CSU alumna creates organic skincare line

Julia Trowbridge

three coffee scrub tubes on display at The Cupboard
Lotion and body scrub products made by CocoRoo, a skincare line made by CSU alumna Jill Howarth, are sold locally at The Cupboard. CocoRoo uses organic and edible ingredients in their three lotions and coffee body scrubs (Julia Trowbridge | Collegian)

Colorado State University alumni have done amazing things, from creating sculptures in the Netherlands to donating transformational gifts to CSU.

One CSU alumni, Jill Howarth, has created her own skincare line called CocoRoo, which after starting in 2016, is sold in 150 stores worldwide.

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“Absolutely, (the company’s success) caught me by surprise,” Howarth said. “I didn’t expect to be anywhere for two years.”

CocoRoo creates organic lotions and a coffee body scrub, which are made out of organic and edible ingredients. Howarth makes her lotions out of coconut oil, macadamia nut oil and some have essential oils, while her coffee scrub contains fresh coffee beans, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil and almond oil.

“All of my products are made with 100 percent edible ingredients,” Howarth said. “If you can’t eat something, you shouldn’t put it on your body.”

Howarth got her bachelor’s in resort management from CSU. Through a study abroad program, she ended up in Australia, where she lived for 14 years and met her husband. These opportunities gave her a diverse set of experiences and jobs until she moved back into the states and started her own skincare line.

“I grew up in a small town in Iowa,” Howarth said. “The diversity CSU offered me helped me grow and see the real world. Seeing the options offered in a larger city was helpful to me and the connections and friendships I have there still has been great.”

Her skincare products began as a pastime for herself and gifts to family and friends until she moved back to the states and wanted to open her own business. Since opening, CocoRoo’s lotions and coffee scrub have been loved by her customers.

James, Jill and Grace Howarth
Jill Howarth, a CSU alumna who studied resort management, met her husband James Howarth after she stayed in Australia on a study abroad trip. Now, the two have a 6 year old daughter, Grace.

“I really never used a scrub before,” said Brandi Molin, CocoRoo’s first customer. “I saw an ad for the coffee scrub and decided to give it a try. You actually have to smell it to fully understand it’s amazing-ness. It smells just like a cup of coffee in the morning.”

In order to get CocoRoo into 150 stores, Howarth and her husband make cold calls to mainly independent stores and small retail businesses. Out of 100 calls per day for the each of them, maybe five of the stores reply, and only 50 percent buy the product to sell in their stores.

In Fort Collins, CocoRoo lotions and body scrubs are available at The Cupboard

“Their product is unique and interesting,” said Jim Hewitt, the owner of The Cupboard. “And I love to support small businesses, especially with a connection to Fort Collins.”

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Since selling CocoRoo products in December 2017, The Cupboard is almost sold out, and have ordered more of their lotions and coffee scrub since.

When The Cupboard decided to support CocoRoo’s lotions and body scrubs, Howarth was excited to visit Fort Collins to give a demonstration. When possible, Howarth travels to the stores locations and gives in store demonstrations to support the product.

“I love the demonstrations,” Howarth said. “It builds the initial customer base. And it had been ten years since I’ve been to Fort Collins, so I was excited to have a reason to go back.”

Overall, customers enjoy the organic ingredients, how well the lotions and coffee scrubs work and supporting a small business like CocoRoo. 

“Think about that (CocoRoo’s products) are all natural,” Molin said. “You should know what’s going on your skin. It’s the biggest organ you have. The healthier the product, the healthier your skin and the healthier you are going to be.”

“Think about that (CocoRoo’s products) are all natural. You should know what’s going on your skin. It’s the biggest organ you have. The healthier the product, the healthier your skin and the healthier you are going to be.”

-Brandi Molin, CocoRoo’s first customer

CocoRoo Products:

  • Naturally Naked Coconut Oil Moisturizer
  • Lost in Lavender Coconut Oil Moisturizer
  • Mint Condition Coconut Oil Moisturizer
  • Total Rejavanation Coffee Bean Scrub

Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @chapin_jules.