Q&A with Carina Chaz | Founder of DedCool
Posted on March 30 2020
What was the first thing you ever created?
First thing I ever created? Hmmm. Well, being an only child truly shaped my creativity. From a young age, my imagination lead me to see the world from a different perspective. My parents, as creatives + entrepreneurs, encouraged me to practice art and design. With working parents, my afterschool & summer vacation were mostly spent working at the LaNatura (parent’s company) manufacture. They tried making the experience fun, in hopes of me wanting to carry out the family name. Having zero interest in the spa business, I proposed (age 7) to “rebrand” their famous jumbo lip balms (at the time, there were three offerings: vanilla + unscented + mango- all branded with a white label). I suggested creating “juicy flavors” with colored labels to pop. They respectfully declined as their “it wouldn’t work for their high-end demographic of Four Season Spas”. I took it upon myself to draw out the design and pick Panton colors matched with desired flavors, months later, I got my way and held a panel for all my friends to test the flavors. Fast forward 15 years, the Juicy Lip Balm collection is widely sold and has expanded to 26 flavors.Let's talk about pre DedCool days, observing your parents' entrepreneurial journey. What were some of the lessons you learned that helped the early days of DedCool?
Being a product of working parents, while also being an only child, most of my memories are times spent in the facility. The manufacture was my playground. My parents always instilled hard work and I saw first handedly what that looked like.
Carina ChazWhen did you first start dreaming up DedCool and how did you go from idea to execution?
The DedCool cultivation came to be in 2015, at this time, 20 years old & wanting to figure out how to make my passion a career. The DedCool brand emulated myself as an artist, nose, and consumer. With fragrance being a passion, I took old an old formulation (Fragrance 01 “Taunt”) and new scent (Fragrance 02) truly for myself to wear and hopefully share with others. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined DedCool to take off the way it did. I created a “vibes” Instagram page (didn’t have a tangible product at this time) and Nasty Gal (before going under) reached out asking if I was wholesaling the product. Stunned- I immediately made mockups of the two scents, packed it up and hand delivered it to the nasty gal HQ in DTLA. After the news of the company filing chapter 11, I was heartbroken. Being the optimistic persona that I am, I turned that around and thought to myself “if Nasty Gal wanted me, others will want me too’.With an emphasis on sustainability, can you walk our readers through creating clean products and the eco-friendly packaging methods you use?
DedCool was founded on being 100% Uni-Sex, Non Toxic, Vegan, Sustainable, Made in LA. As a brand founder, I feel as though it’s a responsibility to introduce products with clear intention of change & education. Being green and sustainable are all things personal to my ethos and would never have introduced a brand otherwise. Our alcohol, extracts, castor seed oil, and fragrances are all biodegradable. Our fragrance bottles are made from glass and are always recyclable. Our boxes are recyclable and artistically designed to be saved as an extension of your top shelf. Lastly, our mailers are made from 100% recycled content.
DedCool detergentCongrats on the launch of DedCool detergent! Where did the idea to launch detergent stem from and what has the process been like bringing it to life?
THANK YOU! I’ve been working on this for two years. DedCool is a brand for the people, with that being said, People were requesting linen sprays, with that in mind, I had the idea of creating scented shirts + sheets that soon turned into creating a product outside the box- DedCool detergent. I am all about “creating new categories”. Product development is personal for me, I look at all launches as a consumer as well as an innovator. From start to finish, we undergo extensive R+D: product idea, teasing on social, consumer feedback, finalizing idea, product design, formulation, panel / testing, final product review, press release + tour & launch. Unlike traditional detergents that are packaged in plastic containers, formulated with toxic heavy metals, Dedtergent comes in sustainable aluminum packaging and uses plant ingredients like vegetable oil and sugar to keep oceans and waterways clean and prolong plant and animal life.Where do you look for creative inspiration when you are feeling stuck?
I do my best to disconnect from my phone + social media. I’ve always found creativity and beauty in nature, so walking and being present keeps me grounded and imaginative.What are some of your favorite female-owned brands?
MARA BEAUTY // SET ACTIVE // NICE PAPER
Things take time. Have a vision, focus on it and figure out how to get to the end goal.