Introducing MI readers to the talented entrepreneurs within retail is a dream some true for me. So I couldn’t be more excited to have Michele Rothwell from FOURCOLORS.LA answer a few of my questions. Let’s dive in…
There’s two things that I love about Michele’s design aesthetic… her neutral color story (simple, elegant) and the careful consideration she takes when sourcing product. Four Colors stands for her signature hues: black, white, grey, and blue. Which as you know, are also favorites of mine. So to have a shop dedicated to shades of grey with pops of navy / indigo throughout is a bit heavenly. In addition, you can see traces of Michele’s European influence throughout, allowing for some new discoveries along the way. John Hanly & Co. is a perfect example. They have been manufacturing scarves and throws for over 117 years in Ireland and are extremely well known in the textile industry. But it wasn’t until I came across their Fall offering via Four Colors that I fell in love with their mission and history.
So if you are looking for a bit of that neutral luxury when it comes to home goods, gift ideas, and fun finds - please check out Michele’s online shop. It’s high quality, a bit timeless, and thoughtfully curated. All sourced and merchandised by an interior designer turned entrepreneur who wants nothing more than to bring a little happiness and comfort to your home.
Please take a look at Michele’s Q&A below, as I have a feeling you too will be inspired by her and the mission she’s on as a shop owner. I also added in a few products that I personally love from her collection.
Wishing Michele and the FOURCOLORS.LA shop nothing but the best. Truly grateful our paths crossed...
When did you launch your online business / shop?
I launched in November 2016.
What sparked that initial drive + creativity within you?
I had a successful interior design business back in the UK. A lot of people are nervous about buying things for their home. Will they look right? I want to make buying things fun by taking that fear away. The Four Colors palette means whatever you buy from us will fit beautifully into your home.
What do you love about owning your own business?
Creating something that allows people to be confident with bringing a little more style into their home. Clients are buying things that I’ve personally sourced, and many of which I have in my own home, or wear myself. I believe in everything I sell.
What aspect of the job is your favorite - site, vendors, product, strategy?
My favorite is bringing new products to the USA. I love living here but I also love European style and design. To bring some of these unique designers to my American customers is special.
What makes your site unique in a crowded marketplace?
I specialize in discovering unique brands with a special story. Plus my color palette of 4 colors: blue, grey, black and white allows me to visually stand out. Combining these two factors I believe creates a very clean and easy-to-use website.
Do you have a favorite color, product or category?
The colors I love are obvious. Right now, as we move into Fall and Winter, I’m loving the textures and warmth of our throws, the cashmere, wools, and faux furs.
What’s next for Four Colors? Anything new for Q4?
I’m developing my own range of candles. We’ve sourced the fragrances from the South of France and created some fabulous blends. It’s going to be ready to launch in time for the Holidays.
What has been your biggest learning as a business owner?
Making sure I don’t buy every beautiful thing I see on my travels. And how people in different areas of the US can have very different tastes. Some like more elaborate design elements, some buy mostly very simple designs.
Where can I find you when your are not curating / working on the shop?
My children are both at college in Europe, so I try and visit them when I get a spare moment.
Any advice for those looking to launch their own retail business?
Understand it takes time building an e-commerce brand. It can be overwhelming looking at successful websites and social media accounts with millions of followers and think you’ll never get there. Keep your focus, keep believing in what you’ve set out to do, and don’t give up.
Three words that best describe you?
Happy, driven, inquisitive.
Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint.