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How Dianna Cohen, launched her haircare brand Crown Affair from a google doc that went viral

Joining me on the show today is Dianna Cohen, the founder of haircare essentials startup, Crown Affair.

Crown Affair is a company that’s reimagining hair rituals and taking a considered approach for the top of your noggin.


And this story all starts from an unassuming google doc. When Dianna decided to share her hair care routine with some women in her life - and that document suddenly went all over the internet -she saw an opportunity to innovate in a space that she had such a fond personal connection with, and bring her past industry experience in building brands for companies like Away, Outdoor Voices and The Wing into her DTC brand.


Launched pre pandemic Dianna shares the lessons she’s been learning along the way, how she approached her pitch and the importance of community and storytelling.


Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!


Yeah, so hi, I am Dianna Cohen, I am the founder and CEO of Crown Affair, which is a hair care line focused on medical care for healthier hair. I've lived in New York for 11 years, which is where we're chatting and chatting right now. I've worked in Consumer for the last eight.


It's been quite


A journey as this world of e commerce and consumer businesses has evolved quite a


Bit.


And I yeah, I mean, I'm such a consumer nerd and I am truly a hair care nerd up of all. And Crown Affair was


Really born


From my passion of


Just taking


Care of my hair and my daily rituals and the way that you have a skincare friend who knows all of the little details. I've always been that friend with hair.


So that's really


How this journey started.


I love that, and when we were talking about rituals a moment ago, before we before we pressed play on this recording, and I was thinking to myself, brushing my hair is actually a ritual that I really love, too. I read that that you also had that. And it's something that I think is like so important that you take note of those tiny rituals that maybe hadn't considered before. But when I was thinking about rituals before and when I was reading about your brand, I was like, yeah, I actually really enjoy my moments of hair brushing as well. It's so important, but I'd never thought about it before.


It is truly one of my favorite parts of the day.


I mean, I especially


Now spending so much time at home,


All of the


Moments and structures that I have that support my


Well-being, brushing my hair


Every night, being one of them,


Even just the whole ritual


Of how I take care of myself. Shower is like a 30 minute situation with lymphatic drainage and how I oil my hair. But even in the morning, just


Like I write journal,


I do my morning pages every morning from the artist's way. I have to stretch and roll. And I


Think just being so


Aware of the things that make you feel whole is really important.


And this is one that


I was just organically sharing for so


Long.


So it's cool to like bring it into the world and see people


Respond to it and I think really


Reorient themselves around how they care for themselves. And I've been so lucky to work with a range of consumer brands over the last almost a decade that have really


Introduced,


I think, an audience to new ways to think about the way they through the world. So I love doing this every day. It's like truly the greatest gift


I get to do it.


Oh, I love that. I can totally hear it in your in your enthusiasm. I want to go back to the very beginning. I know you have a really interesting background. And like you said, you've worked for so many amazing consumer brands. So can we get back to the kind of like starting way back when where you were working, what you were doing, what was happening in your life that was kind of leading up to this year?


Yeah.


So we can take it one step back, which is where I'm from and where I grew up. Yeah, definitely. So I grew up in a really small town in South Florida called Lighthouse Point. It's like an hour north of Miami, you know, very suburban upbringing.


I played


Sports. I was a total tomboy for a long time. And sometime around eighth grade, I got like very


Into art


History and was a big Templer kid and was definitely the kid in high school who was ripping off fashion magazines and so passionate about beauty and design. And I knew that I wanted to go to New York.


I had no


Idea what I would do. I just knew that I wanted to be around creative people putting things into the world that could inspire someone like me sitting in my bedroom so far away from where the magic was being created. I came to New York and was really lucky. I do.


I had the


Opportunity to intern at a range of places in fashion. I always joke like you watch The Devil Wears Prada and you're like, I just wanna work for an the condo. But, you know, the years that I was I was in university,


Like the world changed


Quite a bit. I mean, the Internet was obviously a thing for a very long time. But I think the implications


Of how the Internet was


Changing our behavior, especially from a publishing perspective, was very clear and


Well, I'm


So grateful to have worked like every attorney for two semesters during


Like Oscar


Seasons and understanding the PR and celebrity dressing


And really like working with so


Many incredible legacy brands to understand what made them such a great foundation. But I also knew that when the time came to actually look for job opportunities,


That I just


Really loved working at smaller places and startups that had a direct impact. And not that I had the language for them,


But I had


Email just called, emailed this woman who had this beauty website that I was obsessed with.


It had like maybe