In our brand spotlight, we feature Abound brands who are ready for retail. This week we sat down with Jill Howarth, the president of CocoRoo Natural Skin Care. CocoRoo Natural Skin Care sells organic and natural skin care products, is based in Iowa, and has been in business for four years. Shop natural skin care here.
Abound: Why did you decide to start this business? Why this business and not a different one?
Jill: I was frustrated with skin care products full of nasty chemicals, products that green wash, and packaging that requires double dipping of hands into unsanitary jars. I wanted to create a brand people can trust. I wanted people to have access to truly natural and clean skin care products with simple (and edible) ingredients, without breaking the bank.
Abound: How do you make your product? Yourself? A manufacturer? What’s your process like?
Jill: We use a contract manufacturer that is certified organic, which allows our products to be USDA certified organic. We source our packaging from a manufacturer in the USA.
Abound: What’s your day to day like? Do you have any favorite and least favorite parts?
Jill: My day varies every day, from marketing to sales to social media to new product development to sourcing materials and packaging and even cleaning the restrooms! No job is too big or small for me. I enjoy the variety in my role.
My favorite part is attending expos and in-store demos. I love connecting with our customers and meeting new people. My least favorite part is being away from my family.
Abound: What was your initial investment? How did you get the money?
Jill: We do not have investors. The company was started with 100% of my own savings.
Abound: Where was the first place you started selling your product?
Jill: We got into Heritage Natural Foods within one month of receiving our completed products.
Abound: Where do you sell your product now?
Jill: 200 independent stores and co-ops, as well as Kroger and Vitacost.
Abound: Where would you love to sell your products in the future?
Jill: More independent stores, food co-ops, coffee shops (our coffee scrub sells really well there), salons, and the ultimate goal would be Ulta and Walgreens.
Abound: Do you have a favorite product? If so, which one?
Jill: Mint Condition is my favorite. It has an energizing feel and wakes my body up first thing in the morning. It also feels wonderful on my feet after a long day.
Abound: What’s your marketing like? Is social media an important part of your business? If so, how?
Jill: We focus a lot of our social media on Instagram. Social media is an important part of our business. We work with promoters and influencers to help build brand awareness and receive user generated content.
Abound: What are some of the most frustrating challenges and/or moments you’ve had with your business?
Jill: We had some issues with our original contract manufacturer which was very frustrating. In the end, we found a new manufacturer that had lower MOQ, lower pricing, and was located closer to us. It was a great way to turn a negative into a positive!
Abound: What are some of your greatest achievements and victories you’ve had with your business?
Jill: CocoRoo was featured on “The Talk” on CBS as a beauty must-have product!
Abound: What advice do you have for people who want to sell a product?
Jill: Be yourself and connect with your customers. Don’t be discouraged by a “no, not interested.” You can not please everyone. Focus on those that love your product!
Abound: Is there any business advice or quotes you’ve heard that you think about often?
Jill: There is no such thing as overnight success or easy money. If you fail, do not be discouraged; try again. When you do well, do not change your ways. Success is not just good luck: it is a combination of hard work, good credit standing, opportunity, readiness, and timing.
Abound: What’s your favorite thing about being a business owner?
Jill: Being able to be (somewhat) flexible with my time. If I need to take a few hours off to go to my daughter’s school event, I can do that.