Girl boss, entrepreneur, and mama of two answers the tough questions about starting PILLOWPIA six months after her first child was born.
What inspired you to quit your job in fashion and start your own home decor and lifestyle brand?
My work history had been in creative companies, but I was largely on the operations side of things. I had a desire to be a creative driver. When my husband and I bought our first home, I saw a real gap in the market for affordable decor items that still felt special and collected. The stars just kind of aligned.
What advice would you give to new moms who want to start their own business?
If starting a business is something that will fulfill you, just do it. There is never a good time. A good mom is a happy and fulfilled mom, and moms know how to juggle better than anyone else on the planet.
Any cautionary advice?
Take it easy on yourself. I took a solid gap when my daughter was born, just to get into the swing of things. By the time my son was born, two years later, I had all the basics down and really enjoyed that maternity leave period. Let's face it, there is a lot of time under that baby. After I watched the entire series of Girl Boss on day one, I decided I would try scrolling around on my iPhone. Collecting design ideas, marketing ideas, and competitor research for my business proved fun for me while cuddling my little one. If you want to go full cuddle, then do that. You're calling the shots as a business owner, give yourself a break when you need it.
Where do you find your design inspiration?
Everywhere. I like looking at traditional techniques and patterns and try to bring them forward with a modern twist. I collect a lot of vintage images, print inspiration, and images of little details that I think will add a special feel to the product. I love taking fashion ideas and bringing them into the home category. It gives a freshness I think people are looking for.
What is your home decor aesthetic?
Ha, my husband asked me that when we purchased our home. My reply was, I think every room should make you feel alive. If I had to pin it down in real terms, I would say Scandinavian maximalism. I like things neat and clean, but still vibrant and fun.
Was there anything that surprised you about starting your own online boutique?
Set up was easy. I think the thing that most surprised me is how hard it is to get eye balls on your business. Good marketing and PR investments are key. Once people found us, the business built upon itself.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned or advice you would give to those looking to start their own boutiques online?
I would tell other entrepreneurs to give their business time to develop but don't incubate too long. Get something out there and build upon it. Once you are out of the gate, persistence, and course-correcting is key. Try different strategies and really analyze your results. It is hard to do as a small business, but once you get some momentum, it will be clearer and clearer what you need to do to thrive.