Saturday, May 6, 2017

My Crown Has Slipped A Bit But I'm Pushing it Right Back Up!

If I can be honest with you, my crown has slipped a bit.  I have to say I'm having a hard time keeping up with my blog.  I am always afraid to write about my work because I feel, once I put it out there, you can't take it back.  I think way too much about what people may think.  I think the fear of thinking you are not good enough or maybe they won't like my work or what if they think I brag too much gets in the way of what REALLY IS.  You truly are your own worst critic.  I am finally saying, OUT LOUD, I am GREAT at what I do!  I LOVE what I do and I am extremely PASSIONATE about what I do!!  That shows in my work and if I can't be my biggest fan how can I expect anyone else to be.  There are so many talented and inspirational creators out there...all with their own unique style of design no matter what their passion.  I am always searching whether it be on instagram or pinterest for all of the amazing work that is out there.  I am in awe when I speak to people that are passionate about what they do, how they plan on getting there, what their trials and experiences are and what they truly want for themselves.  It doesn't matter how old you are.  We all have that thing that makes us feel alive.  That gets me excited for them and motivates and inspires me.  On the other end of this, you have to know when something is not working and you can't do everything.  You also have to realize when you are going in the wrong direction which is hurting your passion.  It's one thing to want to please everyone but it's another thing when everything you are trying to do gets in the way of what your true purpose is in your work.  It's hard to recognize this sometimes.  Your brain says one thing and your heart says another.  In my shop we sell accessories, jewelry and some other pretty little things.  The reason why I set it up this way is because there is full access for clients to come to our shop because we are in the loft of a salon.  I'm thinking we should offer product and not just flowers.  These clients will surely come and shop in here.  This is a no brainer.  So I think.  The main part of my business is my flowers though.  Florals for weddings and all wonderful events.  Guess What?  If you walk into my space, you will find the most prettiest little shop.  I call it my little Hallmark store.  If you ever watched any Hallmark movie or show, they always have the cutest coffee shops, bakeries and boutiques.  I literally google to see if they exist.  You know what you won't find though in my shop?  A display of my floral arrangements or pictures of all of the events I've done.  Doesn't that sound ridiculous?  This surely can be called "Client Confusion" which is what has been happening and is what is hurting my passion and business.  For a year, I thought, because of my location and space, I needed to sell product to encourage people to come but I am not a visual store front.  I consider myself in the Loft of this building which is Gorgeous.  It's been hard for people to spot me from the streets because, once again, I am not a store front.  They would have to  know I am upstairs.  So, the clients I serve are the clients that come to the salon.  I consider myself similar to a hotel boutique.  The only people that really go to the boutiques there are the people that stay in the hotel.  Which is great and a convenience for them but doesn't allow for the amount of visits and sales I would like to see.  I have finally made the decision with my brain, that as much as I love all of the beautiful products that are out there, I have to let go of the merchandise in my shop.  There is just not enough foot traffic for the location we are in.   This is NOT sad news but Great news!  This decision has cleared my mind and has me focused on what is suppose to be.  As of June all of my product will be for sale through our online boutique and our shop will be our office and studio for designing, consultations and the space that will showcase what is truly my passion.  The Flowers. 
Through this experience, I realize, your crown may slip but it will never fall!  
Thank's for listening.  
 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Do Small Things With Great Love

I bet you're thinking this post is going to be about Valentines Day.  Not exactly.  It's about everyday.  I know my blog is mainly about flowers and our work and in our work we bring smiles and experiences.  Our work is also about inspiration and love and what makes our soul bloom.  We want to inspire you not only in our work but in our everyday experiences and thoughts also.  Let's be honest, we are humans too and we get caught up in the everyday "to do list" too and next thing you know, we are overwhelmed with "Where do I start"?  Is it February?  Where did January go?  Uhh, The New Year?!  The..."This Is The Year I Will...Year!  The year my blog is going to be perfect and start the year off with a post each week and each month.  FYI...this is my first post since December and it's not even about flowers. The year my website is going to be exactly the way I want it.  The year of that bikini body picture you still have folded in your book or your wallet from 2000.  However insignificant this may all sound and so not life threatening, that's just it guys.  Life doesn't slow down for us.  It keeps going and feels like it speeds up as each week, month and year go by!   Knowing all that, we still try to say, "I will do it tomorrow, I will look at that next week, I will call first thing on Thursday, I will run starting Monday".  Whatever it is, we seem to all say the same things and realize 6 months later, (better yet), a year later nothing was or is checked off.  The list just gets longer and then the guilt sets in because now your check list is so big that you can't possibly begin now.  Who did you forget to send that card to?  Who never got the proper "Thank You" you've been wanting to give?  Who didn't get the phone call of just, "Hey, I'm checking in"?  Who didn't you remember?  Who or what was it that didn't get the "Check Mark"?  So, you try to start over and thus the viscous cycle begins.  I have news for you.  You are not the only one.  A lot of us if not most of us go through the same motions.  None of which are intentional.  You still want to do them and complete them no matter what it takes but Life takes over and your daily "to do's" become the priority.  Try to set one moment aside to get to 2 of the things on your check list.  What I've learned is "Baby Steps" is all it takes.  Does anyone remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?  It stands soooo true.  One check at a time.  One day at a time.  You don't have to do them all in one day.  You can just pick one thing and then you realize, how many seconds that one completed task took.  No time at all.  But that doesn't mean, try to do them all in one day.  One task at a time.  One day at a time.  In the end the process actually becomes enjoying (what the original intention was all along) rather than a chore. "THAT LIST" becomes that list.    One of the most beautiful proverbs, that I live by is, "To Do All Things With Love" and when you actually take the time to do just one of those things, you realize "THAT LIST" is not so bad and "THAT LIST" is full of love and great intention.  It may not pan out exactly how you've planned it but that's the beauty of Life and Life is GREAT!
I hope I was able to bring some peace to you today.  
Now, let me make that phone call :)

 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy Pretties!!

Merry Christmas Pretties!  I can't believe it's December and the Holidays are here!  Even though this time of year brings lots of traffic, tons of lines at the stores and patience levels wear thin, it is my favorite time of year!  It brings out the child in all of us.  From the first snow fall, to the decorating of the trees and to even the shopping...we seem to all genuinely feel the warmth and love of the season. No matter what holiday we celebrate,  all is grounded in Faith and in Love.  
When I look back at this year, it was truly a transitional period.  Our shop has grown in many different ways.  Our love for what we do has brought so much happiest to people's lives.  I realize very strongly this past weekend that what we do as individuals and as a shop is create feelings, give an experience and tell a story.  
Thru our flowers and our intimate affairs, we encourage smiles and happy hearts.  
I want to continue creating for you and watch your faces as they light up with genuine love and awe.
This is what makes me Happy and this is my wish for all of you!
On Tuesday, December 13th C & B is starting  the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway.  Since we opened our shop last November we've been wanting to do this.  Last year, we missed the boat; however, this year we're just in time.   Still gathering our thoughts on what each day will bring, we hope you will all feel the love behind each Giveaway and know it comes from our hearts to yours.

P.S.  Go to for the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

Merry, Merry and Happy, Happy!

Blessings, Love, Sparkles and Snowflakes!!

 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Sunday, November 6, 2016


Happy Birthday to Us!  I can't believe it has been a year since we opened our shop in Upper Montclair.  It has gone so fast.  When I think back at all the different kinds of ups and downs, I realize how much we have grown and learned as people.  I also realize how much of it you really do on your own.  You think you are going to have all of this help and everyone is on board and likes exactly what you like and has the same passion as you.  NOT!   It was definitely a huge learning curve with lots of laughs and oops's.  We were so scared when we first started.  Not sure how to design the shop, what we were going to sell, will they like our product, would people want our service.  We were very afraid of any negative comment even though we knew what we had was nothing but "HAPPY".  Also, during the process (because it is a process) we learned what's not working and why.  Surely, they will come if you have a great concept...Right?  Being located on the second floor of a salon is difficult.  We do have our own set of stairs on the outside where people can walk up to our shop but it is a little intimidating.  It's an old building so the door is large and heavy and the enclosed stairs did not have lighting in the beginning...So Scary!  We fixed that right away.  So signage too was and is so important.  For the New Year we will definitely need to focus on that more.  I realized there totally is client confusion when you read the sign.  It says, "Coco & Bailey Boutique and Events Loft".  We chose loft because it is upstairs.  We chose boutique because we sell gifts and we chose events because our main business is the florals that we do.  We are floral specialists that design your flowers for your weddings, intimate affairs, holidays and just because.  If you look at our website and instagram it pretty much showcases a lot of our work.  The feedback that we are getting from our sign is, "Are you a restaurant, Do you host parties here, I thought when I walked in I was going to see flowers like a flower shop, etc. etc.  Ugh!!!!!  Client Confusion!  How can I fix this?  When people ask us what we do, I start to stutter.  We do a little bit of everything.  Jack of all trades you might say.  Lol!  I say, well,  our main business is the flowers and I explain that.  This is our MAIN BUSINESS!  Did you hear that?!  Then I realize when you look around the boutique there are NO flowers being showcased in a way to represent this.  Then I say we also offer hostess gifts and accessories.  This you can see in our shop.  We show beautiful scarves, handbags, candles, jewelry. some charming clothing with a little decor.  We also have a little coffee bar set up which I'm In Love With!  It adds just the right touch with a little warmth.  Christina, with her cosmotology degree and being in the salon industry for over 15 years,  sells makeup she loves, does airbrushing foundation on clients and would like to start doing blowouts and styles on clients for events.  Oh, before I forget, I also make some hand made items which is a totally Zen experience for me.  I do use the space as my studio to make all the flowers, craft my hand made products etc.  I also recently started classes to make wreaths and floral arrangements.  I've only had 2 classes so far.  Great feedback but not a huge turnout just yet.  This could be totally my fault because my social media skills is always the last thing I do so no one knows about my classes until 3 days before.  Great job Jo!  I give no one time to think and plan.  We are trying to be more effective with Social Media but we slack in this.  HELP!  All of this is what the New Year for us will be all about.  Advertising, fixing our signage to be more specific in showing off our product and services and possibly using our small space for intimate parties such as bridal/baby showers or just because.  Maybe even just branching off into just bridal accessories, parties and always showcasing the flower service that we offer.  I'm looking to get feedback from a "Professional" brander/marketer before I keep putting all my eggs in the wrong basket.  This year we want growth and we don't want to create the same issues when they are fixable.  Success is an option!  We have it but we need to direct it in the right direction!  Who is our target market...EVERYONE!  That's what we thought but really it's women between the ages of 20 and 65.  To be more specific than that, it would be brides, the wedding market, the people hosting parties, the client that is looking to by a small gift for their friends or family including themselves.  Also, people who would like to send a special arrangement to their special someone.  Just to be clear... I don't want to be a daily flower shop in case that's where your mind is going.  We want to provide a service and a product that works together seamlessly and is authentic and collaborates all of what we love.  We want our passion to shine through and be our own brand.  Christina is her brand and Joanna is her own brand thus coming together to reflect one beautiful and successful growing business!  I promise to me and to Christina that what we have will shine through this New Year!!  
 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Magnificent Skull Arrangement - Totally Up for the Challenge

Look at this centerpiece!  I have to admit when I first was asked to create this piece for Halloween, I was a little nervous but excited at the same time.  I am up for any challenge!  At the same time, I want to make sure I give my clients exactly what they are looking for.  They just renovated their office and made it more modern.  Traditional is not their style and that was made very clear.  After showing me their logo color, you saw that purple was the main color but gradually transitioned to a pinky plum color.   They wanted two of these arrangements to be placed one on each side of the lobby desk.  Shopping for this was so much fun.  It's made in all dried flowers as well as some silk flowers.  The succulents bring in the deep purple, shades of green and burgundy.  I also used dried Wild Oats in brown and sage, Star Flower, hot pink and chocolate brown Lagurus, dried Baby's Breath, Eucalyptus, purple Ranunculus, Cedar and Reindeer Moss.  The base of this piece is a candle stick holder in black and a charger that I sprayed painted black.  The star of the show was this purple skeleton head.  I think creating him was the most rewarding.  I found them in styrofoam and painted them first in a plum color.  Glittering them in purple was very time consuming.  I first thought I could sprinkle the glitter after I painted him while the paint was wet thinking I would save a step and once it dried it would be perfect.  This was not the case.  Because there is not one flat service on this skeleton face, very little stuck to the skull.  It was extremely patchy and not at all what  it should look like.  Instead of panicking, I waited for them to dry and then I coated the entire skull in mod podge glue and then brought the skull to a bucket of purple glitter and poured it all over it and let it dry over night.  Even thought I had to touch up some areas, the next day, they were PERFECT!!  Once I sat this guy on the foam, I think I shed a tear.  They were magnificent and the most important thing is that client LOVED them too!!!

PS  The one thing and the only thing I would have done differently is that  I would have painted the skull the color of the glitter which was a true purple, not the plum color I choses.  Why?  When the glitter did not stick the plum color came through which became very time consuming trying to add more glitter to cover it up.  You live and learn :)

 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our First Sidewalk Sale

What an awesome weekend!  We were part of our first Sidewalk Sale in Upper Montclair.  Not sure what to expect, we just got up early Saturday morning, lugged a lot of our product from our boutique down the stairs (because we're located on the second floor) and created a beautiful, fun display out in front of our shop.  What did we have.  We had handmade harvest wreaths and gifts, jewelry, accessories, hostess gifts and makeup.  Something for everyone.  It was all happy gifts:)  The day was gorgeous!  Everyone was in such a good mood :)  There were tons of vendors in Anderson Park.  So many entrepreneurs and so many people with such passion and creativity.  We were like kids in a candy store.  Our eyes were like brand new baby's eyes when they open them for the first time.  I have to admit...I was a little nervous because I didn't know how people were going to perceive our shop or if they were going to take to our style at all.  But like I said in my last Blog "It's Been A While", you'll never know until you try and sometimes you have to get out of your comfort zone to be successful".  Turns out we got such amazing feedback and love that we couldn't be more proud of our boutique.  

 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png

Saturday, September 10, 2016

It's Been A While

Here's Us:)  That' Christina up front and me in the back.  If you would have asked me to post a picture of myself I would've said "Not a chance"!  But, I'm learning that if you want to be successful in the world of business you have to get out of your comfort zone.  Well, taking selfies is definitely not in my comfort zone.  Lol!! it's been quite a while since I've blogged.  So sorry for that.  I've held off on blogging because I wasn't sure what I was blogging about.  When your new to the small business world, social media is a MUST!  Scary if you're not use to it and exciting at the same time.  I didn't want to mess up or worry that people won't like what I have to say or have.  Then you read some horror stories of what not to do and I began to freak out more.  What I hear the most when it comes to blogging is to just be yourself, authentic and genuine, almost like writing in a diary.  I think I can do that.  But I would never want anyone to read my diary.  You see what I'm saying and thus the dilemma with blogging.  Ever since we opened our shop I've been racking my brain on how we could appeal to our customers.  The problem is, as girls, we LOVE everything!  I LOVE EVERYTHING!  My husband Ryan says, "You need to have tunnel vision.  Your all over the place".  This is so true.  This is my strength and my weakness.  I don't know how to narrow things down.   C&B has clothes, jewelry, accessories, makeup, flowers, cookies...everything that makes us smile and happy but our main business is "Flowers, Flowers and more beautiful Flowers".  Let me clarify...we are not a flowers shop.  You can't come in off the street and just buy a bunch of flowers.  You can come into our shop and buy a lovely boutique gift.  We use our shop as our work studio.  We create beautiful florals for weddings, parties and intimate affairs.  Anything handmade we make here too.  We have our "Distinct Floral Collection" which will be coming out Mid-September.  You'll be able to see this on our website.  Here you can order flowers to be delivered but we do require a 3 day window. We are now incorporating Classes, Workshops and Events.  All motivating, empowering and fun.  Always keeping the "Flowers" in mind, we want to bring our customer into our world of pretty things.  I guess that's what it comes down to.  If we have the space to do it, we want you all to enjoy the space as well.  I will blog about our weddings, new things at our shop and anything flower related.  Never loosing sight of my passion, I will bring you all the things that make mine and my sisters soul bloom as promised!!    

Have the prettiest day ever!

 photo signature_zpshoufcjst.png