Today we’d like to introduce you to Dolly Severy.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Well, for starters my name is Dolly Severy. Yes, Dolly is my real name. I was named after my grandma. I’ve been married for 10 years to my high school crush. We have 2 beautiful children. If fact, my business was named after them. We have a beautiful home in San Miguel, which is about 10 minutes north of Paso Robles. The central coast has been home for 11 years now. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect place to raise our family.
I started Lilly James Co 6 years ago. After much encouragement from my husband, family, and close friends. Sewing has always been a part of my life. My Mom taught me as she was taught by her mother. I love being able to take raw materials and make something special. Something I created with my own two hands. It truly brings me joy.
When I started this business, I knew nothing of the business side of things. Google was my best friend. I started selling Burp Cloth and Minky Blankets on Etsy. After having a friend ask if I could make her a leather bottom clutch, my response was “of course I can”. The very first one turned out beautiful. Thus started my obsession working with leather. My flagship Date Night Clutch was created when I needed a Clutch for an event my husband and I were attending. I toyed with sizes and created my own pattern. From there, I knew that I found my niche. I loved making and selling these beautiful bags to my peers.
About two years ago, I branched out from Etsy onto my own. I started offering wholesale accounts. I now have 11. This business, although still new, still evolving, still growing, and still learning, has taught me so much. I am so proud of where I am now and can not wait to see where I go.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Most definitely not. Running your own business is a learning curve. Some things you slay, some things you tend to struggle at. But, persistence and positivity is key! Being a Wife, Mom, Daughter, Sister, Friend and throw in a business owner, who makes everything from scratch takes a lot of balance. It has taken me quite a while to get that balance down. In fact, I am still working on it. I am SO thankful for the constant support from my husband and a lovely bunch of small shop Mamas!
Lilly James Co – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Lilly James Co is a home-based handmade business. I specialize in making Leather Clutches and Bags. Each piece is meticulously crafted by me. I love being about to use beautiful textiles from around the world to create these beauties.
I am so proud of my little business here. I started this business adventure 6 years ago, I am so happy that I get to still do what I love.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success?! I can most definitely rattle off what personal success means to me. A loving and supportive husband, beautiful, smart children, a lovely roof over our heads, foods in our tummies, faith, family and wonderful friends.
But, this question was geared toward business success. Funny thing is I don’t think that I’ve ever thought of myself as a business success. Then putting pen to paper (errrr, fingertips to keyboard) and having to think about all that I actually have accomplished with this business it blew my mind. I always think of business success as big brands with employees, warehouses, shipping departments. But, that’s not actually the measure of success. Success is that I started this business not know a darn thing about it. Just knowing I wanted to share my passion of sewing with others. Success is going on 6 years, 11 retail partners, over 2000 clutches made. Success is that I hold true to my handmade business and that everything is truly handmade by me! Success is that my peers see me as a successful business owner. Success is that you guys give me the joy of being able to do what I love. I have big dreams for this business. I know I am a small fish in a very large ocean. However, having to realize that I am successful bring so to pride to me.
- Website: lillyjamesco.bigcartel.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/lillyjamesco
- Facebook: facebook.com/lillyjamesco
Danielle Ranee Photography