Welcome back to the second instalment of our new series, The Small Business Diaries. Where we set out to learn more about the brands we stock on our website!
This week, we're sharing a wonderful interview that we had with Natacha, from Coconutacha. We've stocked a small variety if goodies from Coconutacha over the past few months, and her products even featured in own of our stationery subscription boxes. But, we're very excited to share that we have recently began to expand our product offering here at Olive & Mabel from Coconutacha, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
So, let's get into it shall we...
My name is Natacha (pronounced just like the usual Natasha!) and I'm the founder of uplifting stationery and design brand, CoconuTacha. I've always been interested in art since I was little, and always wanted a career in the art and design field. I grew up thinking I'd be a painter, but that soon changed as soon as I did my Foundation Degree in University and discovered my love of graphic design and illustration. I believe both go hand-in-hand really well and use both graphic design and illustration frequently in all aspects of my work. Believe it or not, I was actually turned down for a Graphic Design Degree at first because I was told I should do an Illustration Degree. So, I turn up to the Illustration Degree interview, and guess what? I was turned down and told that I should do a Graphic Design Degree!? Why couldn't I do both!? So I went to a different (and better 😅) university and got an unconditional offer for Graphic Communication 💖
What inspired you to start your business?
Whilst I was studying Graphic Comms in Uni, I found myself super bored in between studying and during the holidays. I had a part-time job but that didn't fulfil me, so I found myself painting in my spare time. My friends and family told me that I should try and sell my paintings, and I thought 'okay, why not?'. I first set up an eBay shop and actually sold quite well on there. It gave me some great pocket money to fund my studies and soon after I set up my Etsy shop. I never intended for my business to become my full-time job. My goal was to work for a super cool design agency! It... didn't work out as I had expected. I graduated and was offered a full-time job as a designer, but after working there for a couple of years I found myself feeling extremely unfulfilled. I still had my Etsy job on the side, but wanted to leave my current workplace. I did anything and everything that I could to make this happen. I would leave my house at 7am, get home at 6pm (it was a horrid commute!) and work on my Etsy shop until the early hours of the morning. Eventually, it paid off and I was able to make CoconuTacha my full-time job in 2017 💖
Which collection or product is your personal favourite?
This ALWAYS changes for me 🤣 I think right now I would have to say my 'Making Magic' collection, which is my most recent! I have sweaters, stickers and keychains so far, but I am expanding this range to include enamel pins, stationery, desk pads, sun-catchers and t-shirts! I'm so excited!
What is your favourite product to design?
Ooh that's a tough one... Probably sweaters and clothing at the moment! Closely followed by stationery. I love creating things that are pretty yet practical.
What is your bestselling product?
My best-selling product is my 'Small Business, Big Dreams' sweater - although I think my 'Making Magic' one is catching up already!? Apart from that, it would have to be my pink and white monthly desk pad.
What product do you think deserves a lil extra love?
My 'No Lies, Just Fries' t-shirt! 🤣 This product gets a LOT of attention and laughs, but not necessarily sales. I love the design and it was inspired by my feelings (and cravings) after going through a rather traumatic break-up in 2020.
Do you have any exciting plans or goals for the future?
I'm already working on expanding my collections and adding new products to the store this year. I've always toyed with the idea of washi tapes, perhaps? But as of right now I want to focus on what's doing well and what could need improving in the business. My wholesale is improving and I'd like to reach out to more stockists and potentially see CoconuTacha as a brand in independent shops and boutiques! A lovely selection of independent shops in Wales already stock a few of my Welsh greeting cards, so it would be lovely to expand this area of the business.
Who are some of your favourite small business?
The easiest question of them all, although, there are SO many of them! To name a few; Katnipp Illustrations, Nutmeg & Arlo, BloomHill, Emily Harvey and Em and the Terrazzo 💖
Make sure to check our Natachas website here, so you can browse her full product range!