Coast of Eden
Started her business in: 2011
Personal: Lives in Portland with her partner, Morgan, and their cat, Pip.
Elise Loschiavo is a Pennsylvania native – but she calls Maine her “forever home.” So when it came time to name her line of natural, handmade bath and body products, she wanted to evoke a sort of paradise that people often correlate with the Pine Tree State.
The result: Coast of Eden, which offers various types of face and body lotions, hand creams, after shaves, shaving soaps, and lip balm in flavors like chai spice and lavender mint. Coast of Eden products are available at fine spas and retailers throughout New England, as well as through the company’s website.
Q What were your key needs in getting started with your business?
A As with any small business, there were a number of things I had to do to get started. Choosing a name was difficult – trying to capture the essence of Maine without being too generic. I originally chose Eden, but found out within the first year that I couldn’t trademark it, so we’ve evolved to Coast of Eden. A website was a key need: We do a large part of our business in online sales and had to have that in place before we started. I also wanted to have a variety of products formulated and ready to sell that would appeal to both men and women to establish that we can fulfill a number of different bath and body needs.
Q What keeps you motivated today?
A Our loyal customers. When we receive positive feedback, it really motivates us to keep going. It’s hard to launch a brand from scratch and to get the word out – the more satisfied customers we have using our products on a daily basis, the more it motivates us to keep on trucking.
Q What do you think are the key traits needed to become a successful female entrepreneur?
A Patience, a great personality, and an eye for good design. We are in our third year of business and finally beginning to show a profit – it took a lot of confidence in our products and brand to get to this point. It’s easy to get discouraged when it seems that you’re spending more money than you’re bringing in. Although the majority of our business is in online sales, we also have a number of local retail accounts. Being able to talk passionately and stand behind the quality and effectiveness of the products are key when convincing shop owners to carry the line. Last, but certainly not least, the products have to look good and be eye catching. What’s on the outside, whether we like it or not, is the first indicator of what might be within. You could offer a miracle product in uninspiring packaging and I believe it can really hurt you.
Q What’s your overall outlook on life, summed up in a sentence or two?
A Living a successful life is a combination of hard work, patience and little bit of luck. You have to believe in yourself and have the confidence to succeed in whatever way you define success.