What started out as a way for Nicole Tranca to pass the time during quarantine is now an official clothing brand that is paving the way for new trends across campus.
Tranca, a third-year in international business and fashion studies, is the founder COCOMI, a clothing brand that features loungewear with trendy and grunge graphic designs. She said her goal was to create designs that were not typically found in stores.
“Whenever you wear my clothes, I want you to feel like the coolest person in the room,” Tranca said.
Tranca’s brand includes a variety of crop tops, tanks and oversized hoodies that retail between $20-$57.
At first, Tranca said she only made clothes for herself and a few close friends. This soon changed when she posted some of her designs on Snapchat and people began encouraging her to start selling them.
With the support from her friends and family, Tranca said she decided to reveal what she had been working on over the past few months in quarantine.
“I was so excited for her,” Kat Coomes, a third-year in nursing and Tranca’s roommate, said. “I genuinely knew she was so talented. Her work always stood out to me.”
In April, Tranca created an Instagram account for COCOMI, where she officially started selling her clothes. She said she started out by selling Greek life and gameday apparel.
Tranca was greeted with success, averaging over 50 new followers on the brand’s page each week over the summer. The attention that COCOMI was gaining allowed her to expand her clothing line to a more grungy, street style, loungewear type of fashion.
By August, COCOMI’s official website was launched, taking the brand to the next level. Tranca said she was even able to secure an office space in downtown Columbus, where she can dedicate more time and focus to her craft.
Coomes said being Tranca’s roommate allowed her to see what went on behind the scenes and watch how Tranca was able to transform into the business woman she is today.
“She has become more dedicated to her school work because she has gotten a glimpse of where the business and fashion industry can take her,” Coomes said.
Managing a small business isn’t easy, let alone balancing it while being a full-time college student. Tranca, however, embraces the trials that come with running a business and is ready to take on the adversity.
“I really don’t have much to lose. If I lost everything today, I can still walk away with that experience to use for my next tackle in life. I have to tell myself sometimes that I’m only 20 years old, and that not a lot of people are where I’m at right now,” Tranca said.
Tranca said she has a newfound appreciation for other people who are in the same position as her and are trying to follow their dreams.
“I don’t do it for the money, and I didn’t go into this thinking about how I need to make money,” Tranca said. “When you do something that you actually like, and wake up with a passion to pursue it, that’s when you’ll be successful. Once I figured that out, it all clicked for me.”
COCOMI products are available for purchase at cocomi.shop. Tranca said COCOMI will release a clothing line for men in early October.