Home Spotlights & Interviews #BeautifyBoss Meet Emily Griffith Wenrick, Founder of Cap’n Coconut

Meet Emily Griffith Wenrick, Founder of Cap’n Coconut

“Simply helping people feel relaxed and beautiful is the greatest reward. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, confident, and cared for.”

All products featured on Beautify.tips are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Photos: Cap’n Coconut

“We rise by lifting others.”

At Beautify.tips, we love to shine the spotlight on entrepreneurs who weren’t afraid to build their own brand, blaze their own trail, and be their own boss. Here are their journeys…

It’s National Coconut Day and we caught up with Emily Griffith Wenrick, founder of Cap’n Coconut to learn all about how she created and launched her beautifying brand.

About Cap’n Coconut

Cap’n Coconut is a small-batch hair and body care line created to whisk you away to your favorite oceanside paradise. I focus on moisturizers and exfoliants and have created the *best* sea salt texturizing hair spray ever. I use consciously-chosen natural ingredients, paired with scents and textures that leave you feeling as refreshed and nourished as if you’ve returned from a tropical vacation.

In the Beginning…

I started Cap’n Coconut when I was nourishing my skin back to health after treatment for melanoma. Recovery required me to take a step back from my agency work life and prioritize my healing and well-being. Drawing inspiration from my childhood on the Oregon coast and Barrow, Alaska as well as vacations to Hawaii, and most especially talks with my dermatologist, I set off creating a coconut body balm recipe to use in my own healing. I was in my apartment, alone, recovering from surgery, and truly just started making it to keep myself busy (and from going crazy). Soon enough, I began sharing it with friends and family, thus Cap’n Coconut was born

Up for the Challenge

My biggest challenge was believing in myself and sticking with it. The beauty industry is so intense, I often felt like I wasn’t good enough but I just kept at it. I kept learning new things, putting them into practice, and continuing to adapt and grow. I tried to put myself in positions to learn from other entrepreneurs and forced myself to step out of my comfort zone. I took positive risks every step of the way and now I don’t think I even have a comfort zone anymore because of the resilience I have built living outside of it!

Taking Risks

The biggest risk I took as a business owner was leaving my full-time agency job and stepping into the power of being my own boss. Although, this decision to leave the comfort of a 9-5, has turned out to be the best decision of my life.

My Breakthrough Moment

I started selling on Etsy when I was first starting out with my business. I had never run my own online store and had no idea really how to get started. Not long after setting up my shop, Etsy chose Cap’n Coconut’s Mermaid Hair as an Editor’s pick. I woke up to a sold-out store and tons of messages and orders. I thought I had been hacked. Soon after, Madewell reached out and asked me to participate in their “Hometown Hero” pop-up in the Pearl in Portland. That was really special and helped me feel like I was “real”. Then, the pandemic hit. That was scary on every level as I was just getting confidence and momentum. I applied to be a part of a local business accelerator that was testing how to do their program online. From there, I learned a lot and gained more confidence to get into the wholesale market. That helped put me in touch with Market of Choice as well. Soon, Urban Outfitters reached out after the accelerator, and I was so stoked to be part of their summer collection in 2020. All of these breakthrough moments happened during the height of the pandemic, and I thought – well I guess we did it! We’re still here! 

Most Rewarding

Simply helping people feel relaxed and beautiful is the greatest reward. Everyone deserves to feel beautiful, confident, and cared for!

What’s Next?

Hold on to your coconuts! There are tons more on the horizon. Cap’n Coconut Sunshine Studio officially opens at the end of June in Coverdale, Oregon. I’m partnering with my sister (also an esthetician) and our friend Kelly (Hair Stylist) to open a lovely little salon here as well. I’ll be focused on custom airbrush tanning, body treatments, and custom facials. I’ve also found a new home for all Cap’n Coconut operations, and I’ll be moving to a new office and manufacturing location in July. I can’t wait to share more so stay tuned!

author avatar
Janene Mascarella