Former Topshop buyer Amy Hemmings-Batt was living in London and expecting her first child when she started creating beautiful, design-led clothing for her own baby. But it was her relocation to Somerset a year later that saw her officially launch the Coco & Wolf brand. Fast forward to 2017, and the award-winning company is now known worldwide for creating unique children’s clothing, predominantly using Liberty of London prints.
Amy: "Whilst pregnant with my daughter and living in London in 2012, I started making and creating clothing that I just couldn’t find in other retailers. I always used Liberty print fabric due to its super soft and luxurious feel. I previously worked as a ladieswear fashion buyer, and during the 10-years-or-so of doing that, I was fortunate enough to travel the world and visit inspiring places, picking up pieces that continue to inspire our collections."
Just a few months later and Amy had given birth to her daughter, moved to Somerset, and launched Coco & Wolf as a fully-fledged business. And she admits that the company had humble beginnings.
Amy: "I relocated to Somerset following my daughter’s birth and officially launched Coco & Wolf in 2013. The company was run from the spare room, where we gradually began to be surrounded by rolls of fabric and rails of garments and patterns. As the team expanded, we out grew the space and, in the summer of 2016, we moved into an open plan studio space in Henton, just outside of Wells, which is light and bright and so creatively inspiring."
In 2015 Amy introduced homewares and interiors to Coco & Wolf due to, what she says, a gap in the market for "luxury, stylish products". The collection now consists of carefully considered and designed pieces from fitted sheets, quilts and duvet sets, to cushions, change mat covers and accessories.
Amy: "We have a partnership with Liberty of London and buy the fabric directly from them. It means that we are the first to see the new collections and work around two seasons in advance. One of my favourite parts of my job is shopping for the new season prints – this is always where new collections come to life and we often end up designing new pieces inspired by the print ranges."
Working out of the spare room now seems a distant memory for Amy. Not only does she now employ a team of people, but Coco & Wolf has retailers across the UK, Europe, and the US. It’s this rapid growth which means Amy is now more likely to be found behind a keyboard rather than a sewing machine.
Amy: "I run the business and rarely do any sewing at all anymore due to a fantastically talented team which works for me. This includes a creative director, seamstresses, admin and packing assistants. We currently make every single item in house, and every piece is thoughtfully designed with babies and children in mind. Our brand ethos revolves around clean shapes, delicate detailing, and modern styling."
And 2017 has seen another huge period of growth for Coco & Wolf, with the company venturing into adult clothing. Amy’s long-term goal is to have a bricks and mortar shop.
Amy: "During 2017 we have gone through another period of expansion including the introduction of a capsule women’s clothing collection, and a series of workshops. We are now a retail platform for other brands too for items such as limited edition heirloom dolls, soft toys, and dolls houses. Our dream is to have a shop space locally."
So why does Amy love Somerset?
Amy: "I love Somerset because of the fresh air, stunning views, the cheese, and the cider! I couldn’t imagine raising my two children anywhere else."
Photographer credit: All external photography is courtesy of Katy McDonnell Photography.
Location credit: Yeo Valley Organic Gardens.