When Vanessa Lorraine asked Johnson Germain on their first date what kind of business he would start if he had $50k, the owner of The Curl Refinery knew she had met her match when Johnson’s immediate response was “a men’s beard line”…because that was her dream, too!
Today the two own the Connoisseur Collective Brand and work to make the most of their business and family time together. Here’s a look at what the power couple has going on in their world.
Can you tell us more about your company?
The Connoisseur Collective Brand is a men’s personal care company that focuses on meeting the needs of men’s grooming with vegan friendly and organic products. Vanessa had her personal care industry women’s line and Johnson, an avid beard lover already had concepts for the line he wanted to create. We joined forces and from that day forth, our personal and business relationship flourished, and the Connoisseur Collective Brand was born.
How difficult is it to run a business during COVID-19? How do you manage your time?
Our business was already ecommerce focused, and the bulk of our customer base orders from us online. Due to this, we did not have to make a large shift in how we reached our consumers. Challenges did arise in how products were transported to customers, though, with shipping delays. We manage our time, by making each moment productive. Customer service needs always are at the forefront of our day. Then, we ensure that we set aside time to innovate and place focus on company growth.
Have you ever dreamed of being where you are today? What contributed to your success the most?
Vanessa: I always dreamed of being where I am today. Running successful businesses with the man that I love – but I had given up on it as only a dream.
Johnson: I absolutely have dreamed of being where I am today. I would contribute my success greatly to Vanessa. She motivated me to step into doing the things that I have always envisioned.
In the midst of BLM, what are your thoughts on all of this?
Not only the Black Lives Matter movement but the state of the nation in general today has highlighted the need for black people to become not only just consumers but producers as well. We have seen how powerful the black dollar is. Which is why we have placed an emphasis in our business on collaborating with other black entrepreneurs. We want to build a community of like-minded individuals so that we can shift the financial power back into the hands of our own community. One of the only ways to truly create change is to change the way in which we spend our dollar.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
We have both had to change the way in which we prioritize our time. Our family life has changed but in a positive way. We have been able to bring the kids to work and let them see how businesses are run. The way that we spend time with family has changed but the amount of time we spend together has increased.
Do you consider yourself a role model? What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Being parents is one of our primary role model positions. Outside of that we simply focus on making positive impacts in people’s lives. Our advice is always to never give up on your dreams.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Outside of work, we try to stay active and spend as much time with family as possible. Living in Florida makes it easy to find outdoor activities to do year-round.
What is the message you would like to share with the world?
If you do not see what you want or need in the world already: you can create it. Whether that be a lifestyle, product, or service.
Connoisseur Collective Brand by Power Couple Vanessa Lorraine asked Johnson Germain