Today on the blog I have a very exciting interview with the lovely Marie, founder of Mia Lia, a beautiful on-line jewellery store. Designer Marie creates exuberant, stylish, hand made fashion jewellery with a bohemian touch. Marie was fascinated by the healing properties and cultural meanings found within stones and jewellery pieces and so started to source the rarest stones from all continents and incorporate them into her designs, the results are not only stunning but also mood changers.
1.When and how did you 1st come up with the idea of Mia Lia?
I totally fell into it by accident years ago. I started to make my own bracelets because they were always too big for me when I’d try them on in shops. I specifically remember trying so many on in Harvey Nichols and they would just fall off my wrist even though they were elasticated! Friends of mine soon after were asking me to make bracelets for them. I had taken a break from work for personal reasons and Christmas was coming up so a close friend suggested she host a jewellery party for me. I stocked up on natural stones and various other beads I’d gathered from antique markets, put a little collection together and voila, to my great surprise, it was sell out!
2.What were you doing before Mia Lia?
I was working in the fashion industry and training on my day off to become a florist.
- How do you juggle family life with working at Mia Lia?
I have to be very strict with myself and plan my days ahead. I’m rarely seen without my diary and notebooks filled with endless lists to try and stay on top of what I need to do. Juggling it all can be very hard as I don’t ever want to miss out on anything with the kids yet my business is like another baby that desperately needs me too.
- What’s the best bit of running your own business?
On a personal level, I love that I get to be a part of my children’s daily lives and not just on the weekends. Getting to do most school runs and able to attend assemblies is such a plus point for me. Before you know it they’ll be teenagers and that’ll be it, they probably won’t want to be seen dead with their mum! On the business side I’m so lucky that I get to be creative every day and ultimately I can run the business exactly as I please.
- And the worst?
I sometimes miss not being managed by someone else and on some days it can be really hard to motivate myself and know which direction to go in. I also miss not being able to switch off especially when we are on a family holiday or on the weekends. This can be a problem sometimes and ‘Friday’ is not quite ‘Friyay’ when you run your own business. It’s very difficult to separate work life with private life because I always need to have my finger on everything.
- What advice do you have for people wanting to launch their own business?
Think your idea through well, do as much research as possible and ask for help! It’s something I didn’t do and am still guilty of doing. So many people from the beginning right till just last week are always telling me how in awe they are of me running my own business, however I’m always explaining to them it definitely is not easier than working for someone else. It takes more than dedication and you need to really be prepared for the rises and the falls. The market and economy can be so unpredictable so nothing is ever certain. If you don’t put the work into it, they’ll be no benefits. On the up side, my set up definitely suits my free spirit character as I can get bored easily so it’s good that I can adapt to change very quickly. It certainly suits my spontaneous nature. A boho traveller I am sure in a past life!
- What are your 5 favourite things on your site?
My top 5 favourite things on the site is what you probably see me wear on most days –
- Rarely seen without my ‘Keepsake Bracelets’, I literally have only taken my bracelets off 3 times since I started my business. I just keep adding more to my wrist and occasionally change stones during the different seasons depending on energies I feel I’m in need of and depending on my mood for some colour therapy.
- ‘Twinkle Twinkle Five Star Necklace’ representing one of my favourite mythological stories on the ‘Seven Sisters’ constellation.
- MAMA DISC Necklace– literally wear it all the time
- Mama’s Gold Heart Locket which was my first ever Mother’s Day gift so I felt the need to share and add on my site for all the lovely mamas that shop from me.
P.S; check out their Mini Mia section for fabulous gift ideas for the kids.