The Robora Meets: Amber Miller, designer and founder of Oohlala

Amber Miller runs Oohlala design studio, specialising in branding for female entrepreneurs and startups. Here, she tells us about work and her idyllic five-year plan to move to a farm house in the Cotswolds, with a studio overlooking rolling fields…

Meet Amber Miller: designer, founder. She lives in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. 

Describe Oohlala Studio in one sentence…

Playfully expressive branding and beautifully refined websites for female entrepreneurs and start ups.

How did you decide to start working in design?

I’ve always wanted a career in design. Before I went to secondary school I knew I wanted to design something. I took all the relevant creative GCSE’s and then went onto university. I chose to study interior design. On the side I taught myself HTML and CSS and began toying with the idea of graphic design (always have to have a side project on the go!).

I left university with my degree but the passion I had for interior design was diminished by a lecturer I didn’t quite see eye to eye with. I carried on building up a portfolio of graphic design work and then landed a job at a hotel marketing agency as a junior designer.

I stayed there for just over four years lapping up all of the knowledge, designing brands and websites for global luxury hotels, up until I had my son, Hugo, in January 2018. I knew I didn’t want to go back to work for someone else so I got the ball rolling to set up my own business, which launched in January 2019.

Describe an average working week…

An average working week consists of 10-12 hour days on a Monday and Friday; this is when my son is at nursery and I do the bulk of my work. I then work during his nap times in the week and then a couple of hours in the evenings.

Biggest success, work-wise?

My biggest success was landing Anna Mathur as a client. Before I set up my business; I had a dream client list and she was at the very top, and by pure luck she was the first client I landed – I think I was at the right place at the right time. Anna is amazing to work with, she’s high energy and helps so many people. The recommendations she has given me took my business from strength to strength in year one.

Biggest flop?

I haven’t had a flop – yet! There’s still plenty of time. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me that won’t let me be a big risk taker. I’ve had plenty of curveballs and learning experiences thrown my way, but I think on the whole I’ve managed to do okay.

How do you spend your weekends?

Weekends are spent with Scott (husband) and Hugo (little one) we try to get out and have an adventure day on one of the days, whether it’s visiting the farm shop and the animals, or visiting a National Trust property or going out for lunch in town. Scott works long hours during the week so it’s nice to spend quality time as a family. Evenings and nap times again are set aside for working. I do try to minimise work on a weekend but sometimes it doesn’t quite work out like that.

In a dream world: one year from now, where would you be and what would you be doing?

In an absolute dream world, in one year, I would love to be living in a farm house in the Cotswolds, with my own small studio overlooking rolling fields where I grow my own fruit and veg, with beehives to attend to, ooh and a David Austin rose garden. (This is definitely more of a five0year plan but if it could magically happen in less I wouldn’t complain!)

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