil has gotten some pretty awesome feedback and a whole lot of rave reviews!
Top 3 Tips for Those Trying to Break into the Beauty Business
1. Find a void in the marketplace and come out with something better by providing quality products and pretty competitive prices. Don’t be greedy, greed doesn’t get you far!
2. Sparkle & Shine above the competition from branding, to customer service, all the way to your daily tasks. Every detail matters!
3. Have a plan, and focus as the task at hand. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
What I learned about the beauty business?
I learned that having a beauty business is totally different from having a brick and mortar store! I love that I get to play with and R&D the new products that will be or have already launched. I love playing with the packaging and the making of the new labels! It’s FUN! I will say it is easier and the investment to start is very minimal and lower risk. I have been on both sides of the spectrum to say it is a little easier but don’t mistake it for working less. You still have to put in work!
I feel that having your own branded beauty business is an extension of your personality. My favorite color is pink, as if you can’t tell from the branding of COCO & CO. but everything is like PINK! Just have fun with it and don’t be afraid to be fun.
My advice for those trying to land a business in beauty or any business at that is to: WORK HARD and DREAM BIG but EXECUTION IS KEY. Everybody has an idea or two, but there are only a select few who actually go for it. So, just do it. It’s never too late or early to start. Put your mind to it, stay positive and literally you will see the doors opening for you right in front of your eyes. What is the worst that can happen?
Entrepreneur(ess) + Founder + FT Mommy + Wife / visit Coconut & Company
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