Friday, March 26, 2010

say hello to Beso Handbags!

i'm excited to introduce you to a new a friend i met through fabulous etsy...the creative and talented mastermind behind Beso Handbags, Johanna! i'm thrilled that soon i will have a beso bag of my own! Johanna and i have worked out a trade, jewelry for handbag...check out her fun bags at her website here and buy one for yourself at her big cartel shop here get to know her a little better by reading more about her below...


What do you create?

I design and sew custom-made handbags.

When and why did you decide to start your business?

After high school, I went to college and graduate school and became a school psychologist. I worked as a psychologist in a school district for nine years. My children were both small and my heart was at home, while I was at work. So in 2007, I resigned. I had never owned a sewing machine, nor had I ever used one, but in the Summer of 2008, on a whim, I asked my mom to help me sew my first tote bag. She did, and told me I could have her old sewing machine. I've always been in love with purses, so I began designing and sewing bags, very basic at first, I didn't even know how to put in snaps or sew in zippers. After lots of practice and encouragement from friends and family, I began selling my beso handbags.

Where do you get your inspiration for your projects?

I am a mom. My inspiration comes from my own wants and needs as a mom, as well as those of other moms and working women I know. I know first hand what makes a good bag. It has to be modern, yet practical. Lots of pockets and a place for everything. I love the idea of letting the customer design her own bag. And I love to get feedback from my customers. Adjustable straps, sewn in key hooks, the back pack...all ideas that came from my customers.

Which of the tools you use is your favorite?

Right now, I am absolutely loving vintage fabrics. Every time I sew a bag in vintage fabric, I want to keep it!

What keeps you motivated?

I love what I do! Ever since I was a little girl, I have been designing and drawing and creating things. When a customer orders a bag, I can't wait to make it and see how it turns out! And I especially can't wait to hear what she thinks when it arrives. Loving what I do and getting the positive feedback that I get, knowing that my customers are waiting to see what new styles and fabrics I will release in the next season absolutely keeps me motivated.

How do you get the word out about your work?

Facebook has been amazing for my business! But I also have a few good friends who have agreed to work with me as regional representatives for my business. They organize home-based trunk shows and earn a commission from their sales. They have been invaluable to me. Also networking with other artists, like you Lily, have definitely helped me get the word out about my bags.

What is your main goal for the next 6-12 months?

I just released my Spring 2010 line in March. In September, it will be time to launch my Fall line again. This will mark my one year anniversary of beso handbags as it is today. Each season, I change up my fabrics and add a couple new bag styles. So my main goal for the coming year is to design a few new bags that I know my customers, both new and old, will love. Each season it is my goal to raise the bar a bit, from the previous season and go beyond my customers' expectations.

What advice would you give to someone starting a creative business?

My advice to someone starting a creative business, is to first and foremost love what you do. And second, stay true to what you love. Along with all the feedback I get, I also get suggestions to make things that just are not me. I don't make a bag, unless I would love carrying it, unless it reflects my style.

What’s the most important thing you’d like people to know/understand about your work?

My heart goes into each bag that I design and sew. When a client carries a beso bag that she designed herself, she can be sure that it was made with attention to every detail and that I enjoyed making it for her.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned while running your business?

I've learned many things while getting my business up and running. One of the most important lessons I've learned is that I can't be happy running my business unless I am creating pieces that I love and projecting an image to people that reflects me, as a person. My style of design may not appeal to everyone. I've had to work hard to find the right market for my designs and my price point. I have had to stay true to the vision that I have for my business. I have had people along the way, just trying to be helpful of course, try to steer me in a direction that they felt would be beneficial for me and my business. But in the end, it is always my decision, and the image that I choose to project, always reflects who I am as a designer.

If you had the time, what new craft/medium would you like to learn or use?

Design is one of my passions. I would love to expand my knowledge in this area and learn pattern making and clothing design.

What's your definition of a perfect day?

A great cup of coffee, kisses and hugs from my husband and my kids, a clean house, laundry done, an organized studio, a long walk, a great meal, a good show on t.v. and a good night's sleep. Its the little things.


thanks Johanna!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

lily pottery gives back

i had the awesome opportunity to present my check to the Greenville Hospital System with talented artists, Christina Sawicki and Jessica Libor this past monday. together we were able to raise over $700 to donate to the Pediatric Cardiology Unit through the Arts for Hearts show we had February 11th. a  big thanks to G-Mag for making this possible, and HUGE thanks to all of you who came out and supported the event last month...

Jessica Libor, Lily Stratton and Christina Sawicki present their funds raised from the Arts for Hearts Benefit. The event supported the Pediatric Cardiology unit at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Hospital System.

Dr. Ben Horne, Director of GHS Pediatric Cardiology (far left), and Casey Smith, Marketing and Circulation Manager of G Magazine (far right), join artists Jessica Libor (second from left), Lily Stratton and Christina Sawicki as they present their funds raised from the Arts for Hearts Benefit. The event supported the Pediatric Cardiology unit at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Hospital System.

here's a blurb from GHS:

The next time Pediatric Cardiology patients at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Hospital System watch a DVD during treatment or play with a Magna Doodle, they’ll have the donors and artists at the Art for Hearts benefit to thank.

The benefit, presented by G Magazine, Zen and Table 301 on Feb. 11, raised more than $700 for Pediatric Cardiology patients. Three Greenville-area artists worked together to make the benefit a success: painter Jessica Libor and jewelry designers Christina Sawicki and Lily Stratton.

Dr. Ben Horne, Director of GHS Pediatric Cardiology, expressed how thrilled he was with the artists’ generosity and the event as a whole, which spotlighted awareness for children’s heart disease.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

spring is here!!!

this warm weather makes me a happy girl!
here's a brand new color i've mixed up just for spring...introducing...
speckled tomato

large abstract cocktail...$62
now available in my etsy shop

Friday, March 12, 2010

lily pottery on it's way to Mint Julep!

yesterday i sent off package of lily pottery jewelry to my newest boutique carrying my line, Mint Julep Spa and Boutique. after i browsed the website, i'm going to need to plan a little trip to Albany, GA for a day at Mint Julep. you can check out their website and their facebook fan page here.
a big thanks to the wonderful ladies of Mint Julep that i met at market for ordering! hoping to visit soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

lily pottery has a new friend...

i have been so busy creating in my new studio...sorry for not blogging lately...but i am SO very excited to tell you about the newest shop carrying lily pottery.
say hello to...Squash Blossom!

 this fabulous mother and daughter owned boutique is located in Decatur, GA. Squash Blossom has a little bit of everything, shoes, handbags, clothes, jewelry...they got it! check out their great website, and if you're in the Atlanta area...don't miss out, do some shopping at Squash Blossom!

Monday, March 1, 2010

sprucin' up...

the lily pottery etsy shop got quite the makeover this past weekend...FINALLY! many of you have been asking for specific pieces i haven't had in my shop, but now it's stocked and ready for shopping! you can browse my complete collection of rings, earrings, and necklaces in the shop. click here and check it out for yourself...and if you don't find just what you're looking for, let me know or check back...i'll be updating the shop regularly...happy shopping!