La Boheme-House of the Wishing Trees
If you are an instagram interior addict like me, this lady will need no introduction, she is well known for her colourful, boho home and her love of textiles, and has over 100k followers. It is the fabulous Jo from @labohemehouseofthewishingtrees.
You are in for a treat, as not only will this blog post showcase her business but it also showcases her home, a riot of colour, beautiful textiles that she sells through her website, a home tour and business insight all wrapped into one!
Name : Jo Brittles
Creator, curator, stylist, visual poet, writer, business owner.
Welcome to La Boheme ~ House of The Wishing Trees, where beautiful products, textiles and decorative wares for you and your home, are lovingly sourced from talented artisans across the globe.
Founded by Jo Brittles in 2015, La Boheme - translates to 'The Bohemian'- it is a business built from a personal passion for travel, people, decorative art pieces and the ever changing landscape of global beauty.
Step into my world, where beauty meets design, form meets function and art itself becomes the centrepiece and masterpiece of your world.
Each piece, sourced with love, has a story, a memory, a moment ~ and because of that, every item holds a beauty that is unique, imperfect, sometimes floored, but always mesmerising.
Get ready to write your own story, your own way, in your own style. Don't be afraid of pattern or colour or scale - embrace them all, jumble them together, create a whimsical and masterful space where your soul can rest and soar, both, at the same time.
I have no driving motive for any of my products, except to lovingly and deliberately acquire them, marvel over their splendour and ultimately, to provide them safe passage 'home'.
With Love, Jo
Business : La Boheme ~ House of The Wishing Trees
Bohemian wares, sourced globally.
Website : www.thewishingtrees.com
Instagram : www.instagram.com/labohemehouseofthewishingtrees
A beautiful and carefully curated collection of bohemian wares, sourced globally. Often vintage, often one of a kind and always incredibly beautiful.
1. What was the reason behind you starting your business?
I started my business when I had just given birth to Mila (now 3.5yo) - I craved to do something where I could be creative and intensely passionate about my product and brand. Thus La Boheme was born. From my decade abroad, I acquired a deep love of global textiles and so that's where I began, with a very personal love.
The hardest thing about what I do, is that everything that passes through me, is something I love and covet myself. So seeing them go is actually very hard!
2. How did you start up?, kitchen table? Mum’s garage, renting premises?
At home, where I remain today. After Mila, our surprise Lola came along, so I have been busy raising 5 kids in total and running my business from home so I can be here with the babies. It is truthfully the hardest thing I have ever done, but so incredibly rewarding from a Mum perspective and also from a creative perspective. (Although having toddlers underfoot while you're trying to style and photograph is a stress that is truly NEXT LEVEL! ha!)
3. How did you fund your business?
I started out with incredibly limited funds, just from home, with a dream in my heart. Even now, a huge injection of cash, a loan, an investor, would be so wonderful, so I can continue to grow La Boheme in all the ways I dream of. But this road I've taken, is the hard one and as I plug along with what I've built so far, it teaches me the incredible and indeliable art of patience, fortitude and persistence.
4. What was the most difficult part of starting up your business? Access to money, advice, finding people to buy, marketing etc?
All of the above! Ha! Running my own business has been a massive learning curve. There has been no access to funding and certainly no advice along the way! But throughout this journey, I have learnt so much about myself and business and I truthfully wouldn't change that for the world. I have a business/marketing background - so finding my target audience/client and spending quality time on building my brand and finding a powerful social media presence has been the easier part. It takes time, energy and effort and there is no shortcut to that. If you love your business and believe in it 100%, it's a MUST. And once you grow in all the right ways, you will be thankful for your personal investment in this process. Because suddenly you have a large tribe of likeminded souls who follow you, who love what you do and who are invested in your business. THAT, is everything.
5. What help was missing for you?
For me, starting out, the hardest thing was lack of funding. No access to additional funds to actually have buying power when sourcing abroad. It has been incredibly difficult to overcome. But in saying that, you learn to build relationships with suppliers in Morocco and Turkey and India and Peru and wherever else you purchase beautiful things from - and suppliers soon become friends and comrades and you find yourself helping one another as best you can. I've been very fortunate to know and have built beautiful relationships with so many people. And as in life, nurturing those important, positive relationships, is all that really matters.
6. What went wrong in your first year? Few months if you haven’t been trading that long?
I had a newborn and found myself pregnant very quickly with another surprise baby, so in my first year of business, I was very much focused on my little ones, rather than the business itself. So therefore, sales only trickled through and not alot of buying and replenishing of stock was happening. I was in an extremely busy personal space and for the first year, that was ok with me. My focus needed to be on my babies. I found myself with two little ones under two years of age and once Lola had been born and settled into the routine of our kind of crazy (we have 3 teenagers too) I was able to throw myself more fully into growing and nurturing my business. Which I did.
That first year though, was a bit of a write off.
7. What have you learnt?
So much! To trust my instinct. To be and remain authentic, always.
I am incredibly unique, my offerings quite niche and I never expected I would grow so wildly. So it has been a remarkable gift and I truly put that all down to simply being a bit different. There is beauty in a point of difference. Seeing something you haven't seen before. Sticking out and refusing to fit in. I have learnt that its ALL ok.
8. What is the most important piece of advice that you could give others thinking about starting a business?
Choose to do something you love, something that you're truly passionate about. Without this foundation, remaining consistent, having persistence and hanging in there, even when things are so tough, is truly hard. When you love something intensely, it's so much easier to believe in what you're doing and to commit to it 100% - come what may.
9. And what do you enjoy the most?
I am a creative, so the creative process is what I enjoy the most. And there are many streams of them within my business!
I get to style, I get to take beautiful photo's of beautiful things. I get to edit photo's and on my website and across my social media accounts, I get to create a beautiful story with those images. The story of my business, my products, my dreams and my life. And it's a wonderful, liberating process.
I am also a writer, so being able to incorporate thoughtful and thought provoking commentaty to accompany my styled shots is actually such a joy for me. Art is so powerful, in all it's many forms. I feel so lucky each and every day that I get to do this and unleash my creativity in such tangible and unique ways.
10. On a scale of 1-10 how hard do you find it to run your own business?
10! At the moment and since the beginning, it's been only me. I wear every hat and do everything, so that is difficult and as my business has grown so wildly, managing it all becomes somewhat overwhelming at times. Soon, my toddlers will go to kindergarten and that will free me up for a day or two a week, to be able to solely concentrate on this creative process.
I have a few exciting projects underway and keeping all the balls in the air is hard. I often work through the night (when the rest of the world is awake) and I don't sleep very much. But there is such passion that drives me. Such belief. And more than that, a deep love for what I do and what I've built. So it's strangely all ok with me! And the satisfaction rating is equally and easily a 10 too! To be stressed out and highly strung and have several things on the go all at once, is my life now. As well as raising 5 children and running a household and just being a Mama. It's alot! I need a housekeeper, for sure. ha! Someday, maybe someday.
Nicola Says: Jo's absolute passion for what she does shines though this piece and is an incredibly important thing to have when starting a new business. You hear how tough it has been getting started especially with two kids as toddlers, and yet I see so many "mumtrepreneurs" taking the reigns and doing it, especially when you can use social media to get things out there, to get started and noticed and Jo has done this incredibly well, with an enormous following who tune in daily to read the fabulous stories that go along with her posts. This makes her relatable and unique.
Access to funding is always a challenge for any start up business, but Jo is growing organically, taking the time to work out her niche and to find out what her customer want. This fits her and her family for now, and having grow this business, when she is ready to take the next step she can show funders, her brand and what she has achieved. She has a track record and tenacity in bounds!
Jo, thanks so much for not only sharing your business journey but your incredible home
The Girl with The Green Sofa