As a medical aesthetician and avid promoter of girl power, Bostonian Sara Ferrer realized an alarming pattern that was occurring during her 10 year career in esthetics. Always a believer in a healthy approach to self-improvement, the spa treatments she offered had many physical and emotional benefits, but there was one common problem the treatments couldn’t solve. Sara couldn’t alleviate the rampant negative self-talk that many of her female clients possessed. Even as a self proclaimed “glass overflowing” optimist, Sara noticed how easy it was for her own self doubt and critical inner voice to take over.
“We empower ourselves by empowering others.”Sara Ferrer, Owner and Founder, Zoey Koko
It was heartbreaking for Sara to interact with so many seemingly confident women on a regular basis and watch them dissect every perceived flaw about themselves. Even more heartbreaking was that many of these women were also mothers to young girls who were experiencing the same level of negative self-talk, self-doubt, and low self-esteem. The irony, of course, was that in her many years in the spa industry Sara never heard a male client riddle themselves with the same intensity of self-doubt. Why was that, she wondered? And at what age does this uncertainty begin? A search to uncover that answer began and the results would completely redefine her career path and perhaps more importantly, her purpose.
Sara learned what all moms already know: the tween years are difficult, and they start early. Girls between the ages of six and 12 are no longer babies, but not yet teenagers —and the struggle for belonging and self expression is real. There are mental, physical and emotional changes that are taking place at lightning speed. Add to that sexualized media messaging, peer pressure and the rampant bullying that we see in today’s society and it’s no wonder girls struggle with negative body issues and self-esteem.
Sara took her Babson business degree and coupled it with her expert knowledge of skin care formulations to create a solution for the growing problem she observed. Her mission was clear: empower young girls through self-care products by positively encouraging them to love the skin they’re in. In the early stages of customer research and testing her bath and body product prototypes, she partnered with a local Girl Scout troop and hosted a spa day event. Her “ah ha” moment came after one of the girls exclaimed “I feel so smiley in my skin!” Bingo!
In 2017, Sara officially launched Zoey Koko, a skin-friendly line of fun bath and body products with a brand message that promotes girl power, positivity, and confidence. This line initially gained a cult following on Etsy and now is available in over 44 speciality gift and toy stores.