BRIGHT LIKE GLITTER AND BUBBLY LIKE CHAMPAGNE!
I cannot tell you how many hair ties, clips and now having a daughter BOWS I have bought in my lifetime. Every time I leave the house and enter a supermarket or store and they have them on sale they are in the basket. Why? Thousands upon thousands later and can I ever find one when I need it? I even gave them a place to live but hell once they've leave they never return. So to find someone local, to support a small business, it gives me the feeling that my pain is someone else's joy!
Harriet has pretty much followed me since Day1, I am blessed to have lovely local followers and equally blown away when I meet them, listen to their stories and it spurs me on to try and build this community, to help, promote and support one another...
With Lola Bows Harriet is creating a trail of sparkle wherever she goes, I mean take a look, my daughter wants all of them and who wouldn't? She is so passionate, her drive, her long hours has created something magical and her goal is to see little girls faces light up when they love them. Over the next couple of months she's attending local fairs, Marlow's Late Night Shopping, local school Xmas fetes, and on Sunday she is launching her (dare I say it) ... Christmas Range on Etsy. Creatively Gorgeous, all home-made, a treat, a present, a stocking filler! and if you don't have a girl, but LOVE THEM, and you happen to see Harriet at one of the venues, grab her arm (not too physical ) and let her know that you love them. The feedback she gets spurs her on, puts a smile on her face and makes all her hard work worthwhile. Here's Harriet's story...
Tell me, a little bit about yourself…
I’m Harriet a self-confessed shopaholic, makeup junkie, rose gold addict and caffeine worshipper. I have a 4-year-old son, Jack, and alongside playing mum I juggle my ‘day job’ in an office building my own little business - Lola Bows.
How did you get into setting up your own business?
I’ve always been quite arty and I love to get creative, honestly I can’t walk past a Hobbycraft without *accidentally* buying half of the shop… Before I had Jack I made bracelets, it was something crafty for me to do in the evenings after work but after a while I got fed up of finding tiny beads all over the place. Something as small as a sneeze would send hundreds of silver beads and charms flying across my living room and despite hours of searching they would only be found by being sucked up by the hoover. So alongside this, and my fear of Jack getting hold of a bead or two and choking (every new mum goes into over baby-proofing mode right?) I decided to stop making bracelets. A while passed and I was getting really fed up not being able to create and design things, I spent the evening pondering what to do and I thought I’d give bows a crack. It seemed like a good progression from bracelets and as they say… The rest is history!
Why Lola Bows?
I wanted my brand to be a reflection of me without necessarily having my name in it. I started playing with ideas on variations I could get from my name – Harriet Louise. I didn’t really want to use Harriet, or any variation of it, but I thought Louise, Louise could work. So after a quick chat with my sister we went from Lou Lou, to Lou La, to Lola Bows!
What's your usual week / day look like?
Monday – Wednesday I’m in the office, this means a 6am alarm and a frantic morning getting myself ready and ensure Jack gets to school on time. These three weekdays always go ridiculously quick as once I’m back home and Jack's had his dinner I get back to work fulfilling Lola Bows orders and make up stock for the craft fairs that I attend. Some nights I can be up working until 1am.
Thursday and Fridays are my luxury days. These days I get to walk Jack to school without the mad morning rush. I then use these days to focus on Lola Bows, catch up on emails, complete customer orders, shop for new fabrics and research potential events to attend with my bows. These are the days where you’ll find me sneaking down the road to Starbucks for a coffee; after all no one wants to stay indoors all day, right?
What inspires you?
Seeing other people achieve their dreams. I love seeing the passion and drive people have to achieve their goals, seeing others so determined encourages me to have that same ‘get up and go’ attitude. I really look up to strong, powerful women that not only are focused on achieving their own goals, but also support and encourage others do achieve theirs too. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing women love, support and empower one another.
What did you want to be growing up?
Believe it or not a pathologist! I know, so different to what I currently spend my days doing. Growing up I obsessed over crime dramas and loved the medical side of it all. What most people found grim or gory I was SO interested in and wanted to learn more… Or so I thought. During a science lesson in secondary school (many, many years ago) we were tasked with dissecting a heart. I passed out within minutes. Needless to say from that moment on I decided pathology wasn’t really for me. Turns out seeing it in real life is actually quite different to seeing it on TV!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I’m going to be predictable for a second… Every mumma says their child right? Jack amazes me every day, especially now that he’s started school. Don’t get me wrong, any mum (or dad) will tell you that parenting is tough as hell at times, but my God I’ve never been prouder of anyone than I am of him.
What’s next on your to do list?
Keep making stock! Usually I make my bows to order however in the next 3 months I’ve confirmed attendance at 7 events, fetes and Christmas fairs with more requests coming through every week. My Christmas collection launches on Sunday 1st October so I’m also busy finalizing that, it’s being launched earlier than I’d planned but people kept asking me for ‘sneak peaks’ so I thought I’d bring it out early. It’s amazing and I feel so blessed that people enjoy my bows, I really don’t think I’ll ever get used to hearing people say ‘this is gorgeous’ or ‘I love this!’ Honestly, I can’t describe how much those kind words mean to me and I’m so thrilled to be able to make products that people enjoy.
When are you happiest?
Usually whenever I’ve got a cup of coffee or glass of bubbles in my hand – I’m an easily pleased girl!
When was the last time you laughed out loud?
Driving home today with Spence, my other half. We speak about the most random things, and to be honest I’m not sure anyone else would understand our sense of humour, but we always seem to be so in sync and spend most of our time laughing and joking around with each other.
How as women, can we help to empower others?
I think it’s so important to remember to be kind; the smallest gestures can make or break someone’s day. Smile, say hello and ask how someone’s doing. A small act of kindness can be all it takes to help someone that’s having a tough day brush down their shoulders and feel confident and positive again.
What’s your style?
I would love to say super glam all the time, but that would be a lie… I wish I were super glam all the time! You’ll usually find me in a cosy jumper paired with leggings or skinny jeans and ankle boots. If I’m feeling fancy the boots get switched to heels and I throw on a blazer. I like to look good but I’m a firm believer in dressing for comfort and love things that I can throw on with minimal effort. Autumn / winter clothes are my favourite – I’m completely in my element right now!
Singing in the car crazy loud to a really cheesy pop song – Bonus points if you can get people in other cars staring at you!
“She believed she could so she did”
Can’t live without…
My family, Spence and Jack are my absolute world. Although coffee is pretty high on the list too…
If you want to contact Harriet email her firstname.lastname@example.org