It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. And the case holds true for Lori Louis, who as a single mom raising two boys while running a successful consulting career, got fed up with rummaging through her cosmetic drawer each morning. So she came up with a unique cosmetic organizer that fits right in your drawer. Thus was the launch of another career for Louis–Mocha Moon, offering chic yet functional, organizational products.
Louis didn’t start the company overnight. In fact, it took her a few years to develop the product and begin Mocha Moon. She just recently launched the company with two luxurious yet functional beauty accessories: The Perez Bag, a ultra modern cosmetic organizer and its matching Lori L tote bag. Several more product launches are scheduled for the near future.
“I started this business after I was laid off during the worst part of the recession but the idea for The Perez Bag came many years earlier,” explains Louis. “I created the Perez bag because I was tired of digging through my makeup drawer and dumping makeup out of my makeup bag to find lipstick, eyeliner, etc. I was running late to work one day and as I rushed to put my makeup on I thought ‘there has got to be a better way than digging through my dresser drawer and searching through my makeup collection’. I kept the idea of creating the ultimate cosmetic organizer in my head for years, but it remained on the back-burner because I did not have the funds for production.”
The start of Mocha Moon was actually divine intervention–literally. “Last year, I was listening to a sermon by Joel Osteen and in his sermon he said, “God gives us witty inventions,” and I remembered the idea of the cosmetic organizer that I’d put on hold,” remembers Louis. “Less than a year later, I am selling them online at Mochamoon.com. The idea behind Mocha Moon is to help women create organization out of cosmetic chaos. My future plans include filling The Perez Bag with cosmetics and toiletries and donating them to women’s shelters. The Mocha Moon bags are named after my nieces as I’m leaving this legacy for the next generation.”
Though Mocha Moon would fill a void on the market, Louis faced the obstacles many new small businesses come up against. “One of the biggest obstacles I faced was creating the perfect prototype for my product. One of the greatest features of The Perez Bag is the organization bands where you can put brushes, lipstick, glosses and more. The manufacturer had some challenges getting the right sizes for all the compartments of the organizer,” says Louis. “We were finally able to get The Perez Bag perfected after I mailed them makeup so they could get the organizational bands just right. Now when you purchase a Perez Bag, it fits different types of brushes and makeup tools. The second obstacle is getting Mocha Moon products into retail stores. We are still working on this and will be attending a few trade shows in the near future to market and promote Mocha Moon.”
Louis currently sells Mocha Moon products online, but aims to hit retail stores soon. “Until we secure a major retailer, our products are sold online at mochamoon.com. Hopefully with the continued exposure, you’ll see them in retail stores shortly,” she says. And, she adds, they have several other items debuting.
“We will be making large and small cosmetic organizers and introducing an assortment of colors for the Lori L and Perez Cosmetic Organizer. For now, our signature color is Mocha,” she says. “We are also launching a men’s line of shaving kit organizers. Part of the proceeds from the sale of our products is donated to my nonprofit organization, Beauty & Books. These donations have allowed us to do some great projects and seminars at My Sister’s House, a woman’s shelter in Atlanta. Our next project is a job readiness seminar which will end with an on site job fair. We are also working on making over the library at My Sister’s House.”