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> Cochine. After leaving her job at L’Oreal she fled the big smoke in favour of life in Vietnam where she quickly became inspired by the original fragrances.

Fast forward a few years and she has a high flying fragrance brand. So just how did she do it?

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Powder Room
Power Women… Kate Crofton-Atkins
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As the old adage goes, ‘behind every successful woman is herself.’ Not just her passion and drive, but personality and integrity too. This couldn’t ring truer for this week Power Women, Kate Crofton, founder of luxury fragrance brand Cochine. After leaving her job at L’Oreal she fled the big smoke in favour of life in Vietnam where she quickly became inspired by the original fragrances.

Fast forward a few years and she has a high flying fragrance brand. So just how did she do it?

My lightbulb moment happened when I moved to Saigon from London.  I was instantly captivated by the city, the French buildings, the climate, the bohemian way of life- it was like discovering this beautiful French gem in Asia.  Cochine came about because I wanted to capture the timeless romance and elegance of Saigon through fragrance, and bottle that sense of escape I had felt moving there.

It all started with my personal passion for fragrance – it has all grown from there. I wanted to create fragrances that blurred the line between personal and home fragrance, to create fragrances that were sophisticated enough to wear as a perfume, but could also be blended beautifully into a candle to scent your home.

You have to be ready for bumps in the road at all times. I think that being quick to manoeuvre, and willing and ready to change tactics when necessary are essential skills in building a business – and actually one of the major strengths you have as a smaller entity like Cochine is that you can react quickly and act accordingly without having to go through endless bureaucracy. The important thing is to focus on the end goal, remember what you’re striving for, and just keep moving forward step by step until you get there.

The best advice I’ve ever been given was from my father who said ‘make sure you enjoy what you do’. With a small business, you can spend almost all of your waking hours thinking about it and working on it – so you absolutely have to be passionate about it.

To all the budding entrepreneurs out there, the beauty industry is a fascinating thing to be a part of. You get to be creative, inventive and to bring something positive into people’s lives. The important thing is to really hone in on your key proposition, to be absolutely clear about what it is you are offering, and to stay true to it. That has to be at the heart of everything you do.

We’ll leave you with her words to live by…

‘Carpe Diem’. I’m trying to embrace it more. It’s quite easy to become blinkered by the day to day, forget that interesting opportunities come from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and seeing the bigger picture. 

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