I love nail polish. So when I came across CoCo Rae Cosmetics, I was excited to know more. This brand is not only full of bold, yet meaningful colors, but has a passionate creator. She's created a line on the quality level of the big names, leaving out harsh toxins to the environment, and offering long-lasting coats for the fashionista on the go. I got the chance to chat with Courtney and could not wait to share the details with you all.
Check her out!
1. How did you come up with the name "CoCo Rae"?
I came up with the name Coco Rae by using my nickname "Coco" and a part of my daughter's middle name "Rae'Anna" I put the 2 names together and "whalah!" There you have it Coco Rae! I wanted to have something that my daughter and I could have together.
2. What made you want to create a beauty brand?
Well, there are so many things I want to do in life that I had to narrow it down to a few things to get started on my dreams. My head rushes with new ideas all the time, but I had to come to a more focused decision so that I can build one brand, and then hopefully I can branch off into all business ventures. It came down to either starting my own baby clothing line, inspired by my little girl, or start a beauty brand. I chose to start with the beauty brand/nail polish because I love nail polish and thought it would be great to have my own cosmetics company. I can start with one brand, and my goal is to expand the Coco Rae brand into a full cosmetics company.
3. What does your brand entail other than nail polish?
As of now the focus is on the nail polish and trying to find the right nail care products to sell with the polishes.
4. What inspires the names you use for your colors?
Well, a lot of things inspire me when I think of the names for the colors. Sometimes I can be driving and listen to a song and hear a phrase I love and I quickly say " Oh, let me put that name/phrase in my Notepad on my iPhone" lol. Usually I look at the color and try to think "What does this color remind me of?". Some colors are family members' names that inspire me the most.
Examples: "Love Nessa" - (the great salmon reddish polish) was named after my deceased mother, Vanessa who passed away in 2009 from Breast Cancer.
"Naked J" - (my fav nude) was named after my best friend Jerica who loves to where nude or black shades of color.
"Nahla Bahla" - (bright raspberry) my daughter's name is Nahla and that's one of the nicknames everyone calls her. Also she loves that color and picked that one for her polish.
5. What sets your brand apart from the others?
I think what sets my brand apart is that I am a newcomer to the industry and actually in the age group where I know what the "people" or "girls" want. I love to learn new things from the little fan base that I have, and love to hear there suggestions on what colors to do next, or what should I do next. I'm a little company trying to swim with the big fishes in the industry but I feel that if I work hard and build my brand WITH my fans, family, and friends, then maybe I will become a huge brand like some of the other great cosmetic brands already out there.
Well, let see. I'm 22 years old and most of my time is spent raising my 3 1/2 year old daughter Nahla. I have a job and I attend school studying as a Business Administration student at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. I also want to major in Fashion Merchandising since I love fashion. I know I have a lot on my plate but ultimately my main focus is Nahla, and watching her grow. That's the best thing. I love to spend time with her and my family when Im not doing business with Coco Rae.
7. What are some of the tools you use to build brand recognition?
Some of my tools since I'm building this brand on my own is mainly interacting with people. I research the beauty bloggers all over and reach out to them about me and my brand, and usually everyone wants to jump in help. That is why I absolutely LOVE bloggers!!!! They are like my marketing machines! I used the social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to get people to notice my company. I like to talk to people when they "tweet" me on Twitter or they send me a "like" on Facebook. I also think that because I go to a university that I can reach thousands of students with the same interests as me. So my main way of building my brand is getting straight to the consumers.
8. Have you encountered any legal issues with your brand?
No not so far. *knock on wood*
9. How do you protect your brand, legally and in the market generally?
Um, I have a LLC on my company. I try to research things before I actually do them and I ask my lawyer if I feel like I don't understand something.
10. What's next for CoCo Rae?
Well what's next for Coco Rae is the new "Fall in Love" Fall 2012 collection which debuted Sept 25th. There 5 new colors added to the lacquer family from "Forbidden Lust" which is a medium berry wine color to "E-lectrifying Love" which is a matte medium blue color. I also want to try out a couple of 3-piece sets for $25 each. I know some people don't like to buy polish online but YOU HAVE TO TRUST ME! These are all colors that I LOVE and WEAR all the time!