Renée was born in Los Angeles, California. She later moved to the small town of Truckee, California just outside Lake Tahoe. She spent her summers in Los Angeles and became fascinated with the fashion industry at a very young age. As soon as she turned 18, Renée packed her bags and headed back down to L.A. to pursue a career in fashion.
After a few years in the fashion industry, her interests quickly shifted to cosmetics. She worked for several industry-leading cosmetic and perfume companies before becoming the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the famed Philip B. During her tenure at Philip B., Renée gained extensive laboratory and marketing research experience. She also developed a keen understanding of the natural hair care business at a time when the concept of all-natural cosmetics was in its infancy.
After a few years at Philip B., Renée adopted a chocolate Cocker Spaniel puppy, Avo. She found herself purchasing every pet product known to man but could never find a pet shampoo that did not come with a warning label that read, “Harmful to Humans and Domestic Animals” or that simply did not work. She began researching dog shampoo products only to find that the ingredients listed were often not in the shampoos. Her research also led to her find that pH levels in dogs and cats were similar to humans. These findings, along with her natural hair care experience, led her to discover that essential oils and plant extracts were more beneficial for pets than humans—the combination of Tea Tree and Lavender oils was an excellent natural repellent for fleas, itchy skin and hot spots for animals while the same combination provided moisture, intense shine, and treated oily scalps for humans. It was through this research and a ton of baths for Avo that Fauna Aromatherapy Hair Care for Pets & People was born. Her best sellers included Tea Tree Oil & Lavender Oil shampoo, Shea Butter & Lavender Oil conditioner, Orange Oil and Lavender Oil detangling sheen, Marigold Petals & Lavender Oil Babies shampoo (can’t leave out the puppies and babies!), and an SPF 15 Citronella & Eucalyptus spray for the body and coat.
Less than five years later, Renée’s entrepreneurial instincts resulted in her starting a second company, Knotty Girl, that specialized in adult and children’s hair care and body products. Her inspiration came from her niece who was extremely sensitive to many hair products, so Renée created a “cradle to grave” line gentle enough for children but effective for adults as well. The name “Knotty Girl” was a spin off from her niece being a “naughty girl” when she used to protest the use of other body products. Some of the signature products from this line included the yummy Pink Princess Cotton Candy Shampoo and the delicious marshmallow aroma Drama Queen Sparkle lotion that leaves a very subtle but dramatic sheen on the skin.
And staying true to her innovative spirit, she even envisioned a business opportunity for herself and her doctor…