“I always said that I never wanted my own business, I enjoyed the stable secure monthly salary,” says Amy Hemmings-Batt, the founder of contemporary luxury bedding and lifestyle brand Coco & Wolf, who spent over 10 years working as a fashion buyer (she spent the last few years of her career working with Kate Moss on her clothing collections for TopShop)...
Hemmings-Batt relocated with her husband to the British countryside from London just weeks before her daughter was born, and the plan was always to move back to London when her daughter turned one (years later, they haven’t left).
She started searching for children’s clothes that weren’t pink, primary colours or fussy, and when she couldn’t find anything she loved in her favourite prints and fabric – Liberty’s iconic prints in Tana Lawn cotton – Hemmings-Batt started making the clothes herself. Before she knew it, friends started to ask if she could make things for their children. She was then approached by her first retailer, a small independent shop. “It was at this point that I started to build the website and launch the brand and when it really took off,” she recalls. Years later, her brand is renowned for selling luxury, heirloom pieces for both adults and little ones, all handmade by a dedicated team of seamstresses in the company’s Somerset based design studio. Coco & Wolf now offers the largest selection of Liberty fabric bedding in the world.
Here, we find out more about her career journey and what a typical day looks like.
To shop Coco & Wolf, go to cocoandwolf.com
Tell us about your own childhood…
My childhood was spent in the countryside, I grew up in a small village (that I couldn’t wait to leave). We spent a lot of time outside, den building and crafting. My parents were both teachers, although when my brother and I were little my mum had her own sewing business. My parents have always both been creative people, they encouraged my brother and I to do what we love and follow our passions. When I was growing up, I knew there was a big wide world out there and I wanted to see it and live it. As soon as I had finished school, I was desperate to live in a city and escape the countryside. Little did I know that I would end up doing a full circle and move back to the countryside to offer my children the upbringing I was lucky to have.
What did your career entail prior to children?
Before I had my children, I worked as a fashion Buyer for over 10 years. It was my dream job and my whole life, I absolutely loved it. I traveled the world for inspiration and sourced product for the global fashion market. I spent the last few years working with Kate Moss on her clothing collections. It seems like a different life when I think back to it. The fashion buying work has changed immensely since I left, I feel lucky to have done it when I did, and it gave me such good grounding for having the business now.
Tell us about your experience when pregnant with your daughter, and what you started making...
When I was pregnant with my daughter the baby and children’s clothing market was very small. I was obsessed with Liberty’s iconic prints and knew the Tana Lawn cotton would make beautiful clothing for babies and children. I couldn’t find anything that I liked out there, so I bought a few metres of different prints and started making the clothes and nursery accessories for her.
What prompted you to turn this venture into a business?
I always said that I never wanted my own business, I enjoyed the stable secure monthly salary. We relocated to the countryside weeks before my daughter was born, the plan was always to move back to London when she was one. After she was born, I used to dress her in the clothes I had made for her. I was very lucky that she was a good sleeper, this enabled me to sew when she slept. Friends started to ask if I could make things for their children and then I was approached by a little independent shop that wanted to stock our collection. It was at this point that I started to build the website and launch the brand and when it really took off.