When I met Julie for the first time I already knew we were going to become friends. You could say it was like “friendship at first sight” or something of the sort. She is stylish, smart, talented and such a go getter. After discovering that she has not one but three businesses I knew we likely had a lot in common.
It isn’t easy running your own business, let alone also being a mama. Julie is someone that I look up to in both her motherhood and business role, she is a consistent and loving mother and you can see those qualities flow into her business venture. As I follow her online and get to know her better over coffee and photo dates it is evident that her strong passions and attention to detail allows her business to shine.
Today I get to share more about Julie, how DearLovesCo. came to be, some ideas Julie has for the future and a few tid bits about the working mama life side of things. Enjoy.
Get to know Julie, founder of DearLovesCo.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Julie, I am a wife and mom to two little boys. I absolutely love creating just about anything, decorating parties, my home, drawing and painting. I am also a photographer and love it more than anything, love just about anything that gets creative juices going. I love chai lattes, quiet evenings curled up on the couch watching my favorite tv show and every kind of festive activity I can find with my kids.
2. What inspired you to start DearLovesCo?
When I had my first son someone bought me a “nursing” bracelet. I sadly didn’t like the look of it, and it had small little pieces falling off all the time. Finally, I got rid of the idea and started just wearing a hair band on my wrist. With my second son, I went right to the elastic to keep track but a few things happened. First off, I often ended up with the elastic in my hair, secondly, as a blogger I was always taking photos, pulling it off my wrist and forgetting what side it was on. So within the first few months, I knew I wanted to make something I could wear all the time, and was pretty and practical.
3. When was it and what motivated you to put your plans into action to launch?
Honestly, my dear friend, Amanda, over at Minimoc really was the reason I launched our store. I had posted a few on my Instagram account and got a great response to them. With the interest, (and her jokingly commenting about starting a shop) I thought maybe an Etsy shop would be fun just as a small little side business. Trust me, though, I had NO idea what I was doing. Within just a few days of starting an Instagram account I got a message from Deck and Oar (a fantastic online shop that sells our bracelets) I was overwhelmed by her desire to have my bracelets in their shop and Amanda really was the encouragement and support that made it all happen (late night “help me” texts). I am pretty sure I would have chickened out if it was not for her and all of her and Jeff’s support over at Minimoc as well as a large group of friends and small businesses who were so incredibly supportive as I stepped out in our launch.
4. Describe the materials that you choose to work with and why?
I work with a very thin elastic cord, glass beads, 14K gold-filled and sterling silver center pieces for the most part. An elastic cord was a given for me, my whole purpose and hope was to create soemthing that was super easy for moms to slip on and off themselves without having to clasp it on everytime or get soemone elses help. I picked a very specific cord size for a few reasons. First off, the smaller it is the less you feel it, also how the cord bends and moves also depending on the thickness of it. As for the beads, they were just an add on to make the ends look a bit prettier. As for our centrepieces, I was very picky about the type of metals we were using I wanted soemthing that was again classy, danity, pretty and a minimalistic piece of jewllery moms would love to wear. Also 14K gold-filled is amazing when it comes to being hyperallergenic, and tanish resistant.
5. Share a recent customer review that you received on your product.
A few months ago I was featured on Finding Philothea, and I was excited when they sent me the email as to why I was included:
“Breastfeeding as first-time parents has been an intense experience. One of the first things we googled when Peter was born were bracelets to help us keep track. They were all so bulky and unfashionable. When we found your product through Deck and Oar we were thrilled! We cannot express our gratitude enough for what you have done for us the past few days! Thank you! We look forward to ordering more and to see what else you have in store!”
6. Is there anything you find challenging about running your own business?
Yes! As a photographer, I felt like I could pick and choose more of when I could work and not work. I would get a shoot done, edit in the evenings and once it was done it was done. With DearLovesCo. I found that the daily marketing was very challenging. There is also a lot more customer service needed and with two littles running around it is hard to find time just to sit down on the computer and respond to an email or post on Instagram.
7. What stockists carry your products?
Right now we are in a lovely online shop called Deck and Oar and also carried over at Parksville, Vancouver Island in The Nurture’s Collective.
8. Share some goals that you have for DearLovesCo.
We are hoping to branch into some Brass bracelets. We also would love to grow the business a bit more and collaborating with some other stores to bring a bit more to our store.
9. What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
I love thinking up new ideas, troubleshooting and meeting so many amazing customers and other small shop owners. It has been amazing to see my community grow SO quickly by running a small business. So many amazing people who feel connected to you either through your product or through the community of running a small business. It has been an amazing journey and one I will never forget or regret.
Julie also teamed up with me to create our Holiday LOOKBOOK | Mama and Child Holiday Guide. We had so much fun putting it together and we would love it if you checked it out. While you are there you can find a coupon code to DearLovesCo. (as well as many more great shops) if you are planning on purchasing a bracelet for yourself or as a gift. See post here.
Thank you to DearLovesCo for partnering with me on this post.
I work closely with Julie on a number of things and it is such an honour to showcase her small business. As always all views and opinions are my own.