I got a chance to chat with the owner of the premier apparel line, Cocoa Babies. I first fell in love with the onesies last December. My favorite one has "All Because Two People Fell In Love" emblazoned across the front. I also like the one featured above. You can check out the extensive online catalogue at www.cocoababies.com.
Why did you start Cocoa Babies?
I had the idea to launch Cocoa Babies after seeing children in tee’s that were totally inappropriate. I started to look at the major retailers to see what they offered consumers and saw that there were few designs that had positive messages and none marketed specifically to children/teens of color. I started to develop designs that I felt were positive and age appropriate and it grew from there. The word of mouth started before we launched, I sent a few design mark ups out via email to a small group of close friends and before I knew it I had messages from complete strangers inquiring about orders and additional designs. After the feedback started coming in I knew that I needed to move forward with this.
What kind of products do you currently sell?
We currently have items for the entire family; this includes our onesies and bibs along with our children and adult tees. As we expanded we added items such as tote bags, note cards and gift baskets which have been popular with our customers.
What future plans do you have for Cocoa Babies?
I am currently working on a wholesale catalogue. I would love to see the line carried in stores by the end of the year. I am always listening to our customers; so, we are looking at adding products like diaper bags and baby blankets in the near future.
Where can individuals purchase your products?
Cocoa Babies is currently offered exclusively online through our website at www.CocoaBabies.com
What challenges have you faced as a small business owner?
I am a small business owner who still has a 9-5; so, at times it’s hard to find balance, but it’s worth it in the end. Marketing is always something that you have to have in the back of your mind. I am always looking at ways to get the name and website out to the public, with a small budget that can be challenging at times.
What advice can you give to someone who would like to start their own business venture?
I would say do your research and realize that having a great idea isn’t enough. It’s important to understand that without a solid business plan your business has no foundation. You will need to do your research and surround yourself with people who can both challenge and support you especially in the beginning. The internet is a good resource that can link you immediately to information on launching a small business.