SISTERS IN STYLING
GOING AGAINST THE CLICHE AND DOING IT YOUR OWN WAY CAN REALLY PAY OFF
People always say, “never go into business with family or your best friend”.
But these two women are saying “to hell with that”.
As sister-in-laws and best mates, they are defying both elements of that rule and there’s no bestie breakdown or family feud anywhere in sight.
Known as The Boho Sisters, Harmony and Renae Rutledge are smashing goals as budding entrepreneurs, taking what started out as a “passion project” and turning it into a thriving business that keeps their weekends busy and email inboxes flooded.
The Boho Sisters is a boutique wedding and event styling company, offering services for all kinds of functions such as baby showers, hens’ parties and exhibitions. However, what makes it so special, is how quintessentially “Coast-made” the brand is, tailoring its services to the unique needs of a Sunny Coast fashionista while using local suppliers.
From flower crown workshops to yoga retreats and a Valentine’s setting for a special event at Australia Zoo, it’s not just local businesses who are recognising the talents of the self-taught sister duo.
“The Today Show came to the Coast and they reached out to us, wanting us to style the set,” Harmony said.
“We styled it on the beach and did a whole spread of local produce.”
The concept of The Boho Sisters arose from where many brilliant ideas have risen before it — motherhood.
“Both of us were at a point where we wanted to create something and we were both really passionate about styling,” Harmony said.
“We had both done a lot of different things in life, like Renae was a chef and had lived overseas for a long time and my background was in business, marketing and sales as well as fashion.”
“So we were both looking for something that was creative but still had the flexibility for our kids.”
At the time, the Boho trend was taking off and without really knowing how long it would stick around, the sisters gripped hands, took the plunge and began creating a business that exemplified the Boho lifestyle.
Their brand is cool, relaxed and most importantly, natural.
The business grew organically through the hard work of the busy mums who today still juggle full time jobs, the styling business alongside mum-life and other family commitments.
“We did our first photoshoot when Luna was just three weeks old, so I had a literal newborn hanging off me while doing this massive shoot,” Harmony said.
“But it was amazing, those images are still being used by lots of different people.”
However, the pair said that was the benefit of working with family, simply because you’re all in it together.
Each member contributes in their own special way, like the girls’ father-in-law Paul, who was actually the person who first put The Boho Sisters on Weekend Magazine’s radar.
“Our father-in-law is incredible, he always helps out when we need him. Sometimes he’ll come pack down an event with one of us,” Harmony said.
“My husband is the same. He’s a builder so he’s built a lot of our furniture.
“It really is a team effort.”
“Without that support we really wouldn’t be able to do it,” Renae added.
While some may have complicated relationships with their in-laws, Renae and Harmony have built a genuine friendship based on respect and honesty.
“We spend a lot of time together and we talk so much, sometimes it’s actually hilarious,” Harmony said while locking eyes with Renae.
“What was that day?”
Without any further inclination Renae laughs out loud, she knows exactly what Harmony is referring to, almost telepathically. She continues,
“This one time, I think we rang each other 15 times in the one day,” Renae giggles.
“The more we’ve done this, the more we’ve found that we have become alike, to the point that when we’re sharing photos we’ll send each other the same photo or write exactly the same message at the same time.
“We are good because we’re actually friends, which is really cool because we can be honest with each other.
Next weekend, The Boho Sisters are taking their business across the border (well, across two borders to be precise) to the Boho Luxe Market and Glamping Festival in Melbourne.
The event is the biggest of its kind in Australia, showcasing the best of what the Boho trend has to offer including fashion shows, workshops, bespoke food trucks, spiritual stalls and a live performance by Kasey Chambers.
After partnering with Boho Luxe Market earlier this year, as stylists for its first ever Queensland event, the sisters were personally invited to come on board again as head stylists for the Melbourne event that is set to host over 25,000 attendees.
“The Brisbane event went off with a bang, they were stoked,” Harmony said.
“It was very lovely to hear them say, ‘you went above and beyond all of our expectations’ which was great, they loved our work.”
The girls fly to Melbourne this week in preparation for the festival. Excited for the challenge ahead they are ready to transform the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building into a Boho-glamping wonderland.
“We are so excited, the building is just absolutely incredible,” Harmony said.
THE MORE WE’VE DONE THIS, THE MORE WE’VE FOUND THAT WE HAVE BECOME ALIKE. — RENAE RUTLEDGE
IN THE FAMILY: Renae and Harmony Rutledge love their business venture.