An American entrepreneur taking on Mallorca and changing the way we look at female athletes.
“If you want to make something happen, make it happen.” – Laura Cozik
Meet Laura… a lady with more hats than a milliner. Fitness instructor, nationally ranked ballroom dance champ, triathlete, women athlete support group founder, and CEO of a seriously cool travel company. With a resume like that, it’s hard to imagine what Laura can’t do! Here’s her inspiring tale.
A Ray of Sunshine #
In my years living abroad, I’ve found that Americans tend to avoid each other rather studiously. Maybe it’s just my experience, but I have had NO American friends in my 16 years away from “home” except the ones I had before I left. So when I was asked to meet Laura Cozik, a fellow American, founder and owner of Team Lipstick and Team Lipstick Travel, I was intrigued. Perhaps this was a chance to end the streak.
I meet Laura at a coffee house in Santa Catalina on a grey March early afternoon. Its chilly and cloudy, and the coffee house door has been left wide open. I find a place near the back (as far from the door as possible) and try to not be grumpy about the cold. About 5 minutes later, in walks a ray of sunshine who beelines for the table and introduces herself. This is Laura. Instantly warm, accessible, and the first real girl’s girl I’ve met in a long time.
May I introduce … #
Founder and CEO of Team Lipstick and Team Lipstick Travel
Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and feel incredibly lucky about that. We lived in a neighbourhood where kids left the house after breakfast and didn’t come home again until the street lights went on at night and no one worried because everyone was looking out for each other. It was a good place to be brought up.
What did you do before coming to Mallorca?
I did quite a few different things. Twenty years of dancing, twenty years as a fitness coach, ten years as a nationally ranked ballroom dance champion, and since 2006, an active triathlete.
Triathlons… Wow! How did you get into that?
When I signed up for my first triathlon I didn’t even know how to swim! In Brooklyn, we were more into hanging out on the beach than swimming. Besides, it would’ve messed up our hair and makeup! (Laughs) I had twelve weeks to prepare, so I hired a swim coach. The first day I just sat on the edge of the pool and blew bubbles into handfuls of water. Three weeks later, I was able to swim halfway across the pool. By the time of the race, I was ready for the half mile open water swim.
I was self-coached for the biking and running and that was great, but I had a few eye-opening moments on race day. Who knew no one brushed their hair before the run? Or that it was supposed to take less than seven minutes to transition between events? It was a funny and amazing experience. When I crossed that finish line I had two thoughts… 1- that was easy. 2- I want to share this feeling with other women.
So in 2008, after I had a few triathlons under my belt, I started Team Lipstick.
I tell Laura I remember reading about Team Lipstick around the time she launched it and remember thinking what a wonderful idea it was. My memory can be sieve-like so for me to remember an article from ten years ago is nothing short of miraculous. I tell her this. She says she’s happy to get this kind of feedback, it’s rare you do, but she is even more happy to know that the idea resonated. To her, it means she has done her job.
Tell us about Team Lipstick.
Team Lipstick is an all-women triathlon team. The idea was to have a supportive environment for women to thrive and build confidence through sport. A place where women supported women, were positive and embraced physical challenges.
In May 2008, we launched our beginner program with 25 first timers. Every one of the participants finished the race. It was inspiring and made me realise what a powerful message this brand has. These women from wildly various fitness levels all come together to support and cheer each other on. It’s a family and what we do, we do together.
And Team Lipstick Travel?
We hosted our first travel event in Jamaica in 2010. We did the Reggae Marathon, half marathon, and 10K, swam, did yoga, and managed to fit in a few rum drinks in the evenings. It was such fun and such a success that we decided to take the show on the road and hosted events in some pretty amazing places: Girona Spain, Mallorca Spain (our most popular as we've now been there 12 times), the Italian Dolomites, Iceland, Paris, St Lucia, Miami Beach, Tulum Mexico, South Africa, as well as Upstate NY for our local training events. It was great putting together these travel packages, so I decided to make it another aspect of the Team Lipstick experience.
Now, we put together week long packages for anything you want to do so long as it revolves around women being active. We do cycling, yoga, running, whatever you like. Its all-inclusive and tailor-made. We’ve recently started working with partners like Deep Health Evolution and the Empire Tri Club to create some really exciting new co-ed options. We don’t want to completely leave the guys out!
So how did you land here in Mallorca?
Well, I had a difficult breakup, and in August 2010, I decided to do my own version of Eat, Love, Pray. I came to Spain, fully intending on doing the grand tour. I arrived on Mallorca and didn’t leave! I spent the next three weeks here and loved it.
After a lot of back and forth, I moved here full time in January 2018 and focused on Mallorca as the place to base Team Lipstick Travel. It was our most popular destination and it seemed the logical choice. I wanted to move here, anyway, so…
How hard has it been to run a business here?
My company is American, so not hard at all! I am in Spain on a resident visa and am about to renew that again. I want to stay here, so I’ll cross those bridges when they come.
“The travel business has been exceptional as we just completed our 17th event event in Mallorca. As for coaching local females, I do that as complimentary strength training sessions twice a week. For me it’s fun ... Team Lipstick Mallorca!
Any other challenges?
Of course! There are always going to be challenges. That’s life. I look at adversity like a tunnel. If I keep focusing on the light at the end, I know I can get through it.
Where do you live in Mallorca?
I live in Palma in Son Cotoner. It’s a real Spanish neighbourhood. No tourists, very quiet. I’ve become a fixture and now when I go into a shop I’m recognized. They call me “New York”. I love it!
How’s your Spanish?
I try to use my Spanish out on the grocer, the baker and store clerks. They’re all really nice, but so many people here want to practice English that it often ends up with us speaking English! I don’t watch regular TV, but I do watch movies with Spanish subtitles and it really helps.
What do you miss about New York?
Equinox! (A fabulous chain of gyms in NYC). And family. I have a three year old niece who is so cool. She’s really active and sporty and I adore her. I miss the speed of life in New York. We walk fast, talk fast, move fast. I haven’t changed that about myself being here. If I had a half hour to walk across the street, I’d still walk as fast as I normally do. It’s in my bones.
I also miss how people in New York don’t think of patience as a virtue! They all have busy lives and don’t waste their time or other people’s time, either. I don’t like how some people think being half an hour late to everything is ok! In my world, being early is on time, on time is late and late is rude.
Oh, and I miss tequila. Do you know how hard it is to find tequila here? (laughs)
Was it hard to leave your life behind?
Sure, it was hard. Hard saying goodbye to NYC and everyone I love. I sold everything before I left. I came to Mallorca with 4 suitcases. I wanted to be free. When people say to me, “I’d love to do what you did,” I tell them if they want to make something happen, then make it happen! There was no magic trick to making this move, I simply booked a flight.
Well, I’m writing a book about Team Lipstick. I’m also producing instructional videos and working with a new partner, Julia Pimsleur (entrepreneur and author of Million Dollar Women) coaching female entrepreneurs.
Exciting times ahead! For more information or to make a reservation, contact Laura at https://www.teamlipsticktravel.com
Name: Laura Cozik
Nationality: (Born in) Brooklyn, NY USA
Lives in: Palma
Profession: Professional Fitness Instructor, Triathlete, Sport Travel Coordinator, Entrepreneur
Signature phrase: Lift women up, and bond them together.
By Stephanie Horsman
23 April, 2019