With a focus on calm, simple living, Chloe’s wares are timeless and made to be enjoyed time and time again. We spoke to Chloe to hear about her inspiration, process and how she works around her baby’s nap times…
Hi Chloe, why and when did you decide to start Bright Corner?
I started Bright Corner in 2018. I had already left my previous career in search of something more creative and flexible with a better work/life balance. I knew I wanted to set up my own thing but had no idea what. I then had a baby which took up a lot of my time but it was always in the back of my mind. When my daughter was about 6 months, I was looking for a wooden nightlight for her room but couldn’t find anything I liked. There were just loads of plastic, mass-produced lights, so I decided to design my own.
What had you done previously?
I was a VFX film producer working in central London. It’s a very demanding industry. The hours are long with lots of stress and I started to resent it for that. I also have Lupus (an autoimmune disease) and the stress and tiredness was making it flare up, so I decided it was time for a change.
How would you describe the brand’s ethos?
It is important to me that my lights are made in the UK from sustainable sources. We live in a throw away world these days, so I want to create products that last, using hardwearing, quality materials. I aim to make my designs timeless, so that they appeal to everyone, hopefully giving them longevity.
Can you tell us a little about the processes used to create your work?
I design my products on paper, sketching multiple versions. When I have a design I am happy with I then figure out the dimensions and create them using a CAD based program, I am lucky that my husband helps me with this as I am not very good designing in 3D. I then print them using a 3D printer to make sure the design works, making any tweaks. My final stage is to get a wooden prototype cut to check one last time before I get a batch cut.
Your products are proudly sustainable – why is this important to you?
I feel that we generally live in a wasteful society; it is so easy to buy new things that we just throw away without hesitation. Most of these ‘convenient’ products are mass produced and non-eco-friendly. I feel we have lost all sense of appreciation for what we have, so creating a sustainable UK made brand I hope that it can inspire people to think about what they are buying and make it last, therefore reducing waste.
Which is your most popular product?
My Star Tent light is my best seller and has been from the day I launched. It is definitely the most magical of my designs and have had lots of people say that it makes them feel nostalgic, thinking of camping holidays they have had and being in the great outdoors surrounded by nature.
That’s so lovely! Hard question, do you have a favourite product?
It has to be my first design which was the Townhouse, it was inspired by a ceramic house light I had as a child, so just brings back so many memories and was the very beginning of Bright Corner.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At the moment my days are centred around my 7-month-old. I tend to do my work when she naps, in the evenings and at weekends, when my husband is around. I have a little garden studio so can escape in there and immerse myself for an hour or two. It’s a challenge at the moment but I know it will quickly change so I am trying to appreciate the baby days before they have gone.
How does your location inspire you?
I love working in my garden studio and find it inspiring all year round. I can get cosy, put the heating on and hide way in the winter and open the doors and smell the flowers in the summer. It is also filled with creative things I have collected over the years, so feel I am surrounded by inspiration.
How do you approach PR and marketing?
I initially used Instagram to market Bright Corner but I have recently lost my passion for it, so I am putting more energy into Pinterest; it’s a longer game so ask me in 6 months how successful it has been.
I have found PR and marketing the most challenging part of my business. It is a lot of trial and error to see what works for you but with perseverance I have managed to get quite a lot of editorial coverage and have found resources like Press Loft and Boss Your PR very helpful.
If you were to share any words of wisdom with readers looking to start a creative business – what would you say?
Just go for it – there is never a right time to start and you will never feel ready. It is better to learn on the job. Also ask for help, there are so many amazing small businesses out there and most people are very happy to give advice on their experiences.
What’s been your highlight so far?
It has to be being contacted by gorgeous independent shops wanting to stock my lights, it gives me little bubbles of excitement knowing my products will be in their beautiful shops for people to admire and buy.
Describe your work in three words: Calm, cosy and natural.
What are your creating rituals? Going up to my studio, putting my mood lighting on and listening to my favourite music, which at the moment is Johnny Flynn.
Tea or coffee? That’s so hard! I love both, but I don’t think I could handle not having my cup of tea in the morning.
Mountains or sea? Definitely the sea, I love the fresh sea air, the noise of the waves, sand between my toes.
Night owl or early bird? I sometimes go to bed at 9pm, I hate staying up too late and would much rather get up early make a cuppa and listen to the birds.
I wish someone had told me.. Before choosing a career path to think about the lifestyle of it and not just the job.