Sorry peeps that this post is a day late! I am on spring break and somehow my brain has turned to mush. Feels good to just do nothing.
But you are all anxiously awaiting the introduction of my newest guest, right?
Aubrey from Bella Lime!
Aubrey, another fabulous local blogger, makes her home in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family.
I am in love with her home, it is a gorgeous space, wide and open, so bright and airy, a beautiful mix of vintage finds, a bit of DIY and new. I can't decide which room I like best!
Aubrey, a sweet and lovely gal, is the creative author behind the blog, Bella Lime. Most recently, Aubrey also decided to take her creativity and open up The Shoppe, selling gorgeous handmade items made by Aubrey and her mom. I adore the beautifully patterned aprons.
Aubrey, tell us a bit about you? Are you trained in design? Have you always been creative and interested in design?
OH the “about you” question always gets me because I always answer this so generically. BUT not this time…
The 411 on me: I am a sucker for a cute cuddly furry face … we have 2 beagles, and 2 cats. I could probably keep going but I have been given a limit and I have hit it. I am someone who is always looking for a new adventure, be it a dance class, train for a half marathon, take an abstract art class, or rearranging the furniture in the house every week (which I do). I am actually pretty satisfied with this week’s setup.
Right now it is photography; I recently acquired a Canon Rebel DSLR (LOVE IT). I wanted it for the blog and also for the Bella Lime Shoppe!! I mean, you need pretty pictures for your blog, and for your products RIGHT?! So I had to treat myself to it. There is so much to learn but I love the journey. I also have nightly kitchen dance parties with my son … but who doesn’t? Outkast’s “Hey Ya” gets the party going!
But the most important part of me is that I am a mom to a ridiculously beautiful preschooler and a wife to the AWESOME Mr.M.
Are you trained in design?
I WISH!! I have such a love for design… I can’t even express how excited I get when I find that fabulous piece to finish off a room or a super awesome DIY project that will be a perfect fit in our home. I remember when I was in grade 7 and we were having dinner at a family friend’s house. I was mentally rearranging and styling her living room…. So yes I believe I have always been interested in design. My creativity on the other hand didn’t start to show up until my 20’s. I think it was because by then I was much more confident in my ideas and made sure to follow through on them.
What made you decide to start a blog? How would you describe your blog?
Let’s see if I can keep this short- In the early months of maternity leave when my ‘lil man pretty much slept all the time, I would use my time very wisely and surf the internet. (Did I just date myself? Do people still say surf the net?)
On one of those “surfing “occasions I had remembered reading in one of my design magazines about a “BLOG” called “What’s up Whimsy” by the fabulous Shannon Fitzpatrick. So I decided to check it out. Shannon’s blog immediately resonated with me! She had started a blog after being on maternity leave; she loved DIY projects, and I found her design style was very similar to mine!! And then I had that Oprah “AHA” moment-I should start a blog and BELLA LIME was created. My original concept for BELLA LIME was to document the progress of the renovation, decoration and selling of our townhouse, but that pretty much lasted all of 2 posts… instead BELLA LIME turned into a Lifestyle blog and I am A-Okay with that.
What has surprised you the most about blogging?
How much I love it. And that I wish I had more time to do it. My son is three and keeps me on my toes!
What do you enjoy the most about blogging? Dislike?
I love putting my posts together- getting the right topic, sourcing or creating the perfect photo, and making sure it all looks just right when it’s finished. It’s such a reward to see each post finished.
Dislike? I get caught up in perfecting my posts and sometimes won’t even post them to the blog because I think people will say, “What was she thinking?” Then usually in that same month I will see that another blogger posted on the same topic and I think to myself “I love” this post. So I am realizing I should stop overthinking and just post.
You have stumbled across some fabulous finds, what are your go-to design sources?
Thank you, I love hunting for décor pieces and furniture that have good bones but that I am able to add my own personal touch to. As for my “go-to design sources” I really don’t have one particular source, because my design style is so eclectic …. I find that I am drawing inspiration from amazing design blogs, décor magazines, vintage and thrift shops and also vendor markets. Oh and of course PINTEREST!
You have recently launched Shoppe; tell us your vision behind it?
The Bella Lime Shoppe was born out of the necessity for a boutique style shop that would feature local designers and their beautifully handcrafted designs here in the Tri Cities. We are such a growing community of very stylish young families but there really is nowhere for us to park the car, grab a coffee, take a stroll and do some window shopping/ shopping in the boutiques. I also want to bring that attention to detail back to the consumer… you know the packing up of the purchases as well as community involvement, knowing your customers.
Bella Lime’s Mission Statement is “It`s all about the details. Love- what you see, Covet- what you love and YOU- because it should be all about you”.
It’s all one big vision I have which is continuing to evolve, so for now I will be opening up an online Shoppe-hopefully launching in April!HOPPhohhhhjjjoifjsdklfjdlkfj
You also designed and sewed a line of aprons that you sell at Craft Markets. Any words of wisdom you care about your experiences?
Yes that's right I started my own little creative factory at home, and I have called it “bl designs”. I started designing and making aprons because I think everyone needs to have a pretty kitchen apron, and I also make baby blankets, jewellery and hair pins.
I love picking the fabrics and putting the designs together, although I have to admit I am not the hugest fan about having to sew them together. That’s why my super sewer mom has been a huge help giving me a hand with some of the work .
Words of wisdom about selling your products at the markets… mmmm this is a good question.
Practicing your set up a few times before the market is always a good idea; you don’t want to be that person scrambling to figure out how to set up your area right before the market opens. You will just become frazzled and super stressed and nobody needs that.
Be a courteous and friendly booth neighbour… vendors share their experiences about markets and the other vendors they meet. So be on your best behaviour - it’s like free positive press for you and your designs.
Believe and be passionate about your designs. Your customers will see that and appreciate it.
I used to think I would sound pushy and conceited if I shared how much I love and enjoy my designs. But now I just love sharing that energy!
At one of Bella Lime’s first markets, my brother stopped by to say hi and check things out. While he was there 4 different people picked up my designs and said “These are beautiful”. I answered thank you but then that was the end of the conversation. When the 5th person said this, my brother butted in and said ``Yes aren`t they beautiful? This is my sister`s favourite one. She is the one who made all these lovely pieces. Why don`t you try it on, I bet you will love it.``
I was in awe since he made it look so easy and they were so receptive to him. So the most important wisdom I can give in regards to markets is, BELIEVE in and promote your products because if you don`t share your passion and love for what you design and sell, how will the customer fall in love with them?
If you could meet anyone or go anywhere-who or where would it be?
I can`t narrow this down to just one person. There are so many people I would like to meet, but I can tell you that right now I would love to meet the fabulous team of A Good Chick to Know!! Those 2 ladies are inspiring!!! The WHERE would be the Maritimes since there is so much Canadian history and culture. Of course the beautiful landscape as well as all the antiquing/thrifting they have! We don’t have that same sense of history here on the west coast. I would be like a child at Disney Land, constantly in awe of my surroundings.
What do you love to do in your free time?
Hanging out with my family and visiting with our FABULOUS friends. It doesn`t happen very often but it is what I love most to do with my free time!
You are a mom, blogger and wife how do you balance all the roles?
Not very well hence the lack of blog posts right now! I am finding that I need to make a weekly schedule that has time slots allotted for posting on the blog, creating designs, and for my trunk shows (I am also a Stella and Dot Stylist). I have no problem making time to be a mom or a wife but when it comes to the extra curriculum I find that I need to make a schedule and practice time management.
What are your views on the role of Canadian design on the world stage? Do you feel Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we dress, design and decorate our homes? If so what do you think sets us apart.
I think Canadian design on the world stage is that we design ``Homes`` not houses. I always find that Canadian designers are impeccable at incorporating many styles into one amazing look. Be it the Ikea table, with grandma’s linen, topped with a center piece from West Elm. Same formula for the way we dress!
Canadians can mix it up, and we mix it up fabulously! That’s what sets us apart. I think it all comes from who we are as Canadians- this big mix of everyone and everything from all around the world, that politely works and complements each other. We are a unique country and it shows in our design!
You are right Aubrey, we know how to mix things up here in Canada! I wish you all the best in your endeavours!