Hello! I am thrilled to be bringing you this blog post on International Women’s Day, as it features a thriving small business, founded and run by a very inspirational woman – which many of you will have heard of, and if you haven’t – you’ll want to!
‘Home of Boho’ is THE place to shop for affordable and alluring soft furnishings – just ask the 200 or so people who have chosen to during its start-up year.
The owner of this trendy new Etsy store is Louise Harris, and here she is with an overview of her business.
Louise at home on her fabulous green velvet sofa
Hi there, I’m Louise – mum of one and owner of ‘Home of Boho’. I’d been a stay-at-home-mum for my son for over two years and whilst I absolutely love looking after Cooper, I felt ready to put my spare time to productive use, opening my online shop selling beautiful textiles. I’m a huge interiors enthusiast and so as well as a job, it’s become an enjoyable hobby.
My motivation behind starting ‘Home of Boho’ was seeing a gap in the market for unique, yet affordable cushions and other soft furnishings. Running my own store also allows me to work from home, which I’m looking forward to doing even more when Cooper, starts school.
I chose the name for two reasons. ‘Home of’ as it’s connected with my Instagram interiors account which begins with ‘homeof’ and ‘Boho’ because my own decor follows this theme and my intention was to stock primarily bohemian style cushion covers, although they easily fit into any style of interior.
My predominant offerings are cushion covers, but I am also now introducing rugs, pouffes and beanbag covers so there’s a variety of lovely textiles to choose from.
Keeping the prices of my products affordable is vitally important to me, so I always ensure they are very competitive. People sometimes ask me why I don’t charge more, but as this is a passion as well as a business venture – profit margins aren’t everything. I stock both cotton covers and wool covers but cotton ones allow me to keep the prices very reasonable and they come in such gorgeous designs too!
Juggling work life and motherhood? I haven’t found this a problem at all up to this point. Cooper is a really well-behaved little boy and he loves to play on his own, so when I have paperwork to do I don’t necessarily wait until he goes to bed. He enjoys helping me with the packaging and plays with his toy cars beside me. When he goes to school I’ll enjoy working more frequently and in more of a routine.
I recently had a stand at ‘The Occasional Home Show.’ It’s fabulous for exposure as it’s always difficult to compete with huge retailers, but I do believe customer experience with small businesses can be far better and much more personal. I have already seen a leap in sales since attending the event!
Louise at the Occasional Home Show
I don’t showcase many of my products in my home – it’s too tempting to keep one of everything for myself! Instagram and the ‘in-situ’ photographs my customers take are the best form of advertising for my business. Their photos are often amazing and sell the item for me! Capturing my wares in my own home can be a dangerous game, for example, I put one of the rugs on my kitchen floor to photograph and, well, let’s just say it hasn’t moved since!
One of Home of Boho’s ‘tassel and sequin’ cushions showcased via Instagram at the beautiful home of @upcycleyourhome
I think it’s important for me to keep a running theme throughout my range to make the brand recognisable. The covers generally tend to be of natural or monochrome colouring with a geometric design and/or fringing. When choosing new products to introduce, I gauge what’s popular by what’s selling quickly and the reaction to the photos of my products in people’s homes. I have offered a couple of more vibrant cushions which have done very well, so, coupled with my new found love of colour, I don’t see it being too long before there’s more options introduced.
Louise’s ‘Yellow Venus’ cushion photographed in my home – a gorgeous splash of colour!
Pop on over to Louise’s Instagram account @homeofboho or indeed her Etsy shop to browse her original stock and perhaps see for yourself what delights await!