We had the good fortune of connecting with Coco Barnes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Coco, what are you inspired by?
Believe it or not, Closet by TLC was actually inspired by the pandemic. I originally was going to start my TLC Cosmetics brand back up, but once the pandemic hit we were all having to stay at home. So I started researching things that were popular during that time and it was loungewear more specifically onesies.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets Closet by TLC apart from all others selling similar items is our customer service. Customer service has been at the forefront of my brand since day 1. I come with a very strong background of customer service experience so I knew that going into my own business I would make sure it was on point! Don’t just take my word for it, search Closet by TLC on Facebook and Google maps to see some of our reviews.
Something I am most proud of is the inclusion Closet by TLC provides. We believe all bodies deserve to be in something cute and comfy, we currently have clothing XS-3X while actively sourcing out larger sizes.
We got to where we are today by being consistent, having things that are on trend, having sizes for all bodies, attending as many pop up/ community events as possible and using social media to our advantage. We have built a strong presence on Facebook simply by doing LIVE shows, doing unboxing shows, giveaways, discounts and more.
It has not been easy, we just make it look easy. There has been multiple occasions where shipping companies delivered our inventory to the wrong address or just didn’t deliver it at all. There have been events we attended thinking we’d make $1,000 and made only $200. There have been times when a vendor said the clothing was true to size only to find out it wasn’t. Regardless of these things we never let it stop us, we always pivot and find a way to bounce back. In business you have to realize you’ll take a couple L’s but as long as the W’s outweigh that then you’ll be alright.
Lessons I’ve learned along the way is to always be ready, always take accountability, don’t get discouraged and to just keep going. If I would have given up when I originally wanted to we wouldn’t be here today.
One thing I want the world to know about Closet by TLC is that it was started by a young black woman from the Southside of Tucson, Az with only $600 and if I can do it so can you. We don’t discriminate regardless of where you came from, what you identify as, what your body type is— it’s all love this way. Our mission is simply to have the best customer service, great quality and provide our customers with comfortable clothing. From our Closet to yours come find something you adore.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
To be honest this is a difficult question for me to answer only because I haven’t been to many places here in Phx. I moved here Jan 2020 and a few months later the pandemic hit. I would take my friend to Westgate to hangout for drinks. I really love The Porch so we would definitely go there for food and more drinks. Lastly we’d visit the Selfie museum and take pics all day
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Since day 1 the person who has been with me through every single up and down, counting inventory, doing deliveries, bagging, packaging, making post office runs, attending events and more.. has been no other than my best friend Ki better known as Bae. She has literally been with me every step of the way before I ever had a single customer or even my shop. She was there with me on the floor of our apartment sorting out onesies by size and design. I am forever grateful for her and most definitely dedicate my shoutout to her.
Other: Google maps Closet by TLC https://goo.gl/maps/FKDCHFCgQcd3ipXu8