THESE HANDS

Meeting Simple Folk | Bo Gerritsen

There are people that exude lightness; whether through words, actions, or the energy they emit to the world around them. The Simple Folk’s Bo Gerritsen – a self-described freelance dreamer living with her family by the ocean in Western Australia – is like this: sunshine in human form. To get to know Bo a little better, we sat down with the creative and asked her about all things motherhood, her mantra and her connection to our Ora Necklace trilogy’s The Believer Necklace.

What’s the first thing we should know about you?

My name is Bohannah but I like to be called Bo. I’m a big believer in universal synchronicity and our personal power to manifest our dreams into reality.

You and your family live by the beach. How does this proximity to the ocean and its surrounds shape your approach to life and your connection to the natural world?

I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. As a child, I was fascinated by its marine life, [and] it's ever-changing landscape and moods inspires me creatively. As a family, we always feel freer and more adventurous by the sea. It has become a natural learning environment for our children, full of wonder and excitement, yet also a calm place to simply be. Being near the ocean is our constant reminder to slow down, to open ourselves to the healing powers of nature and to appreciate the effortless beauty all around us.

We’d love to hear about the genesis of the name ‘The Simple Folk’ – what drew you towards this as a moniker for your creative endeavours?

In 2016 I wanted to start blogging about our lifestyle and was searching for a name that encapsulated us perfectly. ‘Simple’ was the word that stuck. It signifies our care-free, uncomplicated approach to many aspects of our life; from how we raise our children, to our personal style, our ideology of health and food (e.g. home-grown) and the simplistic way in which I create. After all these years, the name has evolved into more than I could ever have imagined, and continues to echo our ethos.

What’s the first thing we should know about you?

My name is Bohannah but I like to be called Bo. I’m a big believer in universal synchronicity and our personal power to manifest our dreams into reality.

You and your family live by the beach. How does this proximity to the ocean and its surrounds shape your approach to life and your connection to the natural world?

I’ve always been drawn to the ocean. As a child, I was fascinated by its marine life, [and] it's ever-changing landscape and moods inspires me creatively. As a family, we always feel freer and more adventurous by the sea. It has become a natural learning environment for our children, full of wonder and excitement, yet also a calm place to simply be. Being near the ocean is our constant reminder to slow down, to open ourselves to the healing powers of nature and to appreciate the effortless beauty all around us.

We’d love to hear about the genesis of the name ‘The Simple Folk’ – what drew you towards this as a moniker for your creative endeavours?

In 2016 I wanted to start blogging about our lifestyle and was searching for a name that encapsulated us perfectly. ‘Simple’ was the word that stuck. It signifies our care-free, uncomplicated approach to many aspects of our life; from how we raise our children, to our personal style, our ideology of health and food (e.g. home-grown) and the simplistic way in which I create. After all these years, the name has evolved into more than I could ever have imagined, and continues to echo our ethos.

After all these years, the name has evolved into more than I could ever have imagined, and continues to echo our ethos.

Tell us about your pathway to photography – how did you come to embrace this as a creative outlet and how does it nourish you personally and professionally?

I got my first SLR camera for my 17th birthday. I enjoyed capturing and creating memories of my loved ones and this developed further into motherhood. My relationship with photography is intuitive and fluid. I’m mostly self-taught, and accumulate knowledge through play and experimenting. Photography and creating is within me, it’s not something I have to force. The evolution from personal photography to professional has also been somewhat effortless and without much structure. When I’m in the flow of creating, I attract work reflecting that flow. I follow what feels good and find myself in places that fuel my curiosity. I’m following my bliss, you could say. And following my bliss has taken me in a direction that has meant I can financially support my family and given us experiences we could only dream of.

You’ve mentioned previously a love of Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfilment of Your Dreams”. What is it about this text that you find so inspiring, and how do you try to embody its guiding principles of authentic living (and avoid “desperate striving”)?

Many people believe success only comes with a lot of hard work. But this book shows another way. Looking inwardly, and knowing what drives you and brings you true joy, is the first step to knowing yourself and to being authentic. When you’re living authentically, synchronicity starts to happen and the unmanifest becomes the manifest. You don’t have to strive in order to succeed.“When you discover your essential nature and know who you really are, in that knowing itself is the ability to fulfill any dream you have, because you are the eternal possibility.”

How do you balance the unceasing demands (and joys) of motherhood with your own journey of self-fulfilment and personal expansion?

The balance has come somewhat naturally to me as self-fulfilment/creative pursuits and motherhood have been intertwined. Our flexible, yet rather unconventional, lifestyle means our family spends a lot of time together, and we are very conscious of each others’ needs. My children have played an important role in my personal expansion, and it’s never felt like a battle between motherhood and self-fulfilment.

Tell us about your pathway to photography – how did you come to embrace this as a creative outlet and how does it nourish you personally and professionally?

I got my first SLR camera for my 17th birthday. I enjoyed capturing and creating memories of my loved ones and this developed further into motherhood. My relationship with photography is intuitive and fluid. I’m mostly self-taught, and accumulate knowledge through play and experimenting. Photography and creating is within me, it’s not something I have to force. The evolution from personal photography to professional has also been somewhat effortless and without much structure. When I’m in the flow of creating, I attract work reflecting that flow. I follow what feels good and find myself in places that fuel my curiosity. I’m following my bliss, you could say. And following my bliss has taken me in a direction that has meant I can financially support my family and given us experiences we could only dream of.

You’ve mentioned previously a love of Deepak Chopra’s “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfilment of Your Dreams”. What is it about this text that you find so inspiring, and how do you try to embody its guiding principles of authentic living (and avoid “desperate striving”)?

Many people believe success only comes with a lot of hard work. But this book shows another way. Looking inwardly, and knowing what drives you and brings you true joy, is the first step to knowing yourself and to being authentic. When you’re living authentically, synchronicity starts to happen and the unmanifest becomes the manifest. You don’t have to strive in order to succeed.“When you discover your essential nature and know who you really are, in that knowing itself is the ability to fulfill any dream you have, because you are the eternal possibility.”

How do you balance the unceasing demands (and joys) of motherhood with your own journey of self-fulfilment and personal expansion?

The balance has come somewhat naturally to me as self-fulfilment/creative pursuits and motherhood have been intertwined. Our flexible, yet rather unconventional, lifestyle means our family spends a lot of time together, and we are very conscious of each others’ needs. My children have played an important role in my personal expansion, and it’s never felt like a battle between motherhood and self-fulfilment.

Something many of us struggle with is maintaining a sense of belief in ourselves and our abilities. Is this a challenge you have faced yourself? If so, how do you overcome it (i.e.: strategies or tools for staying grounded and having self-doubt?)

Yes – this is something I have experienced, and it’s still a work in progress. It’s very easy to fall into that pattern of comparison and “not being good enough”. I often have to remind myself that this is not only “my” journey, but my children’s too. The more hurdles I can overcome, the easier it will be for my children to believe in themselves and to see ‘what’s possible’ when following your bliss and making your dreams a reality.

Can you tell us what the Ora Necklace – this one representing the Full Moon – means to you? What do you draw from its design inspiration?

I’ve been on a journey for quite some time to move past old beliefs and stories of myself; stories that no longer serve me and have been holding me back from my potential. The Ora Necklace is my reminder of all that is possible when we are living in alignment with our higher self. Our dreams are closer than we think, and the universe will help us when we are living from authenticity. The Believer represents the new dreams and stories waiting for me when I’m ready to accept them – and accept myself.

When would you say that you are most fulfilled?

When I watch my children flourish in the natural world, when they overcome a challenge or achieve success in any way. That for me brings fulfilment and joy beyond measure. —To see the results that come from allowing them the time and understanding they need, as well as the space to be themselves and to grow in their own unique way.

Do you have a personal mantra or motto? If so, what is it?

“Living in a sunshine state of mind” has been in my Instagram bio for several years now. It reflects not only my desire to be by the ocean under the warm sun but also my state of mind when things aren’t so “sunny!” Remembering to be grateful for every moment, to see the ‘sun’ even when situations may feel dark… It’s about maintaining a positive outlook, and trusting in the ebb and flow of life.

What are you looking forward to in 2024? What are your hopes and dreams for next year’s chapter?

Tye and I will be reaching our 10th wedding anniversary in 2024 which we’ll be celebrating overseas. We’re still mapping out plans for the year but we’re also looking outward to what the next decade will bring. It’s an exciting time for us, stepping out of the role of having young children and into the next stage of our lives. Focusing more closely on ourselves as individuals and in our personal relationships. We will be spending more time at home by the ocean with plans to renovate in the near future. And still making time for the road-trips we love so much!

Explore the Ora Necklace today.

Something many of us struggle with is maintaining a sense of belief in ourselves and our abilities. Is this a challenge you have faced yourself? If so, how do you overcome it (i.e.: strategies or tools for staying grounded and having self-doubt?)

Yes – this is something I have experienced, and it’s still a work in progress. It’s very easy to fall into that pattern of comparison and “not being good enough”. I often have to remind myself that this is not only “my” journey, but my children’s too. The more hurdles I can overcome, the easier it will be for my children to believe in themselves and to see ‘what’s possible’ when following your bliss and making your dreams a reality.

Can you tell us what the Ora Necklace – this one representing the Full Moon – means to you? What do you draw from its design inspiration?

I’ve been on a journey for quite some time to move past old beliefs and stories of myself; stories that no longer serve me and have been holding me back from my potential. The Ora Necklace is my reminder of all that is possible when we are living in alignment with our higher self. Our dreams are closer than we think, and the universe will help us when we are living from authenticity. The Believer represents the new dreams and stories waiting for me when I’m ready to accept them – and accept myself.

When would you say that you are most fulfilled?

When I watch my children flourish in the natural world, when they overcome a challenge or achieve success in any way. That for me brings fulfilment and joy beyond measure. —To see the results that come from allowing them the time and understanding they need, as well as the space to be themselves and to grow in their own unique way.

Do you have a personal mantra or motto? If so, what is it?

“Living in a sunshine state of mind” has been in my Instagram bio for several years now. It reflects not only my desire to be by the ocean under the warm sun but also my state of mind when things aren’t so “sunny!” Remembering to be grateful for every moment, to see the ‘sun’ even when situations may feel dark… It’s about maintaining a positive outlook, and trusting in the ebb and flow of life.

What are you looking forward to in 2024? What are your hopes and dreams for next year’s chapter?

Tye and I will be reaching our 10th wedding anniversary in 2024 which we’ll be celebrating overseas. We’re still mapping out plans for the year but we’re also looking outward to what the next decade will bring. It’s an exciting time for us, stepping out of the role of having young children and into the next stage of our lives. Focusing more closely on ourselves as individuals and in our personal relationships. We will be spending more time at home by the ocean with plans to renovate in the near future. And still making time for the road-trips we love so much!

Explore the Ora Necklace today.