Meet Georgie Olley, Founder of Nomad Design

by | Nov 15, 2018 | Founder Features

In this interview series, we want to feature amazing and inspiring women who are company founders. Our goal is to share experiences and insights so we can learn from each other, and inspire the community to take action to create the businesses they dream of.  

Hello Georgie —  

Tell us a bit about you.

Hi! I am the founder of Nomad Design and I am a Nomad with a diverse cultural heritage who loves travelling, textiles, storytelling, photography, DJing and yoga.  

Tell us about your business.

Nomad Design specialises in sourcing traditional textiles handmade by artisans in West Africa and Central Asia. With these I make homewares and accessories for today’s Modern Bohemians. The focus is specifically on handwoven and hand dyed textiles. I work predominantly with the Interior Design Industry and have a lovely ecommerce store too.  

What inspired you to start your business?

Firstly, it was the realisation that people we looking to shop differently. My initial customers were looking for handmade pieces with an interesting story woven into their fibres. Secondly, because I think legacy is important, both to me and the people whose cultures I have fallen in love with and celebrate in my work.  

How has the experience been for you?

Wow, what a question. The experience is ever changing because I learn more with every step forward I take. I’d say it has been life forming and has helped me work deeply on myself as a person.  

What have you found the most challenging?

Logistics and cashflow!! Not many businesses own up to cashflow being tricky. We like people to think it’s all going so well. However, keeping on top of outstanding payments and balancing this with covering the cost of ordering new stock is complex; especially when you reach a stage where lots of customers place larger orders, pay after 30 days and you need to get the stock in quickly to fulfil the order. This is definitely very challenging.  

What has been your best investment?

Definitely delegating the making process to my workshop. This release of control has given me time to run Nomad better.  

Have you made any mistakes or faux pas? If so, can you share with us?

Not that many really, I am quite risk averse so none that have had a hugely detrimental effect to my business. I tend to be a rather slow and rational person, so I make carefully considered decisions.  

Have you had any role models or mentors along the way?

I listen to advice very carefully. Especially from my brother Alex (an ecommerce genius) and my friend Jimmy (an economics genius). They have helped me hugely on so many levels. Having a mentor would be fantastic, especially considering at the stage I am at now, which is a growth stage…any takers get in touch?  

What has been the greatest lesson you’ve learnt since starting your own business?

Patience, persistence and bounce back quickly from problems, learn from them. Stay open minded too, you never know what the opportunity will bring…good or bad. Great art sometimes needs a destruction.  

What does success mean to you?

To me success means making my mission a reality, to offer my lovely customers homewares and accessories that carry a culture’s heritage and story in their fibres. It also means freedom to travel and adventure.  

What books or podcasts would you recommend?

Books : Superforecasting by Tetlock & Gardner, 4 Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss, Zero to One Peter Thiele, Accounting for Dummies, How to Style Your Brand by Fiona Humberstone.  

Podcasts : How I built This with Gary Raz, Tara Brach, The Archers ( yes, actually), Women in Business, The Emma Guns Show, At Home With, Caliphate, The High Low.  

What advice would you give anyone about to start a business?

Be kind, be patient, be consistent with your message, be persistent and keep moving forwards, always forwards.  

How can readers get in touch with you?

Email : georgie@nomaddesign.co.uk

Instagram : @nomad.design

Web : www.nomaddesign.co.uk  

Brand story – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_Buti24Hk4  

Thank you!  

— Lara & Frankie

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