Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Business Babe: Lindsay's Necklaces

I'm bringing back the interview series, because we can all use some inspiration and support from another #businessbabe. Let's kick things off with Lindsay of Lindsay's Necklaces. I first discovered through her collection at Design Darling and had to learn more about the girl behind these pretty baubles. 

How is your product unique?

Lindsay’s Necklaces started in the summer of 2004 as a mother-daughter business. My mom, Helen, taught me how to sew in our kitchen in New Jersey and together we sewed necklaces for my friends’ graduation presents. We used vintage Marblehead Handprint fabrics from my moms quilt and pillow business that she had in her 20’s. Our product is unique because of the fabrics we use. We travel and collect textiles from around the world. It is my moms eye for design and unique textiles that continues to motivate and inspire me. Anyone could make these necklaces, but ours are special because of the unique fabrics and the heart and soul in the product. Each necklace tells a different story.

Describe how you began donating 10% of your sales to Tanzania and American literacy? 

My mom and I began making necklaces shortly after returning from a two-week trip to Tanzania where we had visited an orphanage. We were both struck by the overwhelming talent of a 16 year old boy, Servio Paul. He drew the floor plan for a house – it looked like an architect did it. When we started making money and selling our necklaces in stores across the country we decided it was time to help Servio Paul. With 10% of the profits we were able to put him through secondary school. Since then we have been able to fund the education of four children who have graduated from high school.

I recently relocated from Jackson Hole, Wyoming to New York City. While living in Jackson Hole I decided there were many people in need in Teton County. I sponsored one child last year through Teton Literacy and as my business grows I hope to be able to sponsor many more students through literacy programs nationwide.

Why did you decide to make a move from Jackson Hole to New York City? 

I love Jackson Hole. I always will. But, after three wonderful years there I was ready to move back east, be near my family and get my necklace business off the ground. There is so much opportunity in New York City. Everything is convenient and everything seems possible. I’m happy I gave the big apple a chance – it’s been worth it!

Who/what is your style inspiration?

I find my inspiration in the people that I meet and places that I visit. I love color, lighting, space and fresh air. I love smells coming from street carts. I love new, brightly colored dresses. I love throwing on a fleece and sitting by a fire-pit. These things make me happy and inspire me to create and design.

Where did you get the idea for your fabric and bead necklaces?

My mom and I stumbled across an article in the New York Times Style Section titled Jewelry Without Jewels that talked about different ways to make necklaces. We had a friend who was making something similar with different fabrics and wanted to make them for my friends for graduation gifts. We had no idea a fun summer project would turn into my fulltime job someday!

What kind of people do you target to purchase your product?

Lindsay’s Necklaces are made for women of all ages. We target women who love color, and fun, unique accessories. Do you like to travel, drink lemonades in rocking chairs, read your book on the beach, and attend cocktail parties? If yes, then you are our woman!

What has been the most difficult business quest for you thus far?

We have found it challenging directing people to our website. There are so many wonderful small business out there, and getting the word out about what we do and how it is different from what other people are doing can be challenging. Tooting your own horn is never an easy task, but once in awhile it is necessary J

How has working with your mother helped your success? 

My mom is my rock. My inspiration. She is creative and supportive. She believes in Lindsay’s Necklaces more than I do sometimes. This business wouldn’t be anything without her. When I have a low moment she makes me feel like what I just designed is the next best thing after a dark chocolate bar. She allows me to dream and then reels me in when I need to look reality in the eyes. Lindsay’s Necklaces wouldn’t be Lindsay’s Necklaces without my mom.

What are your future business goals in NYC and in the next few years?

I hope to see Lindsay’s Necklaces reach women around the world. Our necklaces add color to any outfit. We just want to spread color and joy – Lindsay’s Necklaces is a lifestyle brand. Throw a necklace on, jump on your bike and go grab the mail, or toss one on as you run out the door a little late for work – either way our necklaces as sure to turn heads! 

Thanks Lindsay! 

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