Next up on our Independents Week series, the women of Coco Blanca tell how they embraced the post-kid stage of their lives, developed a strong brand (“the soothing color palette of a coconut by the sea, with fresh clean whites, relaxing neutrals, rich browns, elegant blacks, and splashes of turquoise”), and opened a store with a unique fashion and home lifestyle approach…
Elisabeth, Susie, and I opened the store in Alexandria May 2013 as sort of a second life. All three of us had launched our children and were for the most part empty-nesters. First, we experimented by opening a store at National Harbor with a month-to-month, inexpensive lease. With success there we decide to put on our “big girl pants” and come to Old Town and sign a real lease! Voila, Coco Blanca at the Strand was born. Not quite as easy as that, but we have never regretted a moment. Old Town has been fabulous to us and we have created a loyal clientele here and appreciate them as customers and friends.
I think all three of us would say our favorite part of the business is having a creative outlet. Each of us gets to use our own innate sense of creativity with buying, displays, and advertising. Of course the other favorite part is working with our customers. Putting together an outfit that someone walks out the door happy with or delivering a fabulous piece of furniture to a customer gives us our greatest joy. Oh yes, and the buying trips!!!!!! We throw in a bit of fun while we are in New York, trying new dinner spots.
Right now we are most excited about all the new happenings in Old Town. With the new Hotel Indigo open next door, we are meeting lots of new people from all over. Then we have our own new dinner spot next door with the restaurant Hummingbird. The three of us plan to have dinner there together this month. We will let you know what we think!
I think our favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is knowing that there are no limits to our success. We just wish we were twenty-somethings!!!