Meet the Maker: Miller and Olive
Personalised wooden decor and gifts, all laser cut from high-quality, ethically-sourced wood and hand-finished in her studio in West Yorkshire
What’s your background?
Miller & Olive is run by myself, Lisa, a mum of two (Miller, 5, and Olive, 2). I settled up in Yorkshire after meeting my husband James during my seven year career in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. After starting a family in 2016, I went back to work as a science technician in a local high school.
At the same time we found and renovated our dream house, becoming a little bit obsessed with all things home. We welcomed little Olive in 2019 and I also finished my honours degree in Environmental Management last year, which I am super proud of. After months of research and obsessing over the laser machine in the design and technology department at work, I decided to take the leap and combine my passion for home decor, a love of tinkering and the environment to create what is now Miller & Olive – an eco-conscious, bespoke decor business.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in the smaller everyday moments such as a walk in nature, as well as the larger moments in life. I see the joy and memories created when both children and adults celebrate special milestones and I love to create props and gifts to compliment these. One of my favourite things to do is to give a thoughtful gift to a loved one. Whilst renovating our house I also looked at a lot of nurseries and children’s rooms; I loved the idea of having the freedom to create decor to suit any theme. My children inspire me with their interests and how they see the world. I have lots of ideas waiting to come to life thanks to them.
Where do you source materials?
I spent a lot of time in the early days making sure I sourced my products from local businesses that have good ethics and fully-certified sustainable products. Our wood supplier holds both the FSC and PEFC certification which ensures the products are sourced from certified locations and in a sustainable manner.
Tell us about your typical day.
A typical day starts with an early wake up, followed by the crazy school run. After this I get set up in the studio – good coffee and music is a must. I then get to work on my computer, answering any enquiries and prioritising orders for the day. Firstly, I’ll create the digital files and then fire up the laser machine. Once all products have been made (and packed in our 100 percent recyclable packaging), I’ll do a bit of planning and designing for any upcoming occasions. I also try to find time to create or post some content on social media. Finally, I’ll make sure the studio is clean and set for the next morning and head over to the post office on my way to pick up the children from school.
What’s your favourite thing about what you do?
Currently it’s to work with children’s drawings, turning them into beautiful keepsakes that can be treasured forever. I love the freedom of what I do and the opportunity to get involved with local businesses and the community. It’s great to hear back from customers and to see pictures of my work in its new home.
What’s the hardest/most challenging part?
Keeping on top of social media can be a challenge but it’s the best way I have found to get new customers and spread the word – so it’s super important!
Favourite piece of your own work?
The leopard print engraved rainbow. I just love its uniqueness.
How do you relax?
There’s nothing better than a hot bath at the end of a long day, preferably with some Wild & Wood bath milk. Heaven!
Any plans for the future?
My ultimate goal would be to have my very own home and gift shop. Not just for my own creations, but carefully-selected gorgeous products from other local businesses too, who have the same passion and environmental considerations as me.