Today we have the pleasure of getting to know Kylie and Melissa from Coco & Ella Designs a little bit better, so girls….
Tell us about your business:
Coco & Ella Designs started in February 2011 and is a graphic design studio which specialises in affordable, modern, design of custom invitations and announcements for birthdays, babies and weddings…and any special occasion in between. We have so many ideas for new designs and products over the next year and are excited where it could take us.
What inspired you to start your business?
We are sisters and have a shared love of design – graphic design, typography and interior design. Melissa was working as a freelance graphic designer and Kylie (while having a 1 year old at home at the time and not wanting to return to full time work) was looking for a business idea to start from home so we thought why not start a business around our passion for design and liked the idea of selling printable invitations and coordinating decoration designs. Growing up together we would always be doing something creative, from making placecards for family Christmas dinners or Christmas trees out of magazines for our bedroom. So from a young age we have always been interested in creating new projects.
Is there an interesting anecdote behind your business name?
Coco & Ella are our first babies. Coco is a Melissa’s Cocker Spaniel and Ella is Kylie’s Border Collie x Cattle Dog! We loved how the names sounded together and one day hope Coco & Ella to be a household name!
What is the most satisfying part of what you do?
The reaction from our client’s when we have personalised an invitation or announcement with their Child’s photo. It is so nice to receive an excited approval email back that they love how the design turned out.
Have you tried something in business that didn’t work as planned, or on the flip side – worked out better than expected?
That we have been able to grow the business without taking on debt, we have been fortunate enough to take the business in its stride and from the beginning Coco & Ella has been taking care of itself along the way. Our original idea was to just to design party invitations but we started to get a lot of design requests for birth announcements, wedding invitations, and prints for the home. We now have a canvas range we are about to release to our stores soon .
What would be your best tip for someone thinking about selling their handcrafted goods?
Selling online through marketplaces like etsy.com, madeit.com.au and downthatlittlelane.com.au, we have been given fantastic exposure just through these platforms rather than if we tried to get our name out there on our own. We now have five online stores and more in the pipeline as well as our own website in the making.
What is your favourite item you make?
It’s hard to pick there are so many since we cover a few categories. Kylie’s favourite is the birth announcements, the newborn photos which come through are gorgeous and look so cute within the designs. Melissa’s favourite are ‘kids Party Invitations’ with the matching party printables and seeing the creative ideas our clients come up with when using our designs.
Any personal or business highlights in the last year:
Personally for Kylie was the birth of Lucas in March, a little brother for Mia. Melissa’s was moving from Sydney to the Gold Coast.
3 things about you (not business related) that people might not know:
- We are the eldest 2 of 5 kids in our family.
- Kylie is studying part time for a Diploma in Interior Design.
- We have both been fortunate enough to do some travelling. Melissa worked as a graphic designer in a performing arts summer camp in USA for 3 months, then travelled throughout USA , Europe and Africa. Our Bus Scroll Print sample in our store is Kylie’s honeymoon itinerary!
Thank you Kylie and Melissa, it has been a pleasure meeting you, the makers!