Why have you decided to make eco-friendly bags? Where did the idea come from?
One day, the idea just popped into my head. It took me a few weeks to research the best materials and create our first bag. The recycled yarn that we currently use turned out to be the best choice for us. The best is that the yarn is also made by a polish company! Since a while ago, we’re trying to be more aware of everything that surrounds us – from a healthy lifestyle to using recycled materials. First, our eco bags awakened our consciousness, and now we generally follow and love the eco way of life.
Who runs Bohou Bags?
At first it was only me, now Bohou Bags is a team of two – me and my husband Marcin. It may sound strange, but yes, men can also crochet. I gave up my regular job 5 years ago and Marcin also liked my way of working and the joy of creating something of our. He eventually decided to end his career as a restaurant manager and join me.
Have you ever regretted giving up your full time jobs? What does your own brand really mean to you?
This was the best decision we have ever made (maybe besides marriage haha). Running our business/ brand was life-changing! The satisfaction of creating something from the beginning to an end is amazing. Being independent, fulfilled and being able to work whenever we want – these are the huge assets of self employment.
Being independent, fulfilled and being able to work whenever we want – these are the huge assets of self employment.
What does the Bohou name mean?
This is just reference to the style of our bags – boho, which I personally really love.
Please tell me more about the beginnings of the brand. Do you remember the first sale? What was it and how did you feel back then?
Honestly, at the beginning, I did not fully believe in the success of the brand. Perhaps it resulted from too little self-confidence. Fortunately, I did not let go. The biggest motivation were our friends, who were our first customers. After the first published photo of one of our bags – the same day I received a few orders! The excitement and happiness we felt are hard to described. After some time I understood that it is worth pushing forward and create your own online business.
After the first published photo of one of our bags – the same day I received a few orders! The excitement and happiness we felt are hard to described.
Where do you get ideas for new products? What inspires you?
Our main inspiration is street fashion. What we see every day, we process in our own way. However, the most important thing for us is that we like and believed in our products before selling them. We would never make a product just because is ‘fashionable’ or ‘in’ right now, if we don’t like it ourselves.
Can you tell us, which of your products is the most popular?
Our bestseller is the CROCHET BUCKET BAG. I think it is so popular because this bag goes with every accessory that we have and you can personalize it.
What makes Bohou different from the competition?
Above all, we focus on quality. We always try to choose the best materials. Additionally – We always try choose Polish suppliers, whenever possible. (eg.: metal chains). On our social media channels – we try to show ourselves as creators – not just as a ready-made product.
Where are the biggest costs hidden when it comes to running a store with handmade bags?
Mainly it is the time we need to invest to make the bags. The second cost is – the recycled material.
Your Instagram profile @bohou_bags is followed by almost 8500 people already. Which rules do you follow when it comes to your social media channels?
We never thought about it. We take care of everything ourselves. We try to be honest with what we do and what we show to our potential customers.
I love taking pictures. I also love to think about new places and looks. Marcin had to learn about patience while creating social media content, but I think he already likes it.
We try to be honest with what we do and what we show to our potential customers.
Does Instagram generate sales for your brand?
Yes, of course. We really focus on Instagram promotion.
What is the profile of a typical Bohou’s customer?
For sure it is a girl/woman who likes to stand out.
Recently, while drinking my morning coffee, I saw your brand on the morning television show. First of all, congratulations on the show! It is a great honor and achievement. I am very curious how you managed to get on television and I would love to learn more about this experience.
Thank you very much for your kind words. We were lucky to be noticed by the stylist who prepared the stylizations on the show. It was definitely a wonderful experience seeing our handmade products on television. Although I do not hide that it was a bit stressful for me – how the bags will look on TV, or if everything will fit together, etc.
Have you noticed an increase in brand interest or sales after the TV show?
Unfortunately not. TV programs are diligently hiding company logos. But we are still very happy that we could have this experience and share it with our customers.
…we are still very happy that we could have this experience and share it with our customers.
What do you consider to be the greatest success of your brand?
A large and committed community on social media. We have a close relationship with many of our customers that come back to us. We even talk to some of them every day! This is our greatest success – loyal customers.
What was the worst thing that happened to your brand?
Over time, I can say that there was no such thing that negatively affected us or the development of our brand. We hope that it will stay that way.
If Bohou Bags was a man, how would you describe its personality?
Brave and hardworking.
In retrospect, what was the biggest risk you took in running your brand? Was it worth it?
I do not know if it can be called a risk, but there was a moment that was quite stressful. Not so long ago we decided to show who is behind the BOHOU brand on our social media channels.
We did not want to be another brand that only shows products. We are only learning this but we want to show more and more how the process of creating our bags looks like, what “problems” we face every day and who we are.
After the official post, we received such a response that we did not expect at all … It was very positive! The post broke the record of views and comments. Until today, we still receive private messages with congratulations and very nice words. We sometimes can’t believe how strangers can give so much warmth and motivation.
We did not want to be another brand that only shows products.
How does Shoplo help you in your everyday business?
First of all – at the beginning we did not have to worry about large fees associated with the creation of an online-store. Connecting quick payments, setting email templates, etc. was very easy, so I created the site in one day.
In the daily running of our store – Shoplo helps us mainly with its intuitiveness. I love to change the look of our website, and it takes literally just a moment. The really cool option is that when I have a problem with setting something new on the store, I can contact Shoplo and I always get help quickly.
What is your greatest motivation to work?
Definitely our customers, who very often after the purchase come to us with feedback about our bags. Some customers call us and thank us for the bags! We once picked up a phone call from an older gentleman who congratulated the idea and told how delighted with the gift his wife was. Often we hear that our customers are asked by other people on the street “where did you get such a purse?” This is what gives us great motivation!
What would be the one business advice you can give to people who want to start running an online store?
Believe in your own project and avoid negative thoughts that something will go wrong.
Thank you for the interview.