Penelope McCown created her own luxury brand to support Black Women who struggle with infertility.
Penelope McCown is a wife, mother, and owner of one of a kind, Cocoa Baby Love, LLC. McCown is a Family Nurse Practitioner by trade but was inspired by her daughter, Priya to build something greater that is Cocoa Baby Love, LLC. A high end brand of infant and toddler products and apparel dedicated to the celebration of African American Children. McCown chooses to center her business on celebrating African American Children due to her own personal struggles of having a child with her husband. Before McCown was given the vision of her business, she and her husband desired to have a large family.
I had the opportunity to talk with Penelope about her personal struggles, and Luxury infant and toddler products.
Veronica Charnell: What inspired you to create your own clothing brand?
Penelope McCown : I am an amazingly blessed mother who was and is still inspired everyday by my daughter and inspired by my journey to motherhood. It was very difficult for me to conceive a child. After what seemed like a lifetime of trying to conceive naturally I was unable to do so. After multiple tests and treatments, I underwent 3 rounds of IVF and also suffered a devastating miscarriage of a little girl. But I never gave up faith and God blessed me and my husband with our biggest gift, our rainbow baby, Priya. Due to my personal struggles of conceiving and bearing a child I was inspired to create Cocoa Baby Love. I was inspired to celebrate being a mother because it was so difficult for me to finally become one and I absolutely love being a mother. Through this experience I was inspired to celebrate not only my child but all African American children. Because like my own daughter, children give the biggest gifts to all mothers. Cocoa Baby Love is a luxury brand of infant and toddler products and products for moms and actually not just clothing. All of my products that I will carry are influenced in some way by my journey to become a mother and by my experience as a mother.
Veronica Charnell: How does your brand celebrate African American Children?
Penelope McCown : A big part of Cocoa Baby Love are what I call my mini brand ambassadors. My brand is heavily inspired by and influenced by my daughter. And my mini brand ambassadors are designed in her likeness. They are meant to not only represent my child but all African American children. These mini brand ambassadors were named as such to inspire, encourage and celebrate African American Children. They will appear on the infant and toddler merchandise, as well as words of positivity, as it important for our young children to see images of themselves and know they are loved and important.
Veronica Charnell: Why do you feel your target audience are Mothers 35-45 years old?
Penelope McCown : My target audience are women like me. I am someone who experienced and understands that the journey to conceive is not always easy, or conventional. And while there are most definitely younger women who experience difficulties having a child, the ages of 35-45 are most often the age group who struggle as fertility decreases with age. Also Cocoa Baby Love is a luxury brand. Women in this age group are more likely to desire high end products for their children as their journey to motherhood many times was long awaited and anticipated.
Veronica Charnell: Why did you decide to name your company Cocoa Baby Love?
Penelope McCown : I decided to name my company Cocoa Baby Love because of my daughter, Priya. One of my nicknames for her is “Baby Love”. Because my brand is geared towards African American infants and toddlers and supports African American women, it was only fitting that I named my brand “Cocoa Baby Love”
Veronica Charnell: You desire to create a community of Black Women who had difficulty conceiving a child. What type of support activities will you provide in this group?
Penelope McCown : I have really big plans for the impact and support that Cocoa Baby Love will provide. I’ve started with plans to create a strong community on social media. I currently have a Facebook Live series called “Pieces of Penelope” where I provide an informative and candid take on my infertility journey. Guests that I have on the show also struggled with fertility and they are able to share their journeys and their stories as well all in hopes to inspire others. This is an honest and open dialog where I encourage women to support women.
Veronica Charnell: Can you give us a sneak peak of your Black Friday or Christmas Sales?
Penelope McCown : My product line will be released soon in the next few months so stay tuned.
Veronica Charnell: Why do you feel there is a lack of brands representing African American Women with infertility issues?
Penelope McCown : I feel that there is a lack of brands such as this because infertility, especially in the African American community, is generally not openly discussed and is a very private issue. While there have been celebrities most recently that have shared their infertility journeys, it is not a topic that is usually discussed openly among most African American women, especially on a large platform. Therefore many suffer in silence. Infertility is considered taboo in the African American community. It is unfortunate because disparities do exist. Through my brand I strive to provide knowledge and bring awareness to this issue so that African American women feel supported in their journeys and know they are not alone. Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook at @CocoaBabyLove.
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