CEO Spotlight – Laura Johnson, Coton Colors

Influenced by a childhood immersed in the colorful culture of Old Miami and ingrained with the Southern charm of her current home in Tallahassee, Laura Johnson, an entrepreneurial artisan, founded Coton Colors by Laura Johnson in 1989. Like so many other entrepreneurs, Laura started her business in her garage. She hand-crafted products that were inspired by her own lifestyle and motto, “never miss an opportunity to celebrate every day.” As the demand grew, the product line did as well. Coton Colors Company now consists of two sister brands, Coton Colors by Laura Johnson and Happy Everything!™ by Laura Johnson.

Laura’s family was key to the company’s early success and growth. Her husband supported her dreams from the start. Her mother loaded kilns, fired pottery, and shipped customer orders. Laura’s father, a retired CEO and entrepreneur himself, handled the finances – when he wasn’t cleaning pottery. Her sister, Marcie, hosted trunk shows in her home, worked show booths selling products, and was ultimately the one who pushed Laura out of the garage and into her first studio space.

Today, Coton Colors Company is still a family business and has grown to include Laura’s three daughters and nieces who work in various capacities within the organization. They, along with the Coton Colors crew, design and create thousands of products. They handle every step it takes to bring the products to market – from designing each detail and working with the artisans who now make them, to marketing and partnering with retailers who sell them.

Coton Colors Company is an international brand featuring home décor and giftware sold in over 3,000 stores across the country – including Dillard’s, Neiman Marcus, and Macy’s as well as independent boutiques. In addition, custom products are also created for brands like NBC Studios, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Coton Colors Flagship Stores are located in Atlanta, Tallahassee, and Tampa, housing the full product lines of both brands, as well as the Johnson family’s favorite curated products.

While Coton Colors Company continues to expand across the country {and world}, Laura keeps its roots in Tallahassee with the Corporate Office & Design Center as well as its Fulfillment Center.

“I’m an artist by birth but I’m also an entrepreneur and, while I love designing, I also really enjoy developing the merchandising and marketing and planning the sales strategies it takes to bring our designs to our customers,” Laura says. “And since I love entertaining, I wanted to create products that delight people. Everything we do is inspired by celebrations with my family and we take great care to share our learnings throughout our detailed product development process. Life goes by quickly and it’s important to me to create lasting products that help others to never miss an opportunity to celebrate every day.”

As Coton Colors by Laura Johnson celebrates its 30th year, Laura looks forward to continuing to create entertaining and hosting solutions through stylish and functional products for all of life’s celebrations {big and small}.