Meet the Woman Behind Cocokind, an Affordable Under-$25 Organic Skincare Brand

Updated 10/04/18

You spent your 20s working toward building your dream career, but now that you're in your 30s, what do you do when you've, well, changed your mind? Or maybe you never quite figured it out, and you're now ready to commit to something you're passionate about, whether it's a job, a city, or just a new way of life. To celebrate the career changes that can come at any age, we're debuting a new series called Second Life. Each month, we'll hear from women who got over their doubts and fears and made the biggest changes of their lives.

Priscilla Tsai, founder of Cocokind
Courtesy of Cocokind

Before Priscilla Tsai founded Cocokind, an under-$25 organic skincare brand, she was a stock analyst at JP Morgan. The affordable line, which launched in 2014 with humble beginnings, is now a multimillion-dollar brand that can be found on the shelves of renowned stockists such as Whole Foods and Thrive Market. So what inspired Tsai to leave her stable job in finance to disrupt the beauty industry?

As it turns out, her own skincare struggles sparked her desire to create a line of natural products that didn't compromise on either quality or price. "I had been making my own skincare formulas for a long time, and my interest in starting my own company eventually overcame my desire to keep learning about the stock market," the entrepreneur told MyDomaine. "I knew that I wouldn't be truly happy in the long term unless I tried to start something in the wellness space."

In this installment of Second Life, we chat with the founder of Cocokind all about making the transition from analyzing stocks to launching an accessibly priced organic skincare line, including the biggest challenges she's faced along the way and why she has zero regrets.

Tell us about your first career path.

I studied finance and accounting at the University of Pennsylvania, so I naturally went to work on Wall Street after college. In my most recent position, I was an equity research associate at JPMorgan covering food and food retail stocks. I analyzed the stocks of consumer goods companies like Whole Foods, Kraft, Annies, General Mills, etc.

How did you make the transition from analyzing stocks to making organic skincare more accessible?

I had always known that I wanted to start a company. My mom is an entrepreneur, and having grown up going to her office in the summers or after school, I always had this assumption that one day I would have my own company too. However, after college, I didn't feel quite ready, and I actually really liked the stock market and finance. I loved what I was learning at JPMorgan, even though I was working super-long hours.

At one point, though, I realized that the main reason I liked my job was that I got to learn about consumer companies and the natural products industry. Ultimately, I'm a much better "do-er" than an observer, and I had a feeling that that characteristic might be more useful for starting my own company.

I left JPMorgan when I was 25. Thankfully, at that age, you don't have as much to lose. I think my decision was made easier because I was younger, more naïve, and less scared. While that also meant that I was less experienced, my naiveté ended up being a good thing.

Cocokind matcha products
Courtesy of Cocokind

Tell us about your current career path.

I'm three years into being the CEO and founder of Cocokind. We are a clean, conscious, and accessible skincare line that empowers women.

What have been the biggest challenges in your careers and why?

Tell us about your current career path.

I'm three years into being the CEO and founder of Cocokind. We are a clean, conscious, and accessible skincare line that empowers women.

What have been the biggest challenges in your careers and why?

That's a big one! I'd say the biggest challenge in my current career is being able to compartmentalize and focus.

I'm constantly juggling a million different tasks or responsibilities, so one of my biggest challenges is putting intense focus on one thing and then learning to let go of it.

Founder of Cocokind, Priscilla Tsai
Courtesy of Cocokind

What triggered your need for change this time around?

I don't think I ever would have felt fulfilled in my career unless I had tried to start something that empowered women. I am such a strong believer that businesses can be agents of change—for the good—and having a company that inspired consumers and other companies to think more consciously would have always been a personal goal of mine.

Why is your current path suitable for your personality?

I'm someone who has conviction in the things that I do. I'm very intuitive, and once I make a decision (sometimes too quickly), I step forward to get things done.

I think that characteristic has helped eliminate "wasted time" in my career. It also makes me a good operator of my company.

Cocokind Organic Ultra Chlorophyll Face Mask
Courtesy of Cocokind

What's the most important thing you've learned by making a big career move?

Follow your gut and don't be controlled by fear.

How did you move past the fear of change to pursue your passion?

Follow your gut and don't be controlled by fear.

How did you move past the fear of change to pursue your passion?

Founder of Cocokind
Courtesy of Cocokind

What mistakes did you make along the way that ended up helping your success?

I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. Having had no prior experience in building a products company, everything was new to me.

One of the big mistakes we made in the very beginning was launching a product that was actually very hard to manufacture. I was always able to make this product for myself, but when we had to make hundreds of it, it was less easy. The quality was inconsistent. However, we had already launched it and made it available to retailers. Pretty quickly, we made the decision to pull it from the few stores that it had sold into.

That was such a great lesson that I've always remembered—make sure we can do something well before we launch it in the market.

What do you love most about your current role and why?

That was such a great lesson that I've always remembered—make sure we can do something well before we launch it in the market.

What do you love most about your current role and why?

My favorite part of my job is connecting with our customers. I do our Instagram and have daily communication with our consumers. I love hearing the good AND the bad, and I learn from our community on a daily basis.

Cocokind products
Courtesy of Cocokind

When you look back and reflect on your previous career, do you have any regrets? Or are you still really happy with your decision?

One hundred percent no regrets!

What's your message to other young women looking to make a career leap like yours?

One hundred percent no regrets!

What's your message to other young women looking to make a career leap like yours?

Shop Cocokind Products

Cocokind Organic Chia Seed Face Oil $12
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Cocokind Organic Ultra Chlorophyll Face Mask $15
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Cocokind Organic Facial Cleansing Oil $11
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Cocokind Organic Matcha Face Moisturizer $12
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Cocokind Turmeric Spot Treatment $7
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For more inspiring stories from successful women who've made major career changes, tune into MyDomaine's Second Life podcast.

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