If we could put this whole interview down to one word, it would be AWESOME!
Meet Nicole, a vivacious momtrepreneur. With a lifelong entrepreneurial spirit and a determination to pioneer her own path, Nicole’s journey has been nothing short of inspiring. She is not only a Life, Business, Workplace, and Performance coach but also the founder of a thriving business that is fast disrupting the personal, home, health, and beauty care industry.
In this interview, Nicole shares her inspirational story, her motivation to start her venture, Coco Brands, and her unwavering commitment to primarily empower women to achieve their dreams. Get ready to be inspired by her journey, wisdom, and vision for a brighter future.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company, Coco Brands.
My Name is Nicole Larissa Nelson, a 33-year-old serial momtrepreneur of two. For as long as I’ve known myself, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I knew that I was going to be a pioneer in my own right.
This venture wasn’t my first, by profession, I am a Life, Business, Workplace, and Performance coach. The skills and knowledge I acquired prior, definitely equipped me with the tools and resources I needed to help me get to where I wanted to go.
What inspired you to start Coco Brands?
I’ve always had an interest in how products are made, and more so what goes into the making of products. It bothered me that I couldn’t pronounce or know what ingredients were on the labels of products. I felt it was deceiving, and a way brands could disguise or place less emphasis on ingredients that are either synthetic and/or have long-term harmful effects on the end user in the long term, and by emphasizing a particular ingredient (usually on the front of the product label) that would attract the customer.
Yet unbeknownst to the customer, that ingredient ratio in the product is just enough for the brand to emphasize it on the label, with little to no real impact, yet enough for the customer to buy, without contemplating everything else that makes up the product. This was exactly my dilemma as a bearer of new life.
In 2008, with my first pregnancy, I was none the wiser, using every product that contained and emphasized ingredients such as Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E oil, etc. After all, these products were produced and represented by Multinationals with huge market share. What’s not to trust and believe, right? Needless to say, the products did not prevent stretch marks and minimize their appearance. I became extremely self-conscious for years. When I found out I was expecting my second child in 2014, I was hellbent on not developing any new stretchmarks. And this is where the journey truly began.
I set out to source ingredients in their unrefined state and decided to mix up a formula in my kitchen. The worst that would happen is nothing. My first product was a Body butter made of Unrefined Shea Butter and Cocoa butter, which had a pungent nutty scent. It was not pleasant to smell, but it worked. So much so, that it improved the appearance of my old scars, and it soothed and treated my daughter’s eczema. 9 years later, the rest is history… and I must say, I am lucky to be one of the selected few to be part of Aions Creative Technology, a venture builder and business incubator, that believes in my business and has offered immense support. Today my business is flourishing, and I am forever grateful.
Can you share any significant milestones or achievements of your business so far?
This is a difficult one. I am so hard on myself, that I rarely ever give myself the time, space, and opportunity to celebrate my milestones. I am on a mission to become the Group CEO of the next multinational. As a result, I am always on “What’s next?”
I will note, however, that my ability to start something from nothing, over and over again, has been my greatest achievement.
I have been in situations and faced circumstances that were enough to cause irreversible damage, in every sense of the word. But my heart, my intentions, my will to be, to live, to create, overpowers anything life and people throw at me.
How do you stay motivated and continue to innovate in your industry?
This is an ordained calling. I know this for sure because there were so many times, I had nothing. Nothing to work with, nothing to go by, nothing to give. I can’t count on my hands and feet how many times I just wanted to be released, but I was always reminded that this was bigger than me.
Every day I am showing up for little Nicole, who’s scared and alone, but has hopes of being more than the failure she was told she’ll be. I’m changing the narrative for her. I’m showing her that she too has the right of passage.
I am fighting for and representing all the girls who come from nothing, who were told that what they have is all they will ever have, the girls who were systematically designed to fail.
What sets your business apart from others?
I could tell you that the brands I represent, products, and formulae are unique and that my business model is all-inclusive, but that’s what almost anyone says.
So, I’ll tell you that my (near-sickening) obsession, determination, and resilience are what sets me apart from the rest. My will to provide and create market share for the have-nots is what sets me apart from the rest.
There is more than enough room to go around for us all. Competitive advantage is not going to be an idea I have in my mind for our Multinational in the making. I am going to actualize that idea, just watch.
Can you share any advice for aspiring females in your industry?
You will always hear me telling any female to have a plan. No two people have the same circumstances and moving parts to consider when venturing into business in the grander scheme of things.
However, even a plan is of little to no value if you can’t see that end result or ideal outcome in your mind’s eye. Before anyone else can believe it, or even begin to comprehend it, you have to believe it first.
You need to make time to contemplate what your future is going to look like, what it’s going to feel like once you have stepped into your future self and future life, and who and what is required to ensure you get there. Most importantly… Keep your moral compass in check. Things are bound to go wrong or take longer than you planned, but if your moral compass remains intact, you will ALWAYS get right back, and make right where you did wrong, went wrong, and fell short.
Lastly, take advice from a fool, and hear me when I say that anyone, and I mean ANYONE who gets in the way of that future, anyone who sabotages you, anyone who doesn’t support your growth and your vision, has got to go (including but not limited to family and friends). Keeping them around, while they break you down piece by piece is only going to slow you down. Cut the cords, and travel light!
Getting to know Nicole:
What is your favourite hobby? My favourite hobby is rest! I have never appreciated the opportunities I get to rest more than I do now. Resting for me involves sleep, doing and being absolutely nothing, spending time alone, spending time with my family, taking trips, socializing with my friends, and just about anything that takes my mind off of work and business. I don’t know how to switch off, I eat, breathe, and sleep this business. I’ve been in survival mode for too long, so meeting my mind body, and soul where it is, has become my favourite thing to do.
My daily mantra is… I am powerful beyond measure. I am a force to be reckoned with. I always know what to say, I always know when to say it. I attract all the people and resources I need to help me get to where I’m meant to go. Gratitude holds me together when I’m falling apart. Only I decide for myself what it’s going to be, how it’s going to be, when it’s going to be, and who I’m going to be.
My recipe for excellence: Gratitude + Positive Affirmation + Visualization + Application = Manifestation
Thank you, Nicole! What an awesome interview!