When Natasha Case lost her architecture job at Walt Disney Imagineering, she could've never guessed that it would lead her down such a unique and surprisingly sweet career path. Together with Freya Estreller, Case founded an architecturally inspired ice cream sandwich company called Coolhaus, which they first peddled in 2009 at Coachella in an old, beat-up postal van they bought off of Craigslist. The sweet treats made a big impression on the festival crowd, and Case returned to LA to an abundance of viral press, a rapidly growing social media following, and an eager foodie audience. Since then, the small dessert business has grown significantly to include two storefronts in Los Angeles along with nine trucks spread across Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas; and their prepackaged products are offered in over 5,000 grocery stores nationwide.
The name Coolhaus is a nod to Case's architecture background, playing on Bauhaus, the modernist design movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and Rem Koolhaas, a famous Dutch architect. The icy treats also have cute pun-filled names, including Frank Behry (sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream), Mintimalism (chocolate chip cookie with mint chip ice cream), and Mies Vanilla Rohe (chocolate chip cookie with vanilla ice cream).
Keep reading to find out how this Coolhaus founder powers her own delicious happy!
Power Your Happy Q&A
What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?
I think when you’re 22, you take more risks. You can walk through a wall when you don’t know it’s there. Sometimes people get wrapped up in their perceived limitations when in reality these can be their biggest advantages.
What talent or passion have you been able to use in your career in an unexpected way?
Design! Having a design/architecture background really helps run the business and tell the brand story. Architecture needs multiple people working towards a common goal, much like a business team. It also teaches you to be creative within constraints. At the end of the day, what you are creating and making has to be real and stable.
What is the one thing that influenced your career today? When was the moment when you realized you were on the right path?
Getting laid off due to the recession from Disney was really a blessing in disguise. It was the kick in the butt I needed. I’ve kept in contact and on great terms with everyone I worked with — these people were (and still are) a huge support system.
What does "finding your happy" mean to you? Do you feel you’ve "found it"?
Finding my happy place to me is the opposite of FOMO (fear of missing out). It means wherever you are is the place to be and whatever I am doing is right to me. I do feel I’ve found it. I have the control to step back from my company and know things will continue. All of this has just been accentuated now that I have a child.
What powers your happy?
When I do something I love that in return inspired others to do same
Dirty martinis with blue-cheese-stuffed olives and watching The Bachelor with our dear friend Marisa
Favorite curse word?
Sitting in my garden and beautiful beach days
Heels or flats?
The one thing you can’t leave home without?
My gotu kola extract. It is great — be sure to look it up.
Favorite junk food?
Favorite healthy food?
Tennis and golf
At-home couples massage
Favorite thing about your appearance?
I’ve been told I have a "glowing complexion," which is pretty cool. Oh, and I’m getting blonder and blonder, which I love.
My gold Swiss watch from 1951. There were only eight made specifically for people with thin wrists.
First thing you do when you wake up?
Look/fawn over my newborn, Remy
Last thing you do before going to bed?
Read the New Yorker restaurant review
Image Source: Viet Nguyen