Small Business: Coral + Cloud

Geometric shapes, vibrant colours, beautifully handmade, and oh so unique; are all ways that would perfectly describe Coral + Cloud’s original necklace and mobile line.  Each wooden bead is hand-painted with high quality eco friendly paint to provide you with exceptional products.  When I first received my necklace in the mail I put it on right away, I loved how the wooden geometric shaped beads, coloured in peach, pink and gold, looked displayed around my neck.  My new statement piece necklace by Coral + Cloud had definitely taken the lead in favourite necklace.  The very next day I wore my necklace to work and I received a large number of compliments from customers, I was so thrilled to share with them about this small business I had recently come to know.  I was just as excited then as I now, being able to share with you all about Coral + Cloud and the remarkable woman behind the business is such a pleasure.
Coral + Cloud was started by Miko in Vancouver, B.C. After quitting a demanding full-time job to spend quality time at home with her daughter, Miko had realized that what she really wanted was to work for herself.  With a lot of experience managing numerous other organizations Miko knew that she could handle  running a business on her own, she just wasn’t sure what exactly it was she wanted to start.  It was last Christmas when Miko decided to make and give homemade gifts to her friends, partly because they were on a tight budget and partly because she wanted to be creative, that she created items that are now a part of the Coral & Cloud line.  She started with making and gifting mobiles and necklaces, among other times, and Miko’s friends had extremely positive responses to her necklaces.  Miko said, “I honestly don’t think I would have launched this without the support of my friends and my husband. I never envisioned myself as a “jewelry designer,” but it actually started to make a lot of sense — I feel like it’s the perfect manifestation of my love of colour and design (and kids!).”
Miko shared that it was tough deciding on a business name, she had lists upon lists of names that didn’t make the cut.  Though in the end, it fell into place and the name just clicked.  Miko said, “I knew I wanted it to be two words, to represent the duality of my designs — for kids and adults, two different products (mobiles and necklaces), shapes that are round and faceted/smooth and sharp, etc. I like that the words can be interpreted as colours, or as shapes.”  She also explained that it can be hard coming up with a suitable business name as you may fall in love with a name, but it ends up someone else has already thought of that one. “But I am so glad to have ended up with this name,” shared Miko, “I like the way it looks and the way it sounds.”
Coral and Cloud1
When owning your own business, the inspiration can really come from anywhere.  “I get inspiration from so many different people and places, and all different kinds of desgin,” said Miko.  “I love interior design, furniture, graphic design, kids products in general, and of course, fashion.”  Since having a daughter and being able to take the time to decorate her room in her desired colours Miko has really grown her love for bright colours, much more than she ever has.  “But really,” she said, “I am a colour nut — I love brights, neutrals, and everything in between.  I’m also so inspired by all the amazing mamas who started their own businesses and are so creative, successful, and so supportive of one another.”
The inspiration Miko has received from a variety of different sources has lead her to be able to create such stunning works of art.  I love how honest and open she is when I asked her about where her inspiration comes from and the support that she also gives to her fellow small business owners.  There is so much to be learned from one another and though Miko has learned a lot from other small businesses I see her as a great person to also learn from.  Miko is so open to change, growth, and sharing her experiences along the way.  I asked Miko about how her business has evolved since originally launching Coral + Cloud and I hearing about her learning experience.
“When I first started I was only selling one-of-a-kind designs — I would paint up a bunch of beads in different colours, and make all different designs even within the same colour way. I found the designing aspect to be so much fun that way, but listing every individual item in the shop was sooo time-consuming! When I got my first wholesale order for multiple pieces in the same design, I realized I had to learn how to design first and then paint the beads afterwards.  I think when I first started, I hadn’t realized exactly what my aesthetic or “style” was per se, I was still figuring it out — and I’m sure that will continue to evolve as I go along, but I have more confidence in my designs now.”
It has been such a joy for Miko to own her own business, though it may be challenging at times, Miko has taken everything as a valuable learning experience.  The most important thing for Miko while owning her own business is to be able to spend as much time with her daughter as possible, it has worked out great for her, as she can spend the day with her daughter and work late hours in the evening working on orders.  Miko also said, “I love that Coral + Cloud products are ones that my daughter can appreciate, and that the busnesses I collaborate with, and support, are ones that my daughter loves.  It is such an amazing and rewarding experience to work creatively with other women.”
Coral + Cloud has some great things coming in the near future, with some exciting projects in the works.  Miko is hoping to spend more time on her mobiles, and has several new prototypes on the go, aiming to finish and launch soon.  She also has some new necklace design ideas with different beads and string types, as well as setting up the shop with ready-to-ship items to decrease the time customers have to wait to receive their orders.  Miko is also aiming to set up Coral + Cloud in some more retailers, hopefully internationally, for both necklaces and mobiles.
I asked Miko if she had any advice for new business owners, and since she herself is still considered a new business owner she feels funny to advise in this area, though I feel she has some very wise words.  Miko said, “What I would tell myself 6 months ago is to really enjoy each small accomplishment, and try not to take disappointments too seriously. It’s easy to get down on yourself if things don’t go according to plan, but everything is a valuable learning experience.”
**Be sure to check out Coral + Clouds Holiday line going live on October 14th!

Follow Coral + Cloud DownloadedFile-1 images-3

2 thoughts on “Small Business: Coral + Cloud

  1. Pingback: Photoshoot: Mommy & Me | creativewife + joyfulworker

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s