WE ARE CASA LOLA

Casa Lola Press & Our Celebrity Friends

The Irish Examiner || August 2018 || https://bit.ly/2vshED7

Play with sunny shades

Hypnos Orthos Elite Alpaca Mattress, from RRP £1,155, Base from £297 – for both, plus Alexandra Headboard with contrasting black border – in Tweed 400 Mustard fabric with black and gold legs, shown in super king size, £3,191 (Hypnos/PA)

“The hot weather’s inspiring people to create their very own summer sanctuary,” says Samantha Parish, interior design account manager, at bed specialists, Hypnos (hypnosbeds.com/uk).

“Statement colours can create a truly stylish bedroom, and when used in the right way, will still conjure a relaxing ambience. Combine colour – such as bright sunshine yellow or deep, zingy citrus orange – with a neutral white, to keep a look light, fresh and contemporary."

“Don’t be afraid to be bold and brave with your colour choices,” Parish adds. “Think of the impact of those distinctive vibrant shades in sun-splashed Mediterranean settings, which achieve dramatic impact by contrasting cool and hot hues.”

 

(L-R) May Pendant Shade in Neon Orange, £19, Made.com; Lottie Armchair in Tuscan Orange, £199, Made.com; Orange Heavy Woven Throw, £24, Ian Snow; ‘The Orange’ Personalised Cushion, £18, Casa Lola Designs (Made.com/Ian Snow/Casa Lola/PA)

TIP: Bring personality to classic white sheets, by layering them with throws and cushions in bold colours and patterns. Ideally, stick to one style of pattern and just vary the scale, and use complementary shades. Add more interest by varying textures.

- Press Association

Virgin Media || April 2017 || https://bit.ly/2EQfVJx

Virgin Media Pioneer

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Casa Lola creates art prints, cushions and phone cases that make you smile!

Two interesting facts about me -
1. I dropped out of my Interior Design course in my third and final year at Kingston University…only to start fresh on a new course. It was a tough decision to make, but I was proud to walk out with top grades in Visual and Material Culture after all that hard work in what I was truly passionate about! 

2. At Casa Lola HQ, we have a range of animals. You’ll find our dog Dexter, a house rabbit called Monty, and two fish! 

How did you start up?
I always wanted to run my own design business, and back in 2012 I ventured into wedding stationery. I decided to get a part-time job on a farm to get steady income alongside my design work, and I accidentally fell completely in love with it. So I temporarily left my design life behind.

I then had my daughter, Lola, and decided to move nearer my family. When we relocated I had the chance to start fresh, and I realised that with my 30's looming it was time I really made use of my passion and skills. I no longer wanted to let life pass me by, and I threw myself into launching Casa Lola, determined to succeed and show the world what I'm made of.

Why did you start your business?
I wanted to be in a position where my only barrier to success was my own hard work. I have had experiences of working with people who did not share my passion for change and growth, and I realised that I no longer wanted a job role where my success is governed by those above me.

I also wanted to show my daughter that you can achieve anything you put your mind to. I pride myself on taking every difficult situation I encounter and using it to make me a stronger, and ultimately a better and more determined person.  


What do you love about being an entrepreneur?
I love having the opportunity to constantly challenge myself. Every day my head is full to the brim with new ideas, whether it’s a new product, a print design, or a way to market Casa Lola. I love brainstorming with other creative people; something that social media is great for. I wake up feeling positive every single day, and when I'm not working I'm wishing I was! Being an entrepreneur is certainly not easy, but it is beyond rewarding. 

What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Being rejected by a well-known online retailer.

When I started Casa Lola in 2016, I was convinced I needed to be part of this selling platform to succeed. I applied but didn’t actually hear back from them until April 2017. The difficult part was learning that although this might have been a rejection, it is not necessarily a failure.

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By the time I had heard I was rejected, I saw how much I had grown with the business since first applying – and no longer felt it was necessary to be part of the platform in the first place. 

What made your business VOOM? 
In March I took part in The Prince's Trust Enterprise Programme. I think it is very common for artistic business people (such as myself!) to struggle with business plans and accounting, and the course covered a huge range of topics on running a business well. 

Richard Ryan, the course leader, is fantastically inspiring and it was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life. I now have a wonderful mentor Michelle, who I meet regularly for advice and discussions. When Casa Lola is more established, I would love to become a mentor myself.

Where do you work? 
Casa Lola is based...in my kitchen! I am very lucky to have a beautiful house with plenty of space for me to work from. It does mean that we are forever surrounded by cushions, but hey, at least they're comfy...and pretty awesome to look at too. 

Two top tips for my industry -
1. Be unique. Design is a very saturated market and it's important to stand out to succeed. 

2. Go above and beyond with your customer service. People prefer to communicate with businesses online. This means that customer service no longer feels personal - and small businesses have the chance to bring that back into fashion! 

 

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 - Amy Caitling || Virgin Media VOOM Pioneer Team