Nicole Welch aka "Coco/KoKo" is a fashion designer who combines custom made fleece and patent leather to create one of a kind pieces. She started sewing only four years ago after receiving a sewing machine as a birthday gift from her husband and has been grinding ever since. A dream come true, Welch has witnessed her business grow rapidly in the past two years stating, "I put together my first fashion show in November 2014, for a girlfriend's women's empowerment event and it was the scariest most exhilarating feeling I have ever experienced!" Now a pro and relaunching her fashion brand find out how this Cleveland, Ohio native turned her fun loving hobby into a fashion forward business...
WHO IS YOUR TARGET CUSTOMER?
My target customer is the bold woman, the woman that likes to be seen without having to say a word!
WHO, IF ANYBODY, HAS REALLY HELPED YOU ALONG THE WAY?
I have had a lot of emotional help and encouragement. God has truly blessed me with a number of people willing to help, give advice and just really give me the emotional support I need to stay steady on this journey. From the people that took time out of their busy day to work with me and teach me when I came begging, to my family that is always there to give me the push and encouragement I need, to my wonderful friends that are always there at every event...
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Fashion in general... What gets me in the groove when I’m sewing is (listening to) Erykah Badu and Mary J. Blige!
In 2014, but not right away. I started and stopped several times feeling like I would never get the hang of it. I would look at patterns and think “this should be easy” but then when I attempted and messed up I became easily distracted. Then in 2015, I made my first outfit and thought I was the sh**! I am a patent leather lover and I made my first patent leather pants and top. I felt on top of the world and it’s funny cause looking back now I definitely see the mistakes and what to do better.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO DESIGN FOR?
I would love to design for Mary J Blige- classy but with an edge!
WHAT DOES “FLY” MEAN TO YOU?
Fly is a confident attitude with one hell of a look to go with it. That total package that makes you say, “Wow!”
When it's warm I (prefer) long and flowy- I love easy clothes I can throw on, look good and go. And I like having the option of layering if I want. In the winter I love my warm fleece, it's my favorite. I love the feeling of being comforted in warmth and looking good!
IS THERE A MOVIE OR VIDEO THAT YOU REALLY LOVE THE FASHION IN?
I love Toni Braxton, a little bit of Nicki Minaj, and my movie (is) the Matrix- Trinity’s patent leather outfit- from the first moment I saw that, I had to create my own matrix inspired fit and I am in love! I would have to say that even though 'Functional wear with a flair' is my tag line, my patent leather is my signature look... That is what puts the Mystique in KOKO!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE STARTING OFF IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
Pace yourself and don't let too many people invade your space. People have good intentions and want to help, but if you let in too many people you risk the chance of drowning your own voice out. Trust yourself and the biggest one of all- don’t compare yourself to others. Stay in your lane, do your own thing and don’t worry about what others are doing or saying. I am still working on that myself)!
Facebook: Nicole Welch
And join Koko for the her launch party on April 7, 2018 at the Basque Lounge. Read here for more details...
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