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Meet Danielle (Dani)

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

The Bohemian Owner + Momtrepreneur

by Boho Babe

Everyone wants to know what Danielle Golay’s, owner of The Bohemian, home looks like. She imagines customers assume her home is a “livable Pinterest board,” but like most of us, she’s self-conscious about the way her space looks.

If you ask her about opening The Bohemian four years ago, she'll be the first to tell you how far she's come in terms of style and business savvy. Now known for its 50+ local artists spaced out over two locations, The Bohemian began in a 800 square foot room with only a handful of other local artisans in 2018. A business she started with her "daughter on [her] hip."

Below, Danielle answers questions about opening The Bohemian, what she loves about the store, and her hopes for the future.

*The following interview transcript has been edited for length and clarity.

What made you start the store here in Spokane Valley?

Danielle: Riley and I purchased our first home a couple blocks down the road from this main location on Sprague. When we first started, we were actually vendors at another location and got such a following that when this, where we're sitting right now, opened up, we decided to take the chance to start our own business.

Before, I was working for a home flipping company as the project manager. That position had a lot of design elements in it, but it was taking up way too much of my time. When we found out that we were pregnant with our daughter Colie—it was hard enough getting pregnant—I didn't want to miss anything with her. I didn't want to miss her first steps. So, we were trying to think of something where I could still help provide for the family but spend a lot of my time with my daughter. So, I quit what was familiar and my daughters been at my side every step of the way.

What did those early days of The Bohemian look like?

When we opened up this section, we actually had a little nursery, and she(my daughter) came to work with me every single day. I'm sure some of the customers that first came in remember her screaming while they were shopping. It was so small business. But that's what made it so special. She got to be in the shop with me until she turned about two. Until then, I got to spend every moment with her. And that was amazing. And I hope someday, she'll remember that. She still comes to the store and loves to help out. She's our best shopper.

So, that's how it started. And the community honestly has just been so good to us. The more that we grew, so did our following.

What was your biggest challenge in starting the business?

Confidence. Having confidence in what you do and putting yourself out there for the public to judge is terrifying. But slowly, we gained it.

Before The Bohemian, growing up, I was the shy kid. That could also be misconstrued as, I don't want to say, but the mean kid. Really, I just didn't know how to communicate with people. And so, I just kept to myself because I was so terrified of what others would think of me and whatever was going to come out of my mouth. When we opened up the shop it took a long time for me to be comfortable just having a normal conversation with somebody, or saying “Hey, welcome to The Bohemian.” I would test myself every day. I’ve definitely gotten better. The store has pushed me out of my comfort zone and now I'm a total people person. You would never have guessed that I was SO PAINFULLY shy before.

(Staging Now vs. Before)

How would you describe your company's culture?

Positive, happy. I'm a very happy person and I try and surround myself with like people. I feel it's really infectious when you are that way, and that is when the most work can be done and the best work.

What makes The Bohemian unique?

There are a lot of places that will try and duplicate what we have going on here. But what truly makes us unique is the people within the walls. You cannot replicate our employees; you cannot replicate our artists. I truly feel like The Bohemian is an experience not just a product. And I'd say that and constant hard work is what sets us apart from a lot of places.

What's your favorite aspect of The Bohemian?

That's a tough one. There's two that immediately pop into my head. I really love the people. I get to see you every day. I get excited to go to work. I am also really passionate about the artist part—the creating every day. Whether I’m setting up vignettes around the store or I'm in the warehouse painting, that is my Zen zone, my outlet from the world.

Were you always interested in home decorating?

I dabbled in it in college. I took a couple of interior design classes. I wasn't good at it. But I took them and that's where my passion kind of sparked and went from there. If you compare The Bohemian in the beginning to now, it is night and day difference. It's fun because you can really see our business evolve. It just goes to show, keep at it, and don't give up on your dream because you will eventually learn and evolve into something that the masses will like and appreciate.

(Pictures throughout the years at The Bohemian)

What keeps you up at night?

Besides kicks to the face for my children? I never stop dreaming. People think I'm crazy with some of the ideas that I have or my goals. But when you find what you're truly passionate about, it's just a constant churn. You never stop thinking of what's next, what area can be better, how can I do this? So, it's all the big ideas that we haven't touched yet.

Are you a sentimental person?

Yes and no. I'm a creature of change. I thrive on change. Oh, I just love it! There are a few pieces that I've received from my mom or my dad or my grandparents that I cherish, and those will never leave, but I change my house out constantly. We've had four dining room tables in one year. My husband wasn't happy about it, but I was thrilled!

They say you should never hire family members, but you work with several. What is that like?

I don't think that's true. When you're all working towards the same goal, you share the same passions. Those are my best days—the days when my family is in the store. My mom's selling gems and my sister's in here redecorating. I feel like it has brought us so close.

My family is my everything and I would do absolutely anything and everything for them. So, I love working with my family. Don't get me wrong, there have been times when we disagreed on something, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I get to see my nieces and nephews trickle in here. I get to bring my kids in here. You know, who doesn't want to see their mom every day? That's pretty awesome.

Over the years, you’ve expanded your valley location multiple times. What was the story of the expansions?

Honestly, it was God's time. I'm a firm believer that when God opens up a door you take those chances no matter how terrifying they may be, and that was definitely the case. It was about every six months that we did an expansion.

There used to be multiple businesses within this building and the timing of each one leaving was how we were able to expand. I can't even put into words how or why it happened. But it did and the timing just seemed right. It was always at that point, about every 6 months where we said to ourselves, “we've got to do something else, we’ve got to go bigger.”

Would you ever consider moving your valley location to a bigger storefront?

If you've ever been to both stores, there's obviously a clear difference between the layout, the feel and the vibe.

I think what makes the valley so unique is the character. This building is not the greatest building, but I am so attached to it because it tells a story. It tells the story of The Bohemian. You can tell each section—each expansion—by the flooring as you walk throughout the store. And each expansion was a pivotal point in our business and our personal life. So, could it be set up in a bigger, more open location and look stellar? Yes, absolutely. But I'm pretty tied to this location.

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I love your store!

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