I am so excited about this interview. I lived in Spain for a year with my daughter when she was one and one day I stumbled across this gorgeous brand. I was taken away with the whimsical vintage feel, the quality, the muted tones and how well made the products were. It was this brand that first inspired me to start Sisi & Seb! For me, buying less and buying better is always key. This is an insight into the brand, who you are supporting and the people that are behind this amazing small business!
Tell us a little about the concept behind Tocoto Vintage, where was the idea born, what made you want to start?
I have always thought that everything happens at a specific moment for a reason, and that was exactly the right moment to start something that I had always wanted, along with my husband. Tocoto Vintage was born from the love of my children, and inspired by all the old and vintage patterns that I have always adored
When did you actually start up and when did the first collection launch?
Tocoto Vintage was born in 2011 with the SS’12 collection, composed only of some garments from size 1 to 18 month. I toured the country all by myself with my little collection in a small suitcase in search of retailers!
What is important for your collections each season, has the brand moved direction or changed in any way?
All the collections of Tocoto Vintage are each different from the previous one. The lines on which the summer and winter collections are inspired are perhaps more different, and also we have raised the collections to size 12 years, but even so, they all have always the same special touch, the same vintage essence and the some of the most significant pieces of the brand, faithful from the beginning and recognizable in every collection.
What are the essential things to you in the production of your garments?
Undoubtedly, the quality of the materials and fabrics, and the care with which they are produced.
Do your designs change at all from the initial design to the production?
No, the original designs do not usually change. Normally, I know exactly the result I want when I think of a garment, and luckily, I have great professionals who use to understand me very well and get the right design at the first attempt when producing the samples.
Can you tell us a little about the lifecycle of your collections - how long does it take from inspiration, design and then production?
It is a non-stop…! At the moment one collection is finishing, I am already thinking about the next one.. It is a matter of suddenly finding the inspiration, be sure about that and concentrating fully on that line. Normally are songs, movies, old times, movements, books... the ones that usually inspire me. From then on, I design and produce the entire collection, based on that idea.
Where are the fabrics and materials sourced from?
All the fabrics and materials that we use in our collections are from nearby sources and high quality. We only use noble materials, mainly from Catalonia, Portugal and France.
Where are the garments made (if this is different from above)?
No, the answer it's not different, in fact we produce everything in Spain and Portugal.
Can you tell us a little about where they are produced - the factory; who works there, how many people, conditions?
Of course! Both in Spain and in Portugal we work with a number of workshops with artisan tradition. The majority are usually family workshops with no more than 3 or 4 workers, with whom we understand each other very well.
How many people are in your company in total, what does your team consist of directly?
Currently in the company we are a total of 5 people: Miquel, my husband, who is co-director and is directly responsible for purchases; Marta, our sales director; Ivette, sales and marketing manager; Montse, in charge of administration and customer service; and myself, co-director and entirely responsible for the design.
What are your ecological/environmental ideals when it comes to production?
It is not always easy, but we always try to work with the most ecological fabrics and processes possible. We always use 100% cotton in all our collections, the smallest possible synthetic fibers, and also we have even introduced some 100% organic cotton garments in our last two collections.
How many stockists do you have worldwide?
We can proudly say that we currently have over 250 stockists worldwide.
What would you say to anyone that is buying your products, the end user?
I can only thank them for the trust placed in us, and we hope that they can feel the love, care and affection with which these pieces have been produced. Thanks always.
What have been your highlights and lowlights since starting up Tocoto Vintage?
Actually there are constant ups and downs in each and every one of the collections.. We always get nervous at some point, or something unexpected happens, sudden production failures… but that is what makes us learn and improve, overcome major challenges every time and keep being motivated for the next one.
Please insert any additional comments that you think would be relevant and helpful. It would also be great if you could send me some photos: the team, travel/inspo photos, when you first started, maybe a before and after photo would be great.
Simply wanted to thank you for this opportunity to show something important beyond the brand, to be able to approach the end customer to us, your trust in us from the beginning and your commitment to quality and good taste always. We owe everything to our retailers. Thanks Carley!