1. Dear Corinna, I am very happy to introduce you and COCO MALOU as part of our Female Founder Community. Please tell us a little about yourself and your company.

Gladly! I founded Coco Malou in 2018 after I had been looking for sustainable underwear for a long time that I really liked, but was also comfortable and fairly produced. Not that easy! Either the underwear was too sporty for me, often made of (organic) cotton and usually without lace - or it was simply not my taste.

I originally studied marketing and business administration and worked in this area after my studies. In the sustainability sector, but not in the textile industry, and therefore had to learn a lot on the way to founding the company.

2. What does the name COCO MALOU mean? 

I actually thought about the name for a long time and was looking for something that wasn't already taken, that sounded melodic and could be pronounced the same in several languages ​​- I know a few brands that I'm still unsure about how to pronounce them correctly definitely avoid that!

So Coco Malou is simply a name that is derived from my first name Corinna (Coco for short) and the French first name Marie-Louise (Malou for short) and sounds beautiful to my ears. :)

3. With your label and also your Instagram account @kissenundkarma you focus on fair fashion. Has this always been an important concern for you or was there a particular trigger that led you to get involved in it today? 

My blog or Insta account came before Coco Malou was founded and was inspired by a visit to a trade fair where I more or less accidentally heard a lecture on the fashion industry and found myself quite caught: the speaker spoke very emotionally about the terrible conditions our overconsumption of fast fashion and I thought to myself at the time: crap, that's exactly what I'm contributing to. And from then on I wanted to do it differently! First I didn't shop at all for three months and then decided to switch to fair fashion or second-hand clothing. To do this, I started my account @kissenundkarma and then, about three years later, I quit my job to tackle the underwear dilemma.

4. What has been your biggest learning so far since you founded the company? Were there things that you had imagined would be different before you founded the company than they ended up being? 

There were just a lot of little learnings along the way: somehow everything always turns out a little differently than you think; The processes usually take much longer than expected and there are always small hurdles that need to be overcome. I didn't initially think that as a founder and designer I would have to deal with so many administrative issues, from insurance, to tax issues, accounting and the costs and rules when hiring someone for the first time. Germany is simply quite bureaucratic. Nevertheless, I would do it that way again and not think about it TOO much in advance - you just sort out the problems as they arise. I've done pretty well with it so far. :)

On the positive side, I didn't expect as much lovely feedback and sweet messages from customers as I've already received - that makes it all worth it!

5. You started your business with, among other things, a crowdfunding campaign: what tips would you give other founders who also want to start a crowdfunding campaign or what requirements are needed for a successful implementation? 

In my opinion, crowdfunding is a great way to test your own idea in advance (although it has to be quite concrete, with final prototypes, photos, etc.), to enable financing and to generate some awareness. It is very important that the campaign is well thought out and prepared: it is best to set up the social media channels months in advance (take the community with you from the start) and design a website where interested parties can get information and get a feel for the brand or receive the products. Also useful: prepare a press release (including local press and bloggers), send it to relevant contacts and make it easily accessible on your own website, and definitely ask friends and family for support. The first few days of the campaign are particularly important so that it has a chance of being featured on the homepage and in the newsletter - this way you can reach even more people. I also think it's very important to have a good video that shouldn't be too long: a maximum of two minutes so that people watch it. You always think that there are so many important things to tell, but in the end, short and sweet is always better than a “too long, didn't watch” video! (-;



If you would like to find out more about Corinna and Coco Malou, please take a look here:

To the website: www.coco-malou.com

On Instagram: @coco_malou_ethical_lingerie