About us


You don’t have to be a backpacker, hiker or snowboarder to be a ‘real’ traveller.

Photo of Carole Edwards, founder of Emporio Retro online store and Coconut Lands slow travel blog

Kia ora! And welcome to paradise. Our aim is to bring the laid-back joy and colour of island time to everyday life - wherever you are.

As the American travel writer Paul Theroux said, “better to go first class than to arrive.” That’s me. Now that I’ve left my student days and penny-pinching youth behind, it’s time for a life of creature comforts. And I’ve never been remotely adventurous. I prefer to chill. 

I therefore started the Coconut Lands blog in 2019 to focus on slow travel – the laid-back kind. You won’t find articles about mountain climbing, white water rafting or skydiving. You won’t find camping either, though you might find glamping.

The store followed soon after, as I found it almost impossible to get hold of island-style resort wear and accessories that I love, without having to import them from Hawaii, at huge cost. Originally the store was a small add-on to the blog website, but now we want to grow - so it's become Emporio Coco, with its own site!

So what's with the coconut thing? Well, I grew up in an urban area of northern England called Tyneside, once known for heavy industries such as shipbuilding and steel-making. A shy introvert and home-loving girl, I first travelled abroad aged 16, on a school trip – and discovered a different world of hot sun, turquoise sea and palm trees. Living close to a coal mine and a large coke works, this was just about as different from my home environment as you could get. That holiday – to Magaluf in Spain, of all places – gave me the bug.

Ever since then, I’ve enjoyed travelling and escaping to exotic, colourful places that are very different from my cool northern hemisphere background. 

I hope you enjoy your visit to Emporio Coco. If there are any products you’d like us to offer that we don’t already, please let me know. You can write to me at carole@emporiococo.com

Founder and award-winning travel writer