Each month in 2014 I will feature a female entrepreneur from Northern Ireland. I find these smart and creative women inspiring and I hope you do to. Last month I featured Freelance Photographer Sarah Kane and this month it’s the owner of online lifestyle store myluxe.co.uk, Lynn Woods.
Myluxe.co.uk launched in January 2014, tell us what sort of things we can buy from your online store.
My Luxe stocks a selection of handpicked, mostly handmade homeware accessories. From handprinted tea towels and cushions to reclaimed wood picture frames and quirky kids’ room prints, the collection has been handpicked by me and many items are sold exclusively on My Luxe.
What was the motivation behind myluxe.co.uk?
My Luxe started as an interiors and fashion blog and then I decided to expand this into an online boutique.
I’m a little addicted to buying things for my home and love to often update my rooms with little touches like new cushions, kitchen accessories or prints to keep things fresh. I’ve spent so many hours scouring shops and websites looking for unique and quirky homewares so I decided to use that knowledge to curate my own collection and import products from around the world to offer something new to the UK and Ireland market.
You’re obviously passionate about sourcing quality products, how easy/difficult is it to decide what to stock?
The first question I ask myself when sourcing individual products is “would I have that in my home?” If I love it then hopefully it will appeal to others. I love handmade pieces as you know love and attention has gone into producing it, which always shows. It’s so easy to have a neutral, safe room but I love sourcing products that add a splash of colour or interest to a room and appeal to those who are a little more brave with their decorating tastes!
I also work really closely with an interior designer friend based in Cape Town. She has amazing contacts with local artisans who painstakingly make things like our hand beaded fruit baskets and our cement candle collection. It’s great to bring some of that craftsmanship to the UK and Ireland market.
Where did your love of art and design come from?
I’ve travelled a lot and nothing is more inspirational than being surrounded by a different culture.
I love pottering around local shops and markets when I travel and seeing how different cultures live and work. One of the most beautiful places I’ve stayed was a traditional Japanese Inn with only a futon and low table in the room. The view out of the window was sensational so the room needed nothing extra! I did wake up with a sore back though….
What did you do career-wise before My Luxe?
My background is in marketing and events and I still work part time in marketing alongside running My Luxe. I’ve met lots of inspirational entrepreneurs through my career which really inspired me to set up my own business and use my marketing skills in a different way.
What is the most challenging aspect of the job you do?
Balancing two careers and being a mum to an 18 month old! The process of starting a new business is always challenging, there’s so much to learn and that lingering fear of failure to keep at bay. I think the only trick is to stay focused on what you want to achieve and go easy on yourself – to know that it’s ok not to know everything!
What aspect of the job do you love most?
I love sourcing the products and speaking to the designers and makers about the inspiration behind their products and the process they’ve gone through to create it. There are so many amazing small artisans out there I just wish I could stock them all!
Do you have a motto that you live by, and if so what is it?
Absolutely – positive things happen to positive people. It’s pretty simple but if you look around at the people you know, it’s very true….
Who or what drives you to be successful?
My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic which has definitely helped along the way! I’ve always wanted to run my own business and make the decisions I feel are right so that drives me to keep going when I’ve had a rough day.
I want to show my daughter that there are lots of options in life and you should do what you’re passionate about.
How do you like to unwind?
I’d love to say exercise but that would be a lie! Relaxing on the sofa surrounded by food and watching a good box set!