Meet Louise. She is one of busiest people I have the pleasure of knowing. She’s a solicitor by day, wife and mother and in her “spare” time she is the owner, designer and creator of bespoke handmade lampshades for her own business, Lolly & Boo. Louise managed to squeeze me in for a few moments last week so I could tell you a little bit more about her, her company Lolly & Boo and how she juggles a professional career, motherhood and running her own business.
On days when I’m working my day job, Lolly & Boo opens for business at about 7.30pm after the girls are in bed. So I catch up on emails and enquiries that have come in during the day, make the lampshades that are on my list for that day and then package them up ready to be posted the next day. Apart from eating supper (which luckily Charlie cooks) that is most evenings for me!
When I know I’ve got a whole day free, a precious thing for me, I try to get organised in advance so I’m ready to make as many lampshades as I can that day. That will be mixed with photographing new designs and putting those products on my website and other online outlets. Add in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and it is very easy to spend a lot of time not actually making lampshades!
What is the inspiration behind Lolly & Boo?
I started the business just after my second daughter, Alice was born in early 2010. For the first couple of years there wasn’t a lampshade in sight and it was all about the personalised, box framed pictures that I designed and made. I had wanted something to go in the girls’ rooms and thought I would have a go at making some pictures myself. The designs evolved and became very popular, much to my amazement at the time!
The name is made up of the girls’ nicknames – Olivia has always been Lolly and Alice was called Alice Boo as a baby.
A few reasons: I wanted to try something new as my picture making had become a little repetitive after making hundreds. I went on a course (similar to the courses I run now) with my mum and sister in 2012 and really hoped I’d like it, and needless to say, I loved it! I adore beautiful fabric but am not really a sewer so this is the perfect thing for me.
The results are pretty quick and when you are busy that is great as I don’t have to spend hours or days on one project. Having become immersed in the world of lampshades I quickly realised that people really were looking for lampshades that were different from the usual cream; that created a feature in a possibly neutral interior and which were bespoke and most importantly, carefully handmade.
Describe the typical Lolly & Boo style…
Beautiful British designed linen fabrics (mostly!) in a definite country style with a contemporary twist.
What are you most looking forward to for 2014…
I have been running lampshade making courses for a year now and they have really taken off, so I’m looking forward to holding them about once a month. The ladies who come to the courses are always delighted with the results and leave very enthusiastic about making lots more lampshades!
You must have a secret weapon somewhere…what 3 things could you not live without?
2. My ipad for photo editing
3. Most importantly, my very supportive family and friends.
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