As you may know, one of the main reasons for starting Sparrow + Spark! was to provide inspiration for one of my main life goals- starting my own online business. So, I thought it would be a great idea to interview successful people who have already taken that leap with great results, some real Go Be It! inspiration. It really is super inspiring to see people who have done it!
Today I have an interview from Marianne Lamberth, who owns the beautiful online store Nordic Bliss, full of fantastic Nordic brands. Marianne also runs the lovely Nordic Bliss blog so I was so excited to talk to her and ask her a few questions!
Hi Marianne! What made you want to start your business?
I have followed a very large number of fashion and interior blogs since I was 20 and had just moved to the UK. I read both international but also many Scandinavian blogs. It was partly my way of staying in touch with what was happening there but also because I like the Scandinavian style.There are so many interior blogs by people with beautifulhomes and style, and excellent photography skills such as Mokkasin, Trendenser and Fryd + Design.
When I finished my degree and moved in with my husband and started looking for furniture and decorative items for our home I often found things on these Scandinavian blogs that I loved, but couldn’t buy in the UK. So I thought to myself “Maybe there are others in this country who also wants access to these things?”. And that is why I started our shop to make smaller less known brands available to the UK market.
What was your biggest challenge to getting your business off the ground?
When you have an online shop everything can be done from your home; the hosting, the web design, the PR, mailing etc. The only thing that you do need that takes up physical space is the products and to store them somewhere. At first we were looking at local self-storage options but they were all quite expensive and/or had opening times that meant we wouldn’t be able to access it in the evenings when we come home from our day jobs. In the end we were so lucky that our landlord had an empty room in the building that we were allowed to rent. It is perfect for us and such a convenient solution.
I have to say the hardest part with an online business isn’t so much setting up, but to make it easy to find. Search Engine Optimisation, easy URLs, newsletters, PR, and so on are all essential to make sure that people will find your shop and your things and it is very time consuming.
So, what do you enjoy the most about your business?
I love choosing which products we are going to stock. It really is like shopping. I mostly go on my gut feeling and what I personally find pretty and that fits in our store. It is very hard to predict what will work and what trends will do well on the market. I find it so interesting to see what will sell and what people like. One of the other things I really love is the connection with our customers and the social networking on our blog Facebook, and twitter. You get instant feedback and input and it is so nice to get to know our customers.
Image and product from here
You have so many beautiful products in your store- which are your favourite?
I have to say that I am very much in lovewith the textiles from Shyness. The quality is incredible, the coloursare just the right shade and although it is hard to see on pictures allof the Shyness products are just fabulous. I love that the patterns areclassic and timeless and that all the fabrics are 100% organic. From ourShyness range I think my favourite products are the table cloths and thepillows with the cute ribbons on them.
Image from here
What is the most fun you have had with your business?
Designing the website was fun and a hard process for me as it is all about creating an identity online. There is so much inspiration out there and it was hard to decide and stick with that one look. And of course, what I mentioned earlier: deciding on which products to buy for the shop, going to Formex (design Expo in Stockholm) to meet the designers and people behind the products.
Thanks Marianne, such an interesting insight into your business! Look forward to more interviews and inspiration over the next few weeks!