Monday, December 25, 2006

Logistical Assistance from the Bride

Recently one of our customers, Linda, helped us get a dress to one of her bridesmaids who ordered a little late. Through no fault of our own, we needed to rush a dress to the bridesmaid on a Saturday morning for a wedding that night!! After we were able to produce the dress much faster than usual we breathed a big sigh of relief and patted ourselves on the back for another job well done. That was until we found out that neither UPS nor FedEx could deliver the dress to where it needed to go before 1:00 pm Saturday. Linda was kind enough to accept delivery of the dress at approx. 9:30 am and get it into the hands of the bridesmaid that same morning. It was a great feeling coming into the office the following Monday with a kind note and photo from Linda letting us know that everyone loved their dresses and expressing her gratitude for getting everything done in time. Linda is elegantly wearing our Scoop Neck Top with Ballroom Skirt in Navy Satin. The woman looks great and, more importantly, has a great heart!

Baltimore Rules

For whatever reason, the U.S. city we seem to be most popular in is Baltimore, Maryland. We haven’t done anything special in the way of marketing to folks in Baltimore. It just seems that word-of-mouth has spread there quicker than in other cities. Other than the movie “Diner”, I never really had an appreciation for Baltimore – I don’t even like crab cakes. Now Baltimore is one of my favorite cities. The picture posted above is from one of our latest Baltimore customers. Christiane needed a dress in a rush for her friend’s wedding. All of the bridesmaids were given the freedom to buy their dresses from wherever they wanted and we’re thrilled Christiane found us. While you may tend to think we’re selling our dresses to dainty women who write poetry and have nicely manicured nails, you can see that we can also make ladies who participate in roller derby look great! Christiane is a member of the Junkyard Dolls which is one of the teams in Charm City Roller Girls (“Baltimore’s Only All Girl Roller Derby League”). Christiane is on the far-right wearing our “Sweet Emmy” dress in red satin (yeah, as if Emmy Rossum could compete in roller derby). As tough a lady as we’re sure Christiane is, she was a delight to work with and we’re happy she looked great at the wedding. Dig those gloves too!

Seasons Greetings!

Being that it’s the holiday season and that the world has taken a much needed pause to celebrate, we thought now would be a good time to post stories and photos from some of our favorite customers who were kind enough to express their gratitude to us and send us pictures of themselves in their Coco Myles dresses.

Of course, with the way blogs work -- with later entries being published above prior entries -- this little intro probably won’t be read until after you’ve read the other entries. In any event, we hope you enjoy(ed) them! And Seasons Greetings to all, particularly to our customers who have made this such a fun year!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Photo Shoot Results!

As mentioned a little while ago, we had what we think was a really successful photo shoot last month. We think these photos will come in handy for a variety of reasons, including showing our prospective customers how nice our dresses look when worn. We’ve had a good number of emails from people asking for pictures of this sort and we’re happy to now provide them. We decided to post a few of the photos so folks can see them before they’re put on our site and used in our marketing/advertising materials. The dresses are (from bottom to top): Black Satin Strapless Top with a Tea-Length A-Line Bottom with White Satin Sash; Turquoise Charmeuse Criss-Cross Top with Asymmetrical Bottom (Pearl Ivy Beading); “Sweet Emmy” in Red Satin; Hot Pink Satin Sweetheart Top with Ballroom Bottom (Royalty Beading) and Shawl; “BlueBerry” in Royal Charmeuse; and, “Lily” in Eggplant Georgette. We hope you like the photos as much as we do! Please note that you can click on them to enlarge and see more detail.

Friday, December 01, 2006 Finds Coco Myles

Being an online company, it is always nice when independent bloggers find us and write nice things. We recently got a great review in, a site who’s self-proclaimed purpose is to “study the trends and surf the web for the best items and then send you a link in the SheFinds weekly newsletter.”

We’re very happy to have been featured this past Wednesday as their “Bargains Week Feature Find”, even though they claimed our sizes only ran up to 16 -- we go to 32. You can check out their kind words right here. Thank you,!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Referrals from

I woke up on Friday and was shocked to find that our traffic was about five times as much as usual. After checking out the referrals leading to our site, we discovered that we were a newly added link to We're their top link in their formal design section. We’re very grateful for the new visitors!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Sisterhood Never Looked So Good

One of the great things about being in this business is discovering opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise knew existed. This happened to us this past May when we received 50 orders from a university sorority house. Now we knew that a bride and her bridesmaids might like the convenience of shopping online for their dresses given the usual geographic disparity of bridesmaids today, but who knew that sororities might like to order a whole bunch of dresses for their members for special events like formals and rush. It seems we're in a good place since we're not sure anyone else could produce an order of 50 or so beautiful, custom-made dresses in under 6 weeks. Needless to say, we are now bidding on the term “sorority dresses” and look forward to making other sorority sisters look as good as these ladies.

By the way, on this order, the women all bought tea-length black satin dresses but got to choose the particular shape of the top and bottom. Consistency with personal preference -- looks good, no?

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Cheap Bridesmaids Dresses"? Well, No One Searches for “Bridesmaids Dresses with a High Value Proposition”

We bid on the search term “cheap bridesmaids dresses” but there’s something inherent in the word “cheap” that just doesn’t feel right. While our dresses are inexpensive compared to other bridesmaid dresses (particularly those that are custom made), we tend to think of cheap as being low quality which definitely is not the case here. We also bid on “inexpensive bridesmaids dresses” which is a little more palatable. Unfortunately, with this type of paid-search marketing you have to go with what the masses are searching and, based on Overture’s estimates for last month (September ’06), there were only 359 searches for “inexpensive bridesmaid dresses” while there were more than 7,700 searches for “cheap bridesmaid dresses”. So despite our qualms, I guess we’ll keep bidding on the cheap.

Thursday, October 26, 2006's "Professional" Posting Policy

So every now and then (okay, practically everyday), we’ll go to, which is the largest wedding community website, and type “coco myles” or “cocomyles” into their search field to see what’s being said about us. So far so good, thankfully!

Their posting policy prohibits “solicitations” so we never sought to go there and tout our wares. However, the other day we came across this thread. We figured this was a pefect, non-solicitous situation in which we could interject and offer some information to some prospective customers. We simply wanted to inform the person who started the thread that she could order swatches from us and see, first-hand, the difference between the satin and charmeuse fabrics.

I had previously become a member of and, during the sign-in process, honestly identified myself as a “professional” rather than a groom or wedding guest. When I tried to post a response to the above thread, I got a message stating that professionals were not allowed to post.

I definitely understand why wants to prevent solicitations on their message boards. I can only imagine how many photographers, limo drives, and wedding bands would be posting. However, I think it’s unfortunate that they don’t give professionals the opportunity to answer, or inform, members if they have a question. I guess it’s tough balancing solicitations and honest information. Maybe they could prevent professionals from starting threads but allow them to post on existing ones. Just a thought.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Speaking of Real, Live Women

Despite our high customer satisfaction rate, we're still finding it difficult to get women to send us photos of the dresses being worn, particularly by their bridal parties. My guess is that when women are planning their wedding and are caught up in the excitement of ordering, or merely discussing the ordering of their bridesmaid dresses, they’re very willing to say, “Sure, I’ll send you some photos!” Then the wedding comes around, then the honeymoon, followed by catching up at work and nights spent sending out “thank you” cards. Before you know it, the bride has forgotten all about us. We also feel a little weird about nagging someone after the fact – we don’t want to come off as the “stalking bridesmaid dressmaker”. The truth is we realize that after the wedding, we’re not that high on someone’s priority list. We also think that women may not want pictures of their wedding posted on the Web or used for commercial purposes, which we totally understand. We’re trying to come up with ways to incentivize (strange how this word does not pass spell-check muster) our customers to send us those photos.

Given some feedback we’ve received and comments we’ve seen on some sites (i.e., we do think this will help others feel more confident about ordering from us. In an ideal world, we’d love to have our customers send us video clips from their weddings which we'd then make available for others to view.

That being said, I am thankful to a wonderful woman who just got married in the UK and was kind enough to send us these photos of her beautiful bridal party. I have to admit the whole “English Countryside” thing is a great backdrop for our dresses – it definitely does them justice! By the way, the dresses are Classic American Beauties (love the irony that they’re being worn by Classic British Beauties) in black satin.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Real, Live Women

When we launched back in March, our take was that the website did a great job of showing what the dresses looked like. I loved that our site looks and works like an actual dressmaking application while other sites look like electronic versions of old-fashioned catalogs. Well, as we now seek to broaden our marketing efforts beyond that of paid-search, it seems we need to have some real, live women in our dresses in order to develop a press kit that will be acceptable to traditional media outlets like television and magazines. The truth is we’ve also had a fair number of customers also asking to see what the dresses look like on women.

So we’ve hired our models and are now looking forward to leaving the artistic wizardry in the very capable hands of our photographers, Arnold and David Katz. The shoot is scheduled for November 1 and, hopefully, we’ll have the whole press kit ready in the middle of November, although I’m sure this kind of thing will take longer than anticipated.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Coco Myles in Crain's NY

Here's a nice little article about us in this week's Crain's New York Business that focuses on our pricing.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Send a Swatch, Make a Friend

Here’s the quandary when we started.

We figured most people would be very happy to know that we’ll send them swatches of our fabrics for free, which we do. We also think it’s reasonable to expect bridesmaids and brides to want a physical sample of the color they’re choosing for their dresses. We also know that a bride shopping for bridesmaid dresses is going to have some wedding-wide color issues that go beyond the bridesmaid dress, including flowers, tablecloths, flatware, etc. Because of the huge role that color plays in any wedding, we feel we have a responsibility to provide as much information to the bride as possible.

So our core belief is that we should provide samples to customers especially since we operate entirely online. On the other hand, we didn’t want to be bombarded by requests from 7th grade girls who think it’d be cool to get swatches from a dress company.

We therefore came to the conclusion that we would provide the swatches for free but wouldn’t make it a FAQ on the site. Our philosophy was to freely give the swatches to those who made the effort to ask for them figuring that this would limit the amount of 7th graders requesting fabric.

Those who contacted us about obtaining swatches were generally surprised to find out that we were willing to send swatches for free, probably because they’d seen other companies charge as much as $15.00 per swatch for this service. If you are thinking about buying from us then we think it’s our responsibility to get you what you need to make that purchase – and if that means sending a small sample of the fabric you may use then, to us, that’s well worth it! Forunately, so far, time has proven us correct.

Now, here are our revised thoughts on the matter:

Maybe we were too cautious in our approach to the junior high school kids. I mean, really, what do they want the swatches for? Even if our worst fears are realized and an entire 7th grade class asks for each of our colors, at least they’ll remember our name later on (hopefully). However, the biggest contributing factor to the change in philosophy is our discovery that the simple “swatch request” gives us an opportunity to introduce ourselves to each other and to demonstrate how Coco Myles works in terms of getting back to you almost immediately after you contact us, getting you what you want (the swatches) in a pretty package and for a great price ($0), with friendly customer service along the way. This process creates good feelings for both sides. It also makes a nice template for future transactions involving the dresses.

Because of the positive client relationships that we’ve developed from the swatch request, we think it's time to make our customers more aware that we will send them swatches for free! We’ll probably be adding a FAQ to this effect in the next day or so. If we get deluged with requests then we’ll respond as best we can. At present, we’re able to send our swatches out the same day they’re asked for so long as the request is received before 4:00 pm Eastern Time. All others are sent the next day. Hopefully, we can keep this effective process in place.

So for you Coco Myles fans who can’t let a day go by without reading our FAQ section, they’ll be a new one coming soon that’ll let our customers know that Coco Myles will be happy to send swatches to them for free!

And let’s not lose sight of the power that a simple swatch has to bring people together!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Introducing Our Jr. Bridesmaid Dress

As stated in one of the earlier posts, we're grateful for all the customer recommendations we've received about adding certain items to our offerings. The latest dress we'll be adding as a result of those comments is our Jr. Bridesmaid dress. Our website folks are currently adding this dress to our site, but we thought we'd at least show you what it looks like on this blog. Over on the left are the front and back images of the dress. We're giving our customers the ability to choose both a base and accent color. This way if the bridesmaids dresses are, let's say, Chocolate then the bride can choose to use the Chocolate as an accent color to the Jr. Bridesmaid dress. The dress shown is an example of a White base color with a Chocolate accent color. Of course, the dress can be made in one solid color as well.

The dress is currently available for sale ($115.00) and should be up on our site within the next week. If you'd like any information about sizing and specifications, please send us an email.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Our Posting Offer

We think the best way to help persuade people to choose us is for them to hear from previously satisfied customers. For brides-to-be in particular, we know we're asking you to trust us with a pretty important purchasing decision. Advertisements in magazines are great, but we think nothing works better than a customer testimonial. The problem with testimonials is that they only appear on the "testimonee's" website or literature. To broaden the scope of the testimonial concept, we're asking our customers to post about their experiences with us on third-party sites like,, craigslist, etc. where there's much greater exposure.

For honest positive comments, we're agreeing to either credit our customers $10.00 from their order or provide them with a free Coco Myles t-shirt (shown above -- American Apparel Girly Tank 5.8 oz 100% Cotton). We've never really heard of a company doing this before but we think it's a highly credible way to create greater awareness about Coco Myles in the bridesmaid market. So if any of you out there are old customers and want in on this, just send us an email with a link to your comments and we'll give you the credit or the t-shirt. And let us know your size if choosing the t!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Off the Charts

About two months ago, we decided to provide our customers with the actual specifications for our dresses. When you go to the site you’ll see that upon designing a dress, the specifications for bust, waist, hips, and length are displayed. We feel really good about this change, particularly after looking into the history of sizing charts. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the “size chart” came about as a result of The Civil War (bet they didn’t teach you that in American History) which necessitated the mass production of uniforms. Standardized women’s sizes didn’t come around until the 1920’s and since that time these “standards” have been subject to everything from the arbitrary whims of different manufacturers to the fact that women are becoming heavier leading retailers to sell bigger clothes labeled with smaller size numbers.

By giving the precise measurements of the dresses, we think we’re helping our customers select the best possible dress. Why standardize when you can be specific, right? One of the nice advantages of selling online is being able to provide this kind of information. While we still provide a sizing chart for reference purposes, we do ask our customers to order based on the dress’s actual specs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Two Thumbs Up for Personalized Fashion!

It’s a great feeling when someone finds us and is impressed not only with our dresses and website, but our concept of personalized fashion as well. Both The Budget Fashionista and Dahlia's Day - The Wedding Talk Blog checked us out and really liked what they saw. We hope those positive blog posts keep coming!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What's With the Blog?

Feeling inspired by the beautiful Sunday morning sunshine, I hereby commence the official Coco Myles Blog!

The goal here is to provide a two-way forum where we can openly communicate with our customers (and prospective customers too). We’ve been impressed by the amount of suggestions that people have provided us over the past six months. To date, these suggestions have resulted in our maternity wear, junior bridesmaid dress, and soon-to-be-offered short- and long-sleeved tops. We hope this blog further frees up the collective wisdom of our audience and provides us with excellent ideas and suggestions for years to come.

We’ll freely post all your comments here – both good and bad. There’s no need to sign-in or create a user name. We will, however, remove any comments that we think are irrelevant or inordinately profane. We know our concept of having our customers design their own dresses on the Internet is new-fangled and we hope that the open forum that this blog represents will help foster trust for both our concept and company.

I’ve just recently read Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. While reading, I became really excited about the possibilities of creating a blog for Coco Myles. To quote the book:

Businesses need to join the conversations [with their customers via blogging] because they build trust. Most companies know the value in that. Blogs also humanize companies, or at least the people who work inside of them. Your blog lets your potential customers see who the person is on the other side of the desk before they engage you in potential business. The more you talk with someone, the better you understand who he or she is, and you are more prone to conduct transactions with people you know well enough to trust.

We know that for some, buying a dress online requires a certain amount of trust in the vendor. As Scoble and Israel state, we hope this blog provides you with an opportunity to know us better and that this knowledge will result in your trust as well.