As creatives, we are often told not to spread ourselves too thin, and focus on one thing. But why should we limit our creativity? 

Why should we limit our goals and the things we want to accomplish in life? God blesses us with multiple gifts and when everything aligns, it’s our divine right to share those gifts with others.  Sometimes we share one gift at a time, other times, we share them all at once. 

If there’s someone who has mastered exploring and executing all her dreams as a creative, it’s Ivy “Coco” Maurice. Ivy Coco is a forthright content creator, style consultant, and community organizer. She is known for serving looks on her lavish Instagram page and on her Emmy Award-winning style client, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and WNBA Hall of Famer, Lisa Leslie.  In addition, she also serves her community as the Vice-President of WalkgoodLA, a non-profit organization that she runs along with her brother, Etienne Maurice, and Cousin, Marley Ralph. Together, the trio is a family bringing people together from all walks of life to fight for racial equity through the arts, health, and wellness. Lastly, as it relates to WalkGoodLA, she is the Creative Director of WalkGood Wear

Ivy Coco embodies all things fashion. She recently launched her own lifestyle line, The House of Ivy,  bringing life back to her grandmother’s Jamaican atelier, Ivy Ralph Designs. Her mission is to make a global impact by showcasing and enhancing Jamaica’s cultural creations that her grandmother designed in the 70s.  

Photos courtesy of Ivy Coco Maurice.

For #blkcreatives, Christina Wilds had the honor to chat with Ivy as she prepared for this year's Golden Globe Awards in which she styled her Mom, Mrs. Sheryl Lee Ralph for another major moment. 

Listen to this interview on YouTube.

Christina Wilds: Being a full-time creative can be extremely tiring. We live in this world now where team “no sleep” is glorified but in all honesty, detrimental to not only our physical health but our mental health as well. 
As a full-time creative in the mental health industry, your mom’s stylist, a brand consultant, how do you find time for yourself and what does your self-care routine consist of?

Ivy Maurice: Well, it’s really interesting because I really started a healing journey for myself after going through a really interesting breakup and healing in 2020. I already knew I wanted to start new ways of healing for myself, I knew that I was off balance. So even though we were in a chaotic world with COVID, quarantine and just staying in the house, I knew that my healing was important prior to us even finding out about Covid-19. So I made sure that 2020 was going to be my year of healing. I was able to set the foundation and go back to the basics of what healing looks like and what balance looks like for me. 

So that looks like meditation, that’s prayer, that’s affirmation with myself, journaling, yoga and then when the pandemic happened, my brother, cousin and I, we were so moved by the racial uprisings that we started a family community nonprofit called WalkGood LA

At WalkGood LA we are a family that brings people together from all walks of life to heal and fight for racial equity and solidarity through the health, wellness, and the arts. So after ten weeks of protesting and then now creating a whole organization that I didn’t even think was going to happen, I was like, okay, now I’m putting myself my vice president hat on and I’m now in this position of being a community leader that I’ve always been passionate about. 

And then after that, I ended up – ya know, word of mouth – people were starting up their jobs again in the middle of 2020. Then 2021 came around and I got hired to be a creative consultant for this French skincare company. So I was really able to transition from wearing that hat of being an influencer to community activist, to now a creative consultant. So I’m now wearing these three hats, but I still had that motivation to go back to my healing because if I’m going to wear multiple hats, I have to go back to my basics, which were prayer, meditation, yoga, affirmation.


And so anytime I’m off balance and I now acquire a new thing, like a new hat that I know that I’m wearing, which recently has become styling. And when I started styling and it took off on its own, I didn’t go back to my basics. I didn’t go back to the things that were making me happy. So I was really just living in this sense of chaos and disorganization because I felt my life was chaotic and disorganized and I was all over the place. So now that I really have to take this seriously and boss up – bossing up doesn’t just mean in your career, it means within yourself. And a real boss has self-awareness.


Ivy Coco Maurice on self-awareness, respecting your creativity, and continuing the legacy of a Jamaican fashion pioneer Click To Tweet

And I feel like if I have more awareness about myself and how I’m operating, that’s how I really become a better leader and being a better communicator, being a better listener. Because I think also another challenge is as you continue to build, you need to continue to ask for help. A lot of people as full-time creatives, we can’t do this by ourselves, have to have an intern or an assistant or just a right-hand person that’s willing to guide you and listen to you or a mentor – being able to say, “I need help”. The structure of building a business is not easy and you got to think about it from all aspects. From a financial standpoint, is your paperwork together but also is your purpose together?

From a financial standpoint, is your paperwork together but also is your purpose together?

Christina: Is your paperwork together, but is your purpose together? These are going to be quotables, <laughs> I learned that as a Mom. So I learned it a little later just one, being intentional with your time and what you set out to do, but most importantly what you said is just making sure I’m fulfilled, making sure I’m good because that’s the only way I can be a good Mom. If I’m happy, if I’m taking care of myself, it’s the only way I can take care of my kids. So it’s great that you’re learning that now without kids and I think that that mindset will help a lot of creatives not be (age) fifty and trying to figure it out or fifty and with health problems, just because we, we’ve taken care of, we take care of ourselves now.

So self-care is even more important to you or for you as someone whose life is constantly in the spotlight, people are always looking at you to see what moves you’re making, who your friends are, who your family are literally prying into your everyday life on a consistent basis. Having grown up in the entertainment industry, what is the pressure, if any, placed on you to succeed in your career and maintain a certain image?

Ivy: I don’t think I received any pressure from anybody outside of my life. I think the only pressure that I received surely was the pressure that I placed on myself. I’m somebody who’s very much of a hard worker, who’s very diligent, who believes in discernment. And I think that all of those things and just, I’ve seen my mother in the spotlight. I knew that I had qualities like her, but I never needed to be like her. I think I really just wanted to make my parents happy. Coming from a West Indian, West African household, your parents they believe and they want you to be smart, they want you to thrive, they want you out of a good education. 

But most importantly, my parents always wanted me to be happy. And it took me a while. After I graduated college and I graduated in three years, I said to myself, ‘I’m going to do what makes me happy’.

And my parents were like, we sent you to school, you had economics, you graduated in three years, retail management – we thought you were going to be on Wall Street, but that’s okay because I am doing what I’m happy. So I knew once I graduated college that I was going to be a full-born creative. And I started my blog traveling around the world, freelancing for different media outlets, and I was happy. And when I figured out that I could really get paid to be myself, it’s kind of one of those things that that’s a luxury of the 21st century that we take for granted is that wasn’t a luxury for my parents. Before she hopped on the Instagram bandwagon 10 years ago she was like, ‘oh my gosh, how do you have all these followers? What does this do?’ And I remember when my mom really was shocked.

Ivy Coco Maurice #blkcreatives interview
Photo: Destinee Condison

I remember when I went on my first press tour and she’s like, ‘well, why am I not receiving these things?’ I knew that I was using it and I wasn’t abusing it. I wasn’t abusing that but she knew that I had a gift. The fact that people were listening to my stories, honing in on my blog on a weekly basis – this was a new level of journalism. And once I started respecting my creativity as a professional and applying myself, there was no pressure because I respected what I did. If you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re kind of confused and you don’t respect yourself and you’re not confident in what you do as a creative, you’ll always feel like you have pressure.


You’re always going to feel like you’re climbing towards something and you need to be like somebody. But the best thing I can say to creatives who are full-time: respect your job as a job. What’s your routine every day? I think that alleviates all the pressure, how you respect, how you show up to work.


Christina: No, that’s real. My mom was like, ‘you need to work for the government’. That’s what people did – they graduated from school (for DC people), they graduated from college, they moved back to DC, they started working for the government so they could have good benefits and retirement, social security. And not that those things are not important, we just have a different way to figure out how to attain those things. But I was like, ‘Mom, I’m not getting a job in the government because that’s not going to make me happy. And I want to do what makes me happy because if I’m not happy, I’m going to quit. I’m going to go from job to job, it’s going to be bad. 

So let’s just work on accepting that I’m going to do things that make me happy’. And that was, I literally think it was two years ago, she was like, ‘you told me when you graduated that you weren’t going to do anything that didn’t make you happy. And I’m happy to see you happy’. So that’s great that you have that support because some people don’t understand, A lot of parents or the older generation don’t understand entrepreneurial culture. Some of them are just getting into it and they’re like, oh,

I can be happy and get paid being myself, and they’re okay.

Ivy: It’s a luxury.

Christina: It’s a luxury, it’s a great luxury. Speaking of growing up, if someone asked you at the age of 16 – you kind of mentioned it a little bit in college – what career would you have wanted to pursue once you graduated from college? Is that what you’re doing now? And if not, how does that differ?

Ivy: From sixteen to college?

Christina: If you were sixteen and someone’s like, ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ What was your answer and how does that differ from what you’re doing now?

Ivy: When I was sixteen, I was probably really dedicated to basketball. I was thinking that I was going to be potentially a coach or I wanted to play in college and then potentially coach. But I knew that that wasn’t my calling. I was passionate about it, but it wasn’t my purpose. So at sixteen, it’s completely different. I literally remember being in the offices of the WNBA and talking about my future at 16 years old. And those things did not happen at all. But I still have a very deep infatuation for basketball. And when I got to college my freshman year, I thought that I was going to be a speech pathologist. I was really devoted to learning about the deaf community and how that was affected when it came down to speech pathology. So I thought that that was something I was going to do. I didn’t.

I just started just taking more classes around a business in fashion. And then I ended up graduating. I ended up studying abroad in London and pretty much changed my entire trajectory of my life. And after I studied abroad in London, I knew that I had to be able to put together fashion, community and business together. And I now, I have a degree in economics and a concentration in retail management. So I definitely think that I am working my life in a micro level. I definitely think I’m microeconomics and I still practice retail management in a way. So I definitely think I am doing what I went to school for sure.

Photo 1: James Anthony, Photo 2: Getty Images, Photo 3: Nicholas Green

Christina: Okay, okay. I love that. I love that. So now as a stylist, because this is your new hat, it’s kind of not a new hat, but because you’ve been styling yourself, if we’re going to be honest. You’ve been dressing yourself, but now it’s a stylist. It’s amazing to see your Mom on so many best-dressed lists, thanks to your expertise. How does it feel to be your Mom’s stylist for her major moments in this stage of her career? And I don’t know if you asked her could you have the job or if she was – I think I read that she asked you to help her. How does this feel?

Ivy: So honestly [with] fashion, a lot of people don’t know that I actually grew up in Jamaica. My brother and I when we were young, and I was just one of those kids that my Mom sent us to Jamaica to be with our grandmother and then she also did that during the summers. And so I grew up waking up at 6:30 in my grandmother’s factory, picking up cloth, cutting it, learning how to sew, learning how to hand sew. So a lot of people don’t know that – that was how I got introduced to fashion was my grandmother, Ivy Ralph, who created the Kariba. She’s the pioneer of fashion for Jamaican fashion. So that was really how I got started. And then the influence between my mother and my grandmother, these are women who are powerful and know how to carry themselves. So my grandmother always used to say, ‘style, you have it or you not have it’.

Either you got it or you don’t. So I’ve been able to really work with my Mom because she has it. And so I think that’s why the energy is so seamless, and it’s because she doesn’t let clothes and garments wear her. She wears the garment. Her energy is so magnetic and magical all at the same time. So one, I guess last year, I want to say March, not even a year yet, but March of 2022. Yeah, I was, I’m still living in Miami. I live between Miami and Los Angeles. And she came to Miami and she visited me and she was there for a week and she was like, ‘girl, you know what? I have these press upfronts and I have these press interviews for Abbott Elementary and they’re still on season one. Can you help me?’ And I was like, okay, cool. I’d been doing this since I was a kid.

Like I said, I grew up in my grandmother’s factory. I know fabrics and clothes. So yeah, I put together some looks and then I put it on Twitter, I put it on TikTok. And it really just was, people were like, oh my God, this is reinvented new and improved Sheryl Lee Ralph. And I was literally, I just want to know y’all opinion, y’all the looks. I think as an influencer you just put out content to put out content, to see what people respond to. And then it was like, nah, this girl is actually really talented, X, Y, and Z. And I think it’s really interesting because when I was in college, I had internships at different fashion houses and showrooms. And the one thing I told myself after leaving these internships was that I was not going to be a stylist. I literally told myself, I hate carrying around clothes.

Ivy and her grandmother via The House of Ivy Instagram.

I hate carrying racks across the street from different showrooms to different showrooms. I don’t like picking up people’s phone calls asking for credit cards. I knew I did not want to do this. So it’s funny how God will really detour you to your destiny because I told God and I told myself, this is what I don’t want to do. But God was really the one to motivate me and tell me, no, this is what you are supposed to do, whether you think you can do it or not. 

And there’s a reason why I’m doing it now than I was ten years ago when I was interning in showrooms because I had to take those ten years of learning my own fashion houses and traveling the world and going to different fashion shows as an influencer. And I didn’t realize that, but that was my way of getting to know designs. That was my way of getting to know designers. And that’s why I’ve been so intentional of dressing my mom in Black designers because these are Black designers that I’ve been kind of following on Instagram for years on social media that I’m like, yo, you would look dope in this Mom, you look fire. And it’s changing the trajectory for myself. It’s changing the trajectory for my Mom. It’s changing the trajectory for all of these brands and these designers. I didn’t say this is going to happen on purpose, but it’s supposed to happen on purpose.

Christina: Well the best part about that is she works in the government. So when you put it online, they look at it anyway. Cause they’re like, why was she mentioned? Do we need to be alert right now? So hopefully from your lips to God’s ears that happens. So even though you’ve told us who you’d like to style this year, with you being such a multi-faceted brand, what else can we expect from you in 2023?

Ivy: Well, I think you’ll definitely just see me styling more, for sure. I definitely want to put out just more content, because I feel like as a stylist and also as an influencer, I kind of have that community base that’s not just looking for what I’m doing, but what, not just what I’m doing as a person, but also what I’m doing in my career. So I’ve been able to have that balance. 

Just because I’m a stylist, I’ll never discredit how I grew my following. I’m not afraid to say I’m a content creator. I have some sort of influence and it’s not bad. I’m glad that I can be able to use this to my advantage. I’m not trying to be narcissistic. I don’t feel like I’m devaluing myself. And if anyone who’s listening to this who is kind of stuck between that word of influencer and content creator, it’s beautiful.

Photo: James Anthony via Ivy's Instagram

And I’ve navigated to call myself – I’m a creative entrepreneur. That is my title. I am a creative entrepreneur and it has taken me a minute to live in that. But I finally figured out a title that works for me. So I want to be able to put out things in the future on my social media and build out my portfolio. So be ready to see my website be completely transformed. It won’t just be a blog anymore. I want to be able to connect with people. Styling isn’t just for me, just making somebody look good. I want to help people feel good. I feel like because I’m also a creative and community entrepreneur, that’s what I am. 

I’m a creative and community entrepreneur. I feel like I have this gift of just bringing a good vibe. It doesn’t have to be so structured.

I want people to really feel good – that’s really what it is about at the end of the day. Maybe we do a little meditation and pray before each styling session or something. You know what I mean? Just so you know, people feel good about themselves. So I definitely think you’ll be looking at a new and improved Ivy Coco on social media. And when it comes down to my website and just expansion with WalkGood LA, my family. And I want to be able to just drop some new stuff on the House of Ivy, that was my grandmother’s clothing line that she had when she was in the 1970s, her atelier. And I want to be able to continue that legacy. I kind of put that on the back burner this past year in 2022. I probably only dropped one collection and I really hope this year that I can really invest some more time into me and my soul creative passions and hop back on that. So yeah, I’m dabbling a few things.

Christina: Good. I feel like a lot of times we’re told not to focus on one thing, but when you have these gifts, you know, you explore them, you walk in it and you just watch everything coming into fruition. So I look forward to seeing Vice President Kamala Harris posted in style by Ivy – like that’s a thing. I look forward to your next collection with House of Ivy. You have a lot going for yourself. So I know after this – well family wise, you have our support. But once the Black community, Black creatives (#blkcreatives) community reads this, I’m sure you’ll have them standing behind you as well.

Ivy: Thank you. I’m really excited. And this is, thank you honestly, Christina, thanks for thinking of me. Thank you for just feeling like I have a voice and it needs to be heard.

Christina: Listen, I’m all, I get the one thing that the eyes are on your mom, but you’re behind that. And so it’s important as creatives to get your platform – it’s like give her [Ivy} her flowers. Her mama, yes fire, fine, doing it. But it’s this person that is cultivating these moments and it’s just even more special that it’s her daughter. So I wanted to make sure that you get your flowers.