If you’re like me, you’ll be a stationery aficionado, prone to looking up notebooks, planners, and everything online, for hours online. As a Blogger, I found out about That Lame Company not too long ago; everything on the website had me google-eyed at how pleasing the stationery was. Since this interview took place, there has since been a re-brand; That Lame Company is now A Little Amber. Here, I chatted to Chloe Smith, the founder and blogger, about blogging for business.
Firstly, could you tell us a little bit about your blog and business?
Of course. My blog is called Mojichlo – merging mojito and Chloe because hello, my name’s Chloe and I love mojitos. I began my blog during my final year at University. Mojichlo is a lifestyle blog, focusing on parts of Bristol and also my creative happenings. My online shop, That Lame Company is my little creative outlet on the Internet that allows me to design things and give them lovable homes all across the world.
What came first?
My online shop came first, I started it in August 2014. I started my blog in March 2015.
How did you launch your business?
Funnily enough I was emailed a 20% discount from a phone case printer and thought ‘ooh I’d love to design my own phone case’. From then on I started designing and selling phone cases, then branching out to stationery items.
My online shop, That Lame Company is my little creative outlet on the Internet
Do you think social media is necessary for bloggers and small business owners?
I think it depends on what you are trying to promote and sell. For me, I think photographs sell my products more on social media than by Googling ‘art print’. I’ve worked in businesses where social media does not benefit businesses, but I believe if you want to connect with your customers and engage then having a social media presence is very beneficial. As I have said before, my shop would not have become what it is today without the help of social media. I also think that bloggers benefit from social media as it allows people to engage with brands, share their views and connect with new people.
Why did you decide to specifically go into business that specialised specifically in stationery-based products?
Stationery cheers people up. Picking out a new notebook or selecting some stationery items before starting a new school term is pretty much the best thing about going back to school. Stationery is exciting and can help to motivate and organise people. From a young age I used to make notebooks and make my own pencil cases. I think I’ve just been able to develop my ideas a little bit further which is really exciting.
As a business owner, how much do you rely on bloggers for reviews, etc? And what do you think about that?
I ran my online shop for around a year before starting my blog. My shop dramatically changed from the help of bloggers. I remember the first time I sent a few products to bloggers. I had just finished University so I didn’t have any money, as I was an unemployed graduate. I sent a box of products to around 11 bloggers, which wiped out the last remaining money left in my overdraft and I just hoped for the best. Within a week so many bloggers and other people wanted to purchase the box after seeing the fabulous blogger reviews. Hello the #BoxOfLame began. I owe everything to bloggers, I would never have been able to grow my shop as much as I have without the help of bloggers, which in turn is why I bring out so many blogger orientated products and send thank you gifts and products to them as a thanks. I think that bloggers are influencers and really do have such a great impact.
Stationery cheers people up. Picking out a new notebook or selecting some stationery items before starting a new school term is pretty much the best thing about going back to school.
Where do you see your business heading in the future?
I have a two-year plan, so that in two years I hope to be fully self-employed. Working on my online shop full-time whilst blogging as a hobby. My blog has and will always be a little hobby, whilst my shop is something I would really love to take full-time.
For ‘a day at the office’, what could we find in your handbag?
Haha for my 9-5 working life I have so many snacks, a pair of headphones, I always carry a phone charger, a portable charger (hope you’re understanding I hate being without phone battery), a pocket mirror, deodorant but most importantly a little brown book that I record any ideas.
For anyone who wishes to follow in your footsteps, what would be your advice?
Just go for it. So many people um and ah about starting a blog or starting a business. In the time it has taken them to finally work their way up to starting something they could already be 2 months in. Everyone has to start from somewhere so it’s better to take the plunge. Never be afraid to ask for help, most people are more than happy to help out. Good luck on any new adventures, they’re exciting as hell.
Thank you to Chloe for answering these questions. To visit her blog, please click here. And to purchase some stationery, click here to visit That Lame company.
A little while ago I joined in with a #TeacupClub chat on Twitter; Envy Fisher tweeted about wishing to start a shop that sold stationery for Charity. Since then, she has set it up, which really impressed me. Click here to see her shop. Meanwhile, I spoke to Envy about Blogging For Business. And if you’d like to know more about how her shop was set up, click here.
Firstly, how were you introduced to the concept of blogging?
What made you wish to start blogging?
Shortly after my friend made that remark, I noticed I needed some kind of outlet. I had loads of things on my mind and no one to talk to. I had the kind of friends who’d say ‘do we really have to talk about that?’ or simply ‘shut up’ when I started about things I was passionate about. The blog remark sat there at the back of my mind, until one day I decided to give it a shot and see if it’d help me feel less isolated.
Could you tell us a little bit more about Lost In Translation?
What do you think about blogging for business?
I used to think that blogging for business was something unobtainable, that you needed thousands and thousands of followers to even get a chance to start some kind of business. It was my ultimate goal though. As long as you sell a product or service you can 100% support I see blogging for business as the best thing that could happen to a blogger.
Could you tell us a little bit about your current business venture?
Why did you decide specifically to focus on notebooks?
How will this be of a benefit in terms of charity?
I’ve always wanted to raise money to preserve wildlife and help protect the environment. As I was making plans for my shop, I was quite aware of the fact that I didn’t really need the money. I enjoy making stationery, but I wanted this to benefit more than just me and my wallet. That’s why I decided to donate €0,50 of every purchased item to the WWF, so they can keep up the good work in protecting endangered species.
Do you have any advice for fellow blogger?