Why did y’all decide to start your own business?
Well… it’s kind of a crazy story! I graduated TCU in 2011 with a Masters of Accounting and an undergrad Business Administration degree. I LOVED accounting (huge nerd, I know). I am a very organized and methodical person who loves math, so it was kind of perfect. After graduation, I married my husband, Andy, and I worked at an accounting firm for a year as a tax accountant. I learned so much while I was there and I loved the people I worked with, but I felt like there was a part of me that was being help back. I didn’t feel like I was using all my gifts. Busy season was also pretty rough. Andy and I didn’t see one another very much, and I could see how this job could negatively affect our marriage and quality of life. So, after my first busy season Andy thought it would be fun if we tried to pursue my jewelry hobby more seriously. After one small trunk show out of our home in Fort Worth, we took the leap of faith and started LovelyB!
How did you decide to leave your day job and take on LovelyB full time?
It was a really hard decision! I definitely did not make it over night! I got counsel from my family and my husband’s family. Andy and I prayed together about what to do – fully knowing that God had everything in his hands. It is funny because I remember the exact moment I felt at peace about quitting. I was at work sitting at my desk (in my awesome cubicle) working on an Excel spreadsheet, and I was color coordinating every cell. I was more focused on making the spreadsheet look appeasing to the eye with colors that complimented one another and with a balanced design than I did about the content. At that point I was like ok… what am I doing here?
What is the best advice you received when starting LovelyB?
It came from Andy and it was to “dream big”! I have learned from Andy the joy of dreaming. Sometimes we dream about living on land somewhere. Sometimes we dream about having a house full of kids. Sometimes we dream of retiring in Hawaii… it goes on and on. When we started LovelyB we dreamed of me having a flexible job that would allow me to stay at home when we had children. Then, we dreamed of starting our own business together. And then, we leaned into the Lord together for guidance and direction.
How did you start making bracelets?
While in high school, I would play around with wire and beads with my best friend. I started making my bracelets as birthday and Christmas gifts, but never took it seriously. While at TCU I ventured into game day earrings and continued to work on my bracelets. My roommate would tell me that I was crazy to not be pursuing this more – I was focused on school, and didn’t really realize what I had!
Where do you pull inspiration for your designs?
Everywhere! I love playing with color and any kind of bead. I have boxes and boxes of beads that I have collected over the years. From the changing leaves between seasons, to any interior design magazine (Veranda is my favorite!), to the current and future fashion trends, to wrapping paper, to fabric swatches… my eye is always inspired!
What has been your biggest success with LovelyB?
We are currently in two major market showrooms and have sold to hundreds of stores! We also sell to various big chain stores in the US, which is so exciting! We gain most of our business from Dallas, Atlanta, and Vegas markets – we have so much fun with it! Andy always travels with me to Atlanta and Vegas. It is a blast! We love meeting our storeowners, and I enjoy having a good business relationship with them. “Success” is hard to define. We don’t really keep count of stores or pride ourselves on that. Truly the best feeling and when I feel “successful” is seeing a stranger out and about wearing my pieces. It’s the best feeling in the world. I always introduce myself and want to hear their story of how they found LovelyB. I also always give a bracelet off my wrist to my new friend, so be on the look out!
What is it like to work with your husband?
It’s THE BEST! I am the luckiest girl in the world. Andy is one of those people who never has a bad day. Ever. Truly, we just had our 4 year anniversary and everyday when he calls me on his way home from work and I ask him how his day was he always says, “Today was great!” It’s his spirit and outlook on life that makes working with him the absolute best. He still works for his family’s corrugated box business, but he helps me with orders after work and on the weekend. I am pretty impressed with his beading skills! He can proudly say (and I would not argue) that he can make any bracelet in our line from start to finish. All by himself! Ha! But, I am the more creative one, and Andy is more of the business oriented one. We are the perfect duo! I come up with a design, and Andy produces the most efficient method to create the pieces and finds the most sustainable suppliers.
What color combination has been your favorite go-to bracelet stack this summer?
Definitely all the neutrals! I usually wear all gold jewelry, so the gold neutral bracelets are my all time favorite and my most worn!
In your opinion, what are the three things someone should consider before starting their own business?
- Have faith! Deuteronomy 31:7-8 is a verse I go to frequently. “ Be strong and courageous… do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you!” LovelyB would not be where it is today without Andy and my steadfast faith and trust in the Lord. He is the first person we talk to every morning and the last person we talk to every night!
- Be ready to sell yourself! People want a story behind your product or service. It’s always more fun to invest in a product or brand that has an interesting and fun story!
- Stay true to your dream! You may be told you are “crazy”, but use that to fuel your determination to gain momentum and grow. My parents were not exactly excited when I told them about my desire to start my own jewelry line. I was so blessed to get a sustainable and reputable job right out of college, and they just couldn’t imagine me risking the loss of that security. I think any loving and caring parent would have that thought or worry in their mind. It was scary and it was a huge risk, but it was so worth it. My parents are totally on board now, and see how much fruit has come from me starting LovelyB!
What projects are you currently excited about? Any big plans for fall?
We just recently launched our Fall line, Marvel, in July this year! We have had an awesome response! Our blush bracelets have been the customer favorite! I am starting to work on Spring now! It’s crazy how in the current season you are always working on the next season. It never stops, but I enjoy it! Besides the big rush for Christmas, we do have BIG plans for fall! We are having a baby in December! AH! We are so excited and are looking forward to LovelyB + Baby!
Thanks Allison for being this month’s Business Bombshells! I am so excited to see Andy and your family growing! Check out her website here: http://www.thedefineddish.com/ and you definitely want to follow her for the latest trends and new designs on Instagram .