One to One with Janan Leo
Posted: Fri 8th Aug 2014
In our series of Go and Grow Online interviews with e-commerce entrepreneurs, Janan Leo, founder of Cocorose London, shares the inspiration behind the business idea, how they developed an online presence and how the brand is now reaching a global audience
Name: Janan Leo
Company Name: Cocorose London
Year founded: 2007
Do you have a business partner? If so, who does what?
Yes, Gareth and I are both Directors of the business. Gareth looks after stuff like operations and logistics and I focus on the creative, such as design and marketing. We work on sales and production together. To be honest, we do cross over quite a lot, and because we always chat about anything and everything Cocorose, we understand each other's roles, though clearly there is a reason why our main responsibilities developed in this way (I'll take social media over shipping any day!).
We also have an amazing team, who have a lot of responsibility on a daily basis, so it would be untrue to say that we do all the work!
From where do you run the business?
From our office studio, The Chocolate Factory, in north London.
What inspired you to start the business?
I've always loved the buzz of business so when I discovered a gap in the womens' footwear market, I took the opportunity to create a product and brand that would change the way women go about their daily, on-the-go lifestyles.
Did you use a template builder or hire a developer to create your website? Why?
When I first started out, budget was exceptionally tight so I used an existing website template. In fact, the company that I worked with were offering free websites for start-ups, which suited me perfectly. Their design team were great, and together we created Cocorose London's first website.
Has being online enabled you to enter new (and international) markets?
From Day 1, it was never a question of whether I should have a website, as I knew how important it is to have an online presence. The wonderful thing about having an e-commerce website is that you're given the opportunity to reach a global audience.
I will never forget the first web orders I had to Hawaii, Singapore and Australia. In addition to this, being online enables potential international partners to view your brand and products, and then before you know it, you could be working with them and exporting your products to a new market!
Please share your three top tips for online success:
Work on your SEO to ensure you come up on top
Ensure your social media activity is relevant and drives traffic to your website
Work tirelessly on your customer service to ensure your online experience delivers your brand's personality and transparency.
What's next for Cocorose London?
We've got a rather full pipeline at the moment which is great, and I would say that our short term focuses are on presenting our new SS15 collection at the international shows we've got on this summer and growing our retail presence in the UK through our pop up boutique and key stockists. And hopefully enjoying an Indian summer, so fingers crossed we get one this year!
If you have aspirations to start or grow a business online, make sure you check out our Go and Grow Online campaign and join us at our one-day summit on the 1st of October.
BT Business spoke to attendees at our campaign launch event for Go and Grow Online, to get their tips for running and growing a business, read them here.