Interview with the Woman Behind Cleo+Coco - Happy International Women's Day!
Happy International Women's Day!
We had the pleasure of sitting down with our Founder & CEO, Suzannah Raff - learning all about Cleo + Coco and the incredible woman behind the brand.
Q. Can you tell me how your spark to create Cleo + Coco came about?
A. I think I always knew I wanted to be CEO of my own company – I just wasn’t sure what that company would be until I started to look closely at the deodorant market. I was using deodorant that I made for myself and realized that a huge shift in this category was going to take place, and that I was sitting on a winning formula. So I found a professional chemist and manufacturer and launched Cleo+Coco. I had a vision of being at the forefront of this shift, being able to lead the transformation with values like transparency, authentic ingredients, quality and elevating the deodorant experience – it is the most important product we put on our bodies and the packaging should reflect the quality of the ingredients. We should feel proud of using our clean deodorant.
Q. How did you come up with the name Cleo + Coco?
A. A lot of brainstorming … I wanted something that reflected the ingredients: Coconut oil (Coco) and Cleopatra wore charcoal (Cleo). It also can refer to Cle(an) + Co(nfident) our tag line.
Q. What is your superpower?
A. I have a super nose. I can smell a dish and tell you what spices and ingredients are in it. I used to mix perfumes to make my own scent. That’s how I formulate – while we work with professional chemists and manufacturers, I use my nose and immediately know what needs to be changed to get to the perfect scent and consistency.
Q. What advice would you give for women entrepreneurs out there who are trying to start their own business?
A. Jump in and start. Do a lot of research. Use your connections - the people who are closest to you and trust you will be your best advocates.
Q. Who is/was the woman in your life that is/was your biggest inspiration?
A. There are so many! I love Sarah Blakely the founder of Spanx because she is so brilliant funny, creative and real. Hearing her story of how she named Spanx gave me inspiration in naming Cleo+Coco. Christina Carlino is the founder of Philosophy and has been a role model and mentor to me – she is a unicorn too.
A few of my other women inspirations are:
- Meryll Marshall of Hynt Beauty
- Ericka Rodriguez of Axiology
- Azra Hajdarevic of Terra & Co
- Kristi Blustein of Khuse+Khuse
- Bobbie Brown (who just launched Jones Beauty and Elevate 11)
- Cherie Hoeger of Saalt
Thank you so much Suzannah and to all of our amazing Cleo+Coco women - you all inspire us everyday to keep bringing good for your body products into your homes!
Who are some of the women that inspire you? What is your superpower? If you can, reach out to them today and wish them a Happy International Women's Day!