APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY Chloe is the Founder of Boxwood Avenue, a blog and interior design business centered around simple living. Through her writing, retreats, and online shop, she helps people live each day with more meaning. In this episode, Chloe shares how she went from city girl to living in a town of 99 people, the […]
Chloe is the Founder of Boxwood Avenue, a blog and interior design business centered around simple living. Through her writing, retreats, and online shop, she helps people live each day with more meaning.
In this episode, Chloe shares how she went from city girl to living in a town of 99 people, the unexpected lessons she learned along the way, and how she’s turned her passion for slow living into a profitable business.
Press play for the full interview or keep reading below!
When Chloe was growing up in Reno, Nevada, she never imagined living in the country. But halfway through college, her boyfriend (now husband) moved to a cattle ranch in northern California and after graduating, she decided to follow him.
She wasn’t sure what to expect, moving to a town where the population of cows outnumbered people – but it wasn’t long before ranch life stole her heart.
“I had never been around a cow before,” Chloe says. “It was a bit like city girl goes country.”
Chloe studied marketing in college, but because of her new rural location, she never considered working a corporate job. Instead, she started substitute teaching at the local high school while she and her husband remodeled their old ranch house.
Along the way, Chloe chronicled their journey online. She shared photos of the house on her blog and Instagram, attracting attention from a TV network that wanted to turn their reno project into an interior design show.
Although the show didn’t pan out, that was Chloe’s first introduction to the design world – and the more she shared online about ranch life, the more her audience grew.
It took a long time for Chloe to consider her blog a business. The narrative she’d grown up with was that creative women didn’t make money. It wasn’t easy to overcome those old beliefs.
The turning point came when she and her husband sat down with their accountant and he told her her blog should be classified as a hobby, not a job. “That lit a fire in me.”
With the support of her husband and new friends in the local community, Chloe decided to turn Boxwood Avenue into a real business. Her first break came when she was featured in Style Me Pretty, one of the biggest publications in the industry.
Since then, Boxwood Avenue has grown from a lifestyle blog to include an online shop, design firm, and creative retreats.
Chloe’s story of giving up city life for the ranch resonated with a lot of people who were dreaming of a simpler way of life.
“I started Boxwood Avenue because I was on this journey of letting everything go and rediscovering who I was in a completely different place.”
In her old life, Chloe worried that if she didn’t have the right clothes or drive a certain type of car, that meant she wasn’t good enough. But on the ranch, she found a more meaningful way to live.
“There was so much joy in releasing myself from the pressure of those external things. I still live a fast-paced life, but now I enjoy the slow moments.”
Chloe’s first source of income from blogging was sponsored posts. She was happy making a few hundred dollars per post – until she attended a mastermind retreat and found out other bloggers were charging 10 times as much.
Meeting other bloggers and hearing about how they were making money (and how much they were making), opened Chloe’s eyes to what was possible and helped her overcome her limiting beliefs.
By 2020, business at Boxwood Avenue was booming. After running the numbers, Chloe was surprised to find that of all her income streams, the blog still brings in the most revenue.
Inside The Blueprint Model (my finance course for entrepreneurs), I challenge all my students to look at their offers and evaluate how much time each one takes compared to how much revenue it generates.
What’s interesting is that your most profitable offers may not be where you spend the most time. But the good news is, you can change that!
For Chloe, the blog is where she makes the most amount of money with the least amount of effort, and now she’s free to double down on what’s working well.
Chloe had always dreamed of opening a shop and when Boxwood Avenue took off, she used the revenue to open a brick-and-mortar – only to find the overhead costs and everyday stress of running a shop was more of a headache than it was worth.
At one point, Boxwood Avenue had 20 employees. Although Chloe loved her team, she didn’t love managing that many people. “When it’s consistently not fun and there’s something you can shift, it’s important to recognize that.”
So she let go of her shop dreams and shifted to an e-commerce model. “Sometimes it can feel like success is having a huge business and a big team…but we feel much more comfortable and happier when we’re operating at a smaller level.”
After 10 years of running Boxwood Avenue, Chloe has reprioritized her business to focus on what brings her joy. “It’s easy to focus on how much money you want to make, but life is the journey. There’s no end destination.”
If she could go back and tell her younger self one thing, she would share Ira Glass’s advice about creativity:
“All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there’s this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not…it’s only by going through a volume of work that you’ll close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
To hear the full story and more about Michelle Boyd, press play on the player above for the full interview or click here to download the transcript.
Chloe Mackintosh is the founder and principal designer at Boxwood Avenue. Chloe began Boxwood Avenue as an Etsy shop when she was just 18 years old, and has grown the brand into a design firm serving clients across the country, an antiques and home furnishings shop, and slow living lifestyle brand. Chloe hosts creative workshops across Europe where she brings people together to appreciate the luxury of simplicity in the European countryside.
Chloe is a former contributor to MarthaStewart.com and has been featured by Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal, Domino, Country Living Magazine, and many more.
January 4, 2024