IN CONVERSATION WITH: CHLOE FROM OLLI ELLA
Olli Ella was born in 2009 in London, England. Sisters Chloe and Olivia Brookman set out to create a collection of nursery furniture and baby bedding that was playful, iconic and above all, beautifully made.
Since its launch, Olli Ella has garnered a devoted following, with an ever-expanding collection of pieces for children's spaces, including nursing chairs, rugs, nursery furniture, baby bedding and much more. Olli Ella products are influenced by play and having fun, and the sisters' love of useful, tactile designs. Olli Ella pieces are lovingly made ethically, and sustainably, using natural materials such as rattan, seagrass, and wool - the collection is populated with pieces that delight and are cherished, and seem to become firm favourites in every home - it's easy to see why.
For The Life Style Edit's 2017 ANNUAL, we spoke to one half of the sister duo, Chloe, who currently resides in Sydney, whilst Olivia calls London home. Olli Ella is sold worldwide, and has just last week launched a beautiful new product, the Storie Stool.
[TLSE] / Your products are proudly locally sourced, ethically made and focused on organic materials. Why are the materials so important to you?
[CHLOE] When products are made from natural fibres they not only are more tactile, unique, and earthy, but this also lessens the chance that they will end up in landfills. I love the concept of Hygge, which is about coziness and comfort and to me there is nothing more comforting than snuggling up on a wool rug, with a pair of knitted socks, tea in hand surrounded by woven treasures.
What are some of the positives as well as the challenges of running a business with your sister?
This is one of my favourite parts of Olli Ella; working with my sis! There are so many positives, from getting to speak to her a thousand times a day (we live on separate continents), having a completely honest sounding board, working with someone that challenges and inspires you - I could say the only challenge is that sometimes we have to make sure that when speak or hang out that we aren’t just talking shop, and still make room for our sister relationship separate from Olli Ella.
What advice would you give to other creatives juggling starting their own business and being a mum?
I think that in this day and age the juggle doesn’t just fall on the mother, and that parents co-parent and so the balancing of family life is a combined effort. My advice to creative parents starting their own business would be to get help if you can, to do your best to work around your children’s schedules, and to be prepared to give up “me time”!
Your designs are inspired by all the incredible places you’ve travelled. Where is your favourite holiday spot? For creatives like yourselves? For families with little ones?
Thank you! We’ve returned a few times to Morocco, both as a family and before children. I love it for the colourful culture, the exquisite cuisine, the opportunity for adventure and the unquestionable beauty of the place - and not to mention the amazing craftsmanship that comes out of this country, from its berber rugs to woven baskets.
What Olli Ella product could you not live without?
At this moment, my chari bag!