KOKOON Stylist Highlight -- Ann O'Neal

Meet Ann O’Neal, our amazing Stylist from Raleigh, NC!

Ann grew up in Raleigh and so did her husband. After a year in Switzerland during high school, a semester abroad in France during college and a few years in Singapore and Bali, she decided to settle back into her Raleigh roots when she met her husband and got married. We interviewed Ann to  find out her “must-haves”, her “go-to’s”, and her fashion do’s and don’ts. Read below for our full interview with our fabulous Stylist, Ann O’Neal!

Ann and her lovely family!

KOKOON: How you were introduced to KOKOON?

ANN: Laura Sigmund – one of y’alls first sales reps. About 10 years ago – we had a mutual friend and I owned a hair salon and I kind of had the front room as a boutique and this friend of mine was like, “You should call Laura and she could come set up her KOKOON boutique without borders!” So I was a host for 3 – 4 years before becoming a Stylist.

KOKOON: Favorite hobbies, activities …etc…

ANN: Well, boats. I’m a boat girl. I love being on the beach and on the boat. I love to hike and bike. I’m happiest in a rural setting versus in a city setting. I love learning and going to museums. I like to cook and work out!

KOKOON: One KOKOON piece you can never live without?

ANN: Oh my god. I thought about this. I have what I call the “long sleeve cami” (KOKOON’s Ultra Tee). I wear it under everything. You can wear it by itself but it is great for layering as well!

KOKOON: If you had to describe your own personal style in 3 words…

ANN: Unique – I don’t like to look like everyone else — different than my daughter who wants to wear designer stuff and look like everyone else! I’m a little funky, hippy. Most people here are pretty conservative and tailored – I’m like, “oh, please”. I have an older sister and she said something to me like “wear a suit to a wedding!” I’m like, “I don’t own a suit! Who would wear a suit?” So… unique, hippy, comfortable, practical. I don’t like to bring my clothes to the dry cleaners. You have to wash your clothes. And I went my 35 year high school reunion and I had so many people say “You were the cutest girl there!” I was at a party the other day and a girl was like, “You always look so cute!”, and she is coming to see my KOKOON this week!

Ann and her friend in KOKOON and her KOKOON event!

Ann and her friend in KOKOON and her KOKOON event!

KOKOON: Best part about repping KOKOON? What have you gained since repping KOKOON (besides super cute clothes)?

ANN: I love meeting all these new people! — I love going to a party and meeting new people and making new friends. It is a fun social thing for me. And the clothes, of course. It’s not that much work, it is just fun!

KOKOON: Who is your fashion idol? Why?

ANN: Before I sold KOKOON – I grew up riding horses, I was never into clothes, I wore blue jeans and no make up, wore birkenstocks, totally earthy, and fashion was never my thing. Until I owned a hair salon and had to start looking kind of nice for work. So I have no clue, unless it could be Laine(KOKOON’s designer)! Laine is my fashion idol. She changed my life!

KOKOON: Why KOKOON versus other direct sales?

ANN: I had hosted some other parties. When I sold my business and closed the salon – I thought to myself, “now what are you going to do? I have never worked for anyone else but myself, now what?” I didn’t want to get a job, I didn’t want to work for anyone else. So, I started thinking about Laura Sigmund, and thought that what she does looks really fun. So I called her and asked “are there other companies that do this?” And she was like, “why don’t you rep KOKOON? We’d love more Raleigh reps.” So I called Laine and talked to her for more than an hour and it went great! I kind of looked at other direct sales companies but the benefits to the hostesses at KOKOON  were just so good! KOKOON is better to their customers. I wanted to work for someone is who better to their customers and the clothes are so cute. And of course after having worked for KOKOON now, I love that it is made in America, that its washable, that you get new things in every few weeks – to me it was no brainer! And now knowing the staff and the customer service – it blows everyone else out of the water!

Ann (left) in KOKOON with her mom (right) in KOKOON and Laine (middle)!

Ann (left) in KOKOON with her mom (right) in KOKOON and Laine (middle)!

KOKOON: What is your go-to outfit?

ANN: Always jeans. And that is what I love about KOKOON – all of the cute tops that go great with jeans, and they make me look cute versus boring.

KOKOON: What is your first “fashion” memory?

ANN: I remember when I was 14 living in Switzerland – I had a full length maxi denim skirt. I remember thinking,  “it is a step up from wearing jeans – it is a fancier jeans!”

KOKOON: Worst fashion item ever bought? Best?

ANN: Worst – this one cracks me up to this day – my friends even laugh about it. When I was in college we had a dance and I have no idea why I bought this outfit — I had these red taffeta capris and I had this white ruffly blouse trimmed in gold, buttoned to my neck. I looked like stinkin’ Napoleon. I can’t remember what shoes I wore but I wore them with white knee-high socks.

Best – I have 4 pairs of cowboy boots. I’ll wear ‘em with a dress. I’ll wear a black one-shoulder dress and black/red/tan cowboy boots and be like, “I am snazzin.” I like cool coats, too. I have a red leather jacket that I love. I am very lucky that I have a few vintage coats from the 50’s. True retro coats — cool, cool, coats.


We had so much fun chatting with Ann and learning all about her fashion journey!

If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Stylist of KOKOON like Ann, you can email us at tess@kokoon.net or go to our website.

To see the clothes in person in the Raleigh area, email Ann at aoneal.kokoon@gmail.com.

Weekly Highlights

It's only Wednesday and it's been a jam-packed week!

This past Saturday, we had an in-studio photoshoot to round out all of our Spring 2015 photography. I JUST got a sneak peak of the first images and let me tell you -- they look amazing! I can't wait to share with you. In the meantime... here are some behind the scenes phone pics from the shoot. 

Our two beautiful models did an amazing job!

Laine was interviewed by Deena Ebbert (PropellerGirl) earlier this week. You can read the full article here!

Deena has been a wearer of KOKOON and friend to Laine for years and she has her own amazing & inspiring company -- you can check her out here! We also interviewed Deena for our client highlight features (you can find this interview on our old blog page here!).  Thank you, Deena!

We are so excited to be a part of the Minnesota Red Dress Collection this year! Laine is designing a red dress for Natalie Nyhus of WCCO. Below you can see the sketch of the dress and Laine and Natalie in front of a few options for red fabric. Today Natalie is coming back to the office to try on the first fitting! 

Full disclosure: it's beautiful!

We will keep you updated on the red dress!

Thanks for reading -- until next time!