We are so passionate about the brands we carry, many of them small businesses themselves, that we thought it would be cool to share their stories! We will be featuring many of the folks behind the incredible companies that we partner with. Here we have Doreen from Neero & Ana.
Who are you and what is your company?
Hi. I’m Doreen, Founder & President of Neero & Ana, Inc. on Long Island, New York. We manufacture a nature-inspired satin pillowcases and other products for the haircare and anti-aging consumer. I started the company back in 2006 and have been in full swing since then, selling and shipping products all over the world. I’m really into simplifying my daily and nightly beauty routine and realized that not all beauty care has to come in a jar or a bottle.
In my former life, I was a VP of marketing for a Fortune 100 credit card company. I hated the work I did and wanted to use the talents God gave me, rather than just fulfilling tasks from a company’s job description. Everyone thought I was crazy to give up a cushy, 6 figure salary to start a company at 50 years old.
How did Neero & Ana get started?
Whenever I visited my hairdresser, I’d ask about the best ways to maintain my expensive salon haircut and style. My hairdresser encouraged me to use a satin pillowcase to maintain the style and protect it from frizzing, split ends and damage. I purchased several from various nearby stores, but they eventually all ended up in the trash.
I learned that: (a)sateen pillowcases were nothing more than a polished cotton (which I was desperately trying to avoid); (b) polyester cases were essentially made from plastic and my hair still suffered (plus they made me sweat); and (c) silk pillowcases required over 6,000 silkworms cooked alive.
I enrolled in textile courses at the Fashion institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City to learn about fabrics that were eco-friendlier. I then started using a plant-based acetate bridal satin to construct our Satin Hydration Therapy® beauty pillowcases. The fabric is anti-absorbent and breathable. Plus, they’re super durable and multi-task to help keep face moisturized as well.
What challenges have you faced?
Being an entrepreneur means you initially do it all – from building a network of contacts, getting press, creating a business plan, understanding financials, developing marketing strategies, merchandising and so much more I didn’t know before I started the company. My world prior to starting Neero & Ana was very corporate and the transition to independence took some getting used to.
What are you the most proud of?
All of Neero & Ana’s products are made in the USA. I’m so proud that we’ve been able to stay away from importing from overseas. We utilize talent and craftsmanship from workers in the New York City Garment District.
What else are you passionate about and enjoy?
I love not having to ask for a vacation. I also love being able to use my own creative ideas to generate business and create relationships. It’s been over 15 years now and I just can’t go back to corporate American ever again. It isn’t easy, but it sure is rewarding!
Thank you Doreen! We love your story and are so inspired about the start up of your business and the energy behind it.
Neero & Ana pillowcases are nature-inspired and made from plant cellulose. This means that one of the components in the production process comes from natural cellulose. Cellulose is wood pulp or generally obtained from trees or plants making these pillow cases more sustainable then regular cotton.
Stay tuned for more Brand Feature Blogs, and let us know if there's someone in particular you want us to spotlight!