The Story of cocokind
MAED editors with contributions from Natasha Maldonado
Whether your goal is to delve into a clean, natural skincare routine or if you’re simply looking for effective and pocket-friendly products cocokind has got you covered. What first started as a passion project turned Priscilla Tsai, a former investment banker into the founder and CEO of cocokind — a superfood based, all-natural skincare brand. Tsai’s personal journey with clean skincare products began when, with the help of a holistic doctor, she identified a correlation between her harsh hormonal acne prescriptions and the digestive disorders that had developed over time. Her gut instinct was to fabricate an unconventional solution from natural ingredients. As an entrepreneur with no previous background in the skincare product business, Tsai began to experiment with formulas at home.
“My kitchen and my bathroom looked like a disaster,” Tsai says. “… I didn’t need any labels on the bottles… I could tell from the scent or texture what it was.”
Tsai was still working 12-hour days at her banking job at the time. When she felt ready for the next step, she moved to San Francisco and rented out a kitchen that was gluten-free and organic compliant to continue perfecting her products.
The brand name, cocokind, came from the blend of the words “coconut” and “kind.” Coconut oil was part of Tsai’s initial experimenting and six out of the first seven products included coconut oil in them. As for the word kind, Tsai says, “Kind… is just one of my favorite words. I used it as a base description for how I wanted to be in my life…”
Just like that, cocokind was born.
Her savvy DIY attitude and tenacity to serve her own needs launched cocokind nearly four years ago. Hundreds of handcrafted iterations of each product were tested and produced before launching. During the early stages of business, cocokind’s biggest obstacle was locating suppliers that would partner with a startup and scale operations. It was extremely difficult for established businesses to invest time and trust due to lack of analytical data and proven track record. By the time product was ready — Tsai hit the ground running with sales. As sales rapidly progressed, she then had to figure out how to create enough product for the growing demand.
Cocokind became not only the fulfillment of Tsai’s own personal skincare needs, but it was fulfilling the demand she saw in the market.
“What I found troubling was that people were associating quality with dollar price,” Tsai says. “In natural wellness that’s not the case… when I found that these oils I was using were so simple and were working better than any expensive product that I found, it was super clear to me that I didn’t want to start a beauty company that was in the luxury range.”
This desire for clean and effective products, consciousness as a company and accessibility in terms of pricing and communication became the three core values that cocokind was built on. Tsai’s determination to keep the price point low has inspired her team to use creative marketing strategies, going directly to consumers through social media platforms.
As cocokind has expanded, Tsai saw an opportunity to give back to the community. This year, cocokind launched the Cocokind Impact Foundation, through which the brand will be providing financial grants to women-owned business in the industries of health, wellness and sustainability. The grants, between $2,500 and $10,000, are meant to help women who don’t yet have the means to raise institutional capital for their business.
What’s in the future for cocokind? Tsai tells us there’s a sunscreen in the making. It’s due to launch sometime in 2019 but until then, here are a few of team MAED’s favorite cocokind products below:
Organic Chlorophyll Mask: Made with chlorella, spirulina, and wheatgrass powders, this USDA Organic chlorophyll mask is rich in antioxidants and helps to relieve breakouts. One scoop mixed with a splash of water creates a paste-like consistency that promotes healthy and radiant skin. It’s lightweight and a little will go a long way.
Organic Sea Moss Exfoliator: The secret to a natural glow, the Sea Moss Exfoliator is rich in vitamins B and C, magnesium, protein, calcium and beta-carotene. The USDA Organic seaweed is so gentle you can use it up to 4 times a week for a baby smooth face.
Raspberry Vinegar Toner: This hidden gem is particularly useful for oily or acne-prone skin. The acidity restores the skin to its optimum pH level and the antioxidants reduce irritation and inflammation. This raspberry vinegar is made from actual fermented raspberry juice.
Organic Rose Water Facial Toner: This one ingredient rose water toner will leave your skin hydrated and feeling fresh. Suitable for all skin types and pure enough to be mixed with any other moisturizing oil from the line. It’s actually so undoubtedly pure that Tsai recently quipped on cocokind’s IG about adding almond milk for an at-home rose tea latte.
Organic Golden Elixir: This multipurpose elixir is lightweight enough it can be used as a moisturizer for your face, hair and body. The gold is in the sacha inchi oil, nourishing all skin types thanks to its high concentration of linoleic acid, omega-3 and omega 6. The antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin E in the oil also help even out skin tone and reduce scarring.