DedCool doubles down on dedication to well-being.
Everything around us has changed, possibly for a while. But DedCool’s founder Carina Chaz isn’t letting that notion phase her — she’s never really been one to adhere to the norm. That’s why when COVID-19 hit her hometown of Los Angeles, she did what she always does: reflected on what really matters and allowed herself to have an authentic response.
Carina grew up in a household where clean, organic products were the only ones allowed. Her parents were always cautious of what they put in their bodies, on their skin and into the world. This virtuous upbringing laid the foundation for her company, DedCool, a fragrance brand specializing in non-toxic ingredients, sustainable practices and edgy design. All her perfumes are unisex, vegan and never watered down.
Now, Carina is reinforcing her dedication to her roots by focusing on what serves people’s well-being in this moment.
Think like the consumer you are.
It was on March 13 that the effects of the virus really “hit the fan” as Carina puts it. It was her team’s last day in the office as, like many others, they were about to begin self quarantine. It was also the day she launched her environmentally conscious, biodegradable laundry soap, Dedtergent. She’d been working on it for nearly two years, and she couldn’t help but feel like her big reveal had been lost in the noise.
“Initially, I was disheartened. I felt as though all my hard work was kind of wasted. But at the same time, it couldn’t have launched on a more perfect day.” Carina realized people don’t really need perfume now, they need essentials — like detergent.
“There’s no real point for me to create another perfume, because I’m not wearing fragrance at this time. I use candles. I use Dedtergent. These are things that I need every day. So, I always think as the consumer because I am the consumer. I’m thinking how I can continue to promote wellness.”
Carina decided to turn disappointment into opportunity. She took hundreds of t-shirts intended for the launch event, tie-dyed them and put them up for sale on her website, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the CDC. Thanks to her refreshed outlook, she managed a quick pivot that could simultaneously help her business and community.
Sitting on a solution.
After her initial epiphany, Carina knew there was more she could do. The answer was right in front of her: alcohol. Not to drink, but to disinfect. Many suppliers were unable to fulfill alcohol orders, but she was sitting on a surplus.
“All of the raw materials in hand sanitizer are ingredients we already have. Alcohol is a main ingredient in fragrance,” she explained. With alcohol on hand, plus essential oils sitting in her lab, Carina created her own version of hand sanitizer, which she calls “rinse-free hand wash.” She stayed true to her brand by incorporating a touch of soothing aloe and other organic extracts to make a sanitizer that not only disinfects, but also nourishes.
DedCool is a wellness brand, and we’re not going to compromise anything for this crazy virus.Carina Chaz
Tough love for tough times.
Like BOX + FLOW’s mantra, her advice for others is about how we respond in the moments we naturally want to chafe against. “I still have to keep the motivation alive and I think ultimately that’s the message. We can’t rely on externals to give us excitement. You want a great meal, cook one, right? You want a fitness experience, pick yourself up and move yourself. You want connection, reach out to a friend. The only person holding you accountable right now is you.”
Since then, Carina’s slowed her perfume manufacturing to a crawl, knowing that it’s not what people need most now. Instead she’s spending more time on hand sanitizer, which is in high demand. She’s working tirelessly to make sure she can provide as much as possible, even though scarce raw materials are making it harder to produce at full capacity.
“I know there will be a want and a need for more. So, I’m going to continue creating them. It just has to be at a slower pace.”
Carina is donating 50 percent of the sales from her sought-after sanitizer to Meals on Wheels to help keep older Americans safe and nourished.
Be caring and authentic.
Carina’s motto has been to care for people first, shift her business second, and stay true to herself and her brand’s mission throughout. She advises other entrepreneurs to do the same.
“We’re going to stand by our values, continue to create really beautiful products and promote wellness,” she explains. You have to “figure out some way to help the community, then find a way you can shift business to give people what they need. Make things accessible. Make things price friendly. Figure out how to work with your network.” She says it could be something as simple as promoting a brand on your Instagram account, ordering from your favorite restaurant or getting your groceries from the local shop down the street.
“I’m really hoping this has taught our society something and people hopefully will do whatever they can to make a difference in their life and create a better environment for our planet, our people.”