WOW, Cocorose has become a teenager! We celebrated last week on the 7th of May and I still can't quite believe where all the years have gone. Although it doesn't feel like yesterday, it certainly feels a lot less than 13 years in the making... I think!
As often the case when you reach a milestone, I've been reflecting on some key moments that happened throughout our history that have helped to shape us into the brand that we are today. These aren't necessarily the glossy moments that I have written about previously (click here for some of those, which I spoke about on our 12th birthday last year), but they're the quiet moments that have given us opportunities to take the brand down a different path.
When we started all those years ago, the retail landscape was very different to what it is today. Fashion, particularly, operated in a grand, large scale through wholesale, agents and distributors. Together, we would work to sell in our latest collections of our foldable shoes to the glossy department stores and high end boutiques the world over. It was a game of who you knew, of chance meetings with the 'right' person, of wining and dining and of non-stop travel between London, Paris, Milan, Berlin and Dusseldorf, New York and Las Vegas, often back to back as all the shows would fight over the key dates in the calendar. It was exhausting. But it was completely exhilarating.
So, all those years ago, we were invited to take part in our first international show, in Milan. Can you imagine our excitement and trepidation? We shared our costs with another footwear brand, whom we have become very good friends with since and together, we embarked on this wild and wonderful adventure that would open up Cocorose London to the world.
Back then, it was a totally different ball game to where fashion is at today. Which brings me on to my next key moment. One Christmas some years ago, after a particularly long and gruelling season of constant travel and meetings all over the world, Gareth and I were chatting over a few glasses of wine (or were they gin and tonics?!) and we made the decision to focus on a more sustainable lifestyle. Yes, this would mean scaling back on a number of shows, meetings and sales, but we were in agreement that we were OK with this. We wanted to focus more on our ecommerce site which would give us the opportunity to get to know you better, our wonderful Cocorosers, and also give us the opportunity to stay closer to home so we could consider our family lifestyle too. And as so many of you know, Elin came along in September 2018.
Another quiet moment that has helped to shape our path today was the introduction of our women's designer trainers, our Hoxton range, which we launched in the spring of last year. Oh to have been a fly on the wall when we started discussing whether this would be the right path for us to take! Yes, I invented the foldable shoe and we have seen the amazing evolution of this but as a brand, we believed it was our moment to challenge ourselves again, evolve further and take you on our journey with us.
2020 and the global pandemic has given us all the opportunity to stop and reflect. In our 13 years, we've taken many different turns and paths and I don't think I can say - ever - that we took a wrong turn. You learn as you go. You grow as you learn. And I hope that we'll continue learning and growing for many more birthdays to come. Happy Birthday, dear Cocorose xxx