Meet Nicki Ellis of the Brand LOVE MILO Est.2013

Please share a little about yourself and what inspired you to create this brand?
I worked as a film colorist and photographer before falling pregnant with my son Milo, while pregnant with him I started getting all sorts of ideas about new things I wanted to do and create. Because I felt like he was the catalyst for my new found passion and ideas I decided to call the company Love Milo. I left my job and rented a small studio and haven’t looked back since.

How would you describe your brand in a nutshell?
A boutique home ware studio that specializes in d├ęcor products that are contemporary yet African. Our focus is on designs that are inspired by the natural environment, and materials that are locally sourced and sustainable.

What would you consider to be unique about your brand?
Our mixing of mediums such as wood and ceramics, as well as our designs. Our designs are not created by a computer but rather stolen from nature by means of photography - this is what gives the patterns the slight imperfection, which is so hard to recreate and mirror our natural surroundings. We also only use sustainable wood that we source through alien clearing, this is important as a manufacturer of wooden products that one maintains an ethical sourcing of wood, as many of the woods we like to use actually come from very rare and old trees that should not be cut down.

How many stores/branches do you have and where are they located?
We currently supply various stores around South Africa as well as stores in New York, Paris, Tokyo, LA, London, Italy, Dubai, Australia &Berlin.

What ‘piece of advice’ would you most like to share with people considering a start -up business?
I think I would say be prepared to work really hard but also give it time. There will be so many days you feel like throwing in the towel but I would say when you start to feel like that, take some time to regroup, rediscover, and get inspired then get back in it. Its so easy to wear yourself out as its not a job that ends when you go home. Because its your you are always thinking about it, you need to take time away from it sometimes in order to gain perspective.

The challenge as a business is to stay authentic and true to your brand, how do you achieve this?
I started my brand with a certain and specific theme, so I try to keep within this realm. I was quite specific in this when I started so I would definitely recommend having a strong vision before starting and sticking to this. There are so many times I think of things I want to make but then don’t feel they fit in with the theme so I drop them. I think it’s an important aspect of creating a strong brand that people remember you by.

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The challenges as well as the fact that its mine, it feels more like an extension of my life and less about creating somebody else’s.  

What has your journey so far taught you {about yourself or in general}? Has it changed your life in any way?
My business very often works as a mirror of my personality, but the difference is with the business I am forced to face the parts of myself normally avoid in daily life, its been a great platform of growth for me.
I have also learned that you can run a business that is true to who you are, you don’t need to change and you don’t need to do it the same way everybody else does it.
You can choose to do it at a slower pace, you will still get to the same place in the end, not as fast maybe but with less stress, and that had value in itself!

How does the future look as far as ‘dreams and visions’ for your brand?
To be a brand synonymous with contemporary, African homeware products. Products that are cutting edge and chic, yet staying true to our local resources. Merging traditional craft with contemporary designs,  that are locally made using sustainable materials.



Website : www.lovemilo.com
Online Store/Stockists: www.lovemilo.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Love-Milo 
Instagram: @love.milo


I sure hope you enjoyed the first of this new series of mine called 'BEHIND THE BRAND ' , it has been amazing to get to know Nicky better and to see the passion behind the LOVE MILO brand.

I wish to thank Nicky for taking precious time out of her day for me and I look forward to the fabulous ranges to come.

Should you wish to take part in the 'BEHIND THE BRAND' series please drop me an email on heather_debruin@yahoo.com.

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