SIS­TERS IN STYLING

GO­ING AGAINST THE CLICHE AND DO­ING IT YOUR OWN WAY CAN RE­ALLY PAY OFF

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | COVER STORY - WORDS: AN­NIE CAUGHEY For more in­for­ma­tion on The Boho Sis­ters and its of­fer­ings visit, bo­ho­sis­ters.com.au/

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

Pic­tures: Warren Ly­nam/ Bon­nie Jenk­ins Pho­tog­ra­phy

IN THE FAM­ILY: Re­nae and Har­mony Rut­ledge love their busi­ness ven­ture.

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