Spilling the tea...

Spilling the tea...

September 25, 2019

Hi, lovelies! We get asked so often about how Coconut Lane started and how it has continued to grow ever since, so we thought our 4th birthday was the perfect time to share our story.

We asked you on Insta what you most wanted to know about Coconut Lane...

What inspired you to set up your own business?
We always knew we wanted to start a business together. We were passionate about working for ourselves and working with each other. If you can work with your best friend everyday, doing things that motivate and excite you, then it will probably never feel like "work." 

Charlie and Jess

- Charlie and Jess, Founders of Coconut Lane - 

Where did the idea for Coconut Lane come from?
We were constantly coming up with random new ideas. The idea came first when we were obsessing over cute inspirational quotes - we both followed insta accounts which made us feel motivated and inspired and we thought - let’s make prints so that people can surround themselves with positive slogans and put them on their walls. That’s where we started - with just a few wall art prints. Then the idea grew from there and our social media and trend-led brand was born.

Why the name Coconut Lane?
Believe it or not, the name came about very randomly! We love summer and all things tropical so Coconut was the easy part, then Lane gave it a sense of location and direction.
 
What was the first product you sold?
Wall art! Our first prints were; "The bags under my eyes are Prada," "Too glam to give a damn" and of course, our brand motto "Stay classy, sassy and a bit bad-assy." We also had a couple of phone cases (flamingo and pineapple prints) but we launched the website with less than 10 products in total. 

Our First Wall Art
 
- One of the very first products we sold - 

How did you go from a startup just selling a few stationary bits to the global company you are now?
Whilst most people have concrete business plans and investors on board before starting a business, we definitely took the less traditional route - no investment and no business plan. We didn't have a big plan because we never imagined it would be where it is today. I would definitely put our growth down to a lot of hard work and our passion for the brand. Like any start up, growth can be small to begin with but you have to keep going and not give up. When we started to see fast growth in the business, we had to get more strategic and serious to make sure we could keep up with the expansion.
 
What’s the key to constantly growing and improving?
I think the key is to keep learning. It can be super hard to find the time to work on growth strategies and learn more about the latest e-commerce ideas as sometimes you can get so bogged down in day to day work. I always try and take at least an hour a day to listen to a podcast or read an article to inspire some new ideas.
 
What’s your favourite part of running your own business?
My fave part is definitely the feeling of getting direct rewards from the hard work you put in. When I didn’t work for myself, I hated putting so much time and effort into something and feeling like it didn’t get recognised or appreciated. Now I work hard for myself and for Coconut Lane and it’s the best feeling ever to see it growing and doing well.  
 
What has been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is definitely when things go wrong and you have to figure it out completely on your own. Sometimes there’s things that you have no idea about  and there’s no-one you can ask for help. Google can be amazing but can also give so much wrong information so it’s challenging sometimes knowing what is the right answer. Having a business partner does help when facing these challenges - it's definitely a lot less scary when you can bounce your fears and concerns off someone else who is in the same boat as you.
 
When things are tough, what motivates you to carry on with the business?
Seeing other people with our products is just the best feeling ever. The first time it happened, I remember being on the mat area in the gym and a girl next to me had our Jaguar Phone Case on. It was such a surreal moment! When things are challenging, I always think about these moments and remember how amazing it feels to see people enjoying our products and hopefully, feeling empowered by our brand. 


Jaguar Phone Case
- Our Jaguar Phone Case - 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
Go for it! I know it is cliche and everyone says life is too short - but it really is. I think if you try something and it doesn't work out, you can look back and know that you tried. You will also learn SO much from running a business that will be really valuable for any future job. I think it is better to look back and know something didn't work than to always be wondering what if. 

What's next?
We have so many exciting plans for Coconut Lane! We are hoping to expand our product ranges next year as well which will be amazing but we can't reveal too much at the moment! All I can say is, watch this space.

Jess and Charlie, founders of Coconut Lane