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Before co-founding Kopari Beauty with Kiana Cabell, James Brennan and her husband Bryce, Gigi Goldman was already using its star ingredient with abandon. “I don’t know if you’ve seen ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ where they use Windex to solve all their problems — well, I was that way with coconut oil,” Goldman said on the Glossy Beauty Podcast.
At the time she was a stay-at-home mom concerned about the best natural products to use while raising three children. After starting the company in 2015, the brand is one of the leaders in the body-care category; Kopari products include deodorants, scrubs, toothpaste, masks and sexual wellness products.
These items are found at a number of retailers including Ulta, Sephora, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters, but you won’t find every Kopari Beauty product at each of these stores. “We tailor our assortment to each retailer, and we collaborate with them to see what’s really going to be mutually beneficial for each,” Goldman said. “You have to consider price point, you have to consider assortment, you have to consider if it’s a lifestyle store.”
Goldman talked about acquisition rumors, the company’s recent foray into CBD, what makes coconut oil a hero ingredient and the company’s efforts to build homes in the Philippines, where their coconuts are sourced.
Here are a few highlights from the conversation that have been lightly edited for clarity.
Acquisition isn’t top of mind
“We’re in a high-growth phase. Are we going to be bought one day? Maybe. But that’s not our focus. Our focus is on connecting with consumers, maximizing our business and creating a really sound business to grow off of.”
Jumping onto CBD
“CBD made perfect sense with coconut oil because coconut oil has one of the highest fatty acid concentrations of any oil, which makes it a great carrier and allows for maximum absorption. We really decided to launch our CBD collection when we found the most premium CBD on family farms in Oregon. It’s really unique. It comes in a powder. We cold-press the CBD, so we don’t have to use any chemicals to extract it. We use the whole plant, not just the seed or the leaf, because the whole plant has a multitude of benefits. It’s not psychoactive. I’ve had a lot of personal experiences, including my father-in-law, who had health issues, who used CBD to really soothe his body and skin. When I saw what an impact it had on him, I really wanted to bring it to the broader market.”
Retail and direct-to-consumer can play along just fine
“I think DTC and retail are actually really complementary. A lot of consumers including myself, go into a store. I’ll see a brand, I’ll go visit their website, their Instagram page, I’ll read the reviews, etc. So I think together, as an omnichannel approach, the whole brand is lifted and the consumer has an opportunity to learn more about the product and take the journey with us. The one challenge is that you don’t have that direct relationship with the consumer or the data, so I always make sure to stay really in tune with what’s being said on the retailer channels, as well. I think the retailers have these amazing audiences that are specifically interested in beauty, so it would be really hard to not have that be part of your portfolio. I also think diversification is really important. When you diversify, there’s that balance. For us, they’re both growing significantly.”