We had the good fortune of connecting with Courtney Michael and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Courtney, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always struggled with sensitive skin and had a hard time finding skincare products that worked with my mild eczema, rosacea, acne, and acne scars. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with melanoma and knew I had to step up my sun protection but I didn’t love the options available for me. I wanted a product that worked for my skin but that also had the ethical and environmental qualities I was looking for. When I couldn’t find anything that fit all my needs, I decided to start my own sunscreen company! While developing Coural Care, I knew the product had to check off a lot of boxes: works with sensitive skin, rubbed in easily with no white cast, worked well under make-up, all plant based and reef safe ingredients, certified cruelty free, ethical ingredient sourcing, conscious manufacturing, and minimal packaging. Oof! That’s quite the list but I was not willing to compromise on any of these values. That is why I couldn’t be happier when I finally had the final product that hit all of these and more! Sunscreen was just the starting point though. As I realized I had a similar problem with most of my skincare products, I decided to add a complete skincare line. We’re on a mission to set a new standard in the skincare industry and we are just getting started! No one should have to choose between feeling good, looking good, and making good choices for our planet. At Coural Care we have you covered, literally.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Skincare is a saturated market but we serve a specific niche of customers who are passionate about ethical and environmental skincare that works! Again, no one should have to choose between feeling good, looking good, and making good choices for our planet. Our biggest challenge has been finding ways to adhere to these values. It’s harder and more expensive for companies to make healthy and environmentally friendly products, but it’s worth it. We struggled to find partners and suppliers who embody what we were looking for but I was unwilling to compromise on any of these values. And I’m so glad we didn’t! We eventually found exactly what we were looking for. From clean and ethical ingredient sourcing to sustainable manufacturing, we’re proud of what we offer. But we didn’t just stop there. Part of being an eco-conscious company means continuing to evaluate the business as a whole and see where we can improve, learn, and grow. Behind the scenes we’re always working on being even more sustainable. This process has taught me how important it is to have a clear vision of your values and what you want to build. Challenges are inevitable but loving what you do, standing by your values, and learning how to improve makes small business life rewarding. I wouldn’t exchange this experience for anything and am really proud of how we’ve stuck to our values from the very beginning.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
So many places to choose from! For a weekend long trip here are some things that are a must: Friday: Exploring Balboa park and enjoying their Friday food trucks is always a fun time. I also recently fell in love with rooftop bars in Downtown so that would definitely be a must for some beautiful views and a fun night! Saturday: I’d head to the Little Italy farmers market to support local businesses, grab some food and fresh produce, and enjoy the beautiful views! But a trip to San Diego isn’t complete without some beach time. Grabbing some dinner and watching the sunset at Sunset Cliffs is the perfect way to end the day. Sunday: I absolutely love North Park. I’d start by grabbing some coffee and a small bite from Holsem coffee! Then shopping around at some boutique and thrift stores, maybe play some games at Coin Op, and then grab some food at Encontro or Sipz. To keep the fun going, playing some pool at 7 Grand or tasting a flight of ciders at Bivouac is always a fun time!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely! This has been a long and challenging process and I’ve received support and guidance from so many people along the way. It’s hard for me to pick any one specific shoutout since it’s been such a team effort! I’ve been lucky enough to have amazing mentors that guide me and push me to do better. I’m grateful for the love and support from customers and ambassadors that help spread the word. And my family has been beyond supportive and are my biggest fans. If I could give one huge shout out it would be to Mary Stang. Mary joined the team last year and has consistently pushed Coural Care forward with creative new ideas, beautiful photos and designs, and insight into the skincare industry. Thank you Mary!
Mary Stang, Courtney Michael