Interview with Charlotte and Jess, Founders of Coconut Lane
Have you ever wondered what your own version of success is? or even your friends? And that their version of success could mean something completely different to yours? We're not just talking about becoming the CEO of a a FTSE 250 (although dream big girls) but the real life honest versions of success.
As part of our mission to give you the confidence to conquer your world, we're investigating what that personally means to as many women as we can chat to, whether it's working a job that allows you to travel the world, saving enough money to move out of your parents house, bossing the boardroom or leaving at the end of your shift to enjoy the finer things in life. We're creating more transparency around success to help you realise your own version, inspire you to put a plan in place to achieve and execute it so you can conquer your world confidently.
Today we read all about how fearless female founders and best friends of 15 years, Charlotte (26yrs old) and Jess (25yrs old), found the confidence to set up the insta-worthy, successful lifestyle brand, Coconut Lane.
LIFE AND SUCCESS
What is your definition of success and what does it personally look like for you?
For me, success is enjoying life. I see way too many young people doing jobs which they hate. On Sunday afternoons they are all filled with the Sunday blues feeling dread for the week ahead. For me, success is waking up on a Monday morning and feeling excited for the upcoming week. For me, success isn’t about making money, it’s about being happy and feeling positive.
What is your strategy to achieve your personal version of success? How do you plan to get there?
Well I already love my job so I guess I’m there. In terms of running a successful business, we want to continue to grow Coconut Lane to the point where we walk into the street and see someone with our phone case. This did actually happen to Jess a few weeks ago when she was at the gym and saw a girl with our Passion Fruit Martini phone case on! I guess the goal is for that to happen everyday. To get there, we plan to continue to work hard, running your own business isn’t a 9-5 - sometimes we work all day and all night and then all through the weekend. It doesn’t feel like work though because I enjoy it so much, I guess that is the key to feeling successful.
How different is your version of success from when you were in school? What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was at school I wanted to become a doctor or a psychiatrist. I was very interested in Medicine and Psychology which is why I went on do Psychology at Uni. I always wanted to help people so I guess now I have chosen a slightly different path. That being said, with Coconut Lane we do always try and spread positivity and I do get an overwhelming sense of achievement when we get messages on Instagram in response to a positive E-Card saying how much we made someone smile.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Coconut Lane is launching on ASOS next month and that feels like a pretty big achievement - I never could have dreamed of that when we started 3 years ago. Also seeing Coconut Lane Beauty on Pretty Little Thing and Beauty Bay felt pretty amazing!
When did you realise that co-founding Coconut Lane was part of your life path and how did you find the confidence to do so?
Jess and I have always spoken about running a business together ever since we met at age 11. We’ve had so many random business ideas over the years but I think when we launched Coconut Lane it felt different and more serious. We’d both had a taste of working under someone else and not really enjoying our jobs and we both knew that if we wanted to work for ourselves we needed to put a lot of effort into our new business. I think because I didn’t have a job it didn’t take much confidence, it was really just a shot in the dark and I knew if it didn’t work out I’d just have to go back to the job hunt.
What is it like working with your best friend Jess? What are the positives and challenges of working with a friend?
I LOVE working with my best friend. Jess is really what makes work not feeling like work as we always have a laugh together and don’t take anything too seriously. Generally we are pretty lucky as we are so similar so we tend to agree. That being said, there are challenges - the odd time we do disagree over things we have to be patient with one another and try and reach agreements.
How would you describe Coconut Lane and the brands mission/purpose?
When we started Coconut Lane, our mission was to create a social media focused brand for the Girl Bosses, dreamers and believers of the world. We wanted to encourage young girls to turn their dreams into reality and not doubt themselves - whilst harnessing the power of social media to create a positive and influential community for our audience. Our mission today remains the same - to continue to motivate and inspire people with feel good products.
For those of us who are newly discovering Coconut Lane what can we expect to see in the upcoming months?
We have so many exciting launches coming up! We are hoping to bring out candles later this year and are also planning to branch into wireless chargers and water bottles. Keep your eyes peeled.
Social media is such an important part of your business but with all the backlash that it has received recently, what is your opinion on it all?
Social media has always been at the heart of Coconut Lane but using this platform in the most positive way possible has become increasingly important for us as Founders. We are very aware of the negative impact social media can have on young people. We'd love to change this, so we use Coconut Lane to spread positivity into the insta-community, putting out very motivational and inspirational messages. Some of the most important themes we encourage at the moment are sisterhood, self love and girl power!
CONFIDENCE AND SELF-CARE
How would you define confidence and when do you/what makes you feel most confident?
Confidence is an interesting one as I think it is so different for each individual - but the general way I would define it is feeling good in yourself. This could be looking good because you have a new lip stick on or it could be having faith in yourself as you have worked hard for an exam. For me personally, it is such a mixture. As I have got older, confidence has changed a lot for me. It is way less about looking good, but more about being confident in who I am and what I am doing! I am definitely most confident when something exciting happens with Coconut Lane. That feeling of hard work paying off is a definite confidence booster.
A little more personal, what would you say has been your biggest struggle with self-confidence that you have had to overcome so far?
I have always really struggled with public speaking. It started at school - I would do a presentation or have to read out loud in class and I would just get really breathless and nervous and sometimes even end up laughing (which just made it so much worse!). I am a lot better now as running a business forces you to do things which are outside your comfort zone!
What does Self-care mean to you and what is your favourite way to practice it?
For me, self care is about taking time to stop my normal routine and do something completely stress free that will help me to feel relaxed. This might be going shopping, having a relaxing bath or taking time to watch a film (and have lots of chocolate!).
What has been the best life advice you have ever received?
When I was little I wasn't always the best at listening. But my Dad once said that you should always listen to everything people have to say. You can then stop and think about what they have said, take on board the good bits and forget the rest - but always listen carefully first.
What advice would you give to anyone who is perhaps struggling to find the confidence to conquer their world?
I believe that anyone can conquer the world - you just have to have the confidence and determination to do it. If there is something you want to do, my advice is to put your mind to it and then go and achieve it. The worst thing that will happen is that it won't get you where you want it be - but at least you can say you tried and you aren't stuck in a place thinking what if?
Spring Beauty and/or fashion must have?
I am obsessed with our new Palm PWR Hair Wrap as part of the beauty range - it’s both a fashion and beauty must have. Jess and I are going to Barcelona next month and are definitely both going to be wearing it around the pool!
Favourite way to spend a night in?
Doing a face mask, having a takeaway and watching a scary movie.
Favourite book, podcast, or show of the moment?
I look Sarah Knight’s books, I’m reading ‘You Do You’ at the moment and loving it. I don’t get much time to read as I usually work in the evenings but I love squeezing in a few pages before bed.
Go-to quick weeknight meal?
Chicken stir-fry with rice noodles and veg.
Favourite treat meal?
Indian or Chinese Takeaway.
Favourite place to travel?
I LOVE a cute city break - I went to Prague last month and Barcelona in May.