Monday, December 31, 2007

Lilly's New Year's Resolution

As today is the last day of 2007 many of you are probably looking upon this past year's accomplishments and looking forward to changes for the new year to come.

With the fresh start of a new year comes the time for us to start making our new year's resolutions. Here's what LILL employees and I are looking forward to in 2008!

My resolution is to spend more quality time with friends by trying out different restaurants, attending some great Chicago plays and of course, hosting a LILL Party!

Here are some of the LILL staff's resolutions:

"My New Years Resolution is to stay organized around the house."
Kristina L. - LILL on Location

"My new year’s resolution is to create and live off of a well balanced, monthly budget!"
Jeni A. - Chicago store

"Learn how to be a better cook."
Bridget O. - Marketing

"I have several aspirations for 2008:
- Learn something new – I really want to start rock climbing!
- Put my new sewing machine to use
- Paint more – maybe take some classes?
- Try out a new recipe at least once a week!
- Volunteer on the weekends
Laurie C. - Creative Services

"My resolution is to relax more and to keep the house tidy."
Jess A. - Stock and Merchandising

Have one you'd like to share? Send me your goals and aspirations for the New Year and we'll post it on LILL's blog -

I wish you a wonderful new year full of happiness!
Hugs and stitches,
Lilly S.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Style Tips per LILL's Design Team

I asked Jamie from the Design Team what she was looking forward to for Holiday style and to give us some tips on how to dress for that next party.

Here are some fun tips for Holiday 2007 per Jamie!

“Here in Chicago, Holiday is always about a desperate attempt to escape the cold, grey, terrible, dark winter, and the endless days of practical fleeces, snow boots, bulky sweaters, claustrophobic turtlenecks, and my ubiquitous puffy coat that I am ready to burn already in December. But this season more than ever we will have ample opportunity to escape into a heady world of Shangri-La as stores will be filled with clothes and accessories that gilded, glowing, and sumptuous as fashion takes us on a trip down the Spice Road...
I'm looking forward to wearing a spicy palette of saffron, cinnabar red, and nutmeg brown. I'll add color and sparkle to that with pops of turquoise teal, gold dust, plum, and emerald green.

Even though I'll spend my December trudging through black ice, doing my best to dodge the yellow snow on the sidewalk, in my mind I'll be following the trade winds on an exotic journey to Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, all the way to the Far East. Jewels, gems, precious metals, baubles, and spice - Holiday 07 is going to be a party, for sure!

I'll be celebrating with sumptuous velvets and suedes, the luster of satin, patterns inspired by ornate architecture - temples, pagodas, filigrees & arabesques, along with rich paisleys, ornate jacquards and damasks, shimmering metallics, and decadent brocades. This is the season to gild the lily. For my part I'm going to be sure to have one last hurrah before fashion becomes sober and minimal again. And what better time to load up & pile it on than the Holidays?

In terms of accessories, I'm going for it this year: hats, costume jewels, dramatic belts -- maybe I’ll even be brave (or crazy) enough to work a turban or some gloves into my ensembles. For my handbag, the crowning jewel of any well-planned outfit, I'll be carrying CORA, ADRIENNE, and GRACE to all my holiday parties.

CORA I love for its dramatic, oversized grommets, substantial metal chain, and deco-inspired sunburst pin tucks. And, most importantly, it has an adjustable strap. Double it up through the grommets and you have a sleek little bag to wear on your wrist or over the shoulder for the office Christmas party. Let it hang long and you can wear across your body on New Year's Eve when it's time to get down on the dance floor or for those occasions when one finds oneself with both a cocktail and a glass of champagne ...

ADRIENNE I love for its vintage elegance. I'll be making mine with one of our modern, graphic fabrics to keep the look young and current. Its framed shape stands up well to the architectural silhouettes I plan on wearing this Holiday.

And GRACE I will need on those winter nights when I've spent the whole day feeling decidedly shapeless underneath all my practical layers and needs something decidedly feminine to cheer me up. GRACE is just the thing for that mood - it's delightfully coquettish in pink velvet Baroque-inspired floral with a mauve-y pink ruffle - a little convection fit for a queen (Marie Antoinette?).

But for me, I'll be making my GRACE out of a moody, emerald flocked taffeta for a femme fatale/Old Hollywood inspired look, doing my best to channel the smoldering glamour of Greta Garbo, even if I have my snow boots on. "

Thanks so much for the design tips Jamie! You have inspired me to go out and get myself ready for my next holiday party!
-Lilly S.

Have a holiday style tip you'd like to share? Please send them to me to help others get inspired for holiday dress!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lilly's Cookie Exchange

Lots of holiday parties are underway and one of my favorite types of holiday parties is a cookie exchange! With the help of the Loncar sisters at the production office, we were able to put together some yummy ideas for you to bring to your next holiday party or have your own cookie exchange!
Have a treat you’d like to share with us? Send it to

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxOreo Balls

What you need:
1 package of Oreo’s – crushed into fine crumbs
1 package of cream cheese at room temperature
Chocolate suitable for melting – usually located in the baking isle at your grocer

How to make:
Combine crushed Oreo’s and cream cheese until well mixed. Roll mixture into small balls and place them on a plate or baking sheet line with wax paper. Place the rolled balls into the refrigerator for ½ hour or until set.
Heat the chocolate according to the directions on the package.
Now it’s time to dip the set Oreo balls into the melted chocolate! Place the finished chocolate cover Oreo balls onto wax paper.
Add some decoration to the top if you like! (white chocolate works great!)
Place back into the refrigerator to set.
Store in refrigerator until about 20 minutes before serving time.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxTurtle Pretzel Cookies

What you need:
Pretzels – preferable the grid shaped ones
Rolos candy
Nuts – this recipe uses almonds, but you can use your favorite kind

How to make:
Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with the pretzels
Place a Rolo candy on top of each pretzel
Put them in the oven for 3 to 4 minutes
After you remove them from the oven, immediately place a nut of your choice on top of the Rolo candy and gently press down.
Place into the fridge to set and they’re ready to serve!


Lilly’s etiquette tip:
It’s customary to present the hostess with a little “Thank You” gift when attending a party. Typically you can bring a nice bottle of wine or desert. But if you want to stray from the ordinary, LILL Bags make fun and unique gifts!
Some lower priced items that make great gifts are:

SAMANTHA xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxCANDY xxxxxxxxxxxxxJOEY

Monday, November 26, 2007

Go Shopping with Lilly!

Hi LILL Girls and Boys! The shopping season is here and you are probably looking for ideas. I’m here to help! I have a long list of my own and thought I’d share my gift giving ideas with you.

Secret Santa – a CANDY full of Candy! Easy on the pocket book, plus who doesn’t love candy?

My Mom – CAROLINA wallet. My mom is very organized and this is the perfect gift for her.

Grandma - JOEY photo album filled with pictures of our past family holidays together. Sentimental and sweet, Grandma’s love that stuff!

My girlfriend – LIZ Bag. Perfect for Girl’s Night Out events plus doubles as a wallet.

Sister-in-law – She has everything so I’m going with a LILL gift certificate to LILL so we can design a bag together. This will give us some much needed ‘get to know you time’ as well!

Hey guys! Need an idea for your girlfriend or wife? Get one of LILL’s accessories such as AMY, SAMANTHA or LESLIE and put a piece of jewelry in it. The perfect packaging for the perfect gift!

Happy shopping!
-Lilly S.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Meet the Loncar Sisters!

The Loncar sisters are famous at LILL's production office not only for their hard work and dedication to LILL but also the many talents they bring to the company. Most importantly, they are known for their desserts! There is not a production office potluck complete with out one of their treats. They are as sweet as the goods they bake and it’s always a pleasure to work with them.

Get to know the Loncar sisters! I’ve asked them a few questions so you can learn more about the 3 girls that are equally nice and bring us such joy.

Meet Kristina(Bottom left) - Cutting and LOL Associate:
Nickname - Kris, Krissy
Favorite treat: Ice cream
Favorite movies: Pillow Talk, How to Marry a Millionaire, Anchors Aweigh, Move Over Darling
Favorite Music: Rockabilly
Favorite hobby: Swing Dancing
Mentor: My grandma Mary
Special Talent: I’m a great navigator

Meet Mandy (Bottom right) - Design Manager
Favorite treat: Chocolate
Favorite movies: Empire Records, Ghost World, Silence of the Lambs
Favorite Music: Indie Favorite hobby: Hanging out with friends and family

Mentor: My mom
Special Talent: I’m a good problem solver; sometimes I think I’m Macgyver!
Mandy is also the namesake of our MANDY Bag!

Meet Katie (The cherry on top!) - Cutting Associate
Nickname – Kate, KT
Favorite treat: Brownies
Favorite movies: Nosferatu, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho
Favorite Music: Punk
Favorite hobby: Coloring
Mentor: Petar Rogic
Special Talent: I’m a good listener

Check back soon for some of the Loncar sister’s delicious recipes – just in time for your next Holiday party!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Traveling in Style

With the Holidays just around the corner I realized many of you "LILL Girls" (and boys!) would be traveling to visit friends and family very soon. This inspired me to find helpful ways to travel the "LILL" way. I spoke with our marketing coordinator, Bridget, who recently traveled to New Hampshire to attend an e-commerce seminar. She helped me gather some helpful tips when traveling.

Here's how to travel according to Bridget:
"I’d be there for 2 days and 1 night. As I’m not the biggest fan of checking in luggage, I decided to pack smartly and load up a carry on (or 2) of my belongings for my venture. I called upon a few friends for help.

DONNA graciously held my laptop, PJ’s and change of clothes.

While Tara was equipped for traveling essentials and entertainment. A couple of tag-alongs came too that kept me well organized and ready for the trip through security. LIZ worked as my wallet/cell phone holder and LESLIE held all my toiletries. Both were snuggled together in my TARA.

Wow! Did I look chic, not to mention organized and ready! My trip went smoothly and I had fun with my “friends”."

Thanks so much for the tips on how to travel in style, Bridget!

Here are a couple more tips for travel:

If you are traveling with liquids, you may not bring any containers that have over 3 oz of liquid. You can bring up to 1 qt. size zip lock baggy worth. See the Transport Security Administration's website for more information. Wear slip-ons with socks. I know it sounds “old lady-ish” but your life will be a lot easier when traveling through security. Taking your shoes off is one thing, walking totally barefoot in the airport is another. You’ll thank me for it later!

Happy travels!

-Lilly S.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Chat With Jen!

Now's your chance to call in or email with those burning questions you have about LILL! The owner and founder of 1154 LILL STUDIO Jennifer Velarde will be on Eb Looney's Podcast.

Eb Looney is an image and fashion consultant who specialized in beauty and just plain being fabulous! Learn more about EB at :

Sunday, November 18th at 4:00PM EST (3:00PM CST) listen in from your computer by going to: hear the live broad casted show.

Email with your questions about fashion or anything about 1154 LILL for a chance to win Eb's CHRISTIE.

Best question will win Eb's own CHRISTIE design!

Call in during the Podcast and speak with Jen herself! 646-716-9294

Jen and Eb can't wait to chat with you!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanks for Designing a Holiday Memory with LILL!

Hello VIP Attendees!

It was so much fun creating with you at the VIP Event this past Thursday. We hope you enjoyed creating one-of-a-kind gifts for your family and friends.

We'd love your feedback on two of LILL's exciting additions!

What did you think of our newest style, DREA! Please email Lilly your comments on the styling, the reversibility, the hardware, Will DREA replace ANDI as your favorite style?

Who's DREA? Meet her in Lilly's previous post - Meet Drea!

LILL By The Yard - LILL's fabric sales division where you can buy cut yardage of the fabrics used to create your one-of-a-kind LILL Bags!

What would you create with LILL fabric? We’d love to get your comments on home decorating ideas, craft projects, design blogs that inspire and more! Email Lilly your thoughts at so we can share your great ideas with others!

Thanks again for attending our VIP event! We look forward to creating with you again soon.

-LILL Store Managers

Friday, November 9, 2007

Lilly Loves Fabrics!

The Holidays are drawing closer. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I'm in need of things to accent my home and create that warm, inviting feeling that says "sit, relax, stay a while...".
I’m feeling a little crafty and would like to whip up some pillows and table accents. What should I use? Where can I find great fabric to help accent my home?

LILL, of course! 1154 LILL now sells cut-yardage of fabric. (in-store and thru LILL on Location reps now – online SOON!) The same fabric that LILL offer as options for your custom handbag! LILL scours the country for the finest designer textiles and has had so many people interested in purchasing it over the years and is excited to be able to extend this segment of the line to you (and me!).

LILL is calling the new fabric-sales division “LILL By The Yard” and it’s exciting to see the creativity behind the projects that people are coming up with! LILL fabrics have been purchased to create big lounging pillows, table runners, stretched-fabric artwork, wedding accessories, slipcovers, drapes and much more!

Got any good home decorating ideas that I can use LILL Fabric for to spice up my home d├ęcor?
Email me -, I'd love to hear your ideas!
-Lilly S.

Meet DREA!

Did you ever wonder how LILL Bags are named?

All of the styles at LILL are named for real people. LILL Staff get to choose the names of the new bags (it’s a rotation of bag-naming, based on how long they’ve been with LILL). Our own Jess Audey, Inventory and Merchandising guru extraordinaire, chose to name this style after her cousin Andrea (she goes by Drea). So sweet!

Since this is the place to find the inside scoop on LILL, I would like to introduce you to the name behind the bag. Meet the real Drea! Namesake of our newest style, DREA!

Drea (left) with her cousin Jess (right)

For all of us to get to know Drea a little better, I’ve asked her a few questions:

Besides your namesake, what’s your favorite LILL style: ANDI—carry it all the time. It is extremely hard for me to change purses. Love a purse where you can carry everything you will ever need.

What’s in the bag? Sunglasses, cell phone, lip gloss, cigarette holder (like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), mirror, some cover up and everything else I can fit in it. And what makes me a dork: my glasses, and a little orthodontist kit for my braces.

Do you have any pets? I wish. I want to steal my cousin’s (Jess) cats.

What are your favorite Movies or TV shows? Audrey Hepburn movies like Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and My Fair Lady. I love classics and also movies showing classical periods in time like Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Also V for Vendetta, High Fidelity, The Birdcage, Goonies, all the Pirate movies, X-Men trilogy, The Incredibles, and the many Disney movies I have watched repeatedly with my little brother. I don’t have a lot of time for TV shows but I do love Project Runway when I get to watch it.

Ever met anyone famous? I met Dave Grohl from the Foo Fighters at a small little concert venue in Cleveland.

What’s the last great book you read? The Devil in the White City by Eric Larson. Actually still reading but awesome. Most of my reading time is consumed up by mindless textbooks.

Who do you consider your hero and mentor? I can’t name one person as my hero or mentor but just that I admire and look up to my amazing friends and family and love the support they give. They have made me who I am today. But my favorite super heroes are Rouge and Gambit from X Men and Spider-Man.

What’s your favorite food? Anything Mexican!!! I am addicted to chips and salsa.

Any hobbies or Activities important to you? My life is pretty much dedicated to work and school. But before I sold my life away, I loved to swim competitively, dance ballet and work backstage at a local theater doing sound and lights.

Thanks Drea! It was good getting to know you a little better!
-Lilly S.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Hey Early Holiday Shoppers!

Start your Holiday shopping early and receive a special gift from LILLFREE shipping!

Enjoy this online exclusive offer on all handbag and accessory orders placed from November 6th through November 11th when you spend $50 or more.
Design a gift for yourself or that special someone on your list.
Happy creating Lill Girls!
-Lilly S.

*Offer does not include gift certificate shipping. Offer only valid for online purchases, not valid in-store or at LILL on Location parties.

Shipping fee will be MANUALLY removed from your order when your order is processed at our head quarters.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've Decided on My DONNA!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted on my three combinations to help me decide which DONNA I should choose for my gym bag. DONNA #1 was the clear winner with 65% of your votes! You have all been so helpful, especially those that sent me alternate combinations. So, I have made my decision with your help! I have decided to go with one of the combinations suggested to me instead!

I went with one of Amity’s combinations:

I particularly like this one because of all the different textures and patterns. It’s funky and fun, plus has my favorite color combination of brown and pink. It is similar to the winning combination voted on by you, with some added spunk!

All the combinations suggested were so fun and unique it was a hard decision.

I am impressed with the creative talent my “LILL Girls” have out there and am looking forward to creating with you all once again. Perhaps a bag for the holidays!

Check back with me shortly, you never know what’s going to pop up on my blog!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Lilly's Raffle Winner!

A big congrats to Diana O.!
She was our lucky winner of 1154 LILL’s drawing for a $50 gift certificate.
She is excited and ready to design her next LILL Bag.
We will be hearing from her again when she has used her gift certificate towards her bag.

I asked her a few questions so we could all get to know our winner a little better.

Meet Diana O.:
She is from Canton, Michigan
She owns 3 LILL Bags and 2 LILL Wallets
Favorite fabrics? “I love any fabric that's kind of funky, I like to mix and match fabrics even ones that don't appear to match but may look good together.”
What’s your favorite LILL Handbag style? “I like the Donna bag but many others as well. I really like your new bag the metal strap (CORA). I love purses and like to change them with my moods, seasons, etc
Do you have a favorite quote? “My favorite quote is "It is what it is." There are things in life that we cannot control and this quote reminds me to make the best of it!”
Anything you are particularly looking forward to for the upcoming holidays? “I'm looking forward to the holidays because I have a one year old daughter, and I can't wait to see how she'll react to the Christmas tree, lights, gifts, gatherings, etc. My husband and I had to wait soooo long to have a child so we cherish every moment of it!”

Thanks again to all who have entered the raffle. Keep checking back for special discounts, sneak peeks at new styles and of course to design together!

In the meantime you can still help me choose my DONNA! I have received many new combination ideas, so now my decision will be a little more difficult. Don't forget to send me your ideas as well. Check back on Wednesday, October 31st to see what combination I've chosen to use as my gym bag!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Help Lilly design her DONNA

To pass the time until the raffle winner of the $50 1154 LILL gift certificate is announced I decided we should all do a creative activity together! I recently joined a gym and am need of a DONNA to tote all of my work-out necessities! So, I decided to treat myself! I do not own a DONNA yet (can you believe it!) and have been experimenting with a few combinations.

What do you think? You can vote on your favorite by using the poll on the left.

I love pink and brown together, plus the polka-dots are so girly.

Our design team says that birds are really HOT this year and I just love all the natural colors here. Not sure if my straps are too busy for this combo. What do you think?


This one is more classic.

Or, do you have an idea on a different combination? Email me your ideas: .

Thank you so far to the ladies who have sent me their design suggestions. We have quite a talented pool of "LILL Girls" our there. My desision will continue to be more difficult, but that's not a bad thing! If any of you like one of the below combinations, please feel free to email me or post a comment.

Thanks so much to Roselyn who suggested this combination for me as well! I like the patterning on the top and bottom base.

The 3 below were sent by Amity. I love the different colors and textures that are all paired together on the below 3. Bold patterns on the body with patterned straps really creates a uniqe and fun cobination.

This one was sent to me by Catherine. The contrasting, yet coordinating straps really add a pop of color. Henna Paisley is one of my favorites!

This was sent to me by Rebecca. Another great mix of patterns and textures. Plus I love red!

Jennifer recommended I use Tobasco Weave for my straps to add some contrast of color stating "I love using every possible fabric for designing my Lills!" And I couldn't agree more!

I will be announcing my pick on Wednesday, October 31st so check back to see which combination I chose for my new DONNA!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Welcome LILL Friends!

Thanks for visiting 1154 LILL STUDIO’S official blog. I will be taking you on a ‘behind the seams” look at LILL. Here you will get to know the dynamic employees that make 1154 LILL a unique company. Get a sneak peak at new LILL styles before they launch, receive special offers, get fashion tips from our design department, notices on VIP Invites and of course - fun reads!

As you are one of the very first to visit 1154 LILL STUDIO’S blog, I'd like to kick off the launch with a chance for you to win a LILL treat!

Enter my drawing for a chance to win a $50 1154 LILL Gift Certificate.

Here’s how it works:
- Simply email me, Lilly S., at
- Type in “Lilly Sent Me” in the subject line to be entered into the drawing. - Please type in your contact information in the body of your email. Be sure to include:
- First and Last Name
- Telephone Number
- Shipping Address

You may enter the drawing during the week of October 19th through October 26th
*only ONE entry per person please!

The lucky winner of the drawing will be announced on my blog on October 29th!

As always, be in the know at LILL!
Check back often to receive all the 'behind the seams' news and updates. I hope you enjoy my posts, happy reading and as always - Happy Creating!

Thank you and good luck!
-Lilly S.

Go Pink!

Create for the Cure with LILL and show your support in a stylish way.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 1154 LILL will donate a portion of all in-store sales placed on October 16th and 17th to a breast cancer awareness charity. Proceeds from this in-store event will go to the following charities:

Boston: Susan G. Komen Foundation for the cure – Boston Chapter
Chicago: Young Survival Coalition
Kansas City: Providence Medical Center

Design a bag or pull one from the rack, wear your bag with pride knowing you’ve supported a great cause.

*Valid on all handbags, accessories, and fabrics. Sale items not included. In-store only.

Friday, October 12, 2007

See What's Growing in Lilly's Pumpkin Patch!

I awoke this morning to a beautiful Midwestern sunrise. The crisp fall air was invigorating! I grabbed a mug of hot apple cider, wrapped up in my cozy knit shawl and went out to check on my pumpkins in my pumpkin patch. I am excited to see how big my pumpkins have grown and if they are ready to pick. I have wanted to make Granny’s recipe for delicious home made pumpkin pie.

To my utter delight I saw not only 2, perfectly round pumpkins growing in a delicious shade of orange, but also a few other delightful ‘lill’ treats blooming!

Oh, the beautiful fall colors inspired by nature...

They are ripe and ready for me to pick!

Featured fall treats:

Monday, October 1, 2007

Isn't She Lovely?

The lovely ladies you see modeling on our homepage and wearing our bags online are actually employees of LILL!

To interpret this months Art Deco fashion theme we called upon Haley - our LILL on Location Associate. With collaborated effort on wardrobe from Haley and Jess (our stock and store merchandising associate), our in-house photographer Bob came up with some fantastic shots!

Haley is a regular gal and slightly camera shy, but once the day went on she let her inhibitions go and her silliness shine! Enjoy our outtakes from this month’s fashion shoot. We hope we haven’t embarrassed her too much.

Haley did a wonderful job – kudos to you!

Jess designed and constructed the pretty black lace dress Haley is wearing in the center photo – we have quite a talented group of gals at LILL!

Get the 1940’s inspired look with:
Dark, bold lipstick
Pin curled hair
High-heeled chunky Mary Jane’s
Opaque tights
Burnished gold cocktail ring
And of course, a CORA!