January is the perfect time to start afresh, set goals, book that trip and tackle the tasks you’ve been meaning to get to since 2012. So, take some time for yourself and find out how to take a new, happier, healthier approach to the year ahead…

For our CEO, Christian, it was travelling that gave him the perspective he needed to see what was really important; “In my previous work-life balance, it was always about being successful. But what did this mean? I was always a driven person from a very young age, but travel helped me to understand that life is not all about money. Establishing Nest as a global brand became about bringing the thing I love – design – to as many people and places as possible.”

Snaefellsjokull Glacier, Arnarstapi & Bleu Lagoon in IcelandImages: Snaefellsjokull Glacier, Arnarstapi & Bleu Lagoon – Iceland. Varied travel has provided CEO, Christian Hawley with the inspiration and time for contemplation behind his business motivation.

“I don’t think Nest would exist if I hadn’t gone travelling. It gave me time to consider my options whilst seeing some really beautiful destinations. It gave me the confidence to believe in who I was as a person.”

When we spoke to Laura Bartlett, the formidable creator behind travel magazine House of Coco, it became clear that new experiences, setbacks along the way and a positive attitude has given her the approach she’s needed to grow her business…

Laura Bartlett – founder of House of Coco MagazineLaura Bartlett, founder of House Of Coco.

In the past, you’ve stressed the importance of failure. How has it defined you and where you are today?
I think people see failure as a bad thing. In reality, you have to fail, fail, fail before you succeed. My first major ‘failure’ was when my first company went into liquidation and I was subsequently made bankrupt. At the time I wanted to hide from the world as I felt really embarrassed and like I had let a lot of people down. Getting over this failure made me stronger. Now, it makes me appreciate life more when things are on the up. Failing is fine, it means you’re trying!

Do you think being a creative person has helped you take new approaches when things haven’t gone as well as expected?
Yes definitely. As a creative person, my mind is always coming up with new ideas and ways to make money. So if something doesn’t go right or as expected, I can just pull out my notebook and move on to the next thing or amend what I’m working on to make it successful. I sleep with a notebook at the side of my bed and always have the best ideas in the middle of the night. I’m never short on ideas.

The Louis Poulsen VL38 Table Lamp is perfect for your bedside tableLet the Louis Poulsen VL38 Table Lamp illuminate your midnight ideas.

Travelling is clearly a big part of what you do at House of Coco. How has exploring new places shaped you personally and professionally?
I think it’s so important to travel and learn about different cultures. The people I have met along the way have all taught me different things. As an example, in the Caribbean life, there is all about taking things slowly, having fun, enjoying time with family and friends and it’s a much slower pace of life. Going there teaches me to relax more and not always feel like I need to run at a million miles per hour with my work.

Caribbean Life Beach Huts and Skagerak Riviera Sun Lounger

Skagerak Helios Firebowl on the beachImage 1. Image 2. Take it slow with the Skagerak Riviera Sun Lounger and Helios Firebowl.

On the flip side, I can go to New York where the vibe is electric. They have music blasting out in Starbucks at 6am and it makes me want to start my day early, work more and then enjoy the nightlife. As much as I love it, there is no place like home and every time I come back from my travels I feel even more grateful for where I live and for being near the people I love.

View of Manhattan and Central Park. Image by Laura BlanksbyImage: Laura Blanksby – The incomparable skyline of New York City.

Has travelling helped you overcome obstacles in your life?
I guess the places I’ve been have helped me overcome obstacles. I just think about life in the Caribbean, take a deep breath when I come up against something that could be a struggle, then put things in perspective and move on. I don’t dwell on things, I always say “it’s only business and we’re not saving lives!”.

Menu Carrie Portable LampTake time out to contemplate with the Menu Carrie Portable Lamp.

Do you think House of Coco readers relate to your thirst for adventure?
Definitely. Our readers are mainly millennials and we’re not about waiting for retirement to enjoy life, we want lots of mini-retirements along the way. Adventure keeps us alive and within House of Coco magazine, we like to inspire our readers to live life to the full. You will see me and my team travelling the world working on the content, doing crazy things like hot air balloon rides in Europe, zip wires in Costa Rico and skydiving in the US. We are only on this planet once. But, if you do it right, once is enough.

NYC from across the lake and Hot Air Balloon trips over the desertImage 1. Image 2.

What would you say to anyone wanting to jet-set, take a leap of faith or try something new in 2018? Can you recommend any favourite travel destinations?
Just. Do. It! What’s the worst that could happen? Also, the time is going to pass anyway and if you don’t start now, you’ll get to 2019 and wish you started a year ago. A new year is always a perfect excuse to try new things. My favourite travel destinations are Barbados, you have to go during Crop Over which is their carnival season. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, I love New York. There is just something about when I step out of the airport there that I feel like I’m home.

What are your hopes for the year ahead?
My goals for 2018 are to expand my team, launch the magazine in 1-2 more major cities outside of London, work on my personal brand, mentor more people and help them achieve their goals. But ultimately just be healthy, happy and enjoy life. I will be going back to L.A in January and I will be heading to the Maldives in February so I already know 2018 is going to be an amazing year.

Lifeguard hut on Venice beach, LA. The Pablo Uma Sound Lantern used on a forest hike.Image 1. The Pablo UMA Sound Lantern can accompany you anywhere, from the diverse landscapes of LA to your own back garden.

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