Youth has its perks – you have an idea, jump right in and lead with your ambition. That’s what I did after graduating college and launching my first business BagTrends, with a gorilla marketing campaign during New York Fashion Week. And that’s exactly what Cozy Friedman did 20-years ago when she decided their was a need for kid-friendly hair salons, and she would be the one to fill the void with the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids.
But time and age have their own perks, as well. Great listening skills and team building on all fronts – personal and professional – has allowed Cozy to braid together a successful and family-full life, and continue to expand her SoCozy line of salon formula hair care products for kids. I’m so proud to share my new friend Cozy Friedman’s entrepreneurial tips and momBOSS journey.
Pamela Pekerman: Risks can be scary. What gave you the courage to go into a field in which you had no experience or education?
Cozy Friedman: This may sound naive, but I was young and didn’t see opening a kids salon as a risk, just an exciting opportunity. I was raised by courageous business go-getters and that focus and drive was instilled in both my brother and I. It just never occurred to me that the concept wouldn’t work out. And for that mindset, I’m thankful.
Pamela: Many moms have dreams, but don’t know how to take the first steps. What tips would you have for a mom who wants to launch a business?
Cozy: Take one step at a time and educate yourself so that you’re confident and prepared. Knowledge is power, and you should never go into a new venture blindly. In my case, I enrolled in barber school, worked at many different children’s businesses, and absorbed as much experience and information as I could, before launching my first salon on Madison Ave. Education is still at the pulse of my brand. It’s important to me that SoCozy is always offering the latest advice, solutions, tips, and trends.
Pamela: With Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, at what point did you realize, “Wow, I’m onto something big!”?
Cozy: When I was looking for a location for my first salon, I couldn’t find a landlord that was willing to rent me the space. They considered my business a risk because they didn’t understand the concept. However, I finally found the perfect location to launch my salon and within a few months, a landlord that had previously turned me down promptly called to offer me my next salon location. The tables had turned, and that’s when I felt I was onto something big.
Pamela: It’s been twenty years and two kids since the launch of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids and the start of what has become a hair empire. What was it like growing your baby while raising two boys?
Cozy: There’s no doubt that it can be tricky to grow a business and raise a family together, but “together” was always essential for me. I never saw my family and my business as two separate compartments. They were always very intertwined. My sons grew up at my salon. As kids, they would play there while I worked and as teens they experienced their first part time jobs there and often work at our corporate SoCozy office. It was always a family effort, with the support of my husband, friends and family. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such a great “team”, and as a mom of two boys, it’s all about balance. I’m either leaving a soccer game to go to work or leaving work to go to a soccer game.
Pamela: In an average day what would you pack into the 7am-9pm grind?
Cozy: I wake up at 5am and meditate for 20 minutes. I’ll then run, spin or do yoga, which gets me ready to conquer the day. Next is breakfast with my boys and I take them to school at 7:30am. I’m then off to work. While commuting into the city, I work on our SoCozy social media, which is such a big part of our business. I love connecting with our consumers. Once I’m in the office, my days always vary. I consult with my team on various initiatives and then may head out for a speaking engagement, retailer meeting and/or event and of course visit my salons. I always enjoy wrapping up my day with family dinners and time to connect.
Pamela: What tools/services/people help you manage your momBOSS life?
Cozy: I fully believe it’s all about being part of a strong team. I wouldn’t be able to manage it all without my salon team, corporate office team and of course my family “team.”
What was the most difficult part of creating your hair care line, SoCozy? How did you deal with obstacles in productions, packaging, wholesaling etc.?
I faced the biggest obstacle when I needed to create custom formulations in small batches. I had to find manufacturers, and this was before the Internet days! That meant heading to tradeshows and networking the old fashioned way. I then had to convince the right manufacturer to take a risk and invest on creating these custom formulations. I’m proud to say that 14+ years later, we’re still working together.
Pamela: What differentiates SoCozy products from other hair care lines for kids?
Cozy: We specially developed salon-quality formulas that boast multi-functional use, so parents have a “go-to” that gets the job done quickly with great results every time. It was created for all kids and all hair types! We pride ourselves on SoCozy being safe with “no nasties” (i.e. parabens, phthalates, etc.)- just good, clean and completely non-toxic formulations that perform at the highest level. SoCozy also has incredible fragrances that kids and parents equally love- from notes of Peppy Pink Guava to Creamy Vanilla, Orange Blossoms and more. I’d also say our sophisticated packaging sets us apart as well as our motto, “Being You is Our Idea of Cool.” As a brand, we encourage and support individuality. For all kids and any hair type—our mission is to build confidence and inspire originality.
Pamela: What’s next for SoCozy and Cozy’s Cuts for Kids?
Cozy: SoCozy is really growing leaps and bounds. We’re increasing our distribution by teaming up with new retail partners in different verticals and expanding our product offerings – it’s an exciting time! In fact, I’m thrilled to share that our new Splash collection (for swimmer’s hair) will be hitting shelves this month- just in time for summer.
Pamela: How do you find time for YOU in your busy world? AKA what do you love to do during Meaningful Me Moments?
Cozy: I wake up an extra hour early so I have time for myself physically, mentally and emotionally- which makes me happy. By starting my day on a positive note with meditation, a good workout and family time- I’m able to pass on that positive energy to my family and colleagues. I think it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle. When you feel happy and strong you can perform at your optimal best- whether that’s at home or the workplace. I’m actually hitting a Soul Cycle class with my team later- and we’re all looking forward to it.
Pamela: Quick, you only have 2 minutes to prep and pamper your face. What are you top makeup/skin products?
Cozy: I’m honestly not a big makeup person- it only takes me about two minutes to apply. I’m currently loving IT Cosmetics mascara and then I use eyeliner and BECCA blush. For me, it’s more about my hair. I use our new SoCozy Boing products for my curly hair and then I’m out the door.
Pamela: What’s your Happy Formula for managing marriage, two kids, your growing business, and finding time for yourself?
Cozy: The secret to my happy formula is to not view my marriage, kids, business, etc. inseparable compartments. I believe in teams and I’m just one part of those teams. Whether it’s my marriage, my business, child rearing- it’s all a team effort. I also take one day at a time and do my best to stay focused and present in each moment.
Currently reading Start With Why by Simon Sinek. I love motivational books.
Currently drinking sparkling water or an evening Cabernet Sauvignon
I hope my kids think mom prepared them for everything that comes their way in life- and that they feel confident in themselves to go after their dreams.
Motherhood is everything! Nothing will ever prepare you for how incredible it is and how it changes you in the best possible ways.
The best advice my mom ever gave me was that everyone complains they don’t have enough time. However, she told me that if I wake up an hour earlier everyday… it’s the equivalent of adding an extra day to your week. That advice has always stayed with me and that’s why I start my day at 5am. Having extra time is so empowering.