1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF. WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND?
I’m a psychologist by training who fell into a headhunting career in her twenties. At 30 I stopped working when I had my first child and used it as the perfect opportunity to reinvent myself as a woman, as a mother and as a professional. I am now 35 and have five children and a business which I truly love.
2. WHEN DID THE IDEA FOR LA COQUETA COME ABOUT? WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO PUT THE IDEA IN ACTION?
It started five years ago when I had my first daughter Flavia. I dressed her in a “Spanish way” and people used to stop me in the street and take pictures because they loved the clothes she was wearing. I started bringing clothes from Spain for my London friends until I decided to start my own business. The first thing I did was a proper data research standing in front of shops which I saw as my competitors in order to gather some data. I did that for three months and it was not fun but I found out that I needed a small share of their customers to breakeven and decided to go for it. Defining my concept, finding good quality reliable Spanish suppliers, finding a shop, designing the store, putting a great team together were the most important milestones to date.
3.WHERE DID YOU GAIN INSPIRATION FOR YOUR FIRST COLLECTION?
The inspiration theme is quite general “traditional Spain meets trendy London”. The range of clothes is quite diverse as I wanted to first see what people liked and didn’t…In general I love trendying up classic clothing so that they don’t look out of date. I just love classic clothing and I think with the fashion these days you can do anything to them and look incredibly trendy. I love colour and my collection is certainly very colourful. I love the fact that children can dress in bright colours leaving aside the blacks and greys for when they grow older. I started experimenting with a dress I found in my grand-mother’s attic that belonged to my mum when she was three. If you saw the dress now, you would not believe that it is more than 60 years old…and that’s only because of the way it’s been accessorized.
4. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? DOES THIS INFLUENCE THE COLLECTION AT ALL?
My style is simple with lots of colour. I have a special interest in accessories (shoes, bracelets and earrings). I always think that accessories make the outfit and during my pregnancies my feet, ears and wrists were the only part of my body that didn’t put on weight so I decided to focus on them ;-). My collection is very different to how I dress myself but I guess I do love giving life to a dress through the beautiful accessories we sell. I love colorful clothes and I guess that is one of La Coqueta’s peculiarities.
5. WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE WOMENSWEAR DESIGNERS?
I love Carolina Herrera for evening wear. I buy Alice Temperley and J.Crew for more casual clothing.
6. BESIDES YOUR OWN LINE, WHAT KIDSWEAR BRANDS ARE YOU LOVING RIGHT NOW?
I love Caramel even if the style is very different to La Coqueta’s. In the Spanish fashion arena I love Nanos.
7. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CAFÉ, BOOKSHOP, STORE THAT YOU GAIN INSPIRATION FROM OR CAN GO AND JUST PONDER YOUR IDEAS?
I love Antropologie in London and Merci store in Paris. I get my inspiration from looking at old family pictures…I love the way kids were dressed 50 years ago. I love reading blogs about kid’s fashion.
8. IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD THIS BE AND WHY?
Jenna Lyons…I just love her sense of style and what she has achieved.
9. WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN YOU?
Be true to yourself and define your concept. Never move away from it.
10. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE US?
Keep interested in talking to start-ups…We so need bloggers to talk about us and what we do, our journeys…
11. YOU HAVE FIVE KIDS, WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FAMILY MEMORY SO FAR?
My favourite memories are generally from our adventurous travelling where everybody comes along. I would highlight a trip we did to Guatemala. We went to a market in a tiny place called Chichicastenango and we experienced one of the biggest most incredible human experiences ever with so many people, so different from us…so colourful, so moving…it was very spiritual and loved seeing my children there.
12. ANY EXCITING NEWS, ANYTHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US ABOUT
We are just starting up and more to come…We just launched our online store and it’s going very well. We are having more than 70% of our online order sent outside the UK.