Today we’d like to introduce you to Mehek Ahmed.
Mehek, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My sister, Nida Ahmed and I are self-taught artists who were raised by a graphic designer and art history enthusiast, creativity runs in our blood. We’ve always created small gifts for family and friends, and after a few random late nights of inspiration, we finally decided to launch our own company in 2016. We began designing and producing jewelry, artwork, apparel and small accessories based on our individual artistic styles. After receiving positive feedback at our first local market, we were motivated to participate in other festivals and build a real brand. Fortunately, we have been able to vend at some of the most incredible artisan markets and be featured in amazing retail spaces in Houston over the last few years and are excited about future events.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
We definitely have had our fair share of obstacles to get through since we began and still experience negativity but we absolutely believe it’s all worth it. When we began, we had to invest money out of our savings, figure out how markets worked and how to price, market and promote our products. As artists, we feel incredibly fortunate to be able to integrate our creative skills into functional goods that Houstonians actively support and purchase. It’s always just been the two of us who started from scratch so we’ve had to learn by experience and we’ve still got room and time to grow. Luckily, our younger brother has been helping us figure out the monetary and business aspect of our work and being a part of the maker community here has really inspired us to keep going.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I create handmade jewelry and Nida creates stationary that serve as an extension of our art through inimitable design. Chauncey and Coco is a reflection of our personalities and we’re interested in a wide array of style so it’s tough to define us within a specific category- we were born to stand out. We never want to stop surprising ourselves or feel pressured by building this brand, which is why we create in limited small batches according to what inspires us at the time. I’ve grown personally through teaching myself how to create jewelry and interacting with other makers who share a similar passion. My key medium will always be wood which has remained the signature style of our jewelry, but I have loved gloriously failing with metal and fibers multiple times last year before finally producing a collection I am incredibly proud of. Additionally, a portion of all of our sales is donated to local refugee programs, women’s shelters, and civil rights organizations.
What were you like growing up?
I was always an extrovert who was in love with color, nature, animals, and chocolate. My father is a graphic designer and my mother works tirelessly volunteering and educating through community centers so I’ve been raised with an appreciation for fine arts and community. I remember falling in love with 90s R&B and hip-hop in 5th grade when I lived in Alief and freaking out the first time I stood in front of a real Picasso piece when I was 14.
Strangely enough, I’ve never taken an instructional art class in my life. I began teaching myself how to paint when I was about 20 years old and haven’t stopped experimenting with artistic mediums since.
- Website: www.chaunceyandcoco.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @chaunceyandcoco @nida_theartist
Chauncey and Coco