Episode #9: Update on our Florida Bnb Projects

Hi there! This week’s episode:

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher.

Show notes:
If you missed our 2020 bnb announcement in episode 5, you can listen to it here. As a quick recap, we each purchased a home in an Orlando, Florida suburb to create family-friendly vacation homes. Emma’s is Harry Potter-themed, mine (Elsie’s) is Disney-themed.

Emma’s house: Here’s a link to Emma’s first Harry Potter-themed house update. And here are some photos—

In this episode, Emma gives a full recap of her 17 days in Florida where she fully set up her new bnb. Over the next few months, Emma has several more blog posts where she will share photos of each room of her new bnb.

Elsie’s house: In the episode, I talk about how I purchased the home furnished. Here is a photo from before we purchased it (you can see the same room below in a new photo with our quick mini refresh). We’ll be doing more renovating in April.

And here are a few photos from our recent trip.

In this episode, we also talk about our past retail adventure. Here are some photos of our brick and mortar store (RIP).

We both felt that our brick and mortar retail advice was a tad harsh, but it’s super honest and advice we truly stand by. I hope it’s not too sad! 99% of our heartbreaks in business have been retail-related, so if nothing else, it’s a sober warning. We completely understand why it’s a dream to open a boutique—we still get warm fuzzies every time we walk into one! Anyway, I’ll stop with the disclaimers now and if you’ve had a retail adventure of your own we’d love to hear about it in the comments!

xx- Elsie + Emma

  • Ah! In LOVE with the Disney vinyl album covers! We have a few children’s records framed in our playroom/piano room. I wish we had more!

  • Hey! This looks so much fun! I had no idea you guys are doing Florida bnbs too now! I was wondering, is there any way to listen to your podcasts on apps e.g. spotify etc or is it only here? Sorry if i missed it somewhere!
    xo April

  • I’ve been reading this blog for years and years, but the podcast has been a game changer. I feel more engaged to the blog and to you guys. I have even listened to a couple of episodes two times just because I loved the subject matter and wanted to take notes! Well done, ladies!

  • Emma, I’m super curious if the amount you shared included mattresses! Also curious what kind you usually use in your Airbnb’s. We never really get feedback about our mattresses at our Airbnb, but I’m wondering what y’all do as we think about updating ours.

    • It does include mattresses. But I’ll be honest, I basically bought a bunch of different brands, in part based off what would arrive in time as I had a deadline to get my photos done. Some were good and a couple I was not happy with and we’ll likely replace them in another year or so as we have the funds. Of course if we get notes from guests that may move that timeline up.

      One thing I now look for (having learned from this) is mattresses that are not 100% foam. I don’t usually love them, they feel flat, and also I noticed felt kind of hot sleeping on them (mattress covers help).

      In our personal home we recently got an Agility Bed. They are actually going to be a sponsor on the podcast next year. So, wanted to disclose that but this is my REAL opinion: I LOVE our new mattress. If that fits your budget I highly recommend. I am not sure this is active just yet but if you are interested we have a $200 off code: ABM

      But if that doesn’t fit the budget I would just look for something in your price range and mattress size that is not 100% foam. Good luck!

  • I am so obsessed with your podcast! I feel like we (Else, Emma and I) are just three friends hanging out discussing fun things, when I listen! In fact, the only thing I don’t like about this podcast is that there isn’t one everyday for me to listen to!! haha! Elsie and Emma remind me so much of my sister and I and it just makes me so happy to hear you both giggling and having fun! I have never in my life listened to a podcast before and now, and now I am obsessed!

  • I feel the same way that it sounds like most everyone feels. Love y’all’s podcast so much. It has quickly become my #1 favorite in a large library. It’s the perfect blend of casual, on topic, fun, serious, etc. I also agree that I feel like I know y’all now. I’ve been reading the blog nearly from the beginning, and I have such a better connection in this short amount of time. I also REALLY appreciate how honest y’all are. The retail thing was a great example. So many people fluff over everything and people need to hear the truth and real experiences. I’ve appreciated the honesty and authenticity so much. Love love love love love it. Also- both houses are incredibly cute and I’m SHOCKED once again about the power of white paint in Elsie’s bnb. Do you mind sharing what color it is? The most perfect warm but white, white! <3

    • Wow. Thank you! Jessica your comment truly made my day today. I was nervous this episode was too ramble-y or that our answer to that listener question was too long… anyway, really appreciate you taking the time to leave this comment.

  • Y’all really make mondays better with your podcasts! I’ve also enjoyed listening to them. I agree with the above comments- it feels like a couple of girl friends just hanging out and talking, as opposed to other podcasts, where I feel like I’m being talked to.

    I loved that y’all talked about your old brick and mortar stores.
    For the last couple of years I’ve actually worked at my mother in laws boutique and tea room. I definitely agree that to make something like that work food is always a good idea- it’s worked beautifully for ours. It’s a boutique up front and a tea room in the back. Another bonus is Jacksonville FL doesn’t have a lot of tea rooms anymore.
    I would add to yalls advice that in starting a shop, make sure you have a niche- something to make it unique to draw people in.

  • Hello ladies! I love your podcast and I look forward to listen to it every week. It’s so cool to listen to you both just having a conversation and sharing real life with us. Thanks for doing it this way.
    Emma: in this episode you said that you had to work with a tight deadline to put together your airbnb. Why did you give yourself such a tight deadline?
    Thanks ladies! Keep it up!

  • I loved this episode!! I cant wait to see/hear how the FL bnbs unfold in the future. I would love to hear more about the financial side of having properties like this. I love hearing about the numbers and what kind of planning goes into it! Love you guys so much, and I’ve been really really enjoying the podcast so far!!

  • I love this episode! I remember going to your store right after it opened when I visited a friend! You two were so friendly and lovely! I looked at these show notes and I’m in the one of the photos my friend Mary took! Hahaha love that day. 💛

  • Hey guys – Katie here! Thanks so much for answering my question. I truly appreciate your honesty on this topic. It’s super insightful, and don’t worry, my dreams aren’t crushed. 🙂 It really helps me to have a better lens to view this topic through.

  • Hi Ladies! Love your podcast, website and all you do! Have been a big fan since the subscription stationary days!

    Just wanted to mention that I live and work very close to Davenport and have experience in this area and with rental properties and management companies. If you’re ever in a pinch and need someone here to check on something, accept a delivery, recommend a vendor, etc – I’m happy to assist if I can. I’m sure that seems random – but just wanted to put the offer out there. I’m sure its a challenge to get things done remotely! Sounds like you have a great contractor though – thats SO important! 🙂

    Hope 2020 brings more good things your way! Looking forward to following along! 🙂

  • Hi- My family is about to start planning a Disney trip in November. I know my girls would love to stay at Disney themed house. When will it be available?

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