The Woman Inspiring Me in Creativity and Business
I look for inspiration in women who encourage creativity and determination in others. Women who initiate that spark of an idea, who bring people together and who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Women like Lou Archell.
If you browse Instagram or follow lifestyle blogs, you may know Lou under her Little Green Shed moniker. In her own words, she shares "simple living and wild adventures" as she navigates life as a creative who also happens to be a mum of two young sons. Through sheer hard work and resolve, Lou has formed a career out of her blog; a career that now enables her husband, Dan to work alongside her.
Lou writes about what she loves on her website, relishing in being her own boss. Yes, she creates sponsored content in order to pay the bills, but she always does so with integrity. Her blog gives her the opportunity to create a work-life balance that allows her to spend as much time as possible with her husband and sons, earning a living from the comfort of her own home. This enables her to put the necessary time and effort into her creative pursuits while maintaining the type of slow and meaningful life that she writes about. The perfect balance of your time may not exist, but Lou shows us all that it is possible to come close.
Alongside Little Green Shed, Lou also runs Sisterhood Camp. A series of events, workshops, suppers and retreats aimed at women, Sisterhood seeks to bring together like-minded females to relax and create. Events are hosted in the heart of cities and in the middle of the countryside, drawing in an audience from all around the world.
I’ve admired Lou’s work online for several years now, and had the pleasure of meeting her in person last summer at Sisterhood Camp’s annual summer retreat. It’s a rarity in this digital world that we come face to face with the people that we speak to online, but through Sisterhood, Lou forges real life connections that help to boost creativity and provide business opportunities for hundreds of women.
At Sisterhood, I developed existing skills, networked with influential women and gained a huge boost in confidence. Lou gave me the courage to travel halfway across the country to spend four days with a group of strangers, instantly making me feel at home. I was one of the youngest there, and had the pleasure of interacting with women of different generations who I perhaps wouldn’t have spoken to in other circumstances. Lou’s talent of connecting women of all ages, from all backgrounds holds no bounds. Her creative eye and styling expertise help to make Sisterhood a success, but it is her warm heart and welcoming demeanour that are the backbone of the business.
It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. Lou battles with depression and has dark days like so many other women. The focus on her blog, her business and her photography help her through these difficult days, providing a focus when she needs it. Lou doesn’t shy away from her depression, occasionally mentioning it on her blog and Instagram to inspire others going through similar experiences, showing that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Sisterhood also has a huge emphasis on self-care. The summer retreats and workshops often concentrate on slowing down and focusing on your own well-being with yoga, meditation and nutritious meals a constant fixture across events. An upcoming online community will share health and wellness tips alongside teaching business skills, encouraging creativity and providing a place for women to connect.
Looking after yourself and not burning out is something that Lou promotes across all of her online channels and events. It’s one thing to recommend a slow and simple lifestyle through your writing, and another to actually live that life and practice what you preach. Anyone seeking a more ethical, slower, creative or simpler lifestyle will find inspiration from the work that Lou does.
As I build up my own online presence and writing business, I often look to Lou for inspiration. She’s in a place that I’d like to be in five years down the line - juggling motherhood, a successful business and a slow pace of life. I’m inspired by everything from her visual aesthetic to her ability to think outside the box and launch a series of events that women are crying out for. She’s also humble, approachable, warm and helpful; everything that I would hope to be if I was in her position.
It’s easy to cite a celebrity or globally renowned personality as your muse, but could you ever be more inspired than by someone that you regularly communicate with and who encourages you along your own path? When someone doesn’t let success go to their head, rather reaches out and helps others to gain feats of their own, then they are truly worthy of being named a muse.
Emma Lavelle is a freelance travel & lifestyle writer. You can her at over at Field and Nest, an online journal dedicated to embracing a slower pace of life.