Interior Design Blog

Interview: Karine Kong of Bodie and Fou

Karine PortraitSydney

Our at{mine} beta community is made up of creative individuals and brands with a common passion for interiors and a lot of talent to go around between them. It’s a melting pot for designers, stylists, bloggers, photographers, marketers and many more.

As a successful entrepreneur you often have to be many of those things at the same time. And nobody does that better than Karine Kong, founder of Bodie and Fou, a great online store for home accessories.

As part of our interview blog series which features inspiring beta members, Karine shares her take on living and working in a digital landscape.

Karine, thank you for joining our blog series here on at{mine). Tell us about Bodie and Fou, what can people expect when they visit your website?

Bodie and Fou is a gorgeous online store with a carefully curated collection of beautiful things for your home and a place to find inspiration.

You are a businesswoman, a stylist, a blogger, a mother – how does today’s digital lifestyle challenge you and how do you manage to accomplish everything?

I think the best way is to find ways to make technology work for you on your own terms. For me, being able to skype with my family in France, friends in Australia on a regular basis and seeing photos of their daily lives, kids growing up on Instagram and so on, is priceless. Being able to work and connect with people from anywhere in the world, as long as I have a laptop, a phone and an internet connection is amazing.

The downside is how time consuming or intrusive social media can be.

This year I switched off my personal Facebook account to free up some time for myself and invest this time in getting fit and healthy and to be honest, considering how active I was on Facebook, I’m not missing it at all, because I’m having a ball learning about nutrition, working out and taking my life to a happier, healthier place but I’m still using social media to do this.

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I use Bloglovin’ to get a daily update of the blogs I follow so I can read all the posts that interest me at once when I have some down time and I use Instagram to connect. I follow a lot of people in Europe who inspire me with their design aesthetic or fashion sense, family values and then a lot of women in Australia who are into fitness and clean eating. I like reading their feeds in the evening before going to sleep to focus my mind on being fit and healthy one day at the time.

However, I’m struggling when I see women leaving negative comments on women who have large Instagram accounts. If you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say it. I have zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour. Luckily, in 7 years of blogging, I had 2 negative comments and maybe 2 on Instagram but I will still kick back straight away. My view is that I don’t share things to become the punchball of someone’s frustration. I share things to inspire and if you’re not happy with your life, do something about it.

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As a businesswoman and blogger – how important is the collaboration of brands and bloggers in your opinion?

I think it’s very important and brands that don’t value this really need to wake up. It’s like saying our company doesn’t need a website. The digital landscape has changed so much in the past few years that people seek information from various sources (bloggers, Instagram, word of mouth) and preferably from a community they trust. Bloggers are good at building communities.

They have a unique reach and connection with their readership and people who follow them not only because of their style but because of their personality, the way of thinking and they can relate to that and it’s not always about the size of their readership.

If a brand can find a blogger with a style that matches the brand’s aesthetics then you can do some really interesting and inspiring things together.

One thing I would add though (with my blogger hat on) is that that brands need to remember that it doesn’t really work to approach a blogger just for PR coverage the same way you would approach a features editor from a magazine.

While the features editor is on the magazine payroll and gets a monthly salary, a blogger will earn an income from banner advertising, affiliate links and sponsored posts so just approaching a blogger for exposure is only going to work for the brand. When working with bloggers, you need to build a relationship and understand what would be interesting for them too and it’s not always about money, sometimes it’s about experiences.

I remember once being invited to a tea for two at Fortnum & Mason for the launch of a Jaguar…Errm hello!? I’m hugely selective of my time because I run my own business so my free time is limited and frankly tea for 2 in a place I would have taken my mum didn’t really rock my boat. However, would they have lent me a Jag for the weekend, I’m pretty sure I would have spammed my own account with hundred of photos of me behind the driving wheel.

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Thanks to social media many brands get to see their products in the homes of the users. Is it beneficial from a brand’s perspective to see how people actually use and live with your products?

Of course it is. One has to remember that not everyone can style a room nicely in 5 minutes. As stylists, bloggers, we do this on a daily basis because it is our job but some people need to be inspired, guided so they can achieve the same look at home and seeing a product in situ is the perfect way to show people how the products would look in their own homes.

You have recently joined the beta community of at{mine}. How beneficial is it to have platforms that bring users and brands together and let them interact?

It’s an ideal space. It’s just perfect to get inspired by the look of someone’s home and be able to click directly onto all the products to get the same products.

What was your first impression of at{mine}?

I love the logo, love the layout of the platform. It has a good, nice, warm feel to it.

Last but not least: You’ve got so many beautiful items in your webshop. Which is your current favourite?

Our new prints collection which is beautiful and uplifting. My favourite prints are BE HAPPYYOU ARE LOVED and LOVE, LIFE & FAMILY.

2870Thank you very much for the interview, Karine!

Find Bodie and Fou here: Website/Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Bloglovin’

7 Comments

  1. Wise words from a long time dear friend 😉

    • Isn’t she just a breath of fresh air Desiree, with such candid responses?! So inspiring to see her rocking her various roles. Thanks for stepping by 🙂

  2. A really interesting and informative interview. Karine is a very inspiring woman.

  3. Such a hard working, inspired and talented lady!

  4. your questions and the Karine answers are very relevant for novice bloggers. This woman is really inspiring.

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