Local business CocoRoo taking off

Jill (Lents) Howarth, a Belmond native, and her husband James have been in Iowa for about a year since moving from Australia, James’s home country. In that year, they’ve been quite busy launching their business: a natural beauty products brand called CocoRoo, a coconut oil-based line of organic lotions.

Their story starts back when Jill first visited Australia. While attending Colorado State University, Jill took a semester to study abroad. “I picked somewhere close to the beach,” she said. Jill and James met through a mutual friend, and she decided to finish her last credits at Griffith University. She was in Australia from 2002-2016, though she visited the U.S. every year or so. The Howarths married in 2010.

While living in Australia, Jill frequently used coconut oil in homemade beauty products. “Especially the coffee scrub was very popular with friends and family,” she said.

Jill’s homemade products became a passion, and that passion became the idea for a business that James, who has a background in finance, could be a part of. “When we decided we were moving to America, he decided to invest in me, and not to get back into the corporate world,” Jill said.


For the full story, see the March 9 edition of the Monitor.