Buk & Nola | Lifestyle Boutique
Some people are destined for each other. And great things happen because of it. Laurence and Caroline of Lifestyle Boutique BUK & NOLA met during their university years in Montreal, both studying Fashion Marketing. Besides becoming good friends, they enjoyed working together on different projects. Without knowing it then, they were building the foundation of their future partnership back then. Always with the same, returning mantra “work well, have fun and be nice to people”.
After their studies, Laurence worked in fashion and Caroline started working at an advertising agency. A few years later, Laurence followed her passion for interior design and started working at a big home décor company. And Caroline? She started a new job too. At the same company! Working together again after all these years, planted a seed. A seed for them to start their own boutique store one day. With the support of their lovely boyfriends at the time (now husbands), they took the plunge in 2009 and never looked back. And lucky Québec, because BUK & NOLA now also offer interior design services.
Laurence: “I even remember the precise moment when we had this idea. It felt like completing the last piece of a puzzle.”
So if you are ever in Montreal, do us a favor and pop into home décor store BUK & NOLA and say hello to these wonderfully talented friends for us.
How do you curate the store’s clever collection?
Everything in our store has been carefully selected. All are favorite items that we love and would see in our own homes and our client’s home. We have different criteria in our selection process, and everything has to fit. The look and style of the product, the brand philosophy and the price. We go to gift shows in New York and Toronto to see what’s out there. To look at the trends and meet with our bigger suppliers. We also get inspired by our travels. We are always on the look out to find some new gems on Instagram, Pinterest, magazines, blogs…
How do you celebrate yarn craft for the modern home?
Over the years, we had the pleasure of working with different yarn artists. There is something about the art of knitting, weaving and sewing that is very appealing to us and our clients. We carry different yarn artist such as Blanc Laine, Nova Mercury and The Butterflying.
What is the yarn and design scene like in Québec?
It’s very present and popular here and it’s been like that almost since our beginning in 2009. It evolves and people find more and more creative ways to use this material. There are also a lot of specialized yarn and knitting stores like Espace Tricot, La Bobineuse de laine, Miss Kiko…
What do you enjoy doing when not working at BUK & NOLA?
Laurence: When I’m not working, my three kids keep me very busy! I have 6 years old twin girls and a 9 years old boy. So, most of our activities revolve around them right now. But, I realized that since I had my kids, my creative side came back! I love to do arts & crafts projects with them, draw, paint, build stuff…And I love finding new and creative ways to decorate and make crafts for a special event (Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Halloween…). Other than that I enjoy reading, baking deserts, biking and being around friends and family.
What would you dream project be?
5 years ago, I had the opportunity to design and build our house and it was such an amazing project and a good learning experience. I wouldn’t mind do it all again and explore more ways to have a unique and personalized home for our family of 5.
What would your number one advise be for someone contemplating starting their own home décor boutique?
My number one advise is start something that is in line with your own values and your passion, or else, it won’t work out. Also, do the work prior to opening the store and don’t rush it. Make sure you create a good brand identity and a business plan. Starting a company is a journey, not a destination. Do it for the good reasons. Don’t imitate what is already there but get inspired by them and create something personal to you. And finally, trust your instincts. They are usually never wrong. And if you are lucky like me, you’ll find a good business partner, so you don’t have all the stress and burden on your own two shoulders. It’s divided by two, so you get to also have a life (maternity leave, vacations, days off…).
How do you engage with your local community of makers?
We have a very close relationship with our local makers in the shop. A lot of them we call friends. To connect with them, we often go to small crafts show in the city like Puces Pop, Etsy Québec, and Souk@Sat.
What will we see next from BUK & NOLA?
You’ll probably find the same two passionate girls finding new ways to re-invent themselves and never take anything for granted. We still can’t believe our first baby is 11 years old! Already a pre-teen! Haha! But on a business note, we want to expand our home-brand collection and develop our own products like a pillow collection, art prints, candles. We also want to continue growing our interior design service, finding new ways to elevate our online shop and always be very present on our different platforms like instagram and facebook.
When I grew up, I wanted to be …
… An architect
Favorite contemporary artist …
… Lolo Zouaï (singer)
Current favorite podcast …
… A podcast from Montreal called “Bain libre”. Three friends talking about kids and motherhood (and fatherhood)
Early riser or night owl? …
… A little bit of both.
Three essentials we can find in your bag …
… My cell, lip balm and a bottle of water
Must read …
… All the books from Joel Dicker
The future needs …
… A lot of things, but let’s start with empathy
Best local gem in my city …
… Montreal is filled with amazing restaurants, coffee shops and more. But when you visit our store, the local ‘must visit’ gems are Rhubarbe (Bakery), Lapin Pressé (coffeshop), Byblos (amazing Iranian food) and Tri Express (best sushis)
If I weren’t a designer and store owner, I would most probably be …
… An elementary school teacher