KOKOON Behind the Seams ~ The Making Of Bon Voyage

Ever wonder how a new style gets developed?
Take a peek Behind The Seams of KOKOON’s Bon Voyage Dress .

Easy care and easy to wear, in a soft stretchy rib knit.
Ethically Made in the USA, of course!

The first small batch just arrived in Farm to Table and Ginger Floral prints.

So. Dang. Cute.

AND…You could win one, along with this gorgeous Oh Necklace by Belle Isle Design Co.
To enter our Mother’s Day Giveaway on Instagram, just head over to our Insta page, @kokoonfashion for details! Entries close Sunday 5/5 at midnight PST ;-)

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Good Luck!

Laine Sou

6 Steps To Becoming Your Own Boss

#girlboss #bosslady #momboss #boss...there's a reason these hashtags are popular, but they're more than just buzzwords. The thought of flexibility/control/work-life balance is very appealing, but the distance between the hashtag and reality can be long and daunting.
Direct Sales offers so many affordable opportunities to dealve into entrepreneurship, and it doesn't mean you have to be the pesky person always trying to recruit or hound people. Direct Sales has come a long way and evolved into a very broad category with so many different options. And really, anyone can do it. If you've ever given a restaurant recommendation or shared your enthusiasm for a new book you're reading...you're basically already doing direct sales.

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So, here are my 6 Steps To Becoming Your Own Boss. 

1) Dream it. If you can dream it, you can do it. Your Dream is the root of motivation. Without it you cannot be passionate nor authentic about your endeavors. If your dream is to control your own destiny and work in fashion, you can do that.

2) Research. There are tons of choices out there...which company do you feel most confident putting your name behind? Look for a company that aligns with you ~ the product style and pricepoint for sure, but also the business model, investment, business practices, mission, and overall vibe. If you aren't loving and wearing the product you're representing, then you aren't representing at all, you're just trying to sell something. 

3) Invest In Yourself. Whether creating a business from scratch, opening a franchise, or becoming a Direct Sale independent business owner, entrepreneurship requires an investment and I'm not just talking about money.
When you decide to Invest In Yourself,  your energy, intention, dazzling personality, and unique bundle of talents and skills become powerful tools to benefit your dreams and your future...not someone else's.

4) Define your success. Success is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Maybe success is simply having a way to feed your clothing habit, or earning some income for your child's lessons, or a family vacation. Maybe it's a way to connect with other women and be part of something that feels like you. Maybe it's a way to earn part-time income around your family's schedule, or a path to replacing a full time job. Recognize what your success looks like. That will help you set attainable goals. 

5) Plan it; Do it. Ok, you have the Dream, you've done the Research, you're ready to Invest In Yourself, and you know what your Success looks like...now it's time to make it happen. Set goals. Create a calendar of do-able steps to get your business launched. There will be guidance and hand holding along the way, but you are the supreme leader of your own universe.
Nothing takes the place of DOING, and no one will work harder for your success than you.

6) Have Fun & Shine. When we say, "Do What You Love" we mean it! Work should be fun...life's too short for it not to be! The fun factor is the secret sauce and it's what attracts others to you, always. Shine being in your element, helping women look and feel wonderful, and being a part of our KOKOON community! 

That's it. Those are my 6 Steps. They're simple but they work.
And I truly believe that when you allow yourself to do what you love, everything else in your life becomes more fulfilling. 

I hope you love KOKOON as much as we do!

XO, 

Laine

Design Challenge!!

So..I had this bright idea that involved opening up (Live, on camera) one of our many boxes of fabric had have been stored high up in our warehouse, untouched for the past 10 years, and then making myself design stuff with whatever was inside. 
It sounded like a fun idea at the time. And actually, the idea was fun. The execution however, not so much. 
The Live un-boxing was kind of my Geraldo Rivera moment. Except I kind of cheated but not really. 
We opened the box one week before the Facebook Live event in which I was to reveal the designs with the 'challenge fabrics'. I also had a bunch of other Few Of A Kind designs I had to get ready for this same deadline.
It was also 5 days before tax day, which also happened to be my wedding anniversary, which it is every year. That's how that works. 
Here's the un-boxing:

We chose a box of fabric unopened for 10 years...tune in to next week's Facebook Live show on April 17th show to see what we make with it!!

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Needless to say, my weekend was shit. 
We got 20 inches of snow (in freaking mid-April) which I was alternately pissed off about and grateful for ~ because it was a great excuse to stay home and work. 
I honestly didn't think the design challenge would be such a big deal, but it really threw me in to a different level of stress! I didn't want to dissappoint our reps, clients, viewers...and I wanted the results to be fun and something that you all (y'all if I was Southern, which I often wish I was, even just to be able to say y'all) would be delighted with. 

OK...check the next post for the design challenge reveal!!! 

And please, join our VIP Group on FB. 

XO,

Laine
 

Behind the Seams ~ Spring 2017 Development

Happy Holidays! 
I hope you all enjoyed a great one! 
This was a particularly exciting year because Hanukkah started the same weekend as Christmas, and that felt very special. 
I've been working non-stop lately, so I literally had just Christmas Eve day to do all my holiday shopping, including groceries for 3 family meals. I had no idea that the liquor store and Jerry's (our grocery store) closed at 4pm! When I walked in to Jerry's, there was non a single grocery cart. Which was funny because the parking lot wasn't very full. When a check-out boy walked towards me with 3 carts, I smiled and said, "oh thanks, I'll take one of those" but he just looked at me and kept walking. I'm like, "excuse me!" And a manager appeared and said, "M'am, we close in 6 minutes."
I hate being called M'am. My mouth must have gaped open. He kinda stood there a few seconds and then he nodded to the kid and said, "Go ahead and give her a cart." 
The kid wasn't supposed to give people carts! 
I was so grateful. There were sheets over parts of the produce stands, the butcher was gone, lights were off in some sections. I RAN through the store trying to remember the menu for all three meals. I forgot a few things, but it all ended up just fine and I was just so happy that I hadn't had to go home to 2 days of staring down a fridge containing only a half carton of eggs. 

The holidays are always one of my busiest times of the year. When I'm not at the studio, I bring patterns to work on at home. Yesterday was the first day I could start to see the line coming together, and felt a little less panicky. 

Preppy isn't usually my thing, but I'm just crazy about this gingham seersucker! This was he first test, I had to calm that ruffle down quite a bit as it was very balloon like over the boobs. It is SUPER CUTE!!!  

Preppy isn't usually my thing, but I'm just crazy about this gingham seersucker! This was he first test, I had to calm that ruffle down quite a bit as it was very balloon like over the boobs. It is SUPER CUTE!!!  

First test of a little fit and flare dress. I love this navy and coral jacquard knit, a perfect weight for early spring.

First test of a little fit and flare dress. I love this navy and coral jacquard knit, a perfect weight for early spring.

And...I think this is might have to be my mother of the groom dress for Sam's wedding this summer. This is an embroidered stretch tulle....really gorgeous fabric!! Very excited about this one ;-)

And...I think this is might have to be my mother of the groom dress for Sam's wedding this summer. This is an embroidered stretch tulle....really gorgeous fabric!! Very excited about this one ;-)

So, that's what's been going on. Follow us on Instagram @kokoonfashion for more sneak peeks as we get ready for spring.

And, now is the time if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a KOKOON stylist for spring 2017! Inquire here.

Happy New Year, Everyone!!

The Future is in Good Hands

Thursday marked the inaugural event of The Clothing Collective, a fundraiser to benefit sex traffic victims in the Philippines.

This was an ambitious project...the goal was to raise $50,000 to fund 2 safe houses in the Philippines. The creators, (mostly young twenty-somethings) Sami Huerta of Simply Sami, Paul Weaver, and a group of their friends got together and just made it happen. At Aria no less!

We donated some KOKOON overstock, as did some other local designers and retailers, and there was lots of additional gently-used clothing and accessories from individuals. The vibe was one of a slightly sophisticated and elevated clothing swap. 

Racks of gently used clothing were grouped by price point, $5, $10, $15, etc. What I thought was most brilliant was the signage at the ends of the racks ~
$5 buys a girl 3 meals for one day.
$15 provides transportation for a month.

The new donations from designers and retailers was a bit more confusing, with bid sheets on high tables next to each rack. I think next time the organizers will arrange that differently, but they adjusted on the fly and made it work. I suspect that if they continue with this event they will attract a tremendous amount of support. 
I, for one, will donate more next year, and probably a younger assortment, as I noticed my more mature styles were still on the rack, and my friend and I were double the age of just about anyone else there. 
But that's what was so striking and hopeful. It was quite emotional to see these young, energetic people use their time and talents to reach so far outside themselves to benefit others so desperately in need. 

I scored this cool cuff for $10.

And this cute little jean jacket for $25, along with a fantastic BCBG wool sweater, and a sky blue knitted sweater coat. 

Here's adorable Sami and her equally adorable mom.

Keep your eye on this girl, she's going to change the world.

I Don't Deserve It, But Give Me Another Chance

 

I'm not going to bore you with apologies or promises. And this isn't a New Year's Resolution thing (Happy 2016 BTW!). The best I could do in the way of a resolution is to try to do and be a little bit better than last year. So, I'm just going to write, and hopefully it will become a good habit again.

I haven't been able to write for a long time (really write, for about 2 years). I tried many times, but nothing felt genuine so nothing would come out. Long story, but basically I lost my joy. And over something for which I shouldn't have surrendered my joy. And while I knew that in my head, I couldn't keep it from seeping into my heart. I've made efforts. Fake it till you make it, right? But joy is hard to fake. 

I've wanted to bust out and get back to my normal self. I've taken baby steps. Tried to work out again. Started drinking warm water with Raw Apple Cider every morning (not sure why). Forced myself to take part in social situations. Be part of my community. Be more present for my husband. Rekindle friendships. Smile. And each effort has helped bring me back to the surface a little bit. 

This past weekend we had our annual sales conference in Scottsdale. One of my friends, Fawn Cheng, offered to lead our group in a meditation/visualization session. Fawn is fashion stylist and a meditation expert and leads regular seminars. She's also writing a book called The Buddha and The Bombshell, based on every woman discovering her inner bombshell. Fawn is a BOMBSHELL. Her outward appearance is all fluff, and her soul is all deep stuff. She teaches love and the manifestation of love in your everyday life, and how that can help you overcome obstacles and fear.



I have to say, I didn't know what to expect ~ I suppose I was taking it kind of lightly...probably a bit skeptical...but thinking it would just be a fun and different thing to try. 
The meditation part was relaxing, some of us even nodded off a bit, which Fawn said is natural. The visualization part felt more vulnerable. That involved verbalizing and sharing insecurities and fears, which we didn't linger on, instead we focused on what makes our hearts sing. Recapturing what it is about our roles with KOKOON that attracted us in the first place, the love that is at the root of what we do.  Interestingly, that felt more vulnerable than identifying our fears. Well, sharing anything like that out loud with your colleagues will probably make you feel vulnerable. 


One aspect that was very interesting was that the farther I got away from the session, the more I felt its influence. Some of the Stylists said the same. Later in the afternoon we had a think tank-like discussion. Some new ideas were being thrown out there, and my immediate reaction was 'No...and here's why I feel no...' and while I was sitting there I thought to myself, 'why am I feeling so negative about this? i feel the fear of the unknown, and the anticipation of problems. maybe i should listen with an open heart...'  And in the following 20 minutes we all had a discussion that helped me see possibilities instead of fixating on the problems, and I actually got really excited about it. I realized that could only have happened because I was in a more open mindset due to the visualization. 

And a funny thing happened as a side effect. I reconnected with my joy. 
Honestly, it had been brewing for awhile, but it felt like a tipping point for me. 
A few days later I feel calmer, clearer, more confident. I know it's not a one time fix. I think Fawn is starting some audio meditation sessions, and I downloaded a Calm app on my phone.

Baby steps. 

Do you meditate? Do you believe in the benefits of visualization? I would love to hear about your experiences!

Xo, 

Laine