Aloha and E Komo Mai (welcome)!
My name is Amber + I am the owner of Coco Moon. If you’re a new face around here, hello! And if you’re a lifer, I’m so grateful for your support! We create island inspired baby goods and love every second of it! I am a small business owner, a mother and a wife who has a great love and respect for the ocean, as you can tell by our beloved prints + the inspiration we share. I started up this facet of our website to better serve you, share with you and connect with you.
Up until having my first son, Kaiea, I was as driven as they come. I loved setting big goals and working hard until they were achieved. I loved having challenging careers and the joy that came from a job well done. But when I had my first son, it simply didn’t seem realistic to me to be the best mom I could be and the best employee I could be. So I became a stay at home mom. While I loved it and felt thankful for all of the time I got to spend with my baby boy, I wanted more. I needed more. The guilt of that feeling sat with me for a long time. You know that feeling? That nagging mom guilt? Well, I’ve got to be one of the worst mom-guilt offenders.
So I sat with my desire for “more” for a long time, afraid to admit that the stay at home mom life wasn’t enough for me. The “more” I was chasing was simple, yet hard for me to come to terms with. I wanted more time to actually use my brain. To have conversations with adults that centered around more things than just motherhood. To have a space to be creative. To have my own source of self-worth.
Going back to a typical job just wasn’t an option for me anymore. I didn’t want to work for anyone else and I needed to be able to choose how I spent my time. And so began my journey to start my own business. I have to say, I think I drove my family nuts during this time. My husband (lovingly) joked about my “idea of the month” because I was constantly brainstorming ideas and bouncing them off of whoever would listen.
During this time, I had an idea that I thought was “the one.” After researching and planning for months, I sought the advice of a trusted advisor from the industry I would be entering. He very harshly shot down my idea. I remember crying on the phone as I talked with him, trying my best to hide my heartbreak. That phone call still makes me cringe when I think about how defeated I felt. But looking back, I'm glad that he treated the idea with as little regard as he did. It toughened me up. It allowed Coco Moon to happen. But perhaps more importantly, it also taught me that I would be terrible on Shark Tank.
A few years later, shortly after having my second son, Taj, the idea of Coco Moon became rooted in my brain. This time, I didn’t seek outside validation. I became obsessed with the idea. Often I would tuck my family into bed, then work until 2 or 3 AM when Taj woke up to eat. I'd go to bed with him, then wake up at 6 AM or so to start the day with my family. It was exhausting, but it gave me a new purpose as I worked toward something that was uniquely my vision.
As this vision solidified, I found that my memories of growing up on Maui were the best sources of inspiration – looking for starfish in tide pools, making lei with my grandma and learning to surf at the same spot where my dad did were some of the most vivid.
Surfing in particular has been the biggest influence on the beachy vibe in our collections. I actually fell in love with my husband at age 17 while we were in Indonesia for a surf trip. Some mutual friends had organized the trip, and I had wanted to go so bad. But my family simply couldn’t afford it. However, as luck would have it, I received a college scholarship that was given to me as a check in my name (I have no idea why they thought that was a good idea). It just so happened to be the exact amount I needed for the trip. So instead of putting that toward school, I did as any 17 year old would and put it toward that surf trip. Don’t worry! I had other scholarships to cover me and I worked 3 jobs while in school to make up for it. It was worth it.
As Coco Moon has grown, I’ve met so many amazing 'mompreneurs' along the way. And I’ve realized that my desire for more wasn’t wrong, nor was it unique. That common desire is leading to a revolution of sorts, I believe, among mothers starting their own businesses. We’re choosing to take our time, creativity, and ability to handle anything life throws at us into our own hands. The work environment I needed didn’t exist, so I created it for myself. I love that other mothers are doing the same.
I am beyond grateful for the way that Coco Moon has been welcomed into your families with open arms. I call it my third baby and it has been so fun watching it grow since that 3AM daydream.
If this is your introduction to the brand, welcome! And if this is your introduction to the story behind the brand, I hope something resonated with you.
Finding a dream worth pursuing is hard but I can honestly say it’s 100% worth it. If you have a story similar to mine or are thinking of making the leap, connect with me or share below in the comments!
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I’m not afraid to admit that I have a major girl crush on Rebekah Steen, the stylish powerhouse behind the Goldfish Kiss blog. She’s a mother to a super cool little dude named Levi, she surfs, has a feel good, laid back vibe, rad art, and overall great style. Rebekah’s got Hawaii roots and totally gels with our island style perspective.
So imagine my delight when she agreed to work with Coco Moon on two collaboration prints for our upcoming collections. We’re talking full on happy dance in the “groffice” (my garage/office) that was probably meme-worthy given my spastic celebratory moves. Rebekah designed two prints for us, with the first – “Surf Mobiles” – launching in May. The second is planned for release this Fall.
Working with local designers and artists is definitely one of my favorite parts of the job. After working through some designs with Lauren, I was blown away by her talent. I remember responding to some of her emails in all caps, saying things like, LOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!!
Our first product release featuring Lauren’s art is the “Coconut Dreams” print, which launches on our swaddles, bibs, and burp cloths. I don’t think there’s much else that says “Hawaii” more than coconut trees, so I’m super excited to have a print dedicated to that iconic symbol of the tropics.
Jana Lam has been making rainbows out of her in-home studio on Oahu since 2010 and we are huge fans of hers. Her rainbows come in the form of beautiful, tropically inspired prints on bags, hats, pareos (sarongs), and of course, even our swaddles and various baby accessories. We just love her style and I’m staking claim that she is the queen of color.
Our first two collaboration prints with Jana, “Sea Flower” and “Banana Leaf,” were big hits. Our third will release in May. While we’re not revealing which of her prints we’re featuring next, I will say that it is more closely related to the sea and showcases her signature rainbow colors beautifully.