Danny Kaye, the old school American actor, once said “to travel is to take a journey into yourself”, which is what Pip Bagley & Francesca Bowden discovered while working as yachties in the Mediterranean. Their adventures lead them to the realisation that healthy drinks should be available to everyone, and that their purpose was to provide this to Kiwi’s in the way of coconut water.
These two inspiring girls launched cocoloco as a result, and have been serving delicious coconut water and other healthy treats such as coconut bircher, fresh out of the coconut, at markets around Auckland ever since.
Follow them on their journey as they tell us how they got started, how they define success and where they are going next, one delicious coconut at a time.
Names: Philippa Bagley (Pip) & Francesca Bowden
Occupation: Founders & Directors of ‘cocoloco’
What did you study and what was your original intended career path?
Francesca: I studied Communications with a major in PR. I always wanted to open my own PR Company, but decided to travel before I did. Once I got a taste for the real world, I left behind all my original plans and decided to broaden my horizons. I suddenly found myself living and working on a super yacht in the Mediterranean, and that’s where I met Pip.
Pip: I studied in Otago, majoring in Sports Science. I always knew I wanted to help people live a healthy lifestyle and to teach people the importance of eating well and exercising. I got the travel bug pretty early so left with every intention of coming back within the year, but with a change of career into yachting and love of my new found freedom, I decided to start a business.
Give us a brief background on your career to date:
2 year fashion PR
2 years product PR
2 years hospitality
2 years yachtie
4 year marketing
2 year advertising
2 years yachtie
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”] After discovering the long list of amazing heath benefits associated with coconut water, we wanted to make sure it was something that every kiwi could have access to.[/pullquote] [line]
How did cocoloco come about?
From the love of nuts! In all seriousness, we actually LOVE fresh coconut water, served straight from the coconut. After living in different parts of the world and eventually in Sydney, we realised that it was missing in New Zealand. After discovering the long list of amazing heath benefits associated with coconut water, we wanted to make sure it was something that every kiwi could have access to.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”left”]Making our own decisions and seeing something that you created in the hands of someone else, is pretty exciting. [/pullquote] [line]
What are some of the most exciting parts of running your own business?
Making our own decisions and seeing something that you created in the hands of someone else, is pretty exciting. And most importantly choosing our own office hours! ☺
What has been some of the biggest challenges for you?
The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Anyone who has started a business will know exactly want we mean. Some days it’s the best thing you ever did and other days it’s the most challenging. You have all these ambitions and dreams for your company but the reality is you can’t achieve all of them at once because of time and money constraints, so it’s hard choosing which dream to place first.
What are some of the unexpected results of having your own business?
I guess the best things in life are unexpected. We didn’t really have any expectations when we started. So everything is unexpected.
[line][pullquote width=”300″ float=”right”]the best things in life are unexpected[/pullquote] [line]
How are some of the ways you get your name out there?
We are approaching this as organically as possible. We don’t want to force cocoloco on people; we want them to fall in love with the product naturally. It’s a personal choice to be involved in health so our main avenue at the moment is word of mouth, social media and the markets.
How can businesses use social to translate likes into sales?
I think social media can provide the customer with everything they need to know, in one place. At the click of a button you can show potential customers what your brand stands for, you can educate them about your product, and, if they’re interested in purchasing, you can direct them to a point of sale. And the customer can do it all from the comfort of their own device.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Listen. Mostly everything they tell you is true.
[line][pullquote width=”600″ float=”left”]Success is loving what you do, having pride in what you’ve created and looking forward to what is around the corner.[/pullquote] [line]
How do you define success?
Success is loving what you do, having pride in what you’ve created and looking forward to what is around the corner.
What’s next for cocoloco?
Lets just say cocoloco will be very busy this summer, and we’re hoping to expand to the brand in the coming year. It’s all very top secret but very exciting! ☺
What would you say to your 21 year old self?
Always enjoy yourself. Work hard, play hard!
What person dead or alive would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Ellen DeGeneres – mainly because she is AWESOME but also because of her energy, spirit, wit, creativity … the list could go on.