Discovering Airloom and having them join forces with us for our Nursery Collab has been such a treat! I have loved learning that they not only specialise in rugs now, but in a whole range of beautiful flooring and decor too! And if you know me at all by now you will know that I’m struggling with a serious decor addiction. I just can’t seem to help myself!
Working with Rose has been such a pleasure as she has assisted with finding the perfect rug for our little girl’s Nursery. And let me tell you something, I have loved this rug more and more each day and I adore how it’s added such a fun, quirky and pretty touch to her room. I don’t think we could have chosen a more perfect print or colour combination for the theme. It also makes for a gorgeous backdrop for all the pictures I’ve been snapping since her birth. Hello Instagram mama!!
And look how gorgeous it look in her nursery with all the other pieces of decor and furniture!
Over to Rosie Bradshaw to talk a bit more about how her brand started and how it has developed over time….
- Is this your full time job? Yes, this is my full-time job (alongside being a mother of two boys). I used to be a freelance copywriter, and transitioned into starting Airloom. Over the years, I realised that advertising would need to take a backseat so that I could focus 100% on growing Airloom.
- How was your business born? The idea of Airloom was formed when we went in search of a rug for our own home. We were looking for something that was beautiful, functional, and that didn’t break the bank… a rather tall order, it turns out. And so, out of many a fruitless rug shopping trip, the idea for Airloom was born in 2012.
With a background in a 38 year old family-run flooring wholesale distributor, Airloom took the next logical step in 2017. Using the experienced we have gained from working with some of SA’s biggest corporates, including Woolworths, Foschini and Virgin Active, we are now bringing quality ranges of Luxury Vinyl and laminate flooring directly into peoples’ homes through the Airloom brand. Hand in hand with this, we have expanded our offering from rugs into décor… everything from small tables to scatter cushions, pots and lamps.
- Was it an overnight success or did you experience many teething problems? As with any business, we’ve had our fair share of teething problems. But we were fortunate enough to develop the brand alongside the original flooring wholesale business (which helped a huge amount in terms of financial peace of mind… especially with two young kids). We’ve had positive responses from the word go, but it takes a lot of time and effort to gain traction in the market.
- What advice can you give people starting out in this industry? Don’t try to compete directly with the big corporate brands – rather find a gap and focus on what you can offer that they can’t (perhaps agility, the ability to go to market quickly, offering a product that’s more personal, handmade, locally made)
- How do you balance it all? Work, family, relationships? The juggle is the biggest challenge. But in my book it’s a happy problem to have (as I’d rather be juggling a flexible schedule that allows me to spend time with my kids, than stuck behind a desk from 8 – 6 every day). Every single day, I try to be present in what ever I’m doing – so if I’m with my kids, I try to ignore my laptop. And in the mornings when they’re at school, it’s nose to the grindstone. Needless to say, school holidays are impossible!
- What do you specialise in and what is your signature product? Our vision has always been to create and source products that have a reasonable price tag, but not of the ‘two-a-dozen made in a far-away country’ variety. As the name suggests, we wanted to bring fresh contemporary pieces into people’s homes, beautiful and practical pieces that families can really live with, play on, eat on, run around. Airlooms, not heirlooms. Our Inside Out range really epitomises this as they are water-resistant, UV resistant and just perfect for no-mess, no-fuss family living.
- What is your greatest source of inspiration? Different people influence me in different ways. Amazing South African lifestyle bloggers, like yourself, influence my styling, my boys and the whirlwind that follows them influences many of the products that we develop – practicality is king. Our Tea Lady turned Master Weaver, Louise, inspires me to find new ways to focus on Locally crafted pieces.
- What has been you biggest highlight so far? This is a toughie – I’m tempted to say it was being featured on the Espresso show, or perhaps when I see our brand in the glossies. But, I really feel a greater sense of achievement when we receive glowing emails from happy customers. That’s when you know that you’re doing something right!
- were can we find you and buy your product? Firstly, we are shifting our focus towards our wide range of flooring solutions. We really want to change the way people choose flooring for their homes. With Airloom, the whole process is really easy – we have a beautiful range of flooring designs – you can easily browse through them on our website, get a ball park quote at the touch of a button, and we’ll deliver samples free of charge, no obligation. Secondly, as we grow our product offering, we’d like to find new ways shift our focus homeward – our entire Decor collection is made in our workshop in Elsies River. And we’ve also just developed a new range of Jute rugs that are hand made, 100% natural fiber and locally made in SA (alongside our Printed Rugs and Local Classic range).
Guys you have to go take a look for yourself….Here are some other beautiful things that have caught my eye since browsing their updated website!
You can find all these products plus SO much more if you visit them at www.Airloom.co.za. Or Follow them on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest pieces. You can also find them on Instagram where you will literally want ALL the stuff!