Chatting With / Louisa Mallet from Baked by Lou
Founder of Baked by Lou
Chatting With/ is back to discover more about another amazing person.
In this period more than other the most discussed topic is sustainability especially into fashion system. In our concept we always have an eye for it selecting independent brands instead of fast fashion, knowing who is behind the scene and buying unique products.
In this occasion we’d like to introduce Louisa Mallet, the designer who makes our colourful statment jewellery that we proudly sell in store and online.
I hope you enjoy reading this interview and make you wanna join the lifestyle #buylessbuybetter .
PS. NEW COLLECTION IS COMING SOON! STAY TUNED & DON’T MISS IT, IT SELLS SUPER FAST!
Martina: Who is Lou?
Louisa: I’m a creative, jewellery maker, ceramicist AND a part-time tutor from Cardiff. I love balancing my creative business with my teaching as I can utilise a lot of my creative skills in the workshops that i deliver. I live with my husband and cat, love to read, craft and eat spaghetti!
M: As entrepreneurs what made you decide to start your own business?
L: I spent many years holing back from practising art and following a career in education because when I left university I was a little unsure about what I wanted to do. But a few years ago, inspired by creative friends and freelancers, I took the plunge and launched an online shop and it has developed over time from there.
M: What challenges have you faced when running your own business, and how did you over-come this?
L: Originally, balancing the two career paths had been a challenge just finding the hours in the day and having a work life balance. My teaching ‘day job’ employers have been super supportive though and over the last year I have found a really good balance for both. I find the hardest part approaching stockists on top of my online shop because I’m nervous about rejection. I overcome this by being honest about it and explaining that I’m nervous but would love to chat further, I like to approach independent indie shops as I'm a small business. I also do a lot of research and networking with other creatives to learn from those who are much better than me!
M: As you know we love your brand and we just got the new collection in store and online, what inspires your designs on the products?
L: I get a lot of inspiration from paintings and illustrations, in terms of shapes and colours, I’m a big fan of Matisse’s Cut Outs. I also love the work of Camille Walala especially her murals on buildings and collaborations with clothing brands.
M: How would you describe your brand in 5 words?
M: What tips would you give someone starting up?
L: Don’t be afraid to just start up AND WITH an Instagram ACCOUNT documenting your journey. People love to follow a journey and growth, so if your styles develops or name changes, who cares!! Network and get out there to talk to fellow creatives, joining groups on Facebook helps with this. Have a handful of pieces you’re really happy with before starting your shop so there is a collection to choose from rather than 1 piece that may sell and leave your shop empty.
M: How do you make your products?
L: I hand-make most of my earrings using polymer clay, a sort-of plastic clay that can baked in an oven after mixing the colours by hand and adding texture with other colours and tools. I use earthenware clay for my ceramics because it’s hardy and brush on under-glazes to keep the colours bright and paint my designs onto the fired piece. I’m lucky enough to have saved up and bought my own kiln this year to fire these.
M: What do you hope to accomplish within the future?
L: I’d love to be stocked in more shops, I just have to overcome my fear of approaching the shops myself! I’d like to develop my ceramics too and have a few clear pieces that I can sell regularly. I want to take part in a few more Instagram challenges this year to engage with the creative community such as fashion revolution week.
M: LAST BUT NOT LEAST, what do you reckon are your best sellers?
L: Definitely earrings, they’re a great mid to lower priced item (depending on the size) and I’ve got lovely customers who buy quite a few pairs a year because they enjoy being bold and expressive with their accessories! I also love it when people choose to buy my earrings as gifts for their friends, it's so thoughtful!