Hailing from Thailand and now living in Los Angeles, Lisa Coffey is the designer behind Coconut Village, a line of accessories that mixes brilliant textiles from Southeast Asia with a laid back California vibe. Crafted from vintage Hmong fabric and beads, each Coconut Village bag is a labor of love for Lisa and her family. We recently caught up with Lisa and asked her to chat about working with her family and giving back to the community in Laos.
Describe Coconut Village.
Coconut Village creates unique designs with a boho chic twist by using beautiful vintage woven textiles and beads from the Hmong Hill Tribes of Laos.
How and when did you start your brand?
A couple years ago, needing a little break from the busy streets of Los Angeles I decided to take a trip to visit my family in Laos. While there, I found an old box of photos of my mom rocking 70?s, hippie, bellbottoms and colorful dresses. I was completely inspired and Coconut Village was created.
Speak about your previous work experience and how it helped you to create your brand?
I moved to Los Angeles when I was 19 years old to pursue a career in television. Throughout the years, I?ve appeared in numerous commercials and print campaigns for many brands while always dreaming of having my own line one day. This has helped prepare me from being in front of the camera to now behind the scenes.
What are some of your endless inspirations?
I'm inspired by the traditional fashion of the women of Thailand and Laos. Their embroidered costumes and dresses are so beautiful.
How does travel inspire your collection?
From the minute I step off the plane, I?m inspired by everything I see! From the exotic surrounding, food, fashion and culture I try to take it all in and be present in the moment. I always reflect back to my experiences when creating new pieces in my collection.
You work with artisans, speak about the process.
The best part about creating Coconut Village is having the opportunity to work hand in hand with all my family in Laos, which has brought us even closer. Everyone plays a huge role in my line from my mom, aunts and cousins who help me hand bead and sew every one of a kind piece. Coconut Village would be just an idea without all of them, they have allowed me to live my dream.
Your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
As Coconut Village grows, I see the line expanding into accessories and home decor using vintage vibrant embroidered textiles.
What city do you have an endless love affair with?
Can you share your top spots for eating, drinking, and shopping?
My favorite hangout is Aventine in Hollywood. The atmosphere is hip, fun and the truffle popcorn is to die for. As for shopping, I prefer being outside than in a mall. I love walking into all the small shops on Larchmont Blvd. or if I'm on the west side I like spending the day in Venice shopping on Abbot Kinney.
Best trip so far?
Favorite form of transport?
Always in your suitcase?
Favorite hotel that you wouldn't mind staying in forever?
The One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico or Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun.
Most beloved souvenir?
Good luck string bracelet I had blessed from the monks in the temples of Laos.
Ultimate escape fantasy?
Bungalow in the Maldives
Souk or Department Store?
DIY or Concierge Service?
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing?
Camping or 5-Star Hotel?
Drive or be Driven?
Room service or Street Food?
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?
Lots of Luggage