'Trust Your Gut, Do Your Due Diligence '- Q&A With Eossi Beauty Founders
"We've barely scratched the surface of what the hemp plant can do," said Shannon Kaygi and Rochonne Sanchez, co-founders of Eossi Beauty.
It seems like every day there’s a new CBD beauty brand on the block. But something feels refreshingly different about Eossi Beauty.
One whiff of Facial Glow Oil #8, Eossi’s debuting product, and you’ll feel like you’ve been inducted into a face-potion secret society—that is to say, it’s delightful. Eossi Beauty co-founders Shannon Kaygi and Rochonne Sanchez just might be the potent entrepreneurial duo poised to take on the exponentially expanding—and increasingly competitive—CBD beauty market.
Kaygi, with the cheeky title of Chief Glow Officer, is no stranger to company acceleration. She previously founded SYK Holdings, which helps companies source wholesale hemp-derived products, into a million-dollar business within two years of its establishment. Sanchez, Eossi’s CEO, has more than a decade in compliance and regulatory requirements plus asset management for high-risk industries and large corporations. But beyond impressive resumes and business repertoire lies a passion for CBD. Both have a personal journey of healing with the help of CBD and first-hand experience of the trials and tribulations of being women in the business world.
“I was introduced to CBD a couple of years ago when I was looking for a better way to manage anxiety and was genuinely surprised to find natural relief,” says Kaygi. “When I started my first company, which can be overwhelming in general, there were times when the anxiety was so bad it was debilitating. Using CBD has been the only thing that consistently keeps it at bay and also helps a lot with sleep.” Sanchez came upon CBD after being in a terrible car accident four years ago—having just separated from her husband of 10 years and dealing with a divorce and custody fight, the availability of prescription painkillers in her home became a concern for her. So she turned to natural pain relief. Also, not wanting to use THC products during a potential custody fight, she was relieved to find CBD and realized it was helping not only her pain but her anxiety.
With a refreshing brand and its inaugural product priced under $50, we needed to learn more about these female business bosses and the launch of Eossi Beauty into the world.
The science of CBD and its direct impacts on the body are in their infancy. Some scrutinize CBD for being overhyped. What are your thoughts about the efficacy of CBD?
Shannon Kaygi and Rochonne Sanchez: We can see why some out there would think CBD is “overhyped,” as it’s often marketed as a “miracle cure” for all that ails us, but the reality is this unique cannabinoid truly does help people who use it consistently. There is an issue in the industry of the CBD dosage in certain products being too low to actually do anything, and if you read the Certificate of Analysis (COA) on those products you’ll see that there isn't enough CBD in it to actually do anything for you—this is especially true in the ingestible space.
We’ve taken the time to fully explain on our website how to read a COA; to educate our Glow Family on what’s in the products they’re purchasing from Eossi Beauty. We want our customers to be confident in knowing we’re using an ethically sourced, broad-spectrum CBD extract, and they can see on the COAs exactly which other cannabinoids are present. We’ve really only scratched the surface of what the cannabis sativa plant can do for us.
Why put CBD in skincare and cosmetics? Can people trust they will have a positive and measurably noticeable difference?
Sanchez: When it comes to skincare and cosmetics, choosing to include CBD in our products was something we researched before making the decision but ultimately was a no-brainer for us, especially with our extensive backgrounds in the industry itself. We saw the benefits CBD had for the skin once we started using CBD topicals.
If it could heal my eczema patches and also calm my rosacea and even my skin tone, while also helping Shannon’s dark circles when she hasn’t slept, then the possibilities are endless with the right dose of CBD.
We’ve seen remarkable changes in our skin as we’ve tested the different formulas we developed, from redness reduction to lessen fine lines and wrinkles, and amazing moisturization—which is hard to come by in Colorado. We are truly walking billboards for the benefits of CBD in your skincare and cosmetics and know people who use our products will see the benefits with consistent use as well.
It seems like there is increasing competition in the CBD beauty space. What makes your products truly unique? What is your leading market differentiator?
Kaygi: Our product is truly unique for a number of reasons. First off, we have a higher dose of CBD in our products than the majority of beauty products in this niche, so you can really see the effects of the CBD. It is also important to us that our products are affordable, even at a higher dosage. We worked really hard to bring our cost down so we can translate those savings to our Glow Family.
We spend a lot of time with our Research and Development team to ensure our product is perfect and every product we sell is unique to us. We spend so much time ensuring that every part of our product is exactly what we envision and we won't go to market until we know it is right. We also really wanted to incorporate consumer education into our brand. It is so important people understand how CBD can help and what the right dosage should be. The consumer should be able to understand the dose they are getting, what that means, how to read the COAs (certificate of analysis) for the products, and what else is really in that bottle.
It is so common for companies these days to put the word CBD on a product and expect to get a high dollar amount for it, mostly because of the lack of education on the consumer's part. We wanted to change that. We are bringing luxury at an affordable price. The love and care we have put into every part of our company is truly one of a kind and we hope the consumer feels that.
What did you see lacking in other products that made you think “wow, we can do this better”?
Kaygi: When we say we’ve tested skincare and cosmetics products, we mean we have rigorously tested skincare and cosmetics products—on ourselves! Rochonne’s bathroom is overflowing with oils, serums, creams and every type of cosmetic you can imagine, and I was desperate for a set of products that were light and natural and left us feeling fresh faced and glowy. When we say we’ve spent thousands of dollars searching for the right set of products over the years we mean it and have the credit card bills to prove it.
Sanchez: We were searching for a line of cosmetics that enhanced natural beauty, something that a person could build upon to create a more dramatic look if desired. We just weren’t finding it so we did the only logical thing for two ambitious, driven women: We created our own. We’re two Colorado women whose days often involve hiking, paddle boarding, yoga, cycling, business meetings, happy hours, walking hemp fields, dates … and now with COVID among us, never-ending Zoom meetings. We need products that can get us through all those activities while still looking natural and glowy. We wanted to create a line of beauty products that would enhance a person’s natural beauty, not cover it up, products that are easy to apply on the go, and will leave your skin feeling loved and well-cared for—which is how Eossi Beauty was born.
What are your plans to grow and scale?
Eossi Beauty intends to be the go-to company for facial care and cosmetics. As we continue to grow our company we have set the goal of having our products retailed through companies like Sephora, Ulta Beauty, spas, and local boutiques across the country. Our objective is to work with retailers that fit our brand and also give back to their communities. We have multiple products in the works as well that we think people will love just as much as the Facial Glow Oil #8. For us, the world is our oyster and we believe if we can keep putting out amazing products that we can continue to scale into a household name.
Price point for many—most—consumers is important. Why have you placed an emphasis on your first product being under $50?
Kaygi and Sanchez: The price of CBD as an ingredient has gone down significantly over the years but that cost has not been translated to the consumer. We think that it is important for consumers to know that they can get CBD and luxury at an affordable price. Also, while both of us will spend a pretty penny on facial oil we know how expensive it can get and we wanted to ensure it was accessible to all people.
There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a product and not being able to work it into your budget. Our customers will get the maximum benefit from using our products consistently, and our 50ml Facial Glow Oil #8 should last at least two months if not three—unless you’re Rochonne, who practically bathes in it—and we want you to be able to order a new bottle when you’re almost out without feeling like you’re breaking the bank.
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What is your advice to those wanting to create, launch a CBD beauty product?
Our biggest piece of advice would be to trust your gut, do your due diligence, and always make sure that you have contracts in place. Don’t give up. We had to take so many pivots but each one ended up being for the best. Also, remember the details.
When you think about a brand or a product, every detail matters, big or small. There are going to be people that will tell you that you can’t do it or you shouldn’t waste your time or that the investment is too large—don’t listen to those people. Find your community of people who will cheer you on, who will offer their shoulders to cry on when you hit a roadblock, and will stand with you as you pour yourself into building your brand.
Where do you predict the CBD market will be in 5 years? (Fad or Forever?)
Honestly, we love getting this question. CBD is seen as the hot new kid at school right now, all shiny, bright and mysterious, and there’s always a fear that the newness will wear off. We’ve personally been using CBD to help manage pain and anxiety since before it was cool and we believe it will be around long after the newness has worn off.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what the hemp plant can do, and five years from now we’ll be well into exploration of the other cannabinoids and the benefits both humans and animals can get from this amazing plant. We intend to be at the forefront of that expansion and we are excited that our Glow Family will be with us for the ride!
Facial Oil #8 is just the beginning of a thoughtful and personal product rollout. They currently have two additional products in research and development that will roll out in the coming months with plans to offer a steadily growing cosmetics line. Kaygi notes that not all products will have CBD “just to say there’s CBD in the product, we genuinely want to see a benefit to our products containing this unique cannabinoid.”
The company explains that they are self-funded, for now, but will consider taking outside funding as they grow. While many companies are making a direct-to-consumer play—especially during COVID times—Kaygi stresses the value and their interest in also going through key retail channels.
“Everything we do at Eossi Beauty is done with intention, from the product itself to the packaging it arrives in, and we always keep affordability in the back of our minds when creating the product,” says Sanchez. “We love the creation process and are committed to bringing new amazing products to the market.”