LOCAL FOCUS

Courtney Collins: Must love dogs


Courtney Collins with her rescue dog Molly by her side. JENNIFER WHITE/ FLORIDA WEEKLY

Courtney Collins with her rescue dog Molly by her side. JENNIFER WHITE/ FLORIDA WEEKLY

Courtney Collins is the kind of person you want to have a really long conversation with. She’s soft spoken, insightful and confident, someone who seems to know exactly what she brings to the table. From her strength as a past professional tennis player to the heart she puts into her business today, Courtney is a one-woman show who packs some serious girl power. Thanks to her dad’s inspirational success as an entrepreneur and her personal life coach, she is now the sole owner of CoCo’s Monkey at 209 Simonton St. between Eaton and Greene where the sun always seems to shine during this time of the year.

Here in a bright and happy room Courtney offers a collection of merchandise that reflect her personality and interests.

Even before entering through the wide open double doors you’ll be greeted by her 4-year-old boxer, Molly, who sunbathes just outside of the entrance not too far from Mom. She accompanies Courtney to work on most days and rarely leaves her side, except to help by bringing in customers. The two are nearly inseparable. If Courtney is there then there is a good chance that Molly is there and vice versa.

Just to emphasize how much Molly means to the store and to Courtney herself, the name CoCo’s Monkey is actually a combination of both of their nickname’s together.

“I always say that she’s my best salesperson,” Courtney half jokes. “It’s her store and I just work in it.”

Courtney is standing behind a clear glass register counter that half-moons around a giant chalkboard with a drawing of a lotus flower on it. To my left and right I am surrounded by pastel colors and things that catch my eye like silver champagne flutes. As Courtney tells me about the well-thought-out layout, she can’t help but interrupt herself every now and then to welcome in new shoppers.

“Hello, let me know if I can help you,” she sings out. Everyone smiles back.

A visiting couple from Pennsylvania walks in and announces that it was because of Molly’s welcoming presence that they have decided to stop in. They pick out a bright collar to take home to their own furry family member and compliment Courtney on a beautiful place.

From ceramic plates to T-shirts, Courtney’s store is truly a dog-lover’s paradise. It seems every other item is boasting about how wonderful the four-legged animals are. The rest of the store is a blend of feel-good luxuries like unicorn yoga pants and pastel yeti tumblers with a focus on eco-friendly products such as work-out clothing made from recycled water bottles. There are even items for sale for which the proceeds are donated to charity.

CoCo’s Monkey is described as a “Key West inspired athlleisure wear” boutique for all kinds of people, athletic, leisure or both. It’s a great place to shop for Mom, Dad, sister, or brother whether they like to fish, meditate or enjoy the occasional cocktail or two and let’s also not forget Fido as well. It’s also a great place to buy something for no one else but you.

Customers rave about a selection that is “unique” and an owner who “shows great enthusiasm for what she is doing.”

According to Courtney, everything she sells is influenced by her favorite things in Key West.

“Having your own business can be the most rewarding and lonely thing you do every day as an entrepreneur,” Courtney admits. “Riding the waves of success and the slow times at CCM has been nothing short of an amazing surfing experience. 2018 looks very bright for the growth of the brand. We will be introducing our online store, www.cocosmonkey.com, setting up pop-up shops at local venues and taking the brand on the road, of course with my favorite monkey by my side.”

And if that won’t keep her busy enough, this wonder-woman divides her time between her own business and the Hyatt Resort & Spa just a few blocks away where she is the director of water-sports. She also plans to continue her charitable involvement with a local dog rescue organization called Pawadise Pet Rescue. As often as possible she co-hosts fundraisers and assists in any way that she can to further its amazing work.

When she has a moment to enjoy the “weather, water and dog-friendly atmosphere” of the island she calls home, Courtney can be found outdoors running, out on a boat or spending time with her closest friends.

“Molly changed my life forever. So much that I had to have Rizzy,” Courtney tells me, referring to her second rescue dog, “Rescues are single handedly the strongest beings I know. Resilient, loving and kind. CoCo’s Monkey is my dream store. It most importantly gives back and has meaning. It is the perfect representation of my favorite things: Puppies, beaches, boats and booze.”

Follow CoCo’s Monkey on Facebook for upcoming events and sales or stop into the store to meet Courtney any day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ¦

CoCo’s Monkey 209 Simonton St. www.cocosmonkey.com CoCo’s Monkey on Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *