Meet the Young Founder Behind Unisex, Non-Toxic Fragrance Line DedCool
Building a business at any age is no easy feat—but at just 21 years old, Carina Chaz founded trendy indie fragrance line DedCool, which she somehow managed to create during her junior year of college.
DedCool is disruptive, no doubt, thanks to Carina's penchant for unusual scent pairings and commitment to using good-for-you, nontoxic and vegan ingredients. The line has gained a cult-following online and can be spotted on the shelves at major retailers like Credo Beauty and Barneys after just three years since its inception. How'd she do it in the midst of all her studies? Read on to find out what she told Sweety High:
(Photo courtesy of Carina Chaz)
Sweety High: What was the inspiration to create a vegan, unisex fragrance line?
Carina Chaz: I've always been drawn to scent, specifically more male-oriented fragrances. The non-toxic/vegan element really stemmed from my upbringing in an eco-conscious, Los Angeles household. When living a holistic lifestyle, it becomes a harsh reality of understanding ingredients and compositions. That pretty much made it impossible for me to wear any "mainstream" fragrance brand. With my love of fragrance and my commitment to wellness and health, I created DedCool to embody all the necessary things I needed in a fragrance brand. The brand is created for myself to share with others and inspire people to look at alternatives without having to compromise for quality.
Sweety High: What does the name DedCool mean?
Carina Chaz: The DedCool name is and ode to the traditional world of fragrance. The idea of a self-taught, young, female, Los Angeles perfumer is a fragrance house's worst nightmare. DedCool is about creating a new category of fragrance that goes against old school ideals.
SH: How did you go about getting started?
CC: The composition of the scent was the easiest part. I started with my personal pallet of notes & essential oils that I've been mixing for years. The hardest part was visualizing the brand and making it come to life. I started with an initial $10,000 loan, which paid for labels, website, sprayers, boxes, inner cartons, raw materials, shipping envelopes, photography, printing—all of the little things you don't realize goes into a product. With that, the DedCool was born and we were live on ecom.
SH: Was this your first job out of college?
CC: DedCool started in the beginning of my sophomore year at university. I launched the brand in my third year of college and took a slower pace track in order to finish my schooling while working on building the brand. The process took a year, from design and creation, to actually performing the first round of research and development.
SH: How did you launch your product?
CC: I initially launched the brand on Instagram and saw quite the interest. Prior to this, I had no idea there was a beauty community on Instagram. The launch was very raw and organic, we had no press or marketing attached. Just myself with a vision.
SH: What is the first store you got into? What was that feeling like?
CC: When launching the brand, I knocked on every door I saw fit. The first shop to take the brand is called Green Line Beauty in Los Angeles. The store owner was so kind in giving me my first retail opportunity. Never would I have thought that one year down the line I would enter stores like Urban Outfitters, and then two-and-a-half years later, entering markets like Barneys New York.
SH: How do you continue to grow the business?
CC: I'd like to continue growing DedCool organically. We are happy growing slowly and stably with retail and customer partners that believe in us. We were just picked up at Barneys and hope to create new incentives with their shopper.
SH: How many people are on your team?
CC: There are seven team members. Not all are in-house, some are freelance.
SH: What's next for DedCool?
CC: 2019 is all about wellness. We know DedCool is disturbing the fragrance world, but how…? Stay tuned!
SH: How often do you create your fragrance collections?
CC: After two years on the market, we just launched our second collection. We'll be creating new scents, some exclusives to be announced, and some other fun products. First up is our massage candle.
SH: What's the best advice for someone who wants to start their own line?
CC: My best advice I can give is nothing is instant. We're living in a time where almost anything is almost immediate, but patience is key, and good things come to those who wait.
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