In a week that saw her announce the arrival of Cocoa Brown into Australia, cosmetics entrepreneur Marissa Carter has exclusively shared yet more exciting news with SHEmazing!
“We’re landing in 400 stores in Sweden,” she reveals. “Cocoa Brown tan from next week will be hitting Coop, which is one of the largest retails there.”
Incredibly, the announcement represents the fourth international expansion for Cocoa Brown: the Irish brand is already available in the US and UK, as well as Australia. Celebrity fans include Rosanna Davison, Millie Mackintosh, and Vogue Williams.
Still, Marissa explains that she made the Swedish distributor work hard before signing a deal with him.
“A young Swedish guy set up his distribution company two years ago and he’s been fighting and fighting with me for Cocoa Brown exclusivity for ages.
“I kept fobbing him off, but he kept at it. Eventually I told him bluntly: ‘Look, I only do business with people I trust, so before we sign anything I’ll have to meet you. But I’m also nine months pregnant, so if you want to make this happen, you’re going to have to come to me. And I’ll probably only have an hour to spare as my schedule is pretty hectic right now.’
“I’m sure he thought I was a right so-and-so, but he jumped on a plane to Dublin regardless. We met for an hour at the Hilton hotel by the Grand Canal and by the end he had persuaded me that this was a good deal to make.”
The 31-year-old, who lives with her husband, toddler son, newborn baby daughter, and pet dog in south county Dublin, also explains that the response to Cocoa Brown’s launch in Australia earlier this week has been incredible. “There are so many expats over there, so there’s been a warm welcome, certainly.
“One young woman sent me a Tweet telling me that she’s delighted – last time she was at home in Ireland she had to drag ten bottles of Cocoa Brown back to Australia with her!”
She’s hoping to launch there properly in September, and says she’ll make a holiday out of the trip too. “My husband, Ronan, has family in Australia, and I have two uncles and cousins there, so we’ll combine work with a little break.”
In the meantime, Ms Carter, who only gave birth to her daughter Isabelle last month, says she fully intends on stepping away from the business for a few months.
“Everyone thinks I’m back at the desk but I’m not – I’m definitely taking maternity leave.
"I’ve worked really, really hard over the last two years so I won’t be rushing back.”
Until then, Marissa’s looking forward to embracing her heels again. “It’s been an age since I’ve worn heels – but just today I put on a pair again. I’m definitely back in that sense!”