Today we’d like to introduce you to Lily Bekmezian.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Lily. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story began with a simple vision. I am a single mother of two little girls, Sofia 10 and Stella 7, and it was simply time to show them the importance of financial independence and creating the life you know that you deserve. It was 2017 when I created House of Sofella. The name is a combination of both of my girls, a constant reminder as to why I started the business and why I can never give up.
As a single mother, I take tremendous pride in teaching my two young daughters individuality and freedom of expression. Together as a family, we pick and choose the visions you see. House of Sofella invites you into our very own hand-picked boutique. I spend time speaking with each designer and gain knowledge of their stories behind each look while creating a new story of my own.
I find it my responsibility to create a platform for my young daughters. To be their example. Life isn’t always ideal but the moral of our story is that we have the ability to create new opportunities for ourselves. I want them to be proud of their mama but more importantly, I want them to be confident and find the strength to overcome any obstacle in life. The greatest gift I have been given is the opportunity to raise little women into becoming forces to reckon with. They are our future and we are their example.
House of Sofella was essentially created for this very purpose. For my daughters. For our daughters…
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Creating a business absolutely has its challenges. I started House of Sofella completely on my own and not really knowing much about the industry of e-commerce retail. The vision was there and so was the willingness to put in the work, isn’t that enough? Well, I quickly came to the conclusion that, no, in fact that wasn’t enough. Should I have spent more time doing research? Yes. Should I have obtained more capital funding before my launch? Absolutely. But sometimes, you have to just take that leap, you know? So I did just that. Financially I wasn’t ready. I was lucky enough to be given a very small family loan to start with (not nearly what I needed) but I made it happen. After a year of planning we launched the website and I have never been more terrified. I remember crying like a little girl praying this all works out.
Two years later, I have learned so much and continue to learn. That road is endless… I am grateful for my mistakes and will continue to make a few more. But I will learn from them and I will make the necessary changes. There is no such thing as a smooth road. For now, I am on my own with growing House of Sofella and I am completely comfortable with that. I need to experience these struggles on my own for my own growth.
Please tell us about House of Sofella.
House of Sofella is an online children’s clothing boutique that specializes in European fashion. We carry high-end clothing brands that are set apart from the mainstream brands with their quality, stitching, materials and longevity. When my girls were very little we used to dress them up (as all moms like to do) in adorable, girly styles. There were a few boutiques in our neighborhood that introduced some amazing European brands that nobody had really ever heard of in the US. Although a bit pricier, I found that the pros outweighed the cons. For example, I was able to keep the clothing for my second child (or as amazing quality hand me downs).
The brands that I have chosen to work with are very near and dear to my heart. Having a passion for great material and longevity, I bring not only the best but reasonably priced unique pieces.
When my girls were born and all throughout the years, I would find it increasingly difficult to find quality clothes that outlast multiple washes. Fabrics and quality materials along with longevity were the main factors I searched for when shopping for them. There were a few neighborhood boutiques that introduced some of these European brands to the community and I absolutely fell in love. Fast forward many years, I knew these were the brands I wanted to introduce back into the community. I can vouch for them because I know them, they grew up with my girls and I trust these brands, for my kids and yours.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
In a heartbeat…with a few tweaks of course.
I started this business completely alone with little to no guidance. It was built on hopes and dreams (which makes me smile). But then reality knocked on my door and I quickly realized how I underestimated the financial portion of my dream. I launched with a single season, new and raw, and prematurely assumed sales would be automatic and the earnings would carry over to the new season. Well, that was and still is an obstacle I work at daily. This is something I would spend a bit more time on research and funding.
- Website: www.houseofsofella.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/houseofsofella/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/houseofsofella/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/HSofella
J E S S I C A B U T L E R B E L L