Customer Highlight: Molly Voyles

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Melanie Cromer's client Molly Voyles of Portland!

Molly is a realtor with Windermere Stellar Vancouver Metro. She exhibits personal touches, genuinity, deep commitment, and heartfelt care in every interaction with her clients. Molly is a master at finding creative and equitable solutions to make each transaction have a positive result.

Molly is also a new mother to a baby boy named Ashton and wife of a former Airman.

You find Molly's business at Mollyvoyles.com

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Customer Highlight: Wendy Coulter

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Ann O'Neal's client Wendy Coulter of Cary, North Carolina!

Wendy is CEO of Hummingbird Creative Group Inc. a strategic branding agency founded in 1995. She is responsible for a new business development and serves as brand manager for Hummingbird's clients. Wendy is passionate about helping clients effectively communicate the positioning of their business, differentiate their brand, and grow revenue.

Stylist Ann O'Neal describes her "as one ball of fire customer!"

You can find Hummingbird Creative Group Inc. at www.hummingbird-creative.com

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Customer Highlight: Karen Albright

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Ann O'Neal's client Karen Albright of Raleigh, North Carolina!

Karen opened BodyLase an award-winning multi-million dollar medical spa in 2002. BodyLase has two locations and offers a variety of cosmetic, medical, and traditional spa services.

Karen has won a multitude of business awards including Women in Business, Business Women of the Year, and Corporate Partner of the Year.

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Customer Highlight: Kathy Miller

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Kathy Miller of Philadelphia!

When Kathy discovered KOKOON she was excited to find a clothing brand that was all limited-edition styles made in the USA. After buying two pieces in the Fall of 2014 she was hooked! Once she started selling KOKOON she made an entire new group of friends as a result of the direct sales space.

Outside of KOKOON, Kathy is married with two little boys who are her "biggest cheerleaders." Her boys help her unload and load the car and always ask questions about different KOKOON events. "I often participate in charity events representing KOKOON and I try to get my boys involved or informed about what I'm doing to set an example for them. At these events, KOKOON will donate a percentage of sales to the charity," Kathy said.

Kathy believes there is no better compliment than when she sees a customer wearing KOKOON in pictures on social media.

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Customer Highlight: Ann O'Neal

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Ann O'Neal of Raleigh, North Carolina!

It has been 10 years since Ann took a crazy chance to do something she had never done before and that is to sell women's clothing.

"I do not consider myself a girly girl, and wearing cute clothes and fixing my hair was not really what I was very good at," Ann said.

Ann loves KOKOON because the clothes are made in U.S. and she believes it's important to support the local economy. In addition, she loves that the clothes aren't mass produced because customers know they are wearing something special and unique.

"These clothes absolutely do fit all ages, shapes, sizes, and personalities. I've sold to girls as young as 13 and my mother who is 92 and every age in between. I am extremely proud to represent KOKOON clothing for almost 10 years" Ann said.

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Stylist Highlight: Lauren Rabin

In honor of #smallbusinesssaturday, KOKOON highlights some of the individuals behind the clothes. Today we highlight KOKOON stylist Lauren Rabin.

Lauren found KOKOON nine year ago after a friend recommended she check it out. She was immediately drawn to the effortless style that KOKOON embodies. "I've seen many styles changes over the past 9 years and KOKOON always stays on trend yet classic. I honestly still wear pieces from KOKOON from my first season- they're in perfect condition and still look fresh!," Lauren said.

Lauren loves the ability to meet fabulous women and help them find clothes that make them feel "stylish and beautiful."

She loves that KOKOON appeals to women of all shapes and sizes. "I have clients ranging in size from XS to XL and they all look amazing and love KOKOON," Lauren said.

Being a KOKOON stylist gives Lauren the flexibility she needs with her busy lifestyle. She has the freedom to work around family commitments and hobbies. When Lauren's not styling women, she enjoys playing tennis, spending time with family and her dog, cooking, and working out.

Lauren wearing KOKOON's "Spinderella Top" in Black Rivulet

Lauren wearing KOKOON's "Spinderella Top" in Black Rivulet

Lauren in KOKOON. 

Lauren in KOKOON. 

Lauren wearing KOKOON's "Gucci Coo Dress"

Lauren wearing KOKOON's "Gucci Coo Dress"

Customer Highlight: Kristin Hardwick

To help celebrate #Smallbusinesssaturday this week, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner!

Get to know KOKOON stylist Adria Bagshaw's client Kristin Hardwick of New Hampshire!

Kristin is New Hampshire's go-to photographer for entrepreneurs who are ready to be seen. She helps clients put their best face forward on all things digital and print. After working in Corporate America for eight years, Kristin launched her full time business in 2016. Her versatile studio is located in the Historic Millyard of Nashua, New Hampshire. She is able to come to you and shoot at new, unique locations.

When she's not busy shooting, you can find her training for triathlons, raising her two children alongside her husband, reading yet another personal development book, and searching for any type of donut.

"Having a photograph that you love gives you the confidence to put yourself out there more, and be recognized for the work you're doing. And that is what leads to success," Kristin said.

Find her locally in New Hampshire or give her Facebook page a like! 
www.facebook.com/kristinhardwickphotography

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Client Highlight: Tricia Utley

To help celebrate #smallbusinesssaturday, KOKOON is shining a spotlight on our community of clients and sales reps who walk the walk of being a small business owner! 
As our very first feature, we're excited to introduce you to KOKOON client and Girl Boss: Tricia Utley LE and her business American Apothecary!

Not only is Tricia a fashion queen (what KOKOON customer isn't?) she is also a Certified Holistic Skin Care Specialist and Holistic Lifestyle Coach.

Her passion for skin care and holistic remedies rooted from her personal struggle with dry, sensitive skin, and hormonal acne issues. After almost 20 years of dealing with these issues, Tricia was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Instead of sitting back and accepting her condition, Tricia became committed to her health journey and soon found the correlation between diet, stress, toxic skincare, and environmental toxins. Tricia works in the treatment room and also is an esthetics instructor and trainer. Her knowledge includes everything from skin nutrition to medical modalities. Through Tricia's personal health struggles, she managed to find the silver lining by helping her clients achieve healthy, radiant, toned skin, as well as overall health and well-being. Her current area of study is women's hormone health and Tricia is passionate about teaching women how to live in harmony with their cycles.

Tricia says: "Skin health isn't just about beauty, it's about living a beautiful healthy life!"

Give Tricia's FB page a "Like" and if you're looking for solutions for your own skin care issues, find her American Apothecary business in New Hampshire!

Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

Tricia wearing KOKOON's Farrah Wrap Dress at work

Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

Tricia in the Leo Peplum Top

Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

Tricia in KOKOON Otto Cigarette Pants

Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Tricia in the Shimmie Dress and KOKOON Stylist Adria in the Reunite Dress

Behind the Seams ~ Fall Photo Shoot

Last week's unexpectedly perfect weather mix of warm plus overcast allowed us to not only finish shooting some fall merch, but some spring styles as well! We were able to get most of it done before the sun burned away our cloud cover, then we booked it back to Melissa's studio to finish up some upcoming sale and SOTW items. 

Our new intern, Anne, joined us to do a little behind the scenes filming.
Take a peek at this fun behind the scenes look at our KOKOON photo shoot! 

Model: Ashlee

 

Facebook Live 10/10/17 Products

Peek Behind the Seams

A few more snaps of the photo shoot ~ featuring one of our new favorites, the KOKOON Hitch a Ride Pullover in Lagoon (for future release). The Celery and Navy were just introduced and these feel so amazing...the washed rib knit is spongy and really has nice substance.
From crunches to brunches, this top does it all in comfy style!

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our adorable photographer

our adorable photographer

outtakes from the screen of  Melissa Louise Photography

outtakes from the screen of Melissa Louise Photography

Coming soon, can't wait! 

Behind The Seams


Yesterday's photoshoot was so lucky ~ sandwiched between huge thunderstorms the night before, and even bigger ones to come later that day!
We're in love with this striped turtleneck that we just put into work.  Of course it has a "little something" to make it special, you'll just have to wait to see what it is ;-)

More sneak peek photos tomorrow! 

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The Simplest Way To Create Your Fall Capsule Wardrobe ~ And Other Fall Styling Tips

The idea of creating a capsule wardrobe may be rooted in good intentions, but the quest for freedom through wardrobe simplicity can get complicated and frustrating.
My mantra regarding a capsule wardrobe is my mantra about most things in life ~ it will reveal itself.

In this video of Bad Moms Unite ~ Back to Cool, I share my (truly) time saving trick to creating your capsule wardrobe with zero effort, answer pressing questions like, "What's the number one styling mistake that women make?", and dispense do-able tips to make the most of what you already own to help you fall in love with your wardrobe. 

To participate in all our Live interactive video events, join our KOKOON VIP Group, we would love to see you there! 

My mantra regarding creating capsule wardrobe is my mantra about many things in life ~ the answer will reveal itself to you. 

Motivation Monday

What is your 'I AM'?

Most people I know respond like so:

I AM (their name) Laine Sou.
I AM (their profession) a fashion designer.
I AM (their identity) a wife and mother. 
I AM (their hobbies and interests) a tennis player, a foodie, a rookie gardener.
I AM (their qualities) creative, social, intuitive. 

But when our list is exhausted, those I AM's can become less than kind. 

Today, reinforce your inner spirit with some I AM boosters.
We are what we tell ourselves, and we tell ourselves what we will accept from ourselves.

I'm going to start with trying to break a fear cycle around my seasonal deadlines.

So today, I AM ~ not a procrastinator. 
                   I AM ~ accomplishing 4 new styles for production this week.
                   I AM ~ feeling confident about my ability to meet my deadlines for fall.

What is your I AM today?

Repeat After Me. Change is Good, Change is Good, Change is Good

I attended a Fashion Group International trend event last week, and met an interesting (and very stylish) woman who asked me, given the current retail climate, what I felt the biggest challenges are and where was I spending my energy right now?  
I replied it's really two separate and completely opposite areas...on one hand you have the demands of social media and increasing online sales, and on the other you have the extremely personal part of the business with clients who seek out the personal care of their our stylists helping each one of their clients individually or at a pop up. To think one or the other is a satisfying business model is a mistake.  Women (everyone) are not one dimensional, and neither are their shopping habits. 
Social media enhances the hands-off online shopping model, but it equally enhances our clients' connection to their personal stylist and to our brand. You have to keep both plates spinning at the same time.

Which leads me to this...our first ever interactive Facebook Live shopping event,
this Tuesday, June 6th at 7 to 8 pm CST. 
Here we go...social media as driver of both hands-off online shopping and highly personal engagement between us, our clients, and our stylists.

After 29 years in business, we've adapted A LOT along the way, and we'll keep saying it...Change is Good!

So please join us Tuesday for live modeling of the Summer Solstice designs, some few-of-a-kind styles, raffles, and live purchasing! 
RSVP before Tuesday at 5pm CST to get your first raffle entry. Extra entries for inviting or tagging friends. 

RSVP HERE.
 

KOKOON ~ Behind the Seams

When I first started designing I was part of a design cooperative called Local Motion in Minneapolis. It stopped being a co-op many years ago but I still sell there, pretty much the last remaining retail relationship we have, and it has been an amazing relationship. 

And now I'm please to announce KOKOON is going to join another local Minneapolis designer collective, Showroom, on April 1st! Starting Saturday, you can find a nice selection of current styles at their Uptown Minneapolis store. Kinda back to our roots! I'm also excited because Tess' jewelry line, Belle Isle Design Co, is also there, and it's fun to do something together.

If you're in the Twin Cities, be sure to stop by and check out the local design scene! 
Showroom | 615 West Lake Street | Minneapolis

pulling together the assortment for Showroom

pulling together the assortment for Showroom

Inside Showroom

Inside Showroom

The studio is super busy right now, designing to fill in for spring/summer.
These florals are so fresh and I can't wait to work them up. 

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One of our most frequent requests this season has been more options in our Santa Fe blouse...a simple top, I had no idea we would blow through them so quickly. But, sometimes the simplest wardrobe solutions are the best wardrobe solutions. 

So, we sampled one in the top floral, we're calling this print the Garten of Ina ;-) 

We had a really fun photo shoot on Tuesday with a new-to-us model, Alesya, who was just a doll and so sweet!

And, tomorrow...is our last day our cutter's facility in LA. We've been there for over 15 years and a few weeks ago Emma and I went out to sort through all the fabric...what to do with it all! Our cutter is moving to a much smaller facility and can't take everything with him. 
As of this afternoon, it's all out...either moved or shipped back to Mpls, or sold..except one pallet full that I have no idea what to do with :-/.

A Chance to Win our Favorite Dress!

Our Mitzi Dress has become a favorite of our stylists and clients alike, and here is your chance to win it for yourself! 

From brunch to beach, this adorable off shoulder dress is the perfect mix of sweet and sexy (name that movie) in a pre-washed cotton seersucker mini gingham check...with pockets of course! 

We'll be counting down the days and drawing the winner on April 3rd on our KOKOON Facebook page.  

Enter to win HERE.

I'm telling you, you need this Mitzi Dress!

Be sure to enter by April 2nd and good luck!!
If you want to snag one before they're sold out, shop here ;-)

Ask Laine ~ What to Wear After A Double Mastectomy

Happy Monday, Lovelies!

Today I want to share with you a question I received in a Facebook message.
Jackie wrote and said she sometimes has difficulty finding casual wear after having had a double mastectomy and choosing not to have reconstructive surgery, or as she called it, 'Living Flat'. 

I admittedly was (and am) ignorant about this particular wardrobe need.
I did some research and found some support groups online and discovered that a growing number of women are opting out of reconstructive surgery (sometimes it is not an option) and some, as Jackie mentioned, are choosing to Live Flat...it's a thing. 

I thought I would be the perfect person to dole out advice on this topic, since I'm very flat chested, but this is different.  Some women in these groups professed to feel freer and are embracing their new flat chested shape. Others are dealing with scar tissue or concave issues and so it can be very challenging to dress confidently.

Overall, the impression I got was a desire to be able to dress cute and not deny their flatness nor draw attention to it. It is what it is. 

So, here's a short video with my fashion advice:

Some general elements to look for:

1) Always wear a cami or slip as your starting point. We like ours, but any will do as long as it has a more silky hand rather than cotton-y hand. Not only will it feel better on your skin, it will help your clothes glide over your body and lay better.

2) When shopping for knits, go for ones with some body, thickness, or texture, which will prevent clingy-ness. I gave examples of knit boucles, jacquard knits, stretch crepe, and french terry loop. 

3) Look for fabrics with surface texture, prints, or both, like our lace trimmed Bridget Tunic or 7th Inning Lace Tee. 

4) Gathering or shirring around the neck and shoulders help fabrics fall away easily from the body. 

5) If you can do a ruffle, ruffles are a great camouflage. 

6) Embrace the ability to go bra-less (if you can) and wear some flattering off-shoulder styles in fabrics with more structure, like a lightweight chambray or seersucker. I showed a sneak peek of some upcoming styles that are currently in development.

I love helping women feel confident and beautiful and I hope my input is helpful.  
If you have any fashion questions or would like some wardrobe advice, please feel free to message us on our Facebook Page or leave a comment below!

XO,

Laine Sou

Motivation Monday ~ Fear is Underrated

One of our former business partners (now passed away) once told me that fear was his biggest motivator. Not money, not success...Fear. He said it jokingly, but he meant it. 
And this was from a highly successful person. Someone who started as a teacher, he left because he was afraid he couldn't earn enough money to support his wife and growing family. He took a sales job with a very large national company and rose through the ranks to eventually become CEO. 

That has always stayed with me, not just because of what he said, but because he said it out loud and the fact that a highly successful person would admit that they were scared was a revelation. I have to admit that fear has always been one of my biggest motivators...fear of failure, fear of embarrassment, fear of letting people down.  And I think that's true for many people, so you could say fear helps move you towards accomplishing your goals, and that's not a bad thing at all. 

Last week some of our (amazing) sales reps shared some of their own tips and best practices for social media, including utilizing videos. But video is scary to just about everyone. 
And one key piece of advice that really resonated was, "Do It Scared."
Waiting until your comfort zone catches up with you just isn't a winning strategy. 

Last week I tried my own Live FB Video. It was just a product information slash training video for our sales reps who weren't able to join us at our New Orleans sales meeting, but the idea of doing it terrified me. 
Who was it that said, "there's nothing to fear but fear itself"? I always thought that was a dumb saying...there's plenty of valid reasons to be scared. But, often the idea of doing something really is scarier than just doing it.
So, I did it and it went fine.

And then it became the whole Give a Mouse a Cookie thing...now the reps want product info videos to share with clients. 
So, guess what? Now we're doing product info videos. 
 
Here's the first one. Talk about scary.
And it would be ever so nice if I could figure out how to change the stop frame for the video. 
Anyway, if you could give us a thumbs up on You Tube that would be nice.

XO,

Laine Sou

Spring 2017 Trends

Pantone may have crowned Greenery as the Color of the Year, but I beg to differ. While there are wonderful greens in the market, they are mostly in the olive/teal range. 
My guess would have been a dusty rose or pale blush. The color is everywhere right now and looks spot on. 

The first real life peek into color trends for the season happen on the Golden Globes red carpet, and it was predominantly nudes/blushes along with some excellent metallics and shiny blacks (and tons of Embroidery). There were a couple nice pops of yellow, one standout red, one gorgeous blue, and one bad green. 

Here's a look at a wider color forecast chart for spring. 

Black made a huge comeback for spring, and much of it is heavy looking. Look for feminine embroidery mixed with a hard rock n' roll edge and shine. Even Coach's ads are promoting this look. 

Navy is basically a happier Black, but Navy pops color a million times better. White, ecru, yellow, orange, pink, coral, green...all look great with Navy.

Reds, from scarlet to corals, are right on. 

I thought stripes might take a break, but they came back stronger than ever, with fresh incarnations of awning stripes and banker stripes.

One of my favorite trends is Seersucker!
I literally never thought I would say that.

There is a general trend toward a return to classic patterns, including seersucker, gingham, checks, plaids, herringbone, tulle, embroidery. 

Spring. Florals. Ya know. 

We love tie dye and the abstract, free patterns. My favorite is Tory Burch's blue and white, it almost reads like a stripe. 

Embroidery is huge this season! So many beautiful interpretations, many are being mixed with tough accessories to tone the fragility.  

Going hand in hand with the return to classics and seersucker trend, all things preppy look very fresh.

I got hooked on the Amazon series, 'Good Girls Revolt', kind of a Mad Men for girls.  The late 60's into early 70's fashion was so fun. 

Ruffles are a huge trend, but one to be worn judiciously.

I love all the neck details happening, even chokers are making a comeback. From mock-t-necks to neck ties and criss-cross details, lots of attention is being paid to the neck. 

From waist-cinching to shoulder perching and everything in between, ties are a detail you'll be seeing everywhere.

Take your pick, but just a heads up...Victoria Bekham showed ONLY midi hems for her fall 2017 collection.

Waistbands have found their way to the natural waistline...or higher.

Who What Wear declared the cropped flared pant the worst trend of 2016. Haha! Maybe that means it will be the worst trend of 2017, too. Because it continues, along with all the other cropped pant silhouettes. 

I guess women like to flash a little skin, because this trend continues and is gaining popularity.

Casual athletic influence as lifestyle is everywhere and keeps getting stronger.

So much interest happening in sleeves, from splits, to trumpets, to tiered, to cape, to balloons, to flared. 

But, the number one trend continues to be the shoulder. Cold shoulder options, one shoulder, off shoulder, cut-out, in all combinations and variations. 

What is the trend you're most excited about for spring 2017? Leave a comment, I would love to hear!

XO,

Laine Sou