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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


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


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


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?


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

Her views on it at the time. And it was Emily Weiss when she first started into the class

And I became an

Intern for her. And this is what it was very much a one room office, that it was purely editorial free, glossy ads, but, you know, moderated the comments section, uploaded things to our social,


All those interviews like it was just a

Total education

In terms of storytelling. And I

Think really, Emily


That connection

To real women. I mean, obviously, a lot

Of the women profiled on the

Glass are incredible and fabulous women.

But, you know, we now

Live in a world where you can go to Reese Witherspoon to Instagram and see what smoothie she is making that morning. But at the time, the only access to women like that

Was through People

Magazine or very filtered through the lens

Of journalist.

And it was just so inspiring to be able to be like, oh, she's a. A span of rose water from Whole Foods, that's like eight dollars

And then the comment


Was just like the gold night.

And I think that that was such

A an incredible

Shift in terms of like consumers really starting to take power and connect with each

Other. And instead of like people sitting in

Boardrooms at major companies, which is still happening and that is still across the world. But I think the last decade

Of really putting the

Power in the consumer's hands, having people like me be able to create a character line, I'm not an explorer that I've never sat in a

Boardroom like these.

This information has come from thousands of conversations and my own personal journey as a

Customer and into the glass

Was amazing. And then after that, I was really lucky to meet a woman named Eric Katz,

Who is the current

Co-founder of a supplement company called Seed.

But she is the greatest

Marketer I've ever worked with I probably will ever work with. And she really taught me everything about grassroots marketing,

Which all of those principles

I use to launch and we still use every day. We had

Our holiday

Launch yesterday and just the entire go to market strategy and thinking about all of these launches beyond just the initial launch, but all of these milestones and moments that you have a surprise that she really brought me under her wing. And she's been a mentor for my entire career. And I just kind of the rest of the career. I was lucky to launch Marmol in about five years ago as a consultant when she after selling Jimmy Choo

And really thinking

About rebranding and repositioning her as

A luxury

Consumer shoe

Company, she

Obviously has such a legacy and working with someone who made truly one of the most iconic brands of the 90s and Twins' was an education, to say the least, and was an early employee at the luggage club, the head of partnerships there,



I learned a

Ton. And actually this is why every experience matters.

I mean, at

Crownover now, we actually just did a partnership with MEANWELL, which partnerships with Violet Gray, like so many of those relationships, came from

Three and

A half years ago when I was in a way. So every opportunity really does make an impact, even if you can't see it at the moment.

And then, yeah,

I started an agency

Between leaving away

And launching Crown

Affair, which I had for

Two years

Called Levitate,

And we did Brand Strategy Consulting. We launched

Harrys, the razor

Company at our women's line Flamingo. I worked with the wing. I worked with our voices for two years on their influencer ambassador strategy and a number of other clients, mostly in L.A., New York.

And that was a really fun time.

I got to create my own schedule and work from home. So I pop into the clients offices, but I'm very much here for the like 70 30 remote an office culture. So I'm a big fan of kind of where we are today. And yeah, I launched ten months ago in January. I had no idea I would be in the middle of a global pandemic.

But I think rolling with

It and just waking up every

Day, I think, like all

Entrepreneurs, just need absolute resilience and passion. And I are so grateful I get to do this every day with my team. It's really

A joy.

Well, firstly, what a journey. Oh, my gosh. So many cool things build it in there that I'm like, oh, I want to know about this. What's she like? Oh my gosh. Cool. So many things to unpack. I really want to come back. I'm going to circle back around in a little bit about the grassroots marketing that you really learned when you were with her. So we can kind of understand better, like what you were bringing into your launches now with Crown Affair. But I kind of want to stick with the launch moment and the light bulb moment around Crown Affair. I know that you had this document that you were sharing with people and you were talking about your hair care rituals and people were always asking you about your hair. But when did it kind of switching to you thinking, hang on, maybe the agency is good for right now, but maybe I'm going to launch my own brand.

Yes, so first and foremost, when when launching levitate the agency, I always knew that I didn't want to build an agency as much as I

Love levitating

Innovators, I just I wasn't trying to build a whole team around it. So I kind of always knew that in the back of my mind, even though I was doing it in real time, there were a couple of moments. One was the Google Docs.

So I

As I

Mentioned, I like a full haircare

Nerd. I invest in quality tools and products.

I treat my hair

Like it is so like at night. So you should see my fiance laughs me like the way I position my hair on the pillow, just how I like shampoo it in the shower, like I'm so delicate with it and I and I'm mindful of it and respect it.

And not everyone was doing that.

And I would tell friends like I was traveling a lot and they'd be like, wait,

What are what are you doing? Great.

Like, why do you have this random kov or like how do you get your hair to Erdreich like that? What's happening? So I finally put it into a

Google doc, like

The 16 things that I just do. And it's not necessarily like Stass, but and it varies by week. This is what I

Brush and this is a certain

Oil that I use. And here's why it's important. I kind of wish that I didn't have this ingredient in it, but it's best when I found it, I shared it out

And it was a Sunday.

And like I said on a Friday night, that's Sunday,

I had like dozens

Of people in it. I had no idea who they were. It was like people requesting

Access there was

Commenting on it. And I was just like, this is so crazy.

How how there is

So much content. Right. You can go to YouTube and look at your tutorials or like how to get Chrissy Teigen ponytail at Coachella, but

Like nothing about

Like how to actually care for your

Hair in a way that

Felt really accessible and relatable.

And it was just so

Clear, a little guidances in this category. And then, you know, the other thing to like during when I was traveling a lot for for when I was consulting,

Like I would stay at a

Hotel and I'm like, I would never expect the hotel to have my skin care. Like, why am I doing that for haircare? You know what? I'm here for like two weeks. Like, why am I not honoring that? And really, it doesn't make a difference in how I feel and it does make a difference. So, yeah, those were kind of the two big moments.

And then, you know,

My my friend, my fiance's best friend

Is in such a

Part of this journey. He's a bioengineer and terrorist. And I actually sent him and his wife to Google doc

And they saw their

Hair transform over time after they started to take care of

It. We just started

Working on stuff. We're like, OK, can we take like our favorite two hundred dollar hairbrush

And like, reverse engineer it and like, well, can we

Make better about it and how do we find vendors that are like sustainable and can do this in a more accessible price point. And the truth is, is like the category is just a really dated, it's very Cirlot driven, it's very wholesale driven. There hasn't been a ton of innovation on the ingredient side

In the way that

Skin care and color cosmetics have been democratized over the last ten

Years. The same thing

Is just not really happening with hair care.

So that was

Really the spark of the journey. And I was very much working on this like nights and weekends while I was doing levitate.

And then the inflection

Point very candidly, it was like I either needed to raise money to keep doing this, like I had put I had

Put a bit of money

Away to allocate samples and product development, but that I was just like, I can't keep funding this on my own.

So that was my moment

Of like, I think there's something here I'm going to go forth and do this.

Wow. So exciting, and so at that point, did you raise straight away or do you go out and start trying to meet with people? What were those kind of next phases that you went through to actually get the brand developed and get the products that you were happy with?


So the first two things that I did was we actually had samples that people had tried and had died like small focus groups and had some product out to get feedback on what we were doing. So they were if you look at these samples, you would laugh. Now they look nothing like what is the situation?

But, you know, it's

Just great to actually a physical product that people

Could give give real time

Feedback to.

And the

Other thing that I had was our current creative director, who's been our creative

Director. We actually work


Away. He is one of the

Most talented graphic designers that I've ever worked with. And hopefully it will be one of the only ones I work with for the rest of my life. I'm not in

Love with it, collaborating

With him and his work.

And I had told him about

My vision for Crown Affair. And we had really early stages

Of what this brand

Felt like and what the universe that we're currently building felt like. And that felt so different for a hair care brand. I think so often

It's such an

Afterthought or it's very careful or like good hair days.

And this is like

Really selling perfection or I don't know, I just

Had for all of the brands I'm

Loyal to is skincare in other categories and lifestyle like hair care was not one of them. And truthfully, my favorite ones are often rooted in professional and fashion and Erbey or Kristofer of it. And it's like they're great,

But they haven't innovated

Their ingredients in a very long time. And it's

Very like celebrity

Stylist, which I love. But I just I wanted something different that I could connect to

And visually was a

Universe that I wanted to live in.

So I started there and then I was really

Fortunate coming from consumer, a lot of Fetcher backgrounds, I was able

To get some early meetings to share the


And, you know, raising

Money is what I think. I look back on it now, our reason for our seed round. And it

Was one of the most

Valuable experiences of my life.

Like I over two

Hundred investor meetings and you just become

So you just know how

To do it. And you learn so much about how to take a meeting

Like, you know, listening

And understanding what they're looking for and

Then really

Positioning and building this narrative around what the brand could be and what the opportunity is. Also like a lot of these people are so brilliant and so interesting. So whether they end up going forward with the deal or just to be able

To have these

Conversations, I think is again, like measuring the journey and not the end result is such an important part of being an entrepreneur. So but I got really lucky. I mean, my philosophy with fundraising,

I think I think I counted

It the other day. I think I've been a part of 12 fundraisers as an employee.

So not by the way, not that I was like you also had some some base experience.

Yeah. I mean, I was like not an important part, like I might have helped with like a slide on the deck or something like that.

But, you know, as an employee

And as a team member,

You understand

The implication of what it means to raise money and what a valuation is and how much money you want to raise. And I think my takeaways were like raise enough to do what you need to do.

This is a

Relationship. It's like getting into a marriage, like you need to fight.

Not all

Money is

Created equal. You need to find

Partners who really are on the same page,


That's a paid marketing. For example,

Like most of

Us, everything we do is organic. We spend we have a very, very, very small marketing spend every month

And, you know, coming from

Brands that we usually spend a million dollars a month, if not quarter of, it's just a different way to fundamentally build a business, acquire customers. So, you know, their voices and investors who prefer that and they're like go for it, growth at all costs.

And I knew that that

Was not how I

Wanted to run my

Business, because I think

Great brands take decades

To build and more importantly, build my team. I was coming from a

Place of like every Monday there

Were five new people on the team who were like yours and you might be eight people in a room or one of the first employees. And then a year you look up, you're like one hundred thirty people. You're like, you know, I think right now it's five people.

I would love for the

Company at most to be like twenty people and every person

Feel like very

Intentional with the work they're doing.

Internal culture is so

Important to me. And I think that when you do grow at all costs, it's much easier to break things and maybe not really

Think about your team.

And I mean, this year more than ever,


Harmony of finding balance in your personal and professional life is so important

Because we are living

Where we work and you know, and everyone is experiencing

With the.

In particular,

It's like family

Members, loved

Ones, you just have to show

Up every day and be apathetic. It's like at the end of the

Day, like my goal

Is to empower women and but a lot of our customers are women

And power women and change the way they

Move through the world and whether that's

Through product, whether that's

Through our mentorship program, which has been like one of the most rewarding parts of

This. And our team, like that's the most

Important thing, is that we're taking care of each other. So that was a long winded way to say that like that ladders up to that how you raise money.

And we got really

Lucky in

Terms of the partner

And our

Lead. And we have twenty about

Twenty five investors, a mix of angels and our

Leader, they're really excited

And on the same page, which I think is especially in Iran, so important and

So exciting. When you said you did the two hundred interviews, you went through that process in a really big way. My two questions are when you were seeing, like, the kinds of things that they were looking for, what were those kinds of things that they were saying that they were looking for, whether they did or not invest in you? What were the kind of things they're interested in? And, B, did you have to kind of pivot or change your pitch as you went through that process, getting back to the tail end of two hundred?

Meetings, yeah, so, such a good question,

You know, it was it was

A really interesting process to listen to what people were looking for a year ago, and then we still talk to investors all the time. People reach out to us excited about the brand and they think it's always good to take a beating, even though we're not currently fundraising.

And the the

Thing that I kept hearing, I guess, a year and a half ago

Now was like customization growth at all

Cost. How are you doing these, like, personalization

That was

Really sexy and popular

At the time. And I think that

There's been a

Total philosophical

Change around building a brand and making

Life better for you

Products that are necessarily just like sexy see customization


And we're seeing that now. I mean, since there is so much I think there's been I mean, there's been like 10, if not more new hair care plants that are really focused. And you just don't have the most successful brands in that category, for example,

Like they excuse, you know, and they're one of the

Rare ones.

I think my entire

Vision was

Kind Crown Affair. And the

Pitch in particular

Is like every single

Product we're making is a hero

Product we

Are working with outside of contract manufacturers to truly innovate on this product. This is obviously more from a product perspective than a brand and larger vision of what we're doing.

But, you know.

This category, people just go to contract manufacturers and they're like year 12 shampoos and herself conditioners, and if it's a celebrity line, you know, you kind of just like put a face and a fragrance and call it a day.

But for us,

It's like

I part of my

Ethos is like I never want to launch anything to the world unless it's truly unique and makes me feel

Different. Like SKU count is

Not the issue in this category.

So I

Owe a huge

Part of talking to investors was was getting them


About the way we're

Changing the narrative around hair care. The first step is the realization that this category has been

About styling

And color


Perfection. Even if there's diversity in casting, it's like all the models, hair blown out, you know, and the language and terms around it. And for me, it's about

Building a community

Around, taking care of yourself and ritual

And it's table

Stakes that the product is clean and that the product is better for you. I would never want to launch a product into the world that's just like where we don't own the formula or

That, you know, it's



And it's really interesting, I think clean in this Category two, which is become a very like always a clean

Like especially

In the US, like the FDA regulations are. So the bar is so low here and we all need regulations for our products.

And that's not a brand

That's a product promise.

And I think with these with talking to

Investors, getting them to understand the long journey of what we're doing

And what has

Happened over the last 10 years with skin care is now that you're aware of that maybe started like a year ago with hair care. It's all very new and it really takes time.

I think, you know, in the

Pandemic, in a way, has been such a catalyst. You can't run to your salad or you care up to your hairstylist and

You're like, what am I doing for

Myself on a weekly

Basis with a hair mask,

For example? Like, how am I slowing down and making this a really beautiful experience

And have

Watched it be something to look forward to instead of like, oh, I have to wash my hair. This is so annoying. And it's like it really takes like four years. That's how I that's my perspective and my connection

To hair as well.

Less and hair is a part of my well being.

So that's always

Been the patch. And I think what investors are like, are you going to be the next this for this or Warby Parker for this? And I'm like, that was ten years ago.

This is what

We're doing, either you're alive or not. So I also think and you noted this with the grassroots thing,

I think that the best

Investors invest in founders because they know that it will hit the fan like there will. There might just be a global pandemic. You might need to pivot your entire business. And that's why it's important to bet on people, not the product at the end of the day. Yeah. So I honestly just want into the pitches. There were days that I was three calls a day or three meetings a day and I'm like, did I say to what? But I think that's why you get so great at this. And either people feel connected to you and what you're doing or not.

So interesting. I really love that. Gosh, well, something that you reminded me when you were speaking about the

Product and the

Ingredients that are in these standard kind of manufactured products. Is that thing you have on your website where it shows all the things you don't have in your product? And I was like, oh, I never thought about this. Like, this is crazy. What are all these things even mean? What are these words? That's a long list.

It is. It is really interesting because like


Hydrochloric acid, like these ingredients have become so normalized in skin care, we often don't actually know what ingredients are doing to our hair, depending on what you're looking for. So your hair is a fiber.

It's all about

The hydration level. So understanding

How much

Moisture you want in your hair, how much you don't, how you want to apply it, how often you should be washing.

I mean, it's it's a whole

Universe that I think is really fun to kind of get to know. And hey, if you choose to do a million treatments or blow dry your hair every

Day, like, do you like,

I'm all about balance and finding the thing that makes you feel good. But I do think there's power and educating and understanding

What something might


Especially like I will not

Bore you with the Sulpice situation. But like

In this

Country, like we are just addicted to using sulphates in our hair. We shampoo and the bubble and the foam and it really does Estrapade your hair so much and causing more problems that then you sell you solutions for like how to fix like Friz for example.

But it's like all

Friz is, is your hair needing more moisture so it doesn't

Reach up to the

Sky for more moisture. Like if you and it's the same thing with food,

It's like it's not,

It's right. It's not about deprivation or diet. It's like putting the right things in you so you feel good. And your relationship to that, they feel really good.

I think that for the way

We're approaching here, that is so

Much of it. You know, as we launch

More products, it's as I said, every product is a great product. So we're really mindful about the product development process.

But like, if you're out

There and looking for a shampoo, like you should really not be looking. I would recommend a shampoo without cold. Without tags, those are carcinogenic and not

Great, and one of the closer

Things, like a survey, like something that really

Just removes

Debris and builds up and nourishes your

Hair and you know that

Education isn't out there. So we're really excited to kind

Of pioneer near that


Yeah, totally. Totally. Does the Bible, your Bible still float around on the Internet? Is that still out there?

It is. And we actually did it. We actually have a whole series called Rituals with Uncrowned

Affair, our

Content platform on the site. Our blog, if you will, is called Top of Mind, because it's like all the things that are top of mind in life in general, but also like your hair is is literally on the top of your head at the top of your head. So who did it? And I actually had to update it. I updated it since March, so please

Send it my way.

I also like the idea of on the Internet, I could talk about hair advice forever. And actually everyone is so different. And depending

On I mean, I talk

To like Olympic swimmers who have to wash their hair every day how they're taking care of their hair. I have girlfriends wash their hair, Max, Max, once every week and a half, and everyone has their own rhythm. Where you live makes a difference.

So, yeah.

Wow. I need to I'm going to I'm going to get into your DMS. We're going to discuss this. Yes.

Ok, I

Really want to talk about your marketing. I really want to talk about the grassroots efforts that you've been doing and especially kind of what you learned in your prior career and brought forward into your go to market launch strategy, especially this year. Given all the troubles that we've had and, you know, pivoting our original plans, how did you launch and what is your marketing been like since?

Yeah, so I think

The most important thing is the marketer

Is I'm just going to say

People generally meaning customers, meaning community,

Meaning Ed.

Everyone is literally just a person. You have to treat them like people

And building up

Your army of people who believe in you and are excited about what you're building.

I mean, as you think about

Launch, if you're listening and thinking about launching a

Business like it is so

Important to remember that people want to support what they are part of

Creating. And I

Think so often, especially as women we like and I am still

Totally guilty of this,

By the way,

We don't want to share

Things with the world until they're perfect

And people really do

Want to be a part of that process. So when you do

Go live, they're so

Excited to be like, this is awesome.

Even if it's just a quick email

Or coffee or selling product

Early, like people get really

Excited and they root for you long

Term. And I think the

Customers and community that you build in year one are the people. And I think this is awkward. And even though I'm not working with those brands anymore,

I see

Those customers show up. They're still posting, they're still commenting. They're still sharing

Your year,

Your day one. People are your people. And the most important thing that you could

Do is invest

Time in them, just literally

Time. And whether it's phone

Calls with customers to understand what they're loving or how they heard about you or how they discovered

You. You know, launching is a really

Challenging thing now, like building a, quote, direct consumer brand is not what it meant. I mean, first of all, as a consumer, I think being omnichannel, especially in beauty, as a category, is really important. You want to meet your customer where he or she

Is beyond

Just your site, which is a podcasting conversation for another time in terms of like retail strategy and growth.

But, you know, it's just


Important that you are able

To connect with your person from day one. And when you lost something in the world,

Like they feel

Excited about this and want to share it with you on your direct channel. So, yeah, I'm trying to think I mean, there's so many elements to launch

And like seeding

To community and influencers and influential people is a huge one. So they like post about

You on launch

Day and

Really making sure

Your message is

Tight and you're offering


Different. Like I, I had

No goudey of us. None of us knew that a pandemic was happening,


Our entire pillar was actually

Rapti like that is the

Ethos of the brand. It is actually time and the time

You take for yourself

Out of care instead

Of frustration. All of our

Collateral that we printed months before in our shipper's, our copy like it was all about taking your time and finding your ritual, and then all of a sudden all people have time. So that ended up working really well. That works. Yeah, it ended up falling into place and being, again, as I said, a catalyst for people resonating with the message. But now you can't again, as I was saying, like in terms of early days to see you can't just be like this is now direct to you

And it's

More accessible and

It's like you really have to

Have an innovation and something different. So, yeah, getting the word out there, I think your community is huge.

Pr is really

Important. Having a thoughtful PR strategy I

Need traditional PR

Has evolved exponentially. I feel like every year,

You know, Instagram

And social, whatever the platform is for your product market

Fit like I, I have a lot of

Friends who have more

Brands than they like.

Kill it on tape.

Talk for us

With our product market fit. Who are our customers and we customers. We do have women who are Jency

And love

This product and are so excited about it. We also women who are like 70 year old, we're going to be using like 70 year old winemaker in Napa who has bought this for all her daughters. She loves it every day. You know, we we have real women who use this product and it's a part of their life.

So, you know, for

Us, it's like, how do you get the message out? And I think word of

Mouth is

So important in this category with beauty. And we really did see that three months in, like we had a lot of

Excitement and then three

Months and we were like, oh, people are buying the oil.

And the girl is

Because hair is

Genetic. It's like people would tell

Their sisters or their moms or their friends. And I feel like the three month mark is when we really started to see like it started to spike in terms of people getting super excited.

But that was a very

Big ramble on the launch mass. But I think really thinking about this stuff holistically is important,

Like every

Product, what your message is, how you're telling that story. And, you know, it's different now. At the time, I was able to have a couple decides with editors and decide when you go meet with them and you educate them on your product.

And that was a huge

Part of some of our launch stories, whether

That was business

Press on places like Forbes or Business

Insider, you know, and

Then Beauty, Press, Vogue and everyone in between the fashion as well. On the business side, a law has been such an amazing supporter.

You know, now

We're doing some calls, I think, building relationships with people, you can't just pick people randomly like this is new, right about it,


Relationships and actually listening to people and hearing what they like. On the plus side, on the customer side, it's like that's everything in it.

I think that's how you build a great brand over time.

Yeah, that's so interesting. And I was actually going to ask you about your press because you have such incredible press around the launch that I was like, whoa, how did she get all this amazing stuff? That's super interesting to have the Eddison meetings. Did you just cold outreach to journalists to be like, hey, let's open a call and chat about this thing that I'm creating and putting out into the world, or was there more to it?

So I actually didn't have a ton of PR relationships like my actual personal circle in my life. I've been with my fiancee for seven years. We'd like a very small group. I'm like not the person who's meeting people. So this is really the first time that I was like, oh, I have to like, this is exciting. I get to tell the story to journalists. And yeah, it was I mean, we have a we have a PR team who I actually was our internal team at way. They do our PR now called dispatch. They're amazing. And we just have

Such a

Transparent and honest relationship with each other and there's no ego about anything.

And like who tells the story?

Who makes the relationship, which I think is so beautiful.

I think sometimes weekly

Pr calls with an agency can be like so much pressure,

Like the expectation

To deliver a certain number of articles or a certain number of things. Again, this goes back to the investor thing. It's a partnership. And how you build partnerships is everything. So, yeah, I mean, truly, it was just pitching. I mean,

No, I'm I'm

Getting slightly older, but, you know, and people could see my background and be like, oh, this girl worked so and

So, but it was all new.

I don't come from traditional beauty.

For me.

This has just

Been like I

Telling my story as another

Woman with my own hair


I think it's a little

Different than maybe what they've been getting for

Years of celebrity

Like professional lines. Really being about the styling. I think that this was refreshing.

And because of

That, we

Were able to have people

Authentically write about this

Story, which was so

Exciting to see. I really didn't know what was going to happen on launch day, so it was cool to see all of that come out. And again, so many people

Connect with with the

Vision of what we're building.

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Oh, so exciting. What does the future look like? What's happening


I mean, a month for everything in life that I actually, like, postpone my wedding this year. And I feel like everyone in my life is like, what's with the wedding? I'm like at month by month, like even even with the business.

I mean, we definitely

I have a very clear like one year, three or five year time here for what Crownover could become. But the truth is, is like the playbook that has worked for all of these other brands. It's it's changed like the world has changed how people discover product change. People by product has changed.

And we're really like

Navigating in real time. I think it's always helpful if you are the customer of the product you're making. And my team is very much that way, too,

Because we

Always want to be nimble.

We always want to be where we

We need to be for our customer and just keep diving in on that relationship.

I think the new

Universe of

Death and having

People be excited about every product launch, we're in a category that does have repeat purchase


Powerful. We're not selling mattresses or suitcases. I mean, you can buy a couple mattresses and suitcases, but

This is a

Lifelong journey with our customer. And I think,

You know,

For us, it's it's about building that over

Time and then lots

More formula. And in our products next year, which is so

Exciting, we'll also be

Shipping. We've been getting a lot of international shipping

Requests right now. We ship through

Some of our

Partners. We were on group, which is great. We work with a couple

Partners in Canada. We're actually in Hong Kong now coffered. So it's cool to be in China, but definitely just

Expanding, which is



Yeah, so exciting. Oh my gosh. I'll be cheering from the sidelines. What advice do you have for women who have a big idea and want to launch their own thing?

Just start is probably the

Best advice, as I said, even whether it's like a Google doc or a couple samples,

Like it's really

Scary. I have a leadership coach and she always does this and she's really conditioned me. She's like, I'm so afraid of having, like, an ugly baby is what she calls it, which sounds horrible. And it's probably not appropriate to say, but it's kind of scary putting a thing out into the world when it's not finished.

And I think just being

Like I have this idea whether it's an app or a platform or community or a physical product or


Any idea, you have to

Write it down and get feedback

On it and take the feedback with a grain of salt. But I think, you know, like that was actually a big indicator that I did touch on earlier.

But people kept

Coming after I talked to somebody about hair

They would like text

Me for weeks or five years later being like, so I'm still thinking about this and blah, blah, blah. And I think when people show genuine curiosity,

That's when you know you're

Onto something. And then maybe

That's the the flag to

Be like, hey, it's time

To raise

Capital or don't raise capital or invest in yourself in

This way. The other

Advice that I

Have is like write

Stuff down. There's that Joan Didion quote. That's like I don't know what I think until I write it.

And this is become

A huge new habit

For me. For a few years

Now, I've been doing the Gratitude Cybernet Journal, which I love. It's a great journal

And it's really easy

And keeps you accountable.

But my friends of mine actually don't really mean that.

So the five minutes are all

I need to tell them. We spoke about it. I'm seeing them this week, actually.

Amazing. Yeah. I'm like, I'm not they're not technically an investor, but like I talk about it all the time and I think I've gotten like dozens of people to buy it. It's truly transformational. And then I write morning pages every morning and it's scary, to be honest with yourself. But being like this is what I

Want and physically

Writing it out, it's pretty wild when you look back, even like I was looking at some of my journals from

September, we're

Now in November and like a lot of the stuff has come true or a lot of the things that I might have been concerned about are no longer concerns, are no longer fears.

So that has

Been a very cathartic process for me

That I think if you have a

Dream and you're a little bit

Afraid to go

Forward, it's like a good place to start. And like no one's judging you and no one's going to read it just like start and go for it.

Mm hmm. Yeah, that's so important. And I'm also someone that wants to get more into writing things down and putting those thoughts on paper. There's something so therapeutic, I think about writing and something I'm definitely wanting to focus more time on. So that's really interesting. You said that, OK, we are up to the six quick questions part of the episode. Question number one is what's your why?

My wife


Making people

Feel different about themselves.

I love putting things into

The world, whether it's a Crown Affair or just in my

Personal life, that changes

The way people identify about how they view the world.

That is my

Mission and everything I've ever done.

Love that. So powerful. Question number two is what's been the number one marketing moment that's made your business, pop?

Wow, it's so hard to pick one, to be honest with you, I would

Say like people with real communities, if you

Want to call them influencers, like they were like we've had people post and we'll see like one hundred orders. Oh, I have a really good one, though, in New York. Maghrib, an amazing our hairstyle and how it makes your hair, because I won't get into it now, but the way that it actually makes it absorbs water from your hair.

It air dries

Like a Hyam sister.

It's like a masseur, Gabrielle.

That is literally what they said. And I think we sold like one hundred dollars and it was crazy. So that was cool to see.

Two people have

Opinions and voices

Who, you know, proof is really

Powerful. I love that for you.

So it's amazing you're like this 20 minutes of my life happening right now. I was like, refreshing.

Tapasvi, I'm like, is this broken?

With no turning up the sound on your phone? You're like, yep, let's hear it. Question number three is where do you hang out to get smarter? And that's around what you're listening to, what you're reading, what communities you're a part of, that kind of thing.

I listened to a lot of podcasts, my favorite podcast is called Poetry Unbound, and it's led by a theologian Podgorica Tumor.

I only read

Two homes a week and unpacked them. And it just puts me into

Like a space,

Like I literally will start when I'm reading something. I hear his

Voice. And there's honestly

So few people where that really happens, where you actually start to kind of take their voice. And that, to me is the best. I also love, like Adam Grant, Seth Godin and a lot of marketing writers. I read their daily letters. It always sparks something, even if it's not the moment like something will happen in my life, maybe a few months later. And I'm like, oh, yes, I thought he was right. Or Adam Grant

Is truly

An incredible


Educator around

Building team culture, which I think

Applies to our personal lives as well.

Mm hmm. Certainly. I'm going to subscribe to both of those later. Question number four is how do you win the day? And that's really honing in on your rituals, which I know we've touched on.

But let's go back to winning in the day is definitely doing my morning papers that I have in a journal. Like I feel really complete when I put my five minute journal away at night and

Like big, big win if I get a

Bath and dinner is made by my by my fiance. I like that. To me, it's like a dream guy, which we've been getting a lot of encouraging so much more time together, which is a total dream.

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. I love a good boss. I'm really into Lavandero, both relaxing. I'm not a long person Batho. I'm like a really short person buff. I'm like 15 minutes in and out. But like that 15 minutes is bliss.

I love that for you know, I think there's a stigma like you have to be in the back for forty five minutes. There's something really powerful just like phone in the other room, getting in a warm bath. It just resets you in a really nice way. It's my best ideas come in the bath. So like I also have to do it

Because that is where the

Magic comes.

So that's where the magic happens. I love that question. Number five is if you only had a thousand dollars left in your business bank account, where would you spend it?

Wolf, I probably have to pay back an investor if

This is all I have, one thousand.

I thank you for all of your contributions.

I mean, if that was

Where I had to be really mindful about allocating my spend. I would invest it in content

Creation, I think the

Legacy of what that can be and how it gets shared, I think sometimes we forget in this world of paid marketing and I just like doing good content

Can be

Really shareable. The metric of how many people have saved stock down is really powerful and not always measured. So I would I would probably

Say with content.

Yeah, I mean, you've got total proof with your with your hair Bible, people still want that. I still want that. That doesn't cost a thousand dollars. OK, question number six, last question is how do you deal with failure? And that could be around a personal experience or just your general mindset and approach.

You know, I'm not good with failure, I don't think anyone is by nature and society, it's really


Practicing that failure is good. And I

Think like even

Listening to the podcast that I imagined, like just conditioning yourself to be like, oh, this is a part of the

Job. And I talk about

This a lot. I have a really good friend who's worked at Pixar for like 15 years. And he is he has an amazing talk on the concept of honor.

And that is

Truly the concept that they really honed in on, I think, at Pixar and the work that he does as an animator.

But we talk

About like that piece and how we don't

Measure the journey a lot.

And I'll have to say, you guys talk I think he has a video on it.

But I think

Trying to create structures like the journalling, like the FAF, where you

Can actually pause and be like this is a part

Of it and not so focused on

The apple. I also

Think I was talking to I have a group of artists we chat on Tuesday night,

Which with 15

Women, and that's a huge community that I love to

You know, I don't I think

Just like being honest with yourself, it really does help you

Get through those tough


You know, and it's OK.

It's normal. You just have to be

Honest about it. It's not easy.

And being honest about that, it's not easy is everything, you know.

Totally. Totally. Oh, this is so fun. So fun. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast and share your incredible journey and all the cool things you're working on. I'm just so thrilled to have had this chat.

Thank you so much for having me. I wish we had a whole other hour to talk about you because I'm sure you have so many learnings from chatting with all of these founders, like the connection is beautiful.

So thank you for

Having me on it. It's been wonderful.



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