Fly Female Entrepreneur: Tamy Cozier
From developing the right formula for our many textures, to making sure your products stand out among the hundreds of brands vying for our attention, launching a natural hair care line is a job that takes loads of passion and commitment. Tamy Cozier, founder of T-Roots, has created a collection of hair and skin care products made from the very best nature has to offer. Just in time for the transitioning seasons, which is when our hair and skin seem to suffer most, Tamy sat down with In Her Shoes to chat about T-Roots and why you should be adding her brand to your beauty arsenal immediately:
In Her Shoes: Congrats on the launch of T-Roots! Please share with us the story of how your professional journey began and how it brought you where you are today.
Tamy: Thanks so much! I’ve always had an interest in hair and beauty in general, but sometimes we tend not to pursue the things we’re passionate about because we get caught up in the opinions of others. For me, T-Roots is my pursuit of an interest that I kind of suppressed for so long. It all came full circle in 2013 during my third attempt at “transitioning” my hair back to its natural state. I really was just searching for a remedy to help my hair, which I noticed was extremely dry. What began as a sort of DIY project of researching ingredients and making different mixtures ultimately resulted in me formulating my very first product Butter Brew. So T-Roots, I guess you can say, is kind of like me rediscovering a childhood interest and now being able to share it with the world.
In Her Shoes: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the early/bootstrapping phase of your business?
Tamy: Planning is everything. It literally took me about three years to bring this idea to fruition. I’ve quickly learned that mistakes are costly. And every dollar counts, especially in the beginning stages when there aren’t too many Washingtons to go around. So I was very meticulous about all the details, including taking the time to invest in things like the look of my brand. For example, a lot of thought went into our packaging, which not surprisingly is the first thing people comment on. So I know that as the brand grows this is an area I wont have to reinvest in to fit with the aesthetic of let’s say a bigger retailer like a Sephora or an upscale boutique like a Vivrant Beauty.
In Her Shoes: It’s hard to focus on the “big picture” sometimes because we can get caught in the weeds of work and life. When does visioning come clearest or easiest for you? Or what inspires your vision?
Tamy: I do my best thinking at night. It’s when my mind is clearest plus people are asleep so I’m not distracted by calls and emails. But, this also means I’m often running on too little sleep considering I still have a traditional day job. As for my inspiration, I’m most motivated by the potential I see in T-Roots and what I know it can grow to be. I want to eventually grow beyond products and create a curated beauty experience where people can go to revamp and reenergize. I’m a firm believer in speaking your dreams into existence.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Tamy Cozier’s shoes?
Tamy: The goal for me is to be able to work on T-Roots full-time. I’m not at the point yet so a lot of my day is spent juggling responsibilities at my full-time job while also making sure that I’m working on things that will help to build my brand. So a lot of the time you can find me taking calls and doing T-Roots related business during my lunch break. This also means that once I leave my 9 to 5 my job isn’t finished. I’m often up until 1am or later during weekdays researching and planning, as well. And on Saturdays, I’m usually busy attending events to help get my products out there in front of consumers. So, in a nutshell a typical day in my shoes is long and exhausting, but rewarding because T-Roots is something that I’m passionate about.
In Her Shoes: What seperates T-Roots from all of the other natural hair care brands on the market?
Tamy: There are so many great brands on the market for natural hair today in contrast to the one or two that existed a few years ago. For the natural hair community this is amazing because no two heads of natural hair are alike. And what sets T-Roots apart is the fact that our products are formulated for the wide gamut of hair textures that exist. If you look at my hair, I have at least three different textures on my head alone. I am my number one guinea pig so I can assure you that T-Roots products are tried and true and not just another marketing ploy. So, I would say authenticity is what sets T-Roots apart. With that said, I still think product diversity is great. I love walking into a room where 90 percent of us are wearing our hair in its natural state. We’re starting to see this spill over into fashion, television and even toys like natural hair dolls! So even though T-Roots is carving its own lane, product diversity is welcomed.
In Her Shoes: What do you believe makes a great brand?
Tamy: For me, I think honesty, great customer service and consistency make a brand great. Often times, businesses get too caught up in just trying to push products at any expense. At T-Roots, we pride ourselves on providing a great customer experience so that means listening to the needs of our consumer base and them knowing that they’re getting a great product in return. I enjoy engaging with and educating people about T-Roots. Often times I worry about whether I’m talking a customer’s ear off, especially at events, because I’m so passionate about what I do. But, ultimately I just want people to come away armed with product knowledge–what works, what doesn’t–even if it’s me directing them to another product that may work better. Creating a great brand that people are loyal to begins and ends with transparency.
In Her Shoes: Who is a leader in the beauty industry that you have great respect for and why?
Tamy: I would definitely say Tyra Banks is someone that I have great respect for. Traditionally, people tend to put models in the “not so smart” box. But, she definitely turned this stereotype on its head and has built an empire. Tyra is definitely a testament to the fact that you can step outside of your lane. I mean she’s now venturing into tech and teaching a business class at Stanford! So she’s definitely a figure in the beauty industry that I look up to because her story lets me know that anything is possible with hard work.
In Her Shoes: What simple things in life today bring you the most joy?
Tamy: Being able to sit and just be still brings me the most joy. My days are often long and packed with things to do. So it’s always nice to get a moment to catch my breath and reflect. I’m naturally an introvert so taking some alone time to relax always helps me to recharge my batteries.
To learn more about T-Roots and get your hair and skin prepared for the cooler months ahead click here!