Founded by Alma Brayley-Neale, Coco-Boo has recently opened it’s doors to a ‘French boudoir’ in the Essex seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea. Alma has longed to run her own business and has finally taken the ‘plunge’ (after working 25 years in HR/Recruitment roles) to make her dreams become a reality.
With a desire to combine her love for lingerie, fashion and a luxury retail experience, Alma’s passionate about catering for women for all occasions – from every day t-shirt bras, bridal, maternity and something for those special events and moments…
“I’m very passionate about my little piece of girly heaven called Coco-Boo and strive to offer only the best personal 1:1 customer service. This is so important when selling lingerie as it can sometimes be confusing for us ladies, let alone the men in our lives! No matter how much experience we have in buying our daily bras and knickers or trying to find that something special, it can quite often become a chore rather than a pleasure.”
“I know from personal experience it was always stressful and quite often I would walk out of department stores with the first thing I thought I liked, and what I guessed was my size and most of the time I only wore for a short time because either it expanded rapidly in the wash or it was too uncomfortable to wear.”
Whilst working on her plans for the launch, Alma trained as a lingerie fitter and stylist, and chose to stock designers who provide premium quality, excellent attention to detail, style and comfort.
“Accessibility is paramount for my business. I want every woman to walk in, feel comfortable in the environment and enjoy their experience – whatever their shopping purpose. I want women to feel happy, proud, confident and fabulous, which you don’t always get online or on the high street – especially with such long queues for the fitting rooms.”
“I’ve even designed the space to comfortably allow parents with prams to come in to Coco-Boo. After all, our busts can change so much during and after pregnancy, it’s important they don’t get forgotten about!
Our bras start at £49 (our maternity/nursing bras start at £35), so although we’re a slightly higher price point than a regular high street store, we’re still very competitive with long established lingerie brands and with our brands you’ll receive optimum quality and products that will last for years.
The products you’ll find at Coco-Boo use only the finest fabrics such as Guipure embroidery, Calais lace, luxury silks and Italian satins. All with hints of vintage inspired glamour whilst keeping on trend with the latest fashions too, combining Alma’s love for Parisian and Hollywood glamour as well as couture fashion.
I love individuality of style which does not start and stop with what people can see you are wearing, but what you know you are wearing underneath.”
“I have spent months researching and handpicking designers from the UK and around the world that make women feel great about themselves. The brands I’ve selected to stock at Coco-Boo have a woman’s best interests at heart. Regardless of shape and size, we have fun with our customers. We try on and we browse through look books. Whatever we don’t have in stock can be ordered for delivery within just 2-3 days.
I love the vibrancy of Leigh-on-Sea and the amazing entrepreneurial spirit in the town and it’s so great to see new independent shops emerging to serve our local community. I’m excited to fill a gap by bringing something new to our beloved town and I’m looking forward to getting to know the locals – offering them products and a service that doesn’t require a trip to to a high end London department store. I stock brands exclusive to Essex and I also stock brands you’ll find in Harrods and Fenwicks.
Everyone’s invited to our French inspired boudoir. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for a gift for a loved one, the ethos I’m creating is to make you feel relaxed, confident and indulged.”
“I have lived in Essex since the age of 7, prior to the UK I lived in Germany where my Dad was stationed in the RAF, we then moved to North Devon where both my parents’ families are from, before heading up to Essex. I live with my husband Jay, a retired firefighter who served in Southend for 31 years.
I have one Son who has recently flown the nest and through my marriage to Jay I also have two grown up stepchildren. We have a beautiful grandson, Roman, who we totally adore. We also dote on our diva dog Storm, a 2-year-old black Labrador who loves swmming, chasing balls and rolling around in all sorts in our local woods.”
My day always starts with a strong black coffee and a big walk around the local park with Storm to try and focus my mind on the day ahead. (In reality, it means chasing the dog and trying desperately to stop her rolling around in muck!). In our spare time we enjoy seeing our family and friends, to which those moments are even more precious when starting a business which consumes most days, but I love it. It’s a dream I’m fulfilling – finally.”