Mamas, Tarryn from Bokaloli is a gem of a human being, from the first time I placed an order for two crochet donuts and a pear to chatting about the interview below and so much more. Tarryn is a working mom, business owner and blogger! Yes, can you believe it, how does she do it and raise her two sons and look after her man? Read below and find out!
Plus don’t forget to enter our competition – see the @choosearow Instagram page for details on how to enter (competition closes 18 April 2017).
Who is Bokaloli? When did you start and how?
Bokaloli is my own Brand of kid’s handmade décor and accessories. I first started sewing when I fell pregnant with my first Son Tristan, I wanted to make all his linen myself, and I wanted everything to be “handmade”. I went out and bought myself a sewing machine and taught myself to sew watching YouTube videos! I enjoyed it so much; Tristan’s room décor must have changed a hundred times.
In October 2013, I created a Facebook Page “handmade for you with love” my focus was on burp cloths, linen and clothing. I had bought myself my own embroidery machine and was loving it. I then started attending a few sewing classes, and took up quilting, not long after that, I had my own quilting machine. My Cot sets were really keeping me busy. I then started making more goodies like bags, play mats, and gift sets.
In October 2014 I felt it was time for a change, I had been thinking about it for a while, that’s when I decided to change to BOKALOLI. From then on I have grown so much, I opened my online shop in April 2015. I see huge things happening for Bokaloli and am excited for all the great opportunities that have come my way.
There were so many businesses with the name “handmade with love”. I wanted something unique, I thought about it and realised that I had started all this because of my Son, and his nickname as a baby was “BOKALOLI” not sure what it means, but it just something I called him, sounded cute to me. So that it how I chose the name for my Brand.
What type of products do you specialize in?
My main focus is décor, wood, plushies and crochet. I also do print clothing, bags and accessories. I make cot linen on request, as well as baby accessories. I am open to any special requests and personalized items are my favourite as they are just super special and unique.
Do you make all your items yourself?
Yes I do, when things get hectic my family jumps in helps, my mom and her friend will help with the crochet, and my hubby helps me with the wooden décor.
You work full time and run your creative business, what is your day time job?
I am a HR and Safety Manager at a Company in Sasolburg in the Free State.
What inspires you as a maker?
The latest trends, I must admit I try keep up, I look at what’s going on overseas, in magazines and what people are posting on Instagram.
Marketing your business and getting your product out there, can be challenging. You have collaborated with brands to help promote your products, can you give advice to other makers on how to go about doing this.
Marketing and getting exposure is very challenging, I must admit I am still very new to this, and if wasn’t for the awesome people that I met doing this I would never have known half the things I know now. Instagram must be the best platform for marketing, I had a Facebook page for ages but never really got the exposure I have now, when I started Instagram and people started following me
it was like a whole new world opened. I was approached by so many people about “Brand Reps” and “Colabs” and honestly I didn’t have a ‘cooking clue’ as to what they were talking about, but being the awesome people they are they taught me and guided me, so my advice is don’t be shy, if you not sure ask, it’s the only way you going to learn.
Content to post on social media constantly can be draining and time consuming, how do you manage?
This was another element that I actually knew nothing about… once again thanks to great friends on social media, they helped me here. I try post daily, but wow sometimes I find this very difficult, I think planning and having good content is key…(someone taught me this recently)
We have been working together for a while, how do you find working with a social media influencer / content creator has benefited your company?
Teri – Without all your help and guidance I don’t think I would have managed seriously, from day 1 you have been awesome, everyone that owns a brand needs a Teri! Let me just tell you, Teri is the one that that explained almost everything to me from Brand Reps, to how to take a proper photo! I can send her a message and she replies within minutes, she has really helped me and Bokaloli grow and is such an amazing person, even though I have not met her person!
(Big thanks Tarryn for the above it was really sweet for you to say that. It shows the importance of working together and not against each other, community over competition everytime).
You are also a supporter of local mom owned companies and have a blog, why is it important to you to spread the love?
With so many local talents, and awesome Mommies who like myself want to get their goodies out there, I feel one should support local, there are amazing products and you don’t even need to go to the busy malls to shop, you can stay home and shop online, that’s a bonus! So much love goes into handmade items and the quality is exceptional because it’s made by a mommy and she knows what she wants so she knows what other moms would want.
What next for Bokaloli, what can you fans see coming from you in the next couple of months?
Sho…. I have so many ideas running through my head it’s crazy, my biggest dream is to do Bokaloli full time, so I am hoping to really get my products out there, and start working with more people, maybe some interior designers etc. I am also working on décor that is more versatile, and educational.
What is your typical work day in your home go?
- Wake up 5:30
- Coffee-make lunches-wake kids up
- Hubby dresses kids while get ready
- Leave for school at 6:45am
- Drop kids-hopefully by 7am if we have no melt downs along the way
- Arrive at work by 7:20
- Work- Mondays/Thursdays till 3pm and Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday 1pm
- Collect kids for extracurricular activities
- Shopping in between
- Home by 5pm
- Start Dinner
- Revise Homework
- Eat Dinner
- Bath Kids
- Bedtime 8pm
YEAH BOKALOLI TIME!!!!
Bedtime 11pm or when I’m done!
How do you juggle your time between work, home and Bokaloli?
I try do some admin at work (probably should not say that out loud) get my ideas together and plan what I want to do when I get home. I have an amazing husband who really helps out a lot, he will bath the kids etc.
Any time saving tips for working moms?
Planning, I never used to plan I just use to make and jump from one thing to another, but now I plan and I have more time available, things aren’t so hectic, I know what I need, when I need it.
What are your 3 go to meals when cooking your family dinner?
Chops and Chips
Anything I pop in the oven actually!
Want to find out more… go have a look https://bokaloli.com/
Or say hello on Instagram: @Bokaloli