How CocoRio Was Born
Corinna and I met during our Masters Degree, where we not only bonded as sisters, but also realised we shared a pretty unique passion: looking after children while introducing them to our creative expertise – Corinna in drama and me, in music. This sparked an idea…
What if we could support parents in getting a well deserved break, freelance creative professionals in getting meaningful part time work, and help expose children to creative activities to give them the best possible start in life and aid in their development?
And thus, CocoRio was born!
We spent years refining the concept and testing it out, researching our market and identifying what the true need really was. A few years down the line, we’re operating a growing agency with over 100 creative sitters, we’ve completed over 4000 hours of creative childcare and have been nominated for and won multiple awards! We’re ecstatic with how far we’ve come but it’s still only the beginning and we can’t wait to bring creative childcare to many more families!
While I was growing up, I had two big passions which very much shaped where I am today: singing and kids. Coincidently, the two go very well together because children tend to love all things music! I’ve been on stage since the tender age of 5 and was always known as ‘the singing girl’ throughout my childhood. I was blessed to grow up in Tanzania, East Africa, where my family and I lived a comfortable and unhurried life. When I moved to London to study music, I had a massive culture shock. It felt like everyone had heaps more talent than me when it came to music, I didn’t understand people’s accents and turns of phrases and the speed of life was staggering.
It was a rough start but eventually, things started to settle nicely. I started babysitting alongside my studies and I found it fun to centre my approach around creating music. I didn’t think much of it at the time but through word of mouth, I soon had my little rota of families that loved my approach and encouraged me to take the concept further.
Fast forward a few years, I met my now co-founder Corinna and we instantly bonded as sisters. But not just that, it so happened that Corinna had been babysitting alongside her studies too and she had a very similar concept to mine, except she based her sessions around drama, which was what she was studying at the time!
Corinna and I have really grown alongside CocoRio. From being first time entrepreneurs in their early 20s and running every aspect of the company (learning on the job most of the time!) to becoming leaders of a high performing team. We’ve also gone through personal milestones in recent years, both becoming homeowners, Corinna taking on the amazing role of London Coordinator of The Daisy Network and my little boy being born. There have been plenty of obstacles along the way but we’re really proud of the business we’ve built from the ground up as well as the women we’ve become.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds and we’re excited to bring creative childcare to many more families!
– Léa Henry