Wake up early. Create a morning sequence that forces you out of bed. My routine is simple yet consistent. I wake up at 4:40 am, drink water, meditate using the Headspace app, journal, do morning Yoga with Adrienne, and then read. This alone time relaxes me and eases me into my day.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Estelle Doiron
Estelle Doiron is the founder and CEO of Koffee Beauty, a natural skincare line infused with coffee. Driven by sales, customer service, and quality assurance, she takes pride in offering the best product to her customers.
Koffee Beauty was founded on the concept of helping people fight common skin conditions with all-natural ingredients. The perfect combination of raw, natural ingredients — beautifully packaged and accessible to all households. From day one this Canadian entrepreneur’s mandate is to create a fun experience with a chemical-free product that works.
You can find Koffee Beauty coffee scrubs at www.koffeebeauty.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I grew up on a farm in a small town in New Brunswick, so I know what it means to work hard from sunup to sundown. As a child, I couldn’t play until all my chores were done. This way of life was the only thing I knew, hardly a close friend nearby to compare our childhood, so I worked. It was tough, dirty work, but it instilled in me an incredible sense of hustle and dedication.
Despite my days on the farm, I wanted to be in sales when I grew up intending to buy my first home when I turned 19. At the time, I believed that sales were the best way to help people to understand the customer’s needs and what they wanted. So, I went to college and studied sales for a year, graduating top of my class. I quickly landed a job at BMW/MINI Canada, working my way up to a sales position. Within the first two years, I won the top salesperson in the country.
Other great career-building opportunities happened in between, but I quickly realized how much I did not like the corporate world, so I started my own business, Koffee Beauty.
How this business evolved happened when I suffered from keratosis pilaris, otherwise known as ‘chicken skin,’ and there was nothing on the market that worked to help ease my skin issue. After much research and trial and error, I concocted my coffee scrub, used it every other day, and within two weeks, my chicken skin disappeared!
I knew I was on to something. So in 2016, at our local Christmas market, I set up a booth and sold out my product within a few days. That was my market validation to take this business to the next level. And here I am, four years later, full time with Koffee Beauty and loving it!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
Going back to my passion for sales, when I was selling cars, I remember this one customer who had, at the time, purchased three vehicles from me. On the third purchase, I was doing the typical walk around and showing him the car’s ins and outs when he stopped me and said, “Estelle, you make me feel like I bought my first Mini every time I see you!”
That customer delight is what I wanted to bring to the purchasing experience with my coffee scrubs so that every time a new or returning customer opens their order; they are beyond delighted. It reminds me of the quote by Maya Angelou “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
A great product is the table stakes, even better sales, and purchasing experience is my goal. I want to delight the customer every time. I want them to fall in love with the experience as much as the product. I wouldn’t have had such a passion for this part of the business had I not had the sales delight from my car selling days. I know that every experience is meaningful and applicable to my business if I leverage it the right way.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started putting the coffee scrub product into its packaging, I was rushed and inexperienced around the process. The labeling for the first product was not waterproof and wouldn’t stick to the bags in the shower. It created a mess, and the instructions quickly washed away.
This frustrated me the most. Given my focus on ‘customer experience,’ I had to figure out a way to get the product packaged functionally and didn’t dissolve. I finally came up with better labeling and subsequently, better packaging.
Here is the lesson learned: Regardless of this mistake, I still did it the right way, in some sense. I didn’t invest heavily in packaging or branding until I got the product formula down pat. After all, my early adopters wanted to see the benefits of the product and cared less about the packaging. Once the revenue and feedback started coming in, I used that cash to invest in better packaging and branding.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
When I quit my job, to my farming mother’s dismay, in 2016, I was accepted into the Summer Institute accelerator program through a local college called University of New Brunswick. This 12-week interdisciplinary accelerator program was developed in 2014 and accepts only five to seven companies each year. I was delighted that I was one of their first few cohorts.
This program was foundational to learning the entrepreneurial ropes. Before that program, I had no startup experience and knew very little about what it takes to bring an idea to the market.
Beyond that program, I immersed myself a little in the entrepreneurial community and leaned on a few mentors for guidance. I firmly believe that anyone and everyone needs a mentor or advisor or coach to move forward. You can’t start and grow a business without that help.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
We empower mostly women to feel confident in their skin. Having healed my skin ailment, I know what it’s like to be embarrassed by something so easy to cover up, like rashy skin. But whether or not people can see the embarrassing bumps, it can still have a lasting impact on your confidence.
From stretch marks to cellulite, dull skin, eczema, and rosacea, we have helped women minimize the look of common issues with our all-natural coffee scrubs — and they didn’t need to go under the knife to ‘get fixed.’
The most significant impact we are making is to have more women feel good in their skin and that it doesn’t take expensive creams or procedures to get there, but a little more self-compassion.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
These aren’t necessarily tweaks but more like life commandments.
- Drink more water. I carry with me a 2L bottle of water everywhere I go. It’s my daily goal to get through at least one bottle, especially if I workout or if it’s hot out. The water helps with my skin, my mood, my sleep, and pretty much fixes everything.
- Always wear sunblock. I don’t leave home without applying! I put a little bit on my face and neck as part of my morning routine and leave a stick next to my makeup kit, so I never forget. While avoiding the sun altogether is impossible, I try my best to cover up. And when I want that summer glow, I will get a light spray tan.
- Wake up early. Create a morning sequence that forces you out of bed. My routine is simple yet consistent. I wake up at 4:40 am, drink water, meditate using the Headspace app, journal, do morning Yoga with Adrienne, and then read. This alone time relaxes me and eases me into my day.
- Read more books. Before it became a habit, I used to bring a tiny book with me everywhere I went. Instead of checking my phone while waiting in line somewhere, I would read a page or two. Start with a small goal, like a chapter a month, until you can work your way up to a book a month. You can learn anything from someone who has likely done it before you. My must-read books for any woman in business include Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod, No Excuses by Brian Tracy, 10x by Grant Cardone and The 5-love Languages by Gary Chapman.
- Enjoy extra-curricular activities. Focus on something that makes you happy outside of work/family. I enjoy golf and will play 2–3 times a week during the summer. These activities boost my energy and creativity. I often show up to work more refreshed and full of ideas after time away from the office doing something fun with friends.
- Bonus: Say no to more things. Focus on your priorities that move YOUR needle. We all have ‘the same 24 hours in a day.’ It’s amazing what you can accomplish (and actually feel accomplished) when you put your important tasks first.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Do everything with love. If you can’t do it with love, then don’t do it at all. Love is the goal between friends and family, your job, who you’re with, your work, your community. If you reflect on the best moments of your life, it was in those moments of love. That’s the goal — the memories and inspiration you can create and share with others. No amount of money or hustle can buy that. You simply have to show up with love.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Don’t do everything yourself, or you’ll burn out. When you start your business and don’t have much cash flow, you need to do most things yourself. But the moment there is some space to outsource and delegate tasks, do it! Release the control and focus on the things that move your business forward.
- Stick to what you’re really good at. Don’t try to learn your weaknesses unless it’s necessary. I like sales and don’t ever want to stray from that because it’s something I am great at. Which means I can hire for the other things I suck at (like operations.)
- Don’t care what people think. This one is hard, and it’s something I am working on every day, but try to avoid the naysayers. They will always show up no matter how good/great you and your business become.
- Don’t be scared to try and fail. So many people stop because they worry they will fail. Failure is hardly ever that. It’s more of an expensive lesson learned.
- Ask for help! Find a mentor, friend, advisor, and lean on them. Always get advice from someone who has the experience and knowledge to give you the right direction.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Mental Health, and here is why. So much of our culture focuses on external appeal and has created this false sense of beauty. My product and brand focus on loving your skin, and yes, there is a common desire to have youthful skin, but that’s not everything. If you’re not eating well, exercising, or sleeping well, you are barely touching the natural methods of getting your mind reconnected to its soul & purpose. Many common skin ailments like facial acne and eczema, for example, are caused by stress and environmental factors and aren’t things you have to live with. When you work on your mental health (mindset) and take care of your body using great foods, exercise, water and sleep, and an excellent all-natural coffee scrub ;), then many things will come into alignment.
Koffee helps with these issues and brings confidence, which helps with mental health. Loving yourself over what you look like is most important.
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