Every month I am always so excited about the opportunity to share the stories of mamas and “girl bosses,” AKA mompreneurs, I’ve connected with either through fabulous social media platforms like Instagram or through word of mouth. I was lucky enough to connect with this month’s Creative Career Mom, Brooke Butler of Brooke Butler Design both online and in person!
Brooke’s story is a unique one; inspired by entrepreneurial parents and a flourishing career in interior design where she worked with celebrity designers Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe, Brooke paved her own path by starting a design company, and more recently expanding to a custom furniture and décor brand called Bespoke.
If Brooke’s resume isn’t impressive enough, she’s now doing all of this as a new mom! And, her transition from entrepreneur to mompreneur has been a smooth one; she hasn’t skipped a beat!
I had the pleasure of meeting Brooke and her adorable daughter Poppy a few weeks ago. As we sat down in the small café, I began to think about how stressed I would be in the same situation, knowing first hand how hard it can be to hold a conversation and keep a little one entertained in a restaurant. But, Brooke was cool, calm and collected the entire time. She talked about the importance of being present and that was exactly what she was, present. I immediately began to feel at ease in Brooke’s presence. She spoke candidly about her entrepreneurial experiences and explained how becoming a mother has given her a new appreciation for design as a creative outlet. Brooke’s warm and easy-going nature made chatting with her feel like catching up over tea with an old friend.
After learning about Bespoke I was excited to hear more about Brooke’s process for designing custom pieces and working hand-in-hand with her clients to create not only beautiful spaces, but also furniture and accent pieces that help to enhance the spaces we love. I am a pillow fanatic, I think there are more throw pillows on my bed and couch than space for people to sit or lay down. So when Brooke showed me her sham collection I was absolutely thrilled!
The piece we’ve added to our home from Brooke’s collection was one that literally jumped out at me and said “please take me home, I’ll fit in anywhere.” The Chenonceau design used on the fabric for this sham was finished in France and based on a 17th century Parisian damask. The floral silhouettes and softly muted sky-blue colour transported me to the French countryside. I’m also obsessed with anything Parisian or damask.
The fabric on this sham is not only beautiful to look at, it’s also incredibly durable and strong, something that rates high on my practicality list as a new mom and a dog owner. This new piece adds softness and charm to every space I put it in; so far it’s made appearances in my dining room and most recently on the reading chair. Be sure to check out my Instagram page for a chance to win your own choice of sham from Brooke’s collection. See more giveaway details below.
- It’s always amazing for me to hear new entrepreneurial stories and the journey that brought people to where they are now. Can you tell us a little bit more about your story and how Brooke Butler Design came to be?
When my mom passed away I was 21. This left me with a new appreciation for time and wanting for happiness both professionally and personally. The professional came first. The decision to go to Parsons was as you might imagine, easy. Giving myself every opportunity to learn from the industry’s most talented – with hard work and some luck I hoped to succeed! Moving back to Toronto to work for renowned designers Sarah Richardson and Tommy Smythe was an easy decision too. Nevertheless my entrepreneurial spirit kept me moving and focused on my goal of starting BBD.
- Interior design has always been so fascinating to me; I am a huge HGTV fan and love watching the stunning transformations. How would you describe your design style and what inspires this style?
It’s guided by my clients. I work to curate and refine their ideas about design. I find inspiration everywhere, I really do. Whether it’s a family heirloom or new material, this is often my beginning for a project. I always try to make my interiors feel fresh and inspired.
- Congrats on the birth of your darling daughter! She is adorable! I know that your company was already established before your little one was born, but I also know that motherhood can be a time of change and transformation. Has motherhood had an impact on your company?
Not a direct impact, yet I have a new appreciation for my work as a creative outlet. A welcome departure from the routine of motherhood!
- Maintaining an already established company after the birth of your first child can be a bit of a challenge. What are some of the ways that you balance the business and “baby life”?
I have found my balance from being present. By allowing myself to be in the moment I can separate my work and motherhood. My trusted network of support makes it easy to stay focused, whether I am sourcing furniture with clients or at home with Poppy.
- Growing up with parents who were both entrepreneurs you must have learned a few “tricks of the trade” along the way? How did this motivate you to branch out and develop BBD and what did you learn from having entrepreneurial parents?
It was an early education in entrepreneurship and most inspiring! A few lessons learned: firstly, no risk, no reward. As my grandfather used to say, if you can handle the worst-case scenario, there is no harm in trying; secondly, trust your gut. Sometimes it’s my first instinct and other times it’s a persistent and quiet feeling…I am learning to find it; thirdly, it’s ok to fail, as long as you try again. I have learned more from my failures than my successes.
- While motherhood and owning a business do have their challenges, some women find that motherhood can be inspirational and provides them with a new creative perspective. Has motherhood inspired your work? (Please tell us all about it)
I better understand the day-to-day needs of a growing family. I am inspired to design in this way, with functionality top of mind.
- In addition to the design element of BBD, you also launched Brooke Butler Bespoke! Can you tell us a little bit more about this branch of your brand?
It was a very natural progression. I love the collaborative nature of creating a custom piece, tailored to fit the exact needs of a client. The same initial process I use to renovate a home is used to design a light fixture…by taking a client’s idea and running it through my filter we create something absolutely unique and beautiful.
- Being the daughter of two entrepreneurs, an entrepreneur yourself and a new mom, is there any advice you could offer women thinking of starting their own business or moms trying to maintain an established business after the birth of a child?
I stand by the lessons I learned from my parents and would add a couple of my own: there is no time like the present. This is so true! And, perhaps most important, do what makes you happy. For me, I can say that my life feels fulfilled with a family. My want for happiness both professionally and personally has brought welcomed challenges and great joy.
I am so happy to partner with Brooke for a giveaway. She’s offering one lucky follower a sham of their choice from her Bespoke collection. Check our Instagram pages for details.
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Best of luck!
Disclosure: Companies featured in this series often sponsor my posts and, or send products for review. If I love the company and their products, I am more than happy to share them with you!