Retail therapy: Talking to Boss Lady Deborah Perlman of COCUS POCUS + A giveaway!

Cocus Pocus gifted me the products I’m wearing in this post in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

You know when you find a shop that’s so YOU and you just want to BUY ALL THE THINGS? That’s COCUS POCUS for me (and that woman there ↑↑↑ is the boss lady behind it). It’s one of my favourite new online shops for unique, colourful and totally FUN fashion, accessories, home goods and more, like this chunky-knit Santa hat I bought before Christmas — which is pretty cute on, if I do say so myself — along with these socks and these ones (If you can read this bring me a glass of wine, LOL). Today I want to show you some of my favourite pieces for Spring, introduce you to shop owner Deborah Perlman (aka Curator of Happiness), and share a giveaway for an item that I hope you’ll love as much as I do. 

Now I know most people don’t like gigantic blocks of text, so I’m going to break up my chat with Deborah with some pics of yours truly modelling my new faves. (Cue the hair and makeup!)

Deborah Perlman Cocus Pocus close up

And there’s Deborah now!

Hi Deborah! Tell us about yourself. Where are you from? Any munchkins at home?

I was born and raised in the lush green Portland, Oregon. After quite a bit of traveling I met my husband and we have three children together!

And how did you come to start COCUS POCUS?

COCUS POCUS just turned six months old. It’s literally like my fourth baby right now! I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. For every business that I have launched, there was another dozen that did not come to fruition. My last position was as the Director of Marketing for a beauty brand where I learned a lot about design, manufacturing, merchandising and retail. I have also had owned a brick and mortar boutique, had a photography business and a jewelry business. It feels like all those lessons I learned are coming together now with this project!

Cocus Pocus Dynamite tee

Cat eye sunglasses (navy/gray), DYNAMITE t-shirt

Cocus Pocus Over-Sized Cat Eye Sunglasses Women Navy

You have so many unique items in your shop! How do you choose what to feature?

The first thing I came up with was the name, and then I thought to have a little bit of everything in the shop. Experts will tell you to open a niche store, but that did not feel right to me. The next step was establishing several collections of items that I love.  COLOR is key for me. After working in the beauty business for a decade, it is clear to me that color draws people in. (I am also guilty of owning A LOT of black yoga pants, but I do teach movement classes so I can justify it!)

It’s important that the items are fashionable and functional. I have to both want it and want to gift it to someone for an item to make it into the online boutique.

What are some of your bestsellers?

Customers really love our handbags. They’re leather (unless specifically noted) and therefore wear really well. Since we are heading into summer swimsuits, floats and t-shirts are really popular.

Cocus Pocus leather backpack blush

Leather backpack (blush)

Who are some of the women in business you admire?

Rachel Pally is a childhood friend and it has been wonderful to watch her business grow and succeed, she started on her own with a sewing machine and a dream. I still have some of her first designs when she used to dye fabrics in her mom’s washing machine!  Her clothes are chic, timeless and versatile.

I also admire Sharon Rabi, the creator, and founder of Dafni. She took a “problem” that she had (unruly frizzy hair) and made it into a product that is a major time saver. As a mom of three, I’m constantly looking for life-hacks and creating a fresh-out-of-the-salon look in under two minutes is a major time saver in the morning.

Both Rachel and Sharon are business owners, wives, mothers, and good people. They keep their friends close and their families closer. I think they have the formula figured out.

What’s one of the lessons you’ve learned in business?

There is so much to say!  Firstly, I still consider myself a budding entrepreneur. I live by the quote “You either EARN or you LEARN.” All of the projects I have done up to this point have taught me so much and really gave me the base to launch a successful venture. Let failure be a lesson to you and move forward, if you have the right mindset, anything is possible!

Cocus Pocus leather backpack blush close up

Any recommended reads?

I LOVE to read and my reading taste is super eclectic! Right now I am reading Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari and Prana and Pranayama by Niranjanananda Saraswati. Pretty heavy right? But, if you were to open up my e-reader, you would find a collection of romance novels. I also have had an annual subscription to The New Yorker for as long as I can remember, my mom renews it for me every year on my birthday. I guess my reading taste is similar to my shop — a little bit of everything.

Cocus Pocus leap

What’s next for COCUS POCUS?

So many good things coming up! We are doing a body positive swimsuit shoot with @grlpwrpgh this month. Next month we have a pop-up shop at Pop Sugar’s Play/Ground festival in Manhattan. And at the end of the summer, we’ll be doing a massive letterboard giveaway with you!

Cocus Pocus Dynamite tee 2


Thanks to Cocus Pocus, I’ve got one of these DYNAMITE tees to share with one lucky reader! (And it’s a worldwide giveaway, so everyone can participate!) To enter, visit COCUS POCUS and paste the link to something you love in the comments below. (This entry is mandatory.)

For an additional entry, visit try small things on Facebook and like (or love!) this post and leave a comment, then tell me you did so and your name on Facebook in the comments below. (Shares aren’t necessary, but you know I really appreciate it!) 

For a third entry, follow trysmallthings and cocuspocushq on Instagram, then tell me your handle there in the comments below.

And feel free to tweet the following once per day and leave the url for your tweet in the comments below (one entry per tweet). Make sure you’re following try small things on Twitter for your entry to count.

It’s a DYNAMITE giveaway with Cocus Pocus and @trysmallthings! Enter to #win a tee you’ll live in all year long! CAN 5/30 #cocuspocus 

The contest is open worldwide and ends at 11:59 p.m. on May 30, 2018. The potential winner (chosen at random) must respond to prize notification within 48 hours and provide the correct answer to a skill-testing question, otherwise another winner will be selected.

Good luck everybody! I can’t wait to see what you love!

Update May 31, 2018: Congratulations to Sarah F!

256 thoughts on “Retail therapy: Talking to Boss Lady Deborah Perlman of COCUS POCUS + A giveaway!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.