We are so in love with your amazing company. Tell us a little bit about how and why you got started.
Myself and Gary Broadway have been together now for three years. We both have a keen eye for style and fashion and are very creative people. We work well together with ideas and making decisions. We enjoy the nicer things in life…shopping, fashion, eating out at restaurants, London shows and having good times with friends in fun, buzzy venues dotted round the city. We love attending launches of new brands and seeing new companies grow. We enjoy following the latest trends etc. and seeing glam, bold, bright pieces of jewellery on the runway, nights out and at events.
We wanted to be a part of the industry but, knowing full well that it’s such a tough market to break into, we found that by creating a statement jewellery and lifestyle brand would be the best way forward. It would allow us to tie so many aspects of the business together in so many ways.
We started off small and the Barley & Bo brand has evolved into a popular lifestyle brand through the website and social media, with over 3,000 followers on Instagram and almost 1000 followers on Twitter. All this in just six weeks. Not to mention over 60 orders also of up to three pieces at a time.
Barley & Bo is such a chic name. How did you come up with it?
The name took some time to come up with! We tried so many options and all of a sudden “Barley & Bo” just came to light, and it clicked! We both love it as it has a feminine yet sophisticated buzz to it. It’s what we describe as a vanilla branding…bold, simple and pretty.
What has been the most challenging part of setting up the brand?
The most challenging part is gaining interest of the world – social media is a powerful tool and the key to gaining our customers’ attention. Nothing feels better than seeing images online of our customers wearing Barley & Bo. Instagram is fun and we absolutely love posting and creating a flow of images to represent our lifestyle brand. The pictures tell a story that people want to see, whilst at the same time incorporating our pics of jewellery. It forms a link for Barley & Bo and the world.
What has been the most satisfying moment so far?
Our proudest moment was receiving our first order through the Barley & Bo website. It made all the hard work and preparation worth it!
Can you give us some insight into an average day at Barley & Bo?
An average day at Barley & Bo would start with the essential strong coffee! Then we’ll be going through emails and responding to comments etc. on social media. There is always a buzz each day with the brand and it always brings a positive vibe. We have to be consistent with the posts on social media to uphold the momentum, so this takes us most of our time. We package up orders by hand, printing out orders and ensuring everything is perfect as it leaves us here at Barley & Bo. We are constantly checking and researching the latest trends, catwalk shows and celeb looks etc., compiling all our findings and putting them together to form our own posts – cool fun photos of our breakfasts, lunches, dinners and cocktails with friends help keep the brand fun, so snapping away through each day adds to our daily routine.
If you HAD to pick, which piece/s would be your must-have to get you through AW15? We know we’d find it hard since we are crushing on so many of your items right now!
Oooh that is a tough one as we do genuinely love all of our products! They are all so unique and fit individual personalities and, of course, outfits. If we had to narrow it down, we would say our Cosmopolitan range comes out on top! It is hugely popular and we’ve had so many great comments and feedback on it. Even a few likes and comments from celebs.
What do you think the Barley & Bo customer is like?
We would hope that the Barley & Bo customer is absolutely anyone. Fun, daring, sophisticated and, in a way, mysterious…We believe we have a piece of statement jewellery for anyone and everyone, for any occasion and at any time of day! We have had orders from girls from the ages of around 16 right up to those in their 50s and 60s.
It is amazing how one piece of jewellery can change your look, mood and outfit. We want to achieve that impact and make a happy customer.
Is there a particular celebrity you’d like to see wearing one of your items?
We would absolutely love to see some of our statement pieces on Britney Spears – she wears some gorgeous dresses to awards shows, her Vegas show, ‘Piece of Me’, and in public…but she is always wearing minimal jewellery! We feel she would look great in many of our products. We also love Binky from Made in Chelsea, she would show off our products perfectly.
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And if you’re looking for inspiration from more wonderful brands, read more posts from our ON OUR RADAR series here.
Until next time you gorgeous fashion fillies,
Nicky and Leigh at FDJ LDN HQ x