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Creating Social Impact Through Business: Q&A with cocokind

In this Q&A, DTC Daily talks to Priscilla Tsai (pictured below), founder and CEO of clean skincare brand cocokind. With the business recently awarding its second annual series of grants to female startup founders on behalf of The cocokind Impact Foundation, we ask her what the foundation is hoping to achieve, and advice she would give to female entrepreneurs. 

Can you explain cocokind to us?

cocokind is a clean, conscious, sustainable and accessible skincare brand, dedicated to providing high-quality, natural products at an attainable price.

Why did you decide to launch the cocokind Impact Foundation?

After experiencing firsthand exactly how difficult it is to scale a successful, bootstrapped business, I established the Impact Foundation in June 2018 to provide financial grants to female entrepreneurs who are focused on creating social impact through business in the health, wellness, and sustainability industries.

How does the Foundation help female entrepreneurs?

In addition to financial contributions ($40,000 in 2019, up from $35,000 in 2018), the cocokind Impact Foundation provides consulting services for recipients. The cocokind team works carefully to seamlessly match a mentor to each startup, ensuring each respective company fulfils its greatest business impact. To generate further exposure, grant-winners are also featured across cocokind’s website and social media channels, which ring in at more than 150,000 followers across Facebook and Instagram.

Priscilla Tsai, founder and CEO, cocokind

There has been a lot of talk about the challenges female entrepreneurs face compared to their male counterparts. For all this talk, is action being taken to support female entrepreneurs? Is it working?

There’s definitely a number of challenges specific to the experience of being a female entrepreneur — some that are discussed openly more than others. The greatest I’ve faced that largely remains unique to women is the pressure to balance personal life and professional success. It took me a long time to define what work-life balance means for me, and not to feel guilty about it. It’s also important to acknowledge that balance means something different to everyone, and the onus is on us to honour that for each individual.

Having a supportive family or partner is incredibly important, but I’ve also found some of my greatest champions in other female founders. The encouragement, comfort, and camaraderie from other tenacious, kind, business-minded women has helped guide entrepreneurial decisions, as well as provide emotional support.

What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs looking to replicate the success you have had with cocokind?

My most impactful advice is to stay grounded and focused on what matters to you and on your true business fundamentals. Every entrepreneur has to learn how to balance a million different roles, including those you have in your personal life. I hate to break it to you, but you’ll never have enough time in the day. It’s so crucial not to get distracted by the “fake it until you make it” mentality. If you do, you can end up spending all your time figuring out how to make your business simply look really good, instead of actually building a great business. But if you focus on building a robust, healthy, and growing business, you’ll be much happier throughout your journey.

On Sunday, January 12th Priscilla will be hosting a public “All Hands on Deck” call (similar to an earnings call for public companies) for consumers, retailers, and media. The call will highlight key insights from business to innovation, sustainability to retail and campaign updates, before opening the floor for a listener Q&A. At this time over 800 people are confirmed to join and listen!

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