Who are we?
I’m Shell, a Brissy girl with a love of colour and a skill for creating functional, easy to wear clothes.
Working as an electrical engineer straight out of Uni, I fell into the trap of wearing the same standard corporate attire as everyone else. But on my weekends I was drawn to all things colour.
I’d been mucking around on my Mum’s sewing machine since my high school years and she’d gifted me with my very own Elna when I moved out of home. It became a lifeline, a way to unwind from stressful workdays and a way to express my creativity and use my hands.
I started drafting patterns, sourcing fabrics and spending long hours behind the sewing machine creating the kind of fun, colourful and easy clothes I wanted to wear. And my creations slowly snuck their way into my daily corporate wardrobe.
But after six years of sewing for myself, and occasionally friends and family, my wardrobe was overflowing.
And so Cocoa & Thread was born.
Because who doesn’t want fun, comfortable, colourful clothes and accessories that are easy to throw on and make you look and feel amazing?
Turns out that having an engineering degree, a project management post-grad and a mathematical mind is the perfect background for understanding how different design elements fit together. And making clothes that are functional.
Cocoa & Thread is a one-woman show. Keeping it small means the quality of our products is always exceptional.
I design and draft the patterns and source local artists and work with a Melbourne printer to have the fabric created.
I cut the patterns and sew the clothing by hand. And I create your jewellery by hand, too.
Every single item is created with a huge whack of time and care.
I hope you love them as much as I do.
Cocoa & Thread wouldn't be possible without the help of Nutmeg (the Affection Control Officer) and Cocoa (CEO of Cuddles).
You have the option to mix any print with any style in the Cocoa & Thread collection. Because there’s nothing more frustrating than going shopping and finding the perfect fit in a pattern you hate. Or a pattern you’ve absolutely fallen in love with, in a style you’d never wear.
At Cocoa & Thread we collaborate with local artists. Because supporting local means putting money back into the communities in which we live. We know we’re buying from people who really care about what they put out into the world and we have the opportunity to build meaningful relationships. It also means we get to offer you unique, one of a kind prints for your clothing.
The clothing industry has a pretty poor reputation when it comes to the impact it has on our environment and our communities.
As a small operation, I’m able to minimise the impact of creating your clothes. Fabric is locally sourced and all offcuts are used for other pieces (like our headbands!) or given away to other makers. Jewellery waste is reused into other pieces. And everything comes delivered in recycled packaging.
Everything we do, from the people we engage, the artists we collaborate with and the pieces we make are completely above board. We will never copy another artists work, underpay suppliers or ask artists to work for free.
We also have high standards about how we photograph our clothing. Because there’s nothing worse than buy something online only to discover it is nothing like what you thought you were ordering. Our pieces are photographed in real ways on real people. The only shock you’ll get when they arrive is just how good they are!