Claire is the founder and CEO of COA. Strategies — a digital marketing agency that partners with brands and entrepreneurs in the design and beauty space, and her side hustle is I’m Outside — whose mission is to bring the benefits of being outdoors to all.
As a marketing strategist, she’s helped launched clean beauty brands like Alpyn Beauty and beauty tech company Beauty Scripts. Claire splits her time between Jackson Hole, WY — an outdoor mecca — and New York City
You're a founder of marketing firm and TWO beauty brands. Tell us how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been drawn to creative and beautiful things — be it design, fashion, beauty products, nature — and have spent most of my career turning those passions into business reality. I’m super analytical and goal-driven and love being in the vicinity of beauty and creation. I found my sweet spot partnering with creatives to bring their visions to life.
This passion — to be an “enabler” or “integrator” to visionaries — spurred the creation of COA., which, at first started as consulting and quickly grew in tandem with the growth we were fueling for clients. And, along the way, I realized I now had all the tools and experience to bring my visions to life too.
I’ve always been interested and dedicated to a life of wellness and love being outdoors, being active, eating well, getting a good night’s sleep, being vigilant about sun protection, doing yoga, etc.
I was lucky to work very early in the clean beauty movement with client Alpyn Beauty, who I consulted for from pre-conception through to placement in Sephora, Credo, Goop, and more. During these years I oversaw their D2C strategy and digital marketing. I was entrenched in the research and philosophy behind what makes a product clean while still being efficacious. I became obsessed with the power of daily sun protection to overall skin health...which was a really funny thing because I was also obsessed with the concept that being outside nature has everything we need to maintain balance and stay healthy.
Tell us about your freelance work.
I help clients develop their visions, shape objective-driven marketing plans, then assemble and direct teams to bring the plan to life.
What impact (if any) does your side hustle have on your client work?
It will make the work I do for clients BETTER. This is a safe space I can push creative limits, test theories, and be OK to fail and pivot. My clients will get all the insights without the risk.
What was the inspiration behind I'm Outside?
While working on my sunscreen concept, which is really a product intended for daily use, for people who have the great problem of being exposed to sunlight throughout their everyday. I thought...what about the inverse of this issue? What about all the people who can't make it outside to get their dose of fresh air and sunshine?
When COVID hit, and the issue of being stuck indoors escalated (along with people's stress levels and vitamin D deficiency), it all came together beautifully.
What are some of the benefits of Forest Bathing in a Bottle?
It delivers an instant mood, immunity, and microbiome boost.
You're also launching another beauty brand soon. Any spoilers you can share?
YES! Let's just say....when we can all get outdoors again, this product will give you glowy, protected skin AND keep your vitamin D stores high 🙂
How did you figure out how to bring your idea to life?
Again, so funny, because of all the work I did on my sunscreen line (the packaging design process, the labeling requirements, claims, shipping logistics, marketing infrastructure, etc), I took those good learnings and just jumped into it with a mentality of trusting my intuition and getting to go as fast as possible.
How do you manage owning multiple businesses?
Find great people you can collaborate with!
I always think about a baseball team...you can't be a pitcher, and a center fielder, and a first baseman. You need people with different strengths to come together to get the job done.
Anything I'm not good at or don't enjoy doing, I get a team member in place. It's the only way to keep momentum and to do your best work.
Favorite place to travel?
Anywhere warm via sailboat.
Favorite outdoor activities?
Hiking, scenic wine drinking, watching the sunrise and sunset, and forest bathing (duh!)
Any advice for aspiring side hustlers?
Think but not too much. Momentum is more important than hitting all the right notes. Recover quickly from missteps.