Courtney Michael

San Diego, California

Founder of Coural Care

Years in Business: Almost 2 years! (1 year 9 months)

Instagram: @couralcare

What inspired you to start Coural Care? I’ve always struggled with sensitive skin and had a hard time finding skincare products that worked with my mild eczema, rosacea, acne, and acne scars. When I was 19, I was diagnosed with melanoma and knew I had to step up my sun protection but I didn’t love the options available for me. I wanted a product that worked for my skin but that also had the ethical and environmental qualities I was looking for. When I couldn’t find anything that fit all my needs, I decided to start my own skincare company!

What’s the story behind your name? The story behind the brand is a personal one and the name reflects that. I’m often asked why Coural Care is spelled the way it is with a “u” in there. It incorporates the beginning of my name, Courtney, since this all started with my experience with melanoma. But now I’m on a bigger mission to help protect your skin while we protect our ocean and the only way to really make a difference is with “u”. So, thank you. 🙂

What is Coural Care’s mission statement? We’re on a mission to set a new standard in the skincare industry that’s ethically and environmentally focused. No one should have to choose between feeling good, looking good, and making good choices for our planet. At Coural Care we have you covered, literally.

What are some challenges you have overcome in starting this business? Our biggest challenge has been finding ways to adhere to our ethical and eco-conscious values. It’s more difficult and expensive for companies to make healthy and environmentally friendly products, but it’s worth it. We struggled to find partners and suppliers who embody what we were looking for but I was unwilling to compromise on any of these values. And I’m so glad we didn’t! We eventually found exactly what we were looking for. From clean and ethical ingredient sourcing to sustainable manufacturing, we’re proud of what we offer. We’re glad we didn’t compromise on our values.

How does your relationship to the ocean inspire you in creating your business? Growing up in SoCal and going to college in San Diego, I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the ocean. It never ceases to amaze me how the ocean covers 70% of this planet and produces at least 50% of the oxygen we breathe! Taking care of the ocean is really taking care of ourselves. It’s why we say “as above so below:” what you put on top of your skin not only impacts your own body, but also impacts life below in the ocean. It’s disheartening to see all the waste and toxic chemicals that enter our ocean. It’s up to us to make a difference which is a big motivation behind running this business.

How does managing Coural Care influence your lifestyle? Running a business can definitely be consuming and I’ve struggled setting boundaries to separate when it’s time to work and when it’s time to relax. I think about Coural Care all the time and I’ve had to learn that my business is just a part of me and I need to make time for all the other things I love in life like cooking, hiking, drawing, and spending time with friends and family. There are still a lot of times I overwork myself but I’m getting better and trying to find balance day by day.

In what ways are you striving to be a more ocean-friendly company? There are always so many ways to improve the sustainability of a business! From the beginning, we knew we wanted to be plant based, reef safe, and cruelty free. But we didn’t just stop there. Part of being an eco-conscious company means continuing to evaluate the business as a whole and see where we can improve, learn, and grow. Behind the scenes, we’re always working on being more sustainable. Currently we’re tackling our packaging to become even more ocean friendly. We’re proud of our plastic free and low waste options but we really want to work on extending the life of jars whether that’s through a take back program or providing refill options.

What have been the most rewarding aspects of your business? The most rewarding aspect of this business has been seeing people support our mission to make a change on our planet for the better! When you launch a business, you really don’t know how people are going to respond. Coural Care started after my skincare struggles and desire to make a difference. I know the only way to really make a difference is with the support of others and it has been so rewarding finding communities of like minded individuals (like you)! I couldn’t do this without the support of people that have a similar vision for our planet and am grateful every day for people like you.

What is your big vision of the future? Ah, I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately! The vision is to keep growing Coural Care so that consumers know they don’t have to choose between feeling good and making good choices for the planet. Currently, it is easy for skincare companies to make choices that don’t keep the health of our planet in mind. We’re working to set a new standard in the skincare industry so that consumers don’t have to choose between feeling good and doing good. We are striving for a future where companies make ethical and environmentally conscious products and where consumers refuse to purchase anything else. As consumers, we have the power to tell companies what our values are with our purchases. Our big vision for the future is to be a part of this new norm where the health of the planet is a priority and integrated with our own personal health and well being.

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