Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Niki Schwan, co-founder of Nakie Coquette, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Nakie Coquette is a purpose-driven, retro luxe, CBD-infused beauty brand. Ultimately, our goal is to empower women through sumptuous beauty products and luxe sustainable packaging while donating to causes that matter with every purchase.
We use the most efficacious clean(naked) CBD isolate infused ingredients to soothe stressed-out skin and accentuate natural beauty. We took painstaking care to create packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible intentionally. Our breathtaking refillable and collectible containers feature sustainable refill systems, harkening to an era when beauty products were meant to be treasured and not discarded after a single-use. Our partner organizations include One Tree Planted and PERIOD, plus we’re certified cruelty free by Leaping Bunny.
Tell us about yourself
While most known for my celebrity styling and creative direction, ultimately, I’m a trend expert and creative consultant who brings a brand to life, articulating the brand voice visually and aesthetically across all platforms. Throughout my career, I’ve always focused on empowering women and creating iconic moments.
When the pandemic hit, it was a serendipitous time to join forces with one of my best friends, who is also a phenomenal publicist. We wanted to create something truly special and different, a way to use our resources in a way that means something within an industry that we both love-beauty. We set out to create a different approach to beauty, with retro luxe refillable packaging and clean, potent ingredients that embrace all things plant magic. Nakie Coquette is a double entendre for our brand, Nakie (Naked) referring to our pure ingredients, and Coquette (flirt) referring to our cheeky approach to green beauty branding.
What really motivates me is giving back and uplifting women. I have been blessed enough to have a lifelong career collaborating with female clients, as well as being a single mother to a beautiful daughter (who is barely 18). Inspiring women to feel their best ultimately lays a platform for an empowered woman.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Besides just getting a brand launched during the pandemic, with very minimal funding, I think my partner Jessica will agree that our biggest accomplishment is creating a purpose-driven platform and voice. We feel incredibly proud of our collectible refill system, as well as our commitment to philanthropic partnerships. I have a long-time reputation for the hashtag #InPursuitOfSexy. I always like to explain to people it has nothing to do with what you are wearing and everything to do with how you feel. So when Forbes said Nakie Coquette is proving sustainability can be sexy, I was incredibly humbled and proud to be growing and evolving my voice in such a powerful and important way.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The phrase I hear over and over is “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” As business owners, we all want our business to be successful; it’s about having perseverance and patience. It is not easy to build a brand while working on other projects to pay the bills. My partner Jessica and I both have other clients to manage and are working 24/7 and then some. It can be incredibly challenging while maintaining a household, our children, and our other clients.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be intentional & operate with purpose.
- The hard knocks are an opportunity to grow.
- Have patience, find joy in the process, never lose sight of why you started!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I am constantly getting asked if I am still doing wardrobe and costume design. I think it is important for (especially young) people to understand that while it is important to focus on fine-tuning your craft and taking pride in doing whatever you do very well, it is also important that your brand evolves, grows, and branches out. Nakie Coquette is an extension of everything I have ever done. I think entering the Beauty market is a natural evolution.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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