Melissa Papock – Founder and President of Cabana Life
I’m so excited for you to hear Melissa’s inspiring journey! Melissa Papock is the Founder and President of Cabana Life, an apparel brand that’s not just fashionable -- it’s sun protective too! Her clothing is so stylish and functional that it has been worn by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Adam Sandler, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman. In this episode, Melissa discusses her amazing career and the serious skin issue she experienced which sparked her entrepreneurial pursuits. We also talk about starting a brand after solving a personal problem and then embarking on a mission to help people with similar problems. Sound familiar? It did for me. This is an episode loaded with inspiration! Don’t miss it on #TheKaraGoldinShow
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Melissa Papock 0:00
The greatest gift of it all has been this like resilience that develops in you don’t quit keep going,
Kara Goldin 0:07
I am unwilling to give up. That I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be. I want to make sure you will get knocked down but just make sure you don’t get knocked out knocked out so your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi everyone and welcome to the Kara golden show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go Let’s go Hi, everyone. Its Kara golden with the Kara golden show. And I’m so excited for my next guest. I’m very very excited to have Melissa pocked. Am I pronouncing your last name? You got it. So Melissa is the founder and president of cabana life. And I’m, like I said I’m so excited to have her here to talk a little bit more about her very, very fashionable brand that she started and really started it out of her own backstory and solving a problem for herself, which that sounds really really familiar for those of you who know my own backstory. But let’s see she’s been featured on Good Morning America and the Today Show and The Wall Street Journal as a thought leader in UV protection and also has been worn her products that is by people like Gwyneth Paltrow, Adam Sandler. So it’s not just for women, by the way there are, this is also a men’s line, who else Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman. And she did not come from this industry either. So I love her her story and stories like this where people are jumping from one industry. And although it might be very humbling at times, asking all the right questions in order to really do what they want to do and create a company and her background was in magazines. But her interest in creating kabana life, as I mentioned, was really out of her own personal experience that she was faced with. So I’ll let her get into that. But first of all, welcome. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. Super excited. So tell me a little bit first before we get into the backstory of cabana life who was Melissa as a little kid and what is your origin story?
Melissa Papock 2:50
So Melissa was a little girl growing up in Long Island, you’re kind of lost the accent a little bit. And red hair freckles just happy go lucky, outgoing girl. My mother was always protecting me in the sun because I was so fair and had blue eyes and a bazillion in one freckles. lived a very happy normal childhood. I did have a lot of, you know, family around all the time. And there was a family business. So I would often be at the dinner table hearing about marketing ideas and the entrepreneurial journey because my grandfather ran an electronics appliance company that he had inherited from my my grandmother’s parents. So it started in the 20s and was carried on throughout the generation. So definitely grew up with a lot of business talk, but certainly was not the little girl Melissa with red hair and freckles who’s like I want to be an entrepreneur, it was just something that was always around me. So grew up there went off to Tulane University in New Orleans, which is to this day, my happy place, love that city and went to college there and majored in marketing and then, you know, went on from there.
Kara Goldin 4:04
And then you came back to New York after school. And oh, yes, started in the magazine.
Melissa Papock 4:11
Actually, I had one stop before the magazine industry, which was quite pivotal. And in the booth gourmet foods industry, I applied for a job right out of college, faxed my resume. And it’s kind of a funny story because the owner of the company called to tell me that I did not get the job, because he got the wrong cover letter with the resume. And he just called me to let me know I wasn’t getting the job. And I quickly started you know, thinking on my feet and talking to him and telling him all the reasons why really, it was probably the person at FedEx kinkos and that, you know, really I’m like such a perfect fit for this PS I don’t think he had anyone else for the job at the time and we laugh about that now, but managed to get myself that job. You know, there were nose that wasn’t zoom at the time and This is like 96. So sight unseen, signed up for this core may foods company startup company, and went back to New York reported for my first day of work in the basement of a building next to a trash compactor, a team meeting. And I and I was just like, okay, and I didn’t know I mean, I had like a briefcase and my suit on and I was like, ready to go. And he was maybe 26 at the time, and I was 21. And I think I was one of the very first employees. And it was a company called peaceworks. That was all about bringing Arabs and Israelis together through commerce. And the entrepreneur was Daniel lubezki, who ultimately was, I didn’t realize for a year Wow. Yes. So I was there for a year with Daniel and, you know, really got that whole entrepreneurial bug. I love the chaos. I loved the craziness, the idea of like, nothing was too wild or outlandish. We were promoting these Mediterranean spreads. And we said, Hey, why don’t we get a camel and, you know, create it down in Tribeca and have been cloned from Ben and Jerry’s who was on our board, ride the camel. So again, this is like the 90s. It’s not like camels are readily available. There’s not Google to be like, where do I get a camel. So it was just like coming up with these ideas, executing on them like nothing was too outlandish. So love that year that I spent there. And then ended up applying for a job at time at New York Magazine, because they were just launching in the city and bringing that over from London. And I think I always had this like, Glamour magazine idea in my head during college, that was like my real wish, of getting a job in like fashion or magazines. So when I was able to secure that position, and it was also a very entrepreneurial launch environment. And every week, we were publishing a new issue. I, again, at this point was 2223. You just raise your hand for everything. They were like, had just let their PR people go. And they said, Do you know how to do PR? And I was like, Oh, yeah, of course, you know, I, of course. And then I’ve like sitting there like looking at their pitches, figuring it out. And I also wrote a page in the magazine every week was like offers and competitions and just love that like, fast pace. just constantly doing different things environment wearing so many different paths, and just being creative and taking that kind of scrappy mentality that I learned at piece works and saying, Okay, this person’s on the cover, and they’re like, well, you don’t have a budget for it. I’m like, Okay, well, can we leverage this contract I have in this contract and get the alcohol sponsor. And then next thing, you know, you have all these people coming to this amazing event that you’ve just conceptualized and pulled together. You don’t need to have huge budgets to like leverage the resources that you have. So I’ve loved those challenges in both of those early experiences that I had.
Kara Goldin 7:56
And how long were you there at timeout? Ben?
Melissa Papock 7:59
So timeout, I was there for about two and a half years. And then like so many people in that environment. I felt like the masthead Conde Nast would come and pick over and you’d get plucked away by like the big glossy glamorous Conde Nast. So got the call from Conde Nast and went over to self magazine, which I very quickly realized I did not like to be siloed. And it was just going from this really, you know, cool London startup vibe, where it was like we were in felt like we were in finals every week as you’re closing the magazine to self magazine, where I was like, kind of pigeon holed into writing proposals. And I was like, Oh, I’m like this, you know, is not for me. But thankfully, one of my bosses at the time, I think recognize that too. And she’s like, Don’t tell anyone that I told you this. But 17 magazine is looking for a merchandising editor. I think you’d be awesome. She’s like, she’d work there at one point that she’s like, you’re gonna love it. And so I ended up moving over to 17 magazine, where I toured with boy bands. And I was like the added value for all the advertisers. So we create huge events. And like, every weekend, I was traveling with like superstars, boy bands, and but I think one of the nicest parts was, they would put my picture in the magazine and say, Come out and meet Melissa at Mall of America. And these little girls would come out with their magazines and a pen and like, ask for my autograph, and you have that opportunity to impact them. And like whether it was just like a little nod or picking them to be part of this program, or, you know, they were just so eager and like, good and kind hearted. And I felt like I didn’t have kids at the time. But it was just such a amazing experience to be able to, like meet, you know, 1000s upon 1000s of teenagers. I went to how many problems I can’t even tell you during my 20s but it was cool. I mean, it was definitely a fun, early work experience.
Kara Goldin 10:00
It’s a fun journey. And so you in, I guess when you were 26? Do I have the age? Right? You were then diagnosed with skin cancer, malignant melanoma, on a news that anyone wants to hear. And I’ve had basil sell myself, so a different type of cancer, but it was, I remember just having, you know, the pit of my stomach thinking, why did I answer the phone that day? Right? I you know, it’s just you don’t want to hear this. And you’re, I’m sure you’re in denial and tears and everything else trying to figure out what do you do? And so what was that, you know, moment like,
Melissa Papock 10:45
so I look back and to this day, I am so grateful, because my journey could have ended so much earlier and so badly. Because when I was living and working in the magazines and running around like crazy, I assure you health and wellness was the left of my mind, it was friends party and career. And I think I probably just got a new health insurance and had to establish a primary care physician and went for physical because that 26 are not really like rolling into your physical every year, religiously. Let’s face it. So when for my physical, and the physician’s assistant said, you know, do you get regular skin checks because of your fare, and you have the type of skin that you could be prone to skin cancer? And I was like, Oh, yeah, I’ve heard that growing up. I know that, but no, I haven’t been. And he’s like, just make an appointment down the hall, the dermatologist and you just make an appointment for a skin check. And again, like I could have just walked out and gone back and done my thing, but for whatever reason, stop, made the appointment, and then went back for a skin check. However, long after that, when my appointment came up, went into this dermatologist didn’t know them, and Goddess can check. And he’s like, oh, everything looks fine. And I said, and I swear I think it was that was such a fast skin check. I felt like I was getting gypped and wanted like my full co pays worth or something. Yeah. And he said at the end, he’s like, do you have any questions? And I said, well, what’s this? What’s this? What’s this? What’s this? What’s this, and one of my witnesses with a very light pink mark on my left arm. And the reality is, you know, it didn’t look like anything they tell you to look for for skin cancer, it was pink, which now knowing redheads often present a melanotic which is like without tone. So I thought it was like a scar from a mosquito bite from being in the Hamptons that summer or it was the 90s in New York City. It could have been like a Nick from a cigarette out at a nightclub. It was that long ago. And he you know, sprayed it looked a little closer. And he said, Why don’t you come back for a biopsy at your leisure. Again, translation at your leisure at 26. But I managed to get back for this biopsy wasn’t really worried. And they said we’ll call you in a few weeks with results. Sure enough, two days later at 17 magazine, I get that phone call. They wouldn’t tell me over the phone. They said you have to come here right now. And I was so freaked out. And I was like, well, this is not good. What do I do? And so I went and I told my boss and I said, I was like I don’t know, they want me to come there right now like right this minute. And in the ultimate boss move and you kind of think about who you want to be like, She’s like, I’m coming with you. And I was like, No, no, it’s okay. You don’t have to like interrupt your day. And she’s like, She’s like, I’m coming. So the two of us walked over, and they wouldn’t tell me in front of her. They pulled me into a room and they said you have melanoma. And I am It’s so embarrassing to say now but I was literally like, my gonna have a scar. Because at the time I was dating this guy who’s now my husband and all I knew he had a melanoma on the back of his leg when he was in his 20s he had this big like dollar coin sized scar. And the doctor looked at me He’s like, you could die like you don’t worry about the scar. You could die. I’m like, wait, no, no, no, no, like, I’m 26 this is skin cancer, like that’s cancer light, like you’re just gonna cut it out and I’m gonna be fine. And he’s like, No, no, he’s like, this is melanoma and people die from this. And I felt so bad calling my mom and saying I have cancer. And she basically was like, Okay, I’ll see you soon we’ll call you back. And she got on the phone and got me an appointment with an amazing surgeon in New York City pulled strings. garden and thankfully, it had not spread and what started out is the size of smaller than an eraser head, you know, 200 stitches, a five inch scar later, they were able to get everything in that one visit and credible. Yeah, so that was very, very just, it was such a whirlwind and so eye opening and I was just taking in so much information as I’m sitting there in my paper gown and I remember being there and hearing the steps that I had never heard before. Nobody was Talking about it. One in five Americans get some form of skin cancer. I was like, what one in five? That is like, a lot. That’s your mother, your friend like 30 to 26. You
Kara Goldin 15:10
just don’t you know, you’re invincible, right? I mean, yes. You know, prior to this, call you I mean, the last thing you think is going to happen?
Melissa Papock 15:20
No. And then another aha moment sitting there, he said, you need to start wearing sun protective clothing. And I said, I’m like, Well, what the hell is that I’m, I’m the one going on the news for these magazines and telling people like what they should be wearing white is the new black or whatever it is for that season. And he said, No, your regular, lightweight clothing provides the equivalent of SPF five. So you wouldn’t walk outside with SPF five on feeling like you’re protected. But I was like, Well, how come you don’t get burned through it. And the UVA rays are going through and I was just like absorbing this all absorbing it. And then another thing that you don’t think about till you’re older and later is that 90% of the visible signs of aging come from the sun. So that didn’t really affect me as much, because I was 26 and still feeling pretty, pretty good. But like all these other stats, I was like, Oh my gosh, so I said what is it some protective clothing? He brings in a catalog and I open it up and I was like, No wonder nobody’s talking about it. Or I’ve never heard of it or seen it sold anywhere. I’m like, it’s fluorescent. It’s just synthetic. It’s like a zoot suit. I’m not paying I’m
Kara Goldin 16:26
not gonna wear it.
Melissa Papock 16:27
Oh my gosh, totally. And I like said to him, like, does it have to be ugly to work? Like, totally serious? And he’s like, I don’t think so. I don’t know. But I don’t think it has to be ugly. So that’s the idea
Kara Goldin 16:39
category as a whole was just filled with I mean, I remember that. And it’s just it was filled with almost looking like, you know, child, kids fun stuff, but not really stuff that you would want to actually wear out and especially if you’re sitting outside and you know, and and that that is that was just totally What year was this? Exactly. So
Melissa Papock 17:04
that it was primarily it was primarily in catalogs to like, it wasn’t at mainstream stores. I was 2001. So it was like mostly through catalogs. So my mission in starting cabana life is like I wanted to create something that didn’t make people sacrifice their sense of style, something that could sit on a shelf like at a regular normal store and be fashionable enough that it could be like sold anywhere, and that people would want to buy it because they like the style and bonus. It’s sun protective. So that was like a big thing of like getting in like desirable stores and having it readily available beyond just like a catalogue of, you know, these kind of like Zoot suits.
Kara Goldin 17:47
So what surprised you about about this industry? I mean, did it just seem so obvious to you? Right? Like I I just feel like they’re, they were just trying to just put it out because they knew people had to have it, but nobody really had focused on having fashionable cool stuff. And if you guys haven’t seen cabana, life, it’s just it’s really, really awesome stuff. So I really, I love it. And it’s definitely, you know, I think I just I remember back in 2001 I mean that it was really terrible.
Melissa Papock 18:22
So and nobody was talking about it, like not one person was really talking about it. So that’s where like the idea came from, of course, they didn’t jump right in, I kept my magazine job was researching, coming up with logos having to learn all about fabrics. And I knew nothing about manufacturing clothing, right? This was all just, Okay, I’m gonna make it happen somehow and figure this out. And I don’t know why, you know, nobody had really been doing it. But got started. Finally, after like years of kind of dabbling. I remember saying it out loud. You know, my, and it’s all been self funded up until this point, right? And continues to be, but we didn’t have you know, we didn’t go out and raise money and have big VC money in there. It was just like, like building, building, building, building. And believe it or not, we started with just children’s clothing, children’s play wear, because I felt like at that time, it was a lot easier to get the message across to parents who are concerned about their kids. My best friend came to visit me after, like my surgery, she came to visit me from the tanning salon. I was like, how did the none of this like, click in for you? Right? So like, okay, clearly, we’re not the market for it. Right? The market wasn’t ready for that yet for really cool women’s wear. So we started with kids where we felt like parents would sacrifice showering, eating whatever, for the health and wellness of their kid. So we really didn’t have kids and at the time, when I was doing all the research, I was freelancing still for the magazines. And I remember the first time I said it out loud girl I worked at Vanity Fair with, she was thinking of going to freelance and wanted to know how I was getting all my gigs. And she asked me out to lunch. And we knew each other business wise, but not, you know, we weren’t really friends. And I remember she was asking me all these questions about freelancing. And I finally said, I’m like, Well, I think I’m actually going to step away from that to start this company that I’ve been researching. And she just went at me, she’s like, what is it? Tell me about it. Tell me about it. And I started telling her more and more. And it totally resonated with her because unbeknownst to me at the time, her mother in law, and her grandmother both had skin cancer, and over the course of the company, unfortunately, passed away from it, both of them. So she was like, I’ll help you. And I was like, well, I can’t pay you. She’s like, No, I’ll freelance and help you on the side. And 15 years ago, we started just in this industry that we knew nothing about other than the marketing and PR side of it. And born was cabana life, and we just went after it.
Kara Goldin 20:58
I love it. And so the kids clothing, what was the first piece that you ever made?
Melissa Papock 21:03
Oh, my gosh, it was a Terry hoodie. And actually my daughter, who’s now we’re talking about going up, she’s looking at colleges. Soon, she was in the Wall Street Journal in the black and white picture wearing this Terry hoodie, because all of our friends and family had to be the models of the time to kind of love and we got this terry cloth. And then we went to move fabric because I couldn’t figure out how to make prints in some protective fabric at that point yet. So we had the terry cloth. And then we had it lined with this fabric from mood fabrics in New York City. Anyone that watches Project Runway is familiar with them. So that’s where we got started with these like hoodies, and polo shirts. And again, we just were trying to pump that message into people. So we started making logos and things that would change color in the sun. So the things that you see the cheesy vacation stores, we were put on like a polo shirt in a palm tree so that if you saw it go from like clear to green, you knew your kid was being exposed to the sun. And even when you’re by a window, those things would light up. And I think that was a big aha moment and trying to get stores who had never heard of this, to you know, make room on their shelves for us. We sat on our tradeshow with our UV light, and these icons and we’d sit there like selling them lighting them up. And these people didn’t know what to do with us. We just were like, so passionate. So driven, we were in our little five foot by five foot booth. And, you know, we were like we’ll do marketing and PR and like, because that’s what we had to fall back on. Yeah,
Kara Goldin 22:30
I love it. So your first stores? Uh, you took it to stores versus doing it direct to consumer? Yes. And you took it to stores? So how did you think about like a retail strategy? Obviously, you weren’t going and getting it into the big, you know, Target or Macy’s right off the bat. How did you think about that.
Melissa Papock 22:49
So what I remembered from my piece work slash kind of our days, I’d go to the fancy Food Show. So I had like a little bit of tradeshow knowledge, and we signed up for a booth at the very last minute is five foot by five foot nothing with nothing happened to have the good fortune of being on the food line where all the buyers lined up. So while they were waiting for their food, we like attack them with our UV light. And, and that’s how we just started getting into the stores. But like I said, our background, both of us, because we came from very similar backgrounds was the marketing PR celebrity thing, which was, at that time traditional press and, you know, celebs there were no influencers, there were no reality stars, like they are today. And we that we had that on lockdown. I mean, we went out so hard with all of that, that we were, you know, Good Morning America, and all those publications that you listed, and on some of those celebrities before we even had very much in stores. So we did ultimately in falling back on what we knew how to do. We did end up attracting like often we started getting calls from like Disney and banana boat. And we have like our stuff and minimal amount of stores. We still didn’t know what the heck we were doing. Wow. And they were like, We want you to make some protective clothing for us. I’m like they do we have no idea what we’re doing. And so then we use that to leverage, you know, different manufacturing relationships and licensing deals and to use that to continue to grow the business fuel the business. And in order to get that, you know, I went to Huntsman which was doing a lot in the fabric additive and fabric space and said to them, Hey, you know, give me money for a PR budget. And I’ll get your name along with our name in front of all of these consumers by getting you in the Wall Street Journal and Oprah and Good Morning America. And we did we delivered on that and somehow they bought into my idea to do that. But when you have nothing to lose, you can just like, throw some crazy stuff out there and be prepared for a lot of nose but there will be some yeses.
Kara Goldin 24:56
Absolutely. No, I totally agree. So what has surprised you the most about becoming an entrepreneur?
Melissa Papock 25:03
I think, ultimately, the greatest gift of it all has been this, like resilience that develops in you, right? If you don’t quit and you keep going, you keep going. It’s like childbirth, right? You just it, it happens, whatever you’re dealing with is so bad at the time, and you can’t even think of anything else. And then miraculously, like three days later, you’re on to the next thing. So I think the surprise for me is just like these traits that have evolved and continued to develop. And I’m not saying it all happened. From day one. I think I didn’t have the fear going into it, because I wasn’t really afraid. And I wasn’t overthinking it. I didn’t have this like amazing strategy in place that if something didn’t go, right, I was gonna pack up and go, I was just gonna keep knocking on doors, figuring it out, figuring it out. And I think over the course of doing that, and going and going and going is like, the surprising thing for me. And what’s so cool to speak to entrepreneurs like you and hear the stories. It’s like this one thread that goes through it’s like this resilience or this grit, if you will, right. It’s like the perseverance for passion and you just go. So that’s like the coolest common denominator. I think.
Kara Goldin 26:15
I love it. What was the biggest order you ever got?
Melissa Papock 26:18
Oh, well, and again, like childbirth, you just keep thinking of the things most recently that happened. Right. One of one of the exciting moments, pre COVID we had Talbots, the big multi chain store, reached out and found cabana life. And we’re like, Can you do a collaboration with us on sun protective clothing? So that was a you know, separate huge collab label. Yeah. And that was just so flattering. You’re like, Oh, wait, well, you don’t stop you don’t you let these winds kind of resonate for two minutes? If right? And then you’re like, Okay, how are we actually going to do this now? Right. So that was the most recent one. But we do for West Marine, and you know, other big retailers now, too.
Kara Goldin 27:04
That’s so fun. And you always have your brand as a part of it versus being pure private label. I mean, is it? Is it really a co brand?
Melissa Papock 27:15
So yes, we always have our brand. I mean, we’re about building the brand building the name as a lifestyle brand. And there have been times when we’ve you know, done things for other retailers that are like a lower price point, but it will still be a variation of cabana. Because I do feel like you know, we should be able to offer some protection at all different price points. But really, there is always the element of cabana life or cabana. Something in there.
Kara Goldin 27:39
How hard Do you think it is to build a brand? I mean, obviously, coming from a brand builder myself. I mean, it’s it’s a it we’ve we have not done private label. I mean, we did actually we did private label once, many, many years ago, 14 I think 14 years ago, we did private label, and it was a huge mistake. And
Melissa Papock 28:04
we haven’t done private label. Either we do the collaborations where we keep the name on it. And I feel like people love your brand. That’s what you’re in it for. Right? Like
Kara Goldin 28:13
Yeah, and and that’s something that I think a lot of people don’t realize until they’re in it. And I know you’ve been asked to do that as well. And we are we just don’t do private label. And and we are constantly and many beverage companies do do private label, but it’s just you have to figure that out. Like what lane Are you in? Are you doing private label? Or are you building a brand and we have always believed that we, you know, we made that one little detour. And then we were like, that was just such a big mistake. And we should not have done that. And we will never get to, you know, down the road and our goal of where we want this to go if we are not sitting there focusing on the brand. But that’s so cute. Like,
Melissa Papock 28:59
I think that’s another thing that you have to get so disciplined about and it’s really hard when you’re building a brand because you’re gonna get opportunities. And to say no to things that don’t serve you i think is like probably one of the hardest things because there will be a lot of money dangling out there to kind of do different things that might not make sense. And in your heart, you know, it’s not going to be a long lasting play. But when you’re you know, building a brand and need to make money, it’s kind of like this little and getting
Kara Goldin 29:28
to do all of that I get it but I think it’s like you have to I’m, I tell this to an entrepreneur a week that you know, that’s if you really have to figure out like what lane you’re going to be in and right Can’t we both I mean well and really build out the brand otherwise you’re going to start people will catch on to that you’re going to be you know available for sale to do this private label and you will never build out the brand and what You are really focused on doing And to your point I think consumers also they buy brands. Mm hmm. And people look for brands I mean, you mentioned other brands like Talbots and Disney and I mean that is what cabana life is you guys are building a brand so I love hearing you talk about that too.
Melissa Papock 30:20
Well so are you I mean the fact that you’re able to traverse from water to sunscreen to deodorant you know like it’s a brand and people you feel you have the feels right when you hear hint and the smell and like you can almost just taste it feel it smell it like it’s it delivers something it means something so you don’t want to go and dilute
Kara Goldin 30:39
Yeah, well and I think like your your brand like our brand I do feel like because you’re solving a problem and there is a mission behind it. There’s a trust level that is there that is very very important to consumers and so they will tell other people about it you know they’ll put it on social Bell you know all of those things that that happen I think when you have a brand that people want to talk about because they love it and obviously they know your backstory they know my backstory of why I did not only the water but also with our sunscreen and by the way if you ordered from cabana life in May and it’s going on through June as well. Yeah, I think coming into June while supplies last so while supplies last so you got the sunscreen and and are you home? Yeah, we got a chance if you bought that what was the deal?
Melissa Papock 31:36
Basically, it went in all you guys were so amazingly generous. And I think it was such a perfect partnership to align together for skin cancer awareness month, which is in May. So all cabana, live packages went out with a substantial size hint sunscreen in it. I mean, three, three on sunscreen. And our customers I know were raving about it, we got a lot of feedback, they were so excited to get that purchase. And again, it’s like such a great compliment. It’s like this healthy sunscreen you want to wear and stylish sun protection you want to wear because let’s face it, if you don’t want to use it, like it’s never gonna work. And that’s the thing with ugly sun protective clothing, it’s not going to work because it’s gonna sit in your closet. Yeah, it has to like make you happy and smile and so
Kara Goldin 32:25
and smell good. And you had a good experience with it and everything. I totally, totally agree. So innovation, I’m always talking about that in the beverage industry, that it’s it’s something particularly during COVID, where I think many companies just stopped. Like they just said, we’re not gonna innovate, we, you know, we’re gonna, we’re just gonna tighten our belts and see what happens. And I mean, we were continuing to, you know, do what we do, which is not only not stay complacent, but also innovate and come up with new eyes, new flavors and new ideas for products. We came out with a one liter bottle we I mean, lots of different things that we were working on. So what do you think is? How is innovation in the sun garment industry, the UV garment industry? And I guess I feel like it kind of crosses over into sunscreen industry as well. What do you think are kind of the hot topics right now or hot innovation that people are thinking about?
Melissa Papock 33:31
I think I’m just thrilled because when we started the company back so long ago, the the narrative wasn’t out there about the importance of sun protection, I like to think we helped build on some of it. So I love the fact that people are talking about sun protection and the need for easy sun protective solutions, which is obviously you know, working in both of our favors. So I love that the dialogue and the understanding is there so that we can continue to innovate with new products. I mean, for us, we’re always pushing it on the fabrications, we want it to be like the softest, most luxurious, always everything we do has the 50 plus UV protection, which is the highest rating available amazing blocks 98% of UVA and UVB rays. So like that’s our non negotiable point. So but we’re always trying to think of like new fabrics and silhouettes that offer that but it’s just easy and delicious and exciting to wear. And then of course, we’re constantly innovating to because now we have the e commerce site. We do a lot of direct to consumer business. And I think like what you said, You guys didn’t stop, we didn’t stop because that’s what we do, right? We’re not like this. We’re nimble and you’re leaning in and you’re pivoting and you’re still following your passion, which is what drove you to start this in the first place. So of course you’re not just kind of like tighten your belt and sit back and wait to see what happens. Like we’re on a mission. You’re on a mission, right? We are driven by something else. So I love it. I think that’s you know The cool and exciting part even with all of the COVID stuff, so we are launching an avatar on our site next month to help people try the clothing on where you put the garment on a little avatar. So whether it’s the actual product expansion and we’re doing a full full line this year and pushing the envelope on fabrics are the technology side of the e commerce and really working with our influencers and our technology side of it to continue to like build this momentum build a sense of community. So we’re just going I mean, go and go and
Kara Goldin 35:34
I love it. Love to hear that. So Melissa, where do people find you and cabana life and and where’s the best place?
Melissa Papock 35:43
Sure. So cabana life.com has all of our full assortment. That’s where you’ll find everything that we have in the collection. We’re at about 400 stores throughout the country. So you could pop in a wedding marine dealer and everything but water, lots of boutiques, independent boutiques. We love hotels like the Ritz Carlton’s, so we’re out there, you could test it out, see, try it on buy support, local retail, I mean, we love our retail partners, and then on social media where kabana life everywhere you want to find us,
Kara Goldin 36:18
I love it. And you’re socialists really, really terrific as well. So definitely everyone check it out. And I will say thank you so much for being on the show today. I really enjoyed learning a little bit more, although I I feel like I’ve been following you for a while and and I just love I just love the fact that you just went out and did something that you believed in and that had purpose and you’ve made it an incredible company that is just so inspiring to watch you and so admirable to know where you came from, you know, just an idea and solving a problem to something big. So I think that that is just really really really cool. Everybody needs to check out cabana life.com. And also just thanks everyone for listening to the podcast, please give Melissa five stars subscribe to the podcast and all of that stuff. And also if you have not picked up a bottle of hidden water or the sunscreen that Melissa mentioned as well the sunscreen is just so amazing. That’s all on our site as well as if you go to cabana life. And while supplies last we’ve got a bottle in there too. And finally, if you have not had a chance to read my book, undaunted, overcoming doubt, it’s about my journey. And thank you so much. And it’s been a lot of fun just to get it out there and allow people to know that you can do something an idea is I’m such a huge believer that without entrepreneurs like Melissa and myself that you know that that is really the the mainstay of business going forward. And I love, love love hearing more and more stories like this. So thanks everyone have a great week. before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the book calm and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara golden and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara golden golden thanks for listening
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