International Women's Day: Meet Our Female Founder
The theme of International Women's Day changes every year and it is a day to reflect on progress made in advancing women's rights and to call for further action to achieve gender equality. The day is also used to highlight the challenges that women still face in many parts of the world, including discrimination, violence, and inequality.
International Women's Day has been observed since the early 1900s and has become a worldwide celebration in recent years. It is a day for people of all genders to come together to support and empower women and to work towards a more equitable world.
This year is all about a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. Collectively we can #EmbraceEquity.
Lilla Rugs is a female founded company and so we thought this week would be a great time to hear from our female founder, Camilla. March 8th, is also her birthday! So a big day for Lilla Rugs.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START LILLA RUGS?
The main inspiration behind Lilla Rugs is my family. My parents built a wholesale handmade rug company from scratch over 30 years ago, so the rugs and this business have been in my life for as long as I can remember. I'm passionate about our product and I'm passionate about continuing what my family started, and ensuring it evolves and keeps up with our changing world.
The second inspiration was that I knew I wanted to build something that would allow me to also have a family. Six years and two children later, I can say it has been the greatest gift.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOU...
My name is Camilla. I turn 31 on International Women's Day! I started Lilla Rugs 6 years ago, after working in Advertising prior to that.
I am half Persian (father) and half Scottish (mother), but raised in London.
I am married with two wonderful little ones, Arlo (2.5) and Evie (5 months). I have been living between London and Los Angeles for the past 2 years, but plan to be back in London full time in the summer of this year.
I am obsessed with all things Interiors, but mainly RUGS. I truly believe they are what makes a house a home. Here are my current three favourite rugs.
Left to right: BENJY Distressed, HAVEN Antique, DON Berber.
WHICH INSPIRATIONAL WOMAN DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST?
The women closest to me in life: mum, grandma, and best friends.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF DOING?
I’m so proud that Lilla Rugs has stayed true to the product and all my parents built. Pivoting to make it more accessible and desirable in the modern world. I'm proud to still be working and loving what I do, alongside raising my little people at home. They are everything to me, and I hope my little girl can watch her mama at work and know she can do anything in life, in equal ways to her big brother.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE THE DEMANDS OF RUNNING A BUSINESS WITH OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE, SUCH AS FAMILY & PERSONAL INTERESTS?
Balancing work and family life can be a challenge for anyone, regardless of gender. However, women often face unique challenges when it comes to balancing these responsibilities. I have found the past 2.5 years the biggest challenge so far, as my children are so little and so dependent on me. A couple of things that have helped me balance:
1. Support. Take it if you have it. It really does take a village! This is where I feel so much gratitude for working with family. I couldn't run a business and raise a family without the support of my greater family.
2. Priorities. Set them, and stick to them. They will change throughout the years, and that's ok.
3. Be Organised. I am very careful to forward plan to the best of my ability. I book in meetings when the baby is (usually) asleep. I respond to my emails at set times (mostly). I make LISTS all the time, for home and work.
Ultimately, the key to balancing work and family life is finding what works best for you and your family. It's not always easy, but with some planning and prioritising, it is possible to find a balance that works for you.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR WOMEN TO LIFT EACH OTHER UP, AND WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
So important! The times I have had the most self-belief is when I have felt championed by other women in my life.
My mum was my ultimate champion growing up. I’d come home deflated about something at school, regularly. After one chat in the kitchen with her, I felt myself again.
Similarly, when I worked in Advertising, I felt very championed by my boss and line manager, which helped my progression so much.
To me, it just means celebrating each other’s strengths and gifts, giving one another recognition, and supporting decisions and conversations.
YOU STARTED THE COMPANY 6 YEARS AGO. HOW HAVE YOU GROWN AS A FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR?
Like anything in life, the longer you do it, the more confidence you have and the more knowledge you obtain.
Being a 25-year-old female starting a business, I had imposter syndrome for at least the first 3 years. As time progressed and the business gained more credibility, I felt much more settled and confident as a female entrepreneur.
I have learnt so much in this time, and one of the main learnings is how much support you need to succeed. You certainly cannot do everything, and you are not always best placed to do certain things. I'm still learning, every day.
We hope you enjoyed this blog, getting to know our female founder.
Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness about discrimination. Take action to drive gender parity.
IWD belongs to everyone, everywhere. Inclusion means all IWD action is valid.