15 October 2021
David & Deborah leave for a few months in a professional setting in Bali, then find themselves in full lockdown without activity. They then came up with the idea of creating a brand of jewelry that would highlight the know-how and the riches of the island. Little by little, a first model emerges, happy encounters put them on the path, and then success is achieved via Instagram and acquaintances who all fall for these bracelets as simple as they are atypical. Coco Luna is the creative happy ending of lockdown far from home. The two designers talk about their success story at La Grande Boutique.
David & Deborah, can you introduce yourself? Who are you ? And what was your background before launching Coco Luna?
Deborah. I come from Royan, near La Rochelle. After my business studies in Bordeaux and luxury marketing in Paris, I looked for an internship in luxury real estate and that’s how I discovered Bali for the first time 4 years ago, a great experience. I decided to go back and introduce David to this island paradise. Living my dream together.
David. I’m from Bordeaux, I went to business school there, that’s where I met Deborah in 2019 with whom I fell in love, this meeting that changed my life. During my studies, I was able to go to Cambodia and when Deborah suggested that I go to Bali, it was obvious for me to try this human adventure with her and to put my studies on hold, I already had in my pocket a work-study contract which allowed me to finish my studies in a luxury house.
Can you tell me about your trip to Bali, what happened there?
David: We were in Bali in January 2020, just before the pandemic. After two months it was full lockdown. The country’s borders have been closed and our internships have been put on hiatus. One morning, Deborah said to me “I have spotted a lot of craftsmen, we need to create a jewelry brand together here.” We embarked on a journey of scouting creations, craftsmen of all kinds all over the island. Sometimes we would drive an hour and a half to find the closed door, because of the Covid, so we would come back the next day, and so on …
Deborah: It was especially our meeting with one particular person that accelerated things. He is a local jewelry designer and it was thanks to him that we had access to lots of stones. Together, we created a bracelet that was our first model. We left the island with 200 bracelets in our suitcases but we weren’t even sure at the time what to do with them …
You created your brand barely a year ago, and you already have many prestigious points of sale, how did you do it?
David: We haven’t developed any strategy for the brand. We did everything on intuition, without any pretension. From the start, we wanted to create an Instagram account, we had done a little shoot in Bali to have a stock of images but we didn’t think it would take this magnitude from the start.
Deborah: Our goal at the start was to go to the markets, and it was a hit. Then very quickly, thanks to a friend, we had our first point of sale in Bordeaux. We hadn’t even thought about the price, nothing. The others followed, it went super fast, the stores spotted us on Instagram. We could never have imagined that it would go so fast and enjoy it so much.
Why did you choose to create a jewelry brand? Did you have a particular tropism for accessories before or not at all?
Deborah: I’ve always loved jewelry, ever since I was little. I loved making pearl necklaces!
David: There is a real craft in Bali that is unique to macrame. It is the combination of beautiful local stones and this weaving technique that gave us the idea of our jewelry. It was instinctive but it just seemed obvious.
How are Coco Luna jewelry made?
David: The semi-precious stones are woven by gold-plated silk thread. We like the combination of materials and that’s what we like.
Déborah: Everything is braided by hand in Bali by artisans. We really wanted to choose raw and noble materials at the same time. We love the authentic side of our creations. Behind each bracelet, there is real craftsmanship, and we can see it.
How is the choice of stones governed? What about the colors?
David: We choose all our stones in pairs with an on-site contact who lives year-round in Bali. We had to go a few months ago but we couldn’t because of the Covid so he usually makes pre-selections for us, and we choose the suppliers of stones all over the world according to their quality and purity such as tourmaline in Brazil or amazonite in South Africa.
Deborah: We operate on instinct and love at first sight. We will always choose the best quality, but when it comes to colors, it is only our desires that guide us.
How do you divide the roles within the brand?
Deborah: I take care of the creations. I am in charge of purchasing the necklaces, which I make myself. I also take care of content creation, shootings, and social networks. I am the creative part of the duo!
David: I have a more business-oriented role. I take care of the website, the purchase of sponsored content as well as the relationship with the stores. We are both ultra complementary …
Who is Coco Luna jewelry for? Who is your dream client?
David: Our clientele is between 35 and 45 years old, and they are mostly active women. They are looking for designer pieces with authenticity.
Deborah: Our bracelets are really for everyone. Regarding necklaces, I dream of seeing Emily Ratajkowski wear one …
Is Coco Luna jewelry only for summer? What can we wear them with?
Deborah: They go with everything! Whether bohemian, sport chic or rock, they adapt to all looks, and that is also their strength. Even though they are colorful bracelets and we use a lot of seashells for our necklaces, our jewelry is absolutely made to be worn all year round.
David: For the fall, we made models in dark gray or green labradorite. In summer, the colors are brighter or pastel, but everyone does what they want …
Your signature piece is more the bracelet … how would you define it?
David: We really designed it as a talisman bracelet … to wear alone, in accumulation, or with other precious and less precious jewelry. It really is the quintessential easy piece.
What does Coco Luna mean?
Deborah: Coco evokes the holidays, the coconuts that you see everywhere in Bali. Luna didn’t have any meaning at first and then finally it makes sense with the growing interest in lithotherapy. The stones recharge with the energy of the moon. It just goes to show that there is no coincidence …