Behind The Blog ~ A Chat With Lidy Baars of French Garden House

Hello Friends,

I am very excited to be kicking off a new addition to my blog called Behind the Blog.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for some time now and I am so happy to finally bring it to life.

I love all the incredible inspiration and creativity that we find in blogland but we rarely get to know the individuals that create all the beauty behind the blogs.  Many of these women have followed their hearts and have managed to build very successful businesses.  

Today, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Lidy Baars, the voice and design force behind French Garden House. I first discovered Lidy over on Instagram and after looking at her beautiful Instagram profile, I quickly followed the link to her page  http://www.frenchgardenhouse.com/ and I was hooked.

Lidy is an online antiques dealer specializing in French antiques.  Her online shop is filled with exquisite linens, china, silver, furniture and many decorative objects.  Her blog, French Garden House, offers entertaining and decorating tips, tablescapes and lifestyle articles.  She writes on collecting French antiques for leading magazines such as Victoria, Southern Lady, Victorian Homes, French Country Style, Cottage Gardens to name a few.



Now lets get to know Lidy....  Below are the questions which she so graciously accepted to answer for my chat.


(Q)  You have been an antiques dealer for 18 years.  How did you get started in the business>

(A) I began my antique business as a way to have a creative outlet during a time when one of our children had a serious medical condition 18 years ago.  We almost lost her three times, and I desperately needed to have something just for me.  I started selling antiques in a small little booth at our local antique store.


(Q)  Has this always been your field or did you have another career before this one?

(A)  I had many other types of jobs, all of which I loved at the time.  My first "real" job was managing a Woman's Luxury Clothing Boutique when I was just out of high school.  One of my favorite jobs after that was doing window displays.  I was a stay at home Mom for many years, and when I went back to work, I worked as an interior decorator and stylist for a while before starting my antiques business.


(Q)  When speaking of antiques, what is your favorite period?

(A)  I don't really have one!  I am an equal opportunity antiques lover.


(Q)  Have you ever come across anything rare?

(A)  I recently sold a rare 17th century Italian processional Virgin Mary Figurine used in village processions.  She was hand carved, and painted, and absolutely beautiful!


(Q)  You have an amazing eye for detail and design.  How would you describe your style?

(A)  I love everything that speaks to me, it can be over the top gilt and rococo, or something hand carved, rustic and French Country.  I love many styles, so eclectic is probably closest to my style.


(Q)  Who and what inspires you?

(A)  People who are extraordinarily kind.  Women who, despite difficult times, rise above the occasion, and go forth to create a life they love, a life that adds value to others.  My grandmother inspired me greatly.  Raising six children in Europe during the war, she forged on during four difficult and frightening years.  In later years, she was my example on how to be a strong woman and a lady in all circumstances.


(Q)  To what do you most attribute your success?

(A)  God.  He has blessed me not only with my circumstances, my family and my friends, but my business too.  Then there is working hard.  My Mom installed a strong work ethic in me, she worked very hard all her life to support herself and me, and I tried to make her proud of me.


(Q)  What have been some of your business failures, and what have you learned from them?

(A)   There have been many, believe me.  In the beginning I beat myself up over every little mistake I made.  Now I try my best to laugh at myself, fix the problem, and go forward. Mistakes happen, especially in business.  I try hard not to make many, but once in awhile something happens.  I apologize it it is a mistake FrenchGardenHouse made with a client or their order, make it right for them, and move on.


(Q)  How do you balance work, blogging and family life?

(A)  Now that my business is thriving, it is easier.  In the first three years, it was difficult, as I was pretty much working 7 days a week.  Even so, being your own boss does allow for a flexible schedule, so spending time with a family member or friend can happen, yo just have to make up for it some other time.

(Q)  You also have a beautiful blog in which you share decorating tips, lifestyle articles and stunning tablescapes.  When did you begin blogging?

(A)  I started my blog in March of 2007.


(Q)  How has your influenced your business?

(A)  My blog is where I can really connect with clients, and readers.  My website only allows for so much information, the blog is where I can share things I love, history of antiques, a pretty way to set the table, a great recipe.  I feel like my blog is where people get to know me, as they would if they were shopping in a "real" store, with me as the shop owner.  The blog has also given FrenchGardenHouse exposure to magazine editors and others who in turn have featured FrenchGardenHouse, myself, and/or our products.


(Q)  What is your favorite part about blogging?

(A)  Without a doubt the friends I've made through blogging!


(Q)  When entertaining, how do you like to set the table?

(A)  That really depends on the occasion and who will be sharing that table!  Sometimes I set an elegant, over the top formal table, sometimes I set a casual French Country style table.  I like it to be fun, so an element of fun (even if it's only a polka dotted straw in each glass!) is a must.


(Q)  You regularly write for national interior design publications.  How do you select topics or content for magazines and your blog?

(A)  For magazines, it's usually a combination of my ideas and what an editor wants or needs.  For my blog, it's pretty much what I think will be of interest to my readers.  A blog really is for readers, just like any other written publication like magazines, sharing what you love and know about and what you think will add value to your reader's lives is what should be on your blog.


(Q)  What is key for getting your business and/or blog noticed?

(A)  I think you have to be authentic.  Not copying anyone else, but being who you are, that is what is going to make your blog stand out.  Then, I always advise to visit other blogs and leave a comment, so that others can find YOUR blog.


(Q)  What one piece of advice would you give to other bloggers?

(A)  Be you.  You are unique, and there are a whole lot of people out there who are going to love you, just the way you are.  Share from your heart, and be authentic.


Warmest regards,

Lidy


Lidy Baars
Antique Dealer
FrenchGardenHouse.com


  

Lidy has also been featured in this months issue of Where Women Create Business.  She shares her tips on building a successful business blog for your brand. 







I want to thank Lidy Baars for taking time out of her busy schedule to take part in this interview.  It is not often that you come across someone that is willing to put everything aside to lend a helping hand. You truly are proof that kindness can make all the difference.


I hope you enjoyed the interview.  I plan to continue this series giving a glimpse into the creative minds behind the blogs that we all admire.



Thank you for your visit today.

Fondly,

Janet




Comments

  1. Very nice, Janet. I love her blog, and I have never left a comment, because I didn't realize it was a small business. I did not know she was on Instagram, so I immediately followed her, because I love her inspiration. xoxo Su

    ReplyDelete
  2. A lovely professional career & philosophy of life, thank you Janet!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How lovely to know such a wonderful woman and her so marvellous blog I didn't know yet, thanks most sincerely, darling Janet, or, better, I thank both of you for this time you've dedicated to us !

    May your weekend be blessed with Joy, my dearest one,
    thinking of you
    Dany

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing the interview janet! Thank you to Lidy as well. A very inspiring woman!

    ReplyDelete
  5. O Janet, I think this is a fabulous thing you have done. I have enjoyed it very much. She seems like a wonderful inspiring woman and I will love to go visit her blog as well. I van't wait for the next one. Happy weekend dearest with love Janice

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  6. Beautiful post, I already follow her wonderful boards on Pinterest. Thank you for shaing this intimate look behind the scenes!

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