Kiana Cabell and Gigi Goldman are the Co-Founders of Kopari Beauty, a company that makes clean, coconut products ranging from skin, hair and personal care.
KC: I was born in Hawaii, where coconut is a staple in the culture and I remember collecting coconuts and other tropical fruits to make my own skin and hair treatments at a young age. Years later, I went on to a health-focused culinary school at New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute, which further exposed me to the versatility and health benefits of coconut oil. Even prior to starting the program, I knew that I wanted to launch a product, but I always assumed I’d launch a food product until I had my aha moment with coconut oil. I realized that no other brands were taking advantage of coconut oil for beauty. Seeing that gap in the market, I worked with industry veterans James Brennan, Bryce Goldman and his wife Gigi Goldman to create the industry’s first coconut-powered beauty brand.
GG: Just a few years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom to three little kids and I barely had any time to devote to my beauty routine. I kept it simple and natural and discovered coconut oil could be used to give me hydrated, glowy skin and glossy hair. Soon, I was chasing my kids around the house with this multitasking gem, curing everything from chapped lips to sunburned shoulders. The more I used coconut oil, the more I realized that its beauty benefits were simply too good to ignore. I don’t know if you’ve seen ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ where they use Windex to solve all their problems, but that’s me with coconut oil! I brought the idea to my husband, Bryce, who worked in the beauty business, and we sourced and developed the purest coconut oil on the planet. We connected with our partners James Brennan and Kiana Cabell, fellow beauty and wellness enthusiasts, and (ta-da!) Kopari was born.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN WHO ARE WANTING TO START THEIR OWN COMPANY?
KC: First, do what inspires you and find a void in the marketplace. From there, embrace the unknown, hire people that know more than you, and develop a thick skin, because starting a business is anything but easy!
GG: Create something you are missing in your life that you actually want or need, have a unique brand position, and execute. You can learn along the way.
WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL?
KC: Ha! My high school was kind of a joke, as a lot of people skipped class. Regardless, throughout my time in high school, I learned that hard work and hustle are crucial in getting what you want.
GG: Work hard. I wasn’t naturally brilliant or athletic, but I worked my butt off to get to where I am today. I also learned it is critical to have a strong support network. In every phase of life, my friendships have been critical. I am still friends with a lot of my high school and college friends who have been there for me through thick and thin.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PET PEEVE?
KC: UGH! When my boyfriend uses my toothbrush.
GG: Lack of clarity and unclear communication. I think it is super important for everyone to understand their roles, responsibilities, and expectations in work, at home and in personal relationships.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE WITH A BROKEN HEART?
KC: Time heals all, and if it wasn’t meant to be, there are a ton of fish in the sea.
GG: Be sad, move on and know time heals.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?
KC: Kopari’s new personal lubricant, Love Melt.
GG: CBD cream for my neck made by my father-in-law, water, a little buddha, crystals, a book, and a ceramic heart made by my daughter.
WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?
GG: Rest, sunshine, yoga and a family dinner. My kids always lift my spirits.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
KC: Success is doing something that brings you joy and happiness. At the end of the day, it’s not how much money you have, it’s how you got there and the life you created along the way. If you don’t take the time to enjoy life, you won’t feel fulfilled.
GG: That feeling when you wake up and you are simply content with life. You feel healthy, you are doing what you love, you have some money in the bank, your family is okay and you are grateful for all of your gifts.