Meet the beautiful Hellen Barlow, co-founder of Modish Living, a one of a kind online boutique specialising in handcrafted furniture. We asked Hellen about her day, business motivation and learnt that…

Hellen Barlow

…to get myself up and ready, I start the day with a good half an hour walk along Brighton beach with my two dogs and a strong black coffee.

As the co-founder of Modish Living, which is an online boutique specialising handcrafted furniture, my day can be quite varied, although its guaranteed to be busy!  The office itself is in a wooden summerhouse in our back garden, so no time is spent on commuting, which is a big bonus. I’m quite an organised person, so I do like to have a set of prioritised tasks for the day. However I don’t think I’ve ever managed to complete any of my task sheets in full. Running an e-commerce site means much time is spent on marketing and analysing the business.

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A single photo shoot can easily take us 12 hours, so a long day, although an enjoyable one. And the end result is fantastic, as it means we get another product to sell by our local craftsmen. Our latest photo shoot took place earlier this week underneath the workshop, which is an old barn on a farm in Dorset, quite a stunning location. The photos hoot was of an Oak Inlay Table and a Reclaimed Wood Inlay Table. Both of which are handcrafted by Roger and his sons.

…social media plays a big part in our marketing activities…

…I’m very lucky, as this is something I love doing. and luckily we have a super blog editor who kicks off much of this. Apart from marketing, I also spend time looking in to new furniture trends and visiting the craftsmen in their workshops, discussing new ranges we can launch. Depending on which craftsman we work with, product launches can be quite time consuming, as this involves designing something new, then making it and then managing the photo shoot.

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One of our latest social media posts was a link to our blog around our latest product launch of reclaimed oak accessories. These accessories have been made by a Ben Cramp, an award-winning craftsman we recently partnered with. Ben designs and makes all his furniture out of powder coated aluminium and old reclaimed oak which he hand picks. Truly stunning designs.

…starting your own business can be quite overwhelming, time-consuming and stressful…

…so this is a time you need to prioritise your health. I would, therefore, say, look after yourself as a top priority! If you are healthy, then your business has more chance to be healthy. Get active! Workout! Even if you have little time, just do something from home, even if it’s just 10 mins a day. I make sure I walk as much as I can, plus I go to Bikram yoga regularly. Bikram yoga is where I get my time out. My whole body can relax, and when I come out of there, I’m ready for anything. Whatever it is that suits you, whether it’s swimming, walking, yoga, just find something that allows you to have time out.

Inspiration comes in the shape of…
I absolutely love Karren Brady! She’s a strong business woman, very confident and focused, plus beautifully feminine – the perfect combination!

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