We had the good fortune of connecting with Celestia Howe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Celestia, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
As an athlete and mom working long hours at a tech job, I started using collagen protein to keep me active on the trails, and keep me sustained for my long days. I started using a well known brand, and researched where their collagen came from. I’ve had to change my diet because I have Celiac disease, and that has caused me to research where my food comes and connecting clean, pure food to improving my physical and emotional wellbeing. Researching where collagen came (most are from bovine hides and hooves) made me want to find clean, sustainably-sourced collagen, eventually that led me to start Cofo Provisions.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As active women who live busy lives, we desired a clean source of protein and energy to help us be active, vibrant and feeling good no matter our age. I created Cofo Marine Collagen Superpowders as a clean, sustainably-sourced protein to repair and regenerate our joints, bones and skin. There are no refined sugars, no fillers, no corn, no gluten, no synthetics. We only use organic, non-GMO, real food-derived flavors: raw cacao and lemon Juice. Cofo collagen comes from 100% Alaskan Wild-Caught Pollock or Cod. We source our collagen from sustainable, clean and safe sources from Alaskan waters that are processed in a Marine Stewardship Approved facility. Each serving of our superpowders include 10-12g of highly bioavailable hydrolyzed fish collagen peptide protein. Cofo Provisions is located in Boulder CO, we are a women-owned, women-funded, passion-filled community who love to be outside and feel good inside.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d recommend they go on a morning mountain bike adventure in Nederland and go mountain biking on some of the trails where you can’t hear any cars or see any houses. It’s just the trees, views of the continental divide and endless epic single-track. After, they could head down to Boulder and have coffee at Beleza in Boulder. I love Beleza because the owners, Greg and Nafisa are uber-passionate about everything coffee, plus they always have huge smiles and high-fives for their customers – even during Covid. Next, they should take their coffee to Red Rocks sit on the rock face looking over the mountains, just being grateful for the day.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many ups and downs to starting Cofo. It’s taken 3 1/2 years to get off the ground and gain traction. Along the way, I’ve been lucky to have a tribe of mentors and believers that kept me afloat and moving forward. Out of this tribe, there are two big forces that have helped shaped Cofo and kept me going. First, Ian, the Co-Founder and CEO of Skratch Labs, has been my mentor from the start. He has helped shape Cofo to what it is now. He’s a straight talker and sometimes it hurt to hear his advice, yet the input helped me iterate and overcome product development, sourcing and sales challenges. The other person who helped me get to where I am is my boyfriend. He passed away two months ago from a neurological disease. Keeping a strong mindset; believing in myself and having confidence in myself and my vision has always been a challenge. Having one person 100% believe in you is priceless. I found that in Dan. When others told me to go back to work in tech for stability, or thought I was crazy bootstrapping a start-up sustainably-sourced collagen company as a single mom, he told me to keep working toward my purpose. In the hospital before he died, he whispered ‘you can do it.’ I think of him and his belief in me everyday, it keeps me going.