· By Evelyn Wong
Retailer Spotlight x CocoMingos
"Having a shop is something that I've truly always wanted to do, so the fact that it's now a reality makes me smile… and feel proud that I can show my kids, by example, that you should give your dreams a go."
-Erin of Cocomingos
When and why did you open your shop?
We opened our shop online this October. We're so excited! I started my first job in retail when I was 14 years old and since then, I always knew I wanted to open a store “when I grew up.” I always envisioned opening a shoe or swimwear shop, but after having children, my world became all about kids. I love that kids can have so much fun with what they wear and have a style all their own. There are so many amazing children’s designers out there so it was a no brainer that this was the best direction for CocoMingos.
What industry/career were you in before you opened your shop?
I started my career in Public Relations. I worked at an agency, so we wore a lot of hats and did a good amount of marketing and social media work too. I decided to get my MBA about 4 years after college and subsequently made a career change into the technology world. I worked at an amazing technology agency as a project manager and copywriter and I learned a ton! Because of my husband’s career, we had to move a lot. I was able to work remotely for the technology agency, but I decided to stop working once I had my first child. After taking 3 years off to stay home with my munchkins (2yrs old and 3yrs old), I decided to take the leap into opening my store.
What is your favorite part of owning a retail shop?
There are so many awesome things about owning and running a shop. I love going to trade shows, seeing new lines, and being surrounded by so much creativity. It's inspiring to meet people who have put their heart and soul into creating a collection. I also feel like I have grown so much as a person since starting on this journey. I have to wear many different hats so everyday is different and exciting. The knowledge and education that comes with having your own business is priceless. Most importantly, having a shop is something that I’ve truly always wanted to do, so the fact that it’s now a reality makes me smile…..and feel proud that I can show my kids, by example, that you should give your dreams a go.
What makes your shop and the collections that you carry different from any one else?
We aim to help customers make quick, informed decisions through an easy, user-friendly shopping experience. We provide as much information as possible about each garment, including materials, special details, the fit, and washing instructions. We know it's hard for buyers to have complete confidence when making purchases online so we feel this helps makes those decisions easier. We believe people really appreciate useful content and transparency. We also offer a complimentary gifting service with no obligation to buy, in the hopes of helping people find amazing gifts, without having to spend tons of time shopping around. We focus on curating collections that are ethically sourced and produced, made from quality materials, and are comfortable. Kids want to play and they should be able to move around and be free to have fun in their clothes. There’s no sense in looking cool or fabulous, if you can’t enjoy yourself in what you’re wearing. We stand for quality materials and quality craftsmanship. It seems to be a bit of a lost art these days, so we love supporting brands who truly care about what they are putting out there. It’s also super important that everything we offer is ethically sourced and produced. We want to help put smiles on children’s faces, not take those smiles away. From a style perspective, our collections range. Growing up in Miami, I was surrounded by many different cultures and influenced by so many styles. Overall, I’d say that we focus on offering products that are “effortlessly cool” - pieces that are easy to wear, comfortable, and look sharp or chic without too much fuss.