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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Irena Todd

Co-CEO

Fresh Monster

Location: Denver, CO

Founded: 2014

Industry: Consumer Packaged Goods

Irena Todd moved to the United States as a teen, alone and with little more than pocket change and determination to find success. From those humble beginnings, she got an education and built a successful corporate career, and today she is co-owner of her own company.

“The largest risk I have ever taken was moving to the United States at the age of 19, all by myself, with a few dollars in my pocket and a determination to get an education and build a career that made a positive impact,” Todd said. “Working full time, I financed my education at University of California, Berkeley (undergrad) and went on to build a successful career, first as a strategy consultant at Deloitte, then general manager at Unilever and finally as a co-founder of Fresh Monster that keeps children safe from harmful toxins in their everyday personal care.”

Fresh Monster was born out of the belief that there shouldn’t be so many tradeoffs when it comes to getting kids clean. Natural products should work just as well as regular products. Safe products should be affordable. Kids products should be made just for kids, not borrowed from babies or adults. “That’s why we created Fresh Monster: affordable, natural hair and body care designed and formulated just for kids and accessible to ALL families,” the company said.

Todd, co-founder and co-CEO of the multimillion-dollar consumer packaged goods company, began her journey as an interpreter at the United Nations in post-war Yugoslavia. After interpreting for many politicians and government officials, she determined that business, rather than politics, was the most powerful way to make an impact in the world.

She earned her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and later on an MBA at the University of Michigan. She also got hands-on brand and company-building experience at Unilever, managing and growing some of the world’s largest personal care brands like Axe, TRESemmé, Degree Men and Degree Women.

After having kids and realizing that parents had very limited options for safe personal care products for children, she teamed up with a Unilever colleague to use their background to address a hole in the market. Parents spent significant time caring about the safety of ingredients and quality of foods they feed their kids, yet they were forced to use toxin-filled personal care products, like shampoos, deodorants, etc. Todd set out to launch a company that would offer safe and affordable personal care options that all families could have access to.

Todd and her co-founder were selected for the Telluride Venture Accelerator to get the company off the ground. After completing the accelerator program and securing funding from investors, Fresh Monster was born as a line of toxin-free, personal care products designed specifically for kids. The product range includes head-to-toe cleaning and care products such as shampoo, body wash, deodorant, hair detangler, sunscreen and more.

Fresh Monster has seen double-digit growth over the last six years. Four years into the journey, the company launched a toxin-free line of grooming products for pets called Mighty Mutt.

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Irena is a surfer who attempted to conquer waves in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Barbados.

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