Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Suzannah Raff, founder, and CEO of Cleo + Coco, located in New York, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Cleo+Coco is a clean personal care brand that is transforming the category. I created Cleo+Coco because I felt that deodorant and personal care was a product that really needed improving. I felt that we needed deodorants that really do work, that are 100% clean and safe to use, especially on our pubescent teens and pregnant moms. I wanted products that offered really luxurious, enjoyable scents that do not mess with hormones or cause migraines and that left your skin feeling softer and improved, not dry and scratchy. That is what we created with our award-winning charcoal deodorants – products that you fall in love with and can't wait to apply every day.

Tell us about yourself

I started Cleo+Coco because I couldn't find an aluminum-free deodorant that worked for me and realized that there were a lot of people out there who probably wanted something safe and clean that worked and smelled really nice. We shouldn't have to compromise our health just to smell good. I felt that it was time to make deodorant and personal care a really pleasurable and safe experience. The challenge of creating clean, quality, effective products and transforming this category keeps me motivated every day - because I see how much we've already improved people's health as a result of our product offerings.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Hearing from our customers. Our thousands of 5-star reviews and our high repeat customer rate tells us that we really are creating a product that people want and benefit from. But really, every day is an accomplishment as a brand founder. There are always obstacles to overcome, and once you do, it's a huge accomplishment. You wouldn't believe the hurdles in the way of doing what we do.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things is resources and developing patience. To grow a really solid, a successful business requires both. While the demands are the opposite, you are under pressure to out-perform fast and function with a limited (yet growing) pool of resources.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Do your research and study your market really well.
  2. Make sure you see whitespace and are highly differentiated.
  3. Know your margins and your numbers and that it makes sense.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.