Well as much as 2020 has totally not aligned in various aspects of life, it has made space a project that has been on the back burner and in different forms but has now emerged- CoCo & KiKi.
We think to run a successful company, you’ve got to have not only a strong vision, but be fearlessly optimistic, “totally prepared to have nothing for a long period of time and to risk anything you have got”- Karen Jones, Co Founder of Cafe Rouge. And just generally a little bit mad. Which I’m sure you’ll see reading our Brand Journey below, we all probably are!
We are keen to give back and to make giving back easier, which is why we’ve ethically sourced our garments and we’ve hand picked the projects that the profits from the sales of our dungarees get reinvested into.
Coco & Kiki
The childhood nicknames of Corrine and Kishana.
The pair met at a marketing firm in West London in 2019.
As part of Lockdown 1, Kiki was taking Coco on Marathon walks [literally] and that is where CoCo & KiKi was born, the sheer lengths of the walks lead to a lot of time bouncing around ideas and these two are absolute natterers!
Also known as Lady Marmalade the Russian Donkey Saviour of 2006
You’ll undoubtedly know if Madeline Katzinski is in your sphere. The talent behind the logo, Maddie first came into Corrine’s life in 2003 when C crossed paths with Mimi (Maddie’s sister) in the town of Charmouth wearing the same Gap jumper – how retro! – and formed a friendship over the observation. A friendship which would open the doors of the Katzinski’s whole family to Corrine and thus to the young rogue, Madeline. A kindred spirit to C’s own rebellious heart, the two became thick as thieves.
Charmouth was the kind of village where you really had to make your own fun. Afternoons were spent swinging off the ’Landy’ (as the old school, 12-seater family Land Rover was nicknamed) roof rack gaily singing the parody lyrics to ‘Tragedy’ by Steps, donning oversized coats, red lipstick, and dodgy accents to pitch the plight of the Russian donkeys to the neighbours. A fond memory of the pair involved a landslide, of course!, with Corrine piggybacking Maddie up a tumbling cliff in flip flops.
Embarking on building a children’s clothing brand led me to think back to these days of my youth, and the time spent getting into mischief. It so happens, as Maddie grew up she developed quite an eye for illustration, so it was a delight to bring her into the team as the logo designer; and to bring together my youth with the brand.
We think she turned her hand to the task rather well as she’s brought more logos to the tables than donkeys, this time around!
Usually found in the sea, or coming out of A&E with a knee related injury!
Corrine met Mollie, our wonderful designer in Lyme Regis at Secondary school, we then spent our summers scooping ice cream together, as you do in small seaside towns. Since then she has branched out a little and currently works as a designer in Hong Kong, with some big players in her roster, such as John Lewis. So we are thrilled to have her as part of the team!
Usually found transporting kilos of food
It is often tricky to find people on your wavelength in life and even more so across continents in a global pandemic.
So stumbling across Jas was incredibly fortuitous.
Jas is a Philipino national who moved back home from London before Covid hit. She is based in Negros, a small island in the Philippines. She raised nearly 10K, whilst gathering and
distributing food and essentials to locals who were living hand to mouth at the beginning of the pandemic. We will now be taking a more viable
long term approach of selecting individuals who’d like to start a small
venture but perhaps don’t have the startup capital or the know-how. Between Jas & I, we have both the knowledge and the funding to help with getting them started. To read more about this project please check out our reinvestment page.
After searching high and low for a studio to partner with in India we eventually stumbled across this perfect partnership. A lakeside studio, a stone’s throw away from Coco’s first apartment in Bangalore. A boutique studio run by women, with ethical, sustainability at the heart of their focus. They’ve been on an absolute mission since they started four years ago.
With women like Radha “Radha is now an Assistant Cutter, after being promoted from a seamstress who joined us on Day 1 of Blank Studio (almost 4 years ago). She’s one of our most special, and has been with us from the very start. While she enjoys stitching new samples, her most recent passion has been trying to learn the skill of pattern making and assist the master is cutting fabric to be sewn into garments. She is a complete joy to work with. Her spirit truly lights up our small workspace. She is a mentor to many other women, and is also a role model and inspiration to those who aspire to be a master or cutter in the future. There’s so much to learn from you Radha”