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CocoNuts: at the heart of businesses

Les CocoNuts : au cœur des entreprises

Les CocoNuts is a Quebec company that offers skin care products made from pure coconut oil: deodorants, face care, scrubs, creams, hand and body soaps, as well as than jars of pure coconut oil.

Learn more about the company in this interview where Sarah Baril, founder, gives us the details of her daily life and the journey that led her to go into business eight years ago.

How would you describe your business in one sentence?

What I note, above all, in reporting on where the company has come from since its inception, is that I have really always remained faithful to my convictions. CocoNuts have been around for 8 and a half years and the values ​​have been the same since day 1. From the very beginning, I put a lot of effort into creating a 100% Canadian product: from our suppliers, our labels and even the papers used for the packaging, everything is North American!

Sarah Baril, Les CocoNuts

Sarah Baril, founder of Les CocoNuts

Who are you? Why did you choose this field? 

I never intended to go into business. In my old life, I was in building management and I loved my job. I stopped, because it was agreed that I stay at home with my children when I had them. It was during this period that I went green at home. The deodorant remained for me the only product that I had difficulty finding. I couldn't find an alternative that suited me on the market, so I made one. It took a very long time to find a formula that worked well. Then, it was the turn of my close friends to found their family and with the hormonal change that this brings, their usual deodorant was no longer suitable. They were therefore looking for a natural alternative and I made them try the deodorant that I had created for myself. They loved it so much they asked if I could make one for their mom, sister, neighbor, etc. That's really how it started.

After several marketing rejections on my part, I finally decided to contact Health Canada to see the marketing requirements and went from there. At the same time, my town opened a small summer market. So I signed up and rented a tent on Saturday to test the reception with the public. There were fruits, vegetables and deodorants (laughs).

What is the most memorable moment in your career as an entrepreneur?

I don't have a particular moment that is more significant. Each stage crossed is significant in itself. In the very beginning, when I started manufacturing in my kitchen and finally finished renovating my garage to move the workshop there, I was like, "WOW, I'm really paying myself this because I'm starting a business”. Then, when the company moved to the industrial district where I was renting premises, I said to myself “WOW, we've really gotten there! ". Then, I left the industrial premises to open a shop on the street. Each step is truly remarkable.

More recently, there was a moment that really marked me, when I had my little shop at Promenades Saint-Bruno. In life, we are so busy in our daily routine that we no longer notice our successes. One morning, I arrived at my booth and saw all the products on the shelves next to me. I said to myself: “It was really me who did this! I'm in the Promenades Saint-Bruno! ". It was really a beautiful moment.

What motivates you at work right now?

We are currently in a more difficult period, there have been many changes during the pandemic. What I currently love and really get excited about is when I open my computer and get a notification from a customer who has left a positive review for a product on the website. When I read customer reviews, I tell myself that I am not doing this for nothing. Right now, it's a period where people shop less in general, there's a shortage of labor and all that, but customer comments are a balm on the heart.

Looking back, would you have done anything differently?

I can't say yes. I made several mistakes, but no matter what mistakes I made, I always made sure to take a step back to make sure I learned something.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

My most valuable advice would be to surround yourself well. You have to learn to let go of your ego, not to hesitate to say so when things aren't going so well and above all, not to keep everything to yourself. You'll get off much easier and better off if you're able to share with people you trust. I have worked a lot on my network on LinkedIn over the years and I don't hesitate to ask questions when I need them. I am equally happy to share my experience when asked. Surrounding yourself well helps a lot and it is never lost.

What's your next project?

Quite honestly, we are currently in survival mode. Before, we did a lot of product development, we did a lot of events, collaborations and private events. Today we paused product launches as customers shop less. This is not the right time. We also do a lot fewer events. I'm trying to adapt to the new reality, to continue to serve my clientele as needed and for the rest, I take it as a grace period to allow us to breathe after years of a pandemic. We're still working on other things, but for now, if I'm able to stay out of the way, I consider myself fine.

  

Many thanks to Sarah Baril for her frankness and openness during this interview.


You can find a wide selection of Les CocoNuts products at Signé

Location by clicking here.

By Ariane Lessard

Reviewed by MF Editorial

 

 

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