We are so excited to be partnering with Crown Affair on our Green Goddess relaunch. Read our interview with Crown Affair Founder, Dianna Cohen below!
1. Tell us about Crown Affair, what inspired you to start the company?
"I’ve always been the go-to friend for hair advice. Growing up, I found self-assurance through caring for my hair, which sparked a life-long obsession with everyday rituals we all use to care for ourselves and connect with one another. The only thing I loved more than testing new products and routines was talking to other people about what worked for them. When friends began asking me about my own hair, I shared everything I knew and learned everything I could. My favorite products and the essential components of my ritual ended up on a Google Doc that I shared with my closest circle, and before I knew it my master list had been shared far beyond my personal network.
The list wasn’t perfect by any means-- next to most products I made notes about what I’d adjust (be it formulation, fragrance, or price point) and soon enough I realized that what I wanted in a haircare brand didn’t really exist yet in the world. So I decided to build the brand I was missing-- a brand focused on luxury, clean essentials at a more approachable price point with an emphasis on community and education. In a space that has been selling us salon solutions that “fix” and “tame,” Crown Affair is on a mission to infuse our daily lives with mindful ritual, encourage you to take your time, and help you build a relationship with your hair that changes the way you move through the world."
2. Where did the name Crown Affair come from?
"In the most direct way, the name symbolizes a celebration of the crown of your head and all that surrounds it. A love affair with your crown, or your hair, if you will. I remember being in a pilates class and the instructor giving direction to “lift through your crown.” At that moment, in an instant, everyone in the room stood up taller with more grace and self-assurance. The crown is a powerful place to source alignment and power.
I also love the 1999 version of the film The Thomas Crown Affair. In one of the final scenes they chase down Pierce Brosnan's character to Nina Simone’s Simmerman with dozens of people dressed in suits and bowler hats, a reference to Rene Magritte’s The Son of a Man. I love the nod to surrealism and the energy of that scene— there’s a lot of subtle surrealism in our brand as well. And Magritte has a dear place in my heart, having met my fiance at MoMA’s 2013 Rene Magritte exhibition."
3. What’s your ultimate goal and mission?
"Crown Affair is on a mission to make products that empower people to find a luxurious ritual and celebrate haircare as a part of their daily wellbeing. We connect with our community by helping them re-imagine their everyday beauty routine with accessible yet luxurious essentials. It’s not just about changing the way people feel about their hair -- it’s about changing the way people feel about themselves."
4. Describe your first major victory at Crown Affair.
"Getting our first customer felt like a major victory. I remember the first order coming in and it was such a huge win in my eyes. It was someone I didn’t know, and she’s continued to be one of our best customers to this day. That sense of loyalty is everything as you grow a brand."
5. What has been your biggest challenge in building this business?
"We launched Crown Affair on January 28th, 2020, and I could not have predicted I’d be launching a new business into the world we’re in today. There’s challenges that come with navigating a global pandemic as a relatively new company— like supply chain speedbumps, inventory planning, growing a team remotely— but I’m grateful for all of the silver linings and lessons from this time. This year is in our DNA as a business, and we’re stronger for these learnings. Our mission has always been focused on care and taking time for the things that make you feel your most you, and for those who are able to spend more time at home, this year has given people an opportunity to revisit how they care for themselves and maintain rituals that support their wellbeing."
6. What is your advice to anyone starting on their own entrepreneurial journey?
"Assemble your “Avengers team.” It could be a leadership coach, that friend who always tells you the truth, your partner, or the former co-worker who you really creatively flow with. Build your Avengers team and have them on call when you need another brain to help you solve problems."
7. What are some of your favorite brands to follow along with?
"I love following along with Ghia, 3rd Ritual, Gossamer, Flamingo Estate, and Reset NYC."
8. What’s next for Crown Affair?
"We’re excited to launch a range of new formulas and expand on the in-shower ritual. We have a few product collaborations in the works as well, and plan to expand our retail and international presence."