Today we’d like to introduce you to Allyson Garro.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Allyson. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always been interested in the transformative energy of costuming. Whether I’m getting dressed in the morning for a “normal day,” or readying myself for a celebration, I’ve always felt the immense power that articles of adornment possess in helping me express outwardly how I feel inwardly.
I spent my early 20s in New Orleans, where my appreciation for extreme costuming and self-expression through physical adornment took a deep hold. I loved that costuming, as an art form, is open to EVERYONE; your body is your canvas and the parade is your gallery! My interest grew beyond my abilities, however, and I wanted to learn more about the construction of costumes, so in 2003, I returned to Los Angeles, where I had attended college, to go back to school for a degree in Fashion.
When I moved to Austin in 2008, after leaving behind an unfulfilling Hollywood wardrobe career and a toxic relationship, I began meditating on my joy. I was committed to finding the job that would sustain me creatively, energetically and monetarily, And when I visualized what that happiness looked like, it was a space that catered to the fantastical whimsy of costume culture; a place to re-imagine oneself through wigs, makeup, and maximalist accessories…
When I first opened shop in 2010, my intention was to have a vintage- inspired wig and makeup boutique. Around the same time that I opened, a coworker at the restaurant where I was splitting my time, was getting married. She didn’t know where to have her bridal party, so I suggested we host her at the shop. Halfway through her party, a light bulb went off: Wig Parties are FUN. I decided to start offering private wig parties from that day forward, and they are now the bread and glitter of my business!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I had my business plan written for two years before anything ever came of it. I didn’t have the capital or know the first thing about how to meet investors. Then, one night, I had a dream that I was running shop in an old house shared with a couple of other businesses. The very next day, I learned that an acquaintance of mine had indeed found an old house on the east side, and she was interested in having me open my wig shop there! It was the smallest room in the house, but I had never started my own business before, so it turned out to be the perfect size for me to plant the seed of what my business would grow into.
There were a lot of growing pains that occurred in the first couple years, but being committed to good communication with my housemates allowed for us to navigate those hurdles as they presented themselves and to avoid any disastrous meltdowns.
I’ve been blessed to enjoy a really organic rate of growth, so whatever perceived struggles I’ve had along the way have been opportunities for me to grow as a person and learn how to be better at my job. And as of September, the other business have all relocated, leaving the house to be entirely inhabited by a fully realized Coco Coquette (which I’m sure, will bring about a whole new array of challenges and obstacles)!
Coco Coquette – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
By day, we’re a vintage-inspired boutique for all that’s sparkled/ feathered/ teased and outrageous; by night, we host private wig parties where guests can relish in our favorite part of going out: getting glamorous! But Coco Coquette is more than just fake hair, sparkly makeup, and over-the-top accessories; it’s an opulent parlor that invites guests to step outside of their “comfort zone” and try on a different version of themselves in an environment that celebrates self- expression, in whatever form that might take. Wigs can be different things to different people, and the right wig can tease out a side of ourselves that has maybe been lying dormant, waiting for the right moment to shine…
In addition to our famed wig parties, we also play host to different workshops and events that are inclusive and supportive of the community we serve. It’s our mission to provide a safe and beautiful space where all are welcome to explore the different facets of themselves; for some that might be altering their ego, for others, it’s about connecting with their authentic selves.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
While my definition of business success might be constantly evolving, my personal definition is unwavering. I feel immense gratitude (and sometimes awe) that I’m doing what I love for a living! If success can be measured in happiness, then I’ve truly struck gold…
Professionally, I consider our good reputation as the standard for our success. With the trust of our guests, we are permitted to host their very special events, and it always feels like an honor to be a part of these milestone celebrations!
- $34-$120 – Our price range for wigs
- $490 – For an 8 guest private Wig Party (for pricing on different sized parties, see website)
- $60 – Glam Makeup Appointment (includes lashes)
- Address: 2109 E Cesar Chavez St Austin, TX 78702
- Website: www.coco-coquette.com
- Phone: 512-344-9173
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @coco_coquette
- Facebook: facebook.com/CocoCoquette
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/coco-coquette-austin
Justin Wilson, Emily Svec, Lauren Rolfes, Hannah Foeh, Cleo