LONDON,United Kingdom — Hampstead is London’s premier address for affluent young families, which begs the question why there is a dearth of independent, high-quality and fashionable children’s clothing retailers? People have been complaining about it for years but no one has done anything about it …. until now. A Spanish entrepreneur and mother, who understands the market from first-hand experience, has taken her love of Spanish children’s designs and stepped up to fill a vacuum in the market by opening a beautiful shop (and website) in the centre of Hampstead, La Coqueta.
The mastermind and founder of La Coqueta is Celia Muñoz, a trained psychologist with years of headhunting under her belt. Now at the age of 35 and with 5 children under 5, Celia has decided to pursue her dream of bringing Spanish children’s fashion to the UK high-street. She explains that her abrupt change of direction stemmed from a persistent desire to follow her passions, this really came to fruition during the recent transformational years of her life:
“I know who I am, but it is interesting to see the evolution a woman goes through after motherhood. It is difficult to redefine yourself when you have children, but such changes to your lifestyle also give you the opportunity to re-create yourself and be more determined than ever”.
Retail can be a cut-throat industry, but Celia believes that the key for success lies not only in a well-defined and well-researched business strategy, but also in the determination to stay true to your concept, listen to the needs of your customers, give them options and offer them the highest quality products at a competitive price.
What makes La Coqueta different?
It certainly seems like Celia has done her homework, but what makes La Coqueta different?
‘Made-in-Spain’ says it all when it comes to children clothes, so I developed a relationship with Spanish designers, suppliers and small businesses.
Celia puts this down to the Spanish culture,“In Spain, we like grooming ourselves. This tradition has been passed from mother to daughter and influences how we dress our children”.
La Coqueta’s current collection offers marvellous pieces to suit the individuality of little girls and boys; expressing their cuteness and cheekiness through a range of vibrant colours combined with classical patterns and superb finishing. This creates a sophisticated and vintage look while rendering each piece of the collection a nostalgic mini capolavoro with a modern twist – all at affordable prices and completely washing-machine-friendly!
La Coqueta Secret Sauce
While browsing through her latest collection what strikes me most is that any item I pick up doesn’t just match with things on the same rack, it would go perfectly with nearly everything in the store! “They are specifically chosen to be complementary so you have the opportunity to mix and match, following your taste and sense of elegance and practicality. Our Autumn/Winter collection will be coming in vibrant blues and greens featuring floral and tartan dresses and introducing corduroy shorts”.
Celia has 5 rapidly growing children, so she is constantly thinking about ways to keep their wardrobes up to date.
“For her, an A-line dress with a matching bolero accompanied by a pair of ballarinas and a colourful bow, and for him, a classic chino Bermuda shorts with tailored shirts all well accessorised with colourful braces, knee high socks and matching loafers”. Indeed, the most popular items are the Lucia knitted ensemble, the dresses for the girls and the timeless braces and knee high socks for our little gents.
La Coqueta Future
So what does the future hold for this determined mother and La Coqueta, world domination or a fight to survive?
Certainly, there is the desire to generate returns but above all I want to popularise Spanish clothing while trying to fulfil the needs of our target audience. I want to flourish and open more stores in similar neighbourhoods. Next week, we start a new initiative; our moms-to-be will have the opportunity to celebrate their baby showers at the store, inviting their friends to browse and choose together the must-have items for the new arrival.