Small Business Stories of Impact: CoCo Pai

: August 1, 2020

CoCo Pai, owner of CoZi Skincare, shares her experience in the inaugural Small Business School Challenge in May 2020 and the impact working with her team of MBA student consultants had on her growing business.

We interviewed CoCo shortly after the May2020 SBSC-I virtual event.

Mom, esthetician, and small business owner CoCo Pai had 30 years of entrepreneurship behind her when the lockdowns rolling through California in March 2020 in response to COVID19 completely shut her spa and skin care business down.

Earlier in the year she had been planning to scale her business up, to expand into a bigger space and hire more team members. Her business was thriving at the end of 2019 and the future was bright.

Losing 90% of her business overnight because so much relied on in-person treatments left CoCo in a huge loss as she was still paying rent and business expenses. The stress and emotional toll was growing as the shutdown stretched from one month to two and on.

Then she found the Small Business School Challenge and applied for help.

“My MBA team has amazing listening skills and analytics skills. As their client, I felt well taken care of. The meetings were always fun, always opened minded, throwing questions to brainstorm and analyzing on the fly my answers with follow-up questions. They showed compassion and encouragement to me as a small business owner. I could not have asked for a better team. I feel so lucky and grateful. I hope I will be able to maintain this relationship with them in the future. Nothing to improve on their side, they are perfect! I was overwhelmed by their love. What an incredible feeling to have when you feel stuck or hopeless.

-CoCo Pai

CoCo’s story illustrates the value of the Small Business School Challenge and the support the MBA teams are bringing beyond the strategic and tactical. Stress and isolation is just as dangerous for small business owners facing extreme challenges.

Hear more about her emotional experience in the May SBSC-I event with her team in the interview above.

And see the recommendations and plan provided by her MBA team from UCLA Anderson School of Management in her business case study here.