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Coco and Duckie
By Jason B. Hogan
Coco and Duckie, a vital business in the Bellville Square, supplanted itself in Austin County nearly 10 years ago and its existence thrives off offering treasures few others can showcase.
Its uniqueness shines because it’s a two-in-one boutique featuring art jewelry and accessories and a kids' toy boutique toward the back placating the desires of girls of all ages. It stands out because of what the owners call their "gifts and little luxuries" and a selection of "cool toys for cool kids."
This boutique is all about family. Three generations of women see to its every need and make it their "mission to inspire women to help their uniqueness shine through."
Denise Bro, mother, and daughters Amanda and Madeline opened the shop in 2007 on Bellville's Historic Downtown Square, while at the same time launching CocoAndDuckie.com.
"We have been honored by the Bellville Chamber of Commerce with the Small Business Award and CocoAndDuckie.com received an international Stevie Award in web design," Denise said of the boutique, yet the women remain humble through 30 years of triumph.
Last year, the boutique began offering products through their online site and now carries half of Coco and Duckie's inventory. Amanda aims to have everything online by Christmas. Customers come from as far as Houston and Austin. The online store provides a convenience for them.
Coco and Duckie is an extension of an original retail location Sironia's Once Upon A Time in Waco, which was opened by Denise and her mother, Doris Moseley in the late 1980s. At one point, Denise owned two other boutiques in the Houston area but Coco and Duckie is the longstanding shop aside from Sironia's.
Amanda recalls playing with toys in her grandmother's original shop and taking the price tags off of them to claim them for her own. Growing up in a toy store was a fantasy of every little kid, she said.
"They started before I was born, so I grew up in a toy shop. It was great," Amanda said with a laugh. "I think my grandmother kind of hated it. She was like, 'Don't take the tags off. Those are for sale.' 'It's mine. This whole shop is mine.'"
"It's still kind of that way. Now it's jewelry. I want to take it home," Amanda said. "We've had people that have been shopping with us since their tweens and they started up in the toy shop. And now they're shopping up here and buying jewelry."
Now, years later at their shop in Bellville, all four ladies pitch in to keep Coco and Duckie a success. Denise delivers marketing and advertising through newsletters, Bellville Chamber of Commerce and other local events. Amanda runs the website and photography needs. Madeline is charged with the social media presence like Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter, and mostly works remote from Dallas. And Doris heads the toy boutique.
Doris' specialty is retro toys like the Wahoo board game, harmonicas, jacks and long-lasting European-style heirloom wooded toys passed down from one generation to the next that don't break easily like modern toys. Humongous plush giraffes and various stuffed animals line the top shelves at the back of the boutique. A gigantic T-rex is on the way to the boutique as well.
Motivation is key to Coco and Duckie's success and customers play a major role in that.
Denise said Coco and Duckie is pointedly fixed on their "customers to have a refreshingly unique shopping experience as they take a deep breath and explore our one-of-a-kind finds and lovingly curated treasures, whether they visit the Coco and Duckie boutique in Bellville or shop online."
So, everyone always asks where the signature name of the boutique originated.
"It is simple, really," Denise said. "Those are my personal nicknames for my daughters, and Amanda and Madeline wanted to use them to name the business because they thought it would make a great shop name."
Madeline got the name Coco and Amanda was called Duckie.
Coco and Duckie is located at 8 North Holland in Bellville, and open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 979-865-9393, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the boutique's online store at CocoAndDuckie.com.