Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year and THANK YOU! Thank you for staying tuned into our blog and thank you for being a fan of LILL in general. You are truly the best and we feel so lucky to have such amazing, caring, creative and loyal customers.

All of us here at LILL have so enjoyed and appreciated your stories, comments and feedback - please keep it up! We're using your ideas and input to design new products, choose our fabrics, improve our processes and policies and much more. We look forward to more conversations and idea sharing to come!

We know that 2008 was not an easy year for so many. No getting around it - the economy was tough and will be for a little while longer. We want to thank you for making the decision to support LILL as a local independent business. It means the world to us.

We hope you are able to ring in the New Year with friends and family close by - have fun and stay safe!

Wishing you joy, good health and much success in 2009!

Jen and the entire 1154 LILL Studio Team

Monday, December 22, 2008

LILL Team Holiday Traditions

With this week being Christmas and the start of Hanukkah, the much anticipated holiday season is in full bloom. We here at LILL thought it would help to get you in the holiday spirit by sharing our holiday traditions with you.

"We have a fun tradition that began when my oldest brother was born - we take a family picture every year dressed up in our winter jackets with axe in hand next to our fake Christmas tree like we cut it down. We have a pic of the family every year. They are all now in a book at my parents. It is pretty fun to look at and see how we changed through the years and how the coats were passed down - poor Bob always got the hand me downs :-).... Some of the teen years we all looked "thrilled" to be taking the pics and I have some really great hair in the late 80's :-)" - Jen Velarde, President of 1154 LILL

"I buy an ornament each year that reflects something significant that happened in our lives that year. For example, this year I’m looking to get a (wedding) bell or a ring for our engagement…and I always write the date on it." - Mandy, Design Director

"Every year, my mom buys all of the girls new pajamas. We open them Christmas Eve and then wear them to bed that night." - Laurie, Creative Services

"We always watch A Christmas Story before dinner. After dinner, and before opening presents, my uncle takes all of the cousins out to look at lights around the neighborhood. When we get back the grownups have had a minute to relax and then we open gifts." - Sarah, Store Operations

"I do that Cheeseburgers and milk shake picnic in front of the tree on Christmas Eve. It’s so nice to have an informal meal under all the pretty lights plus it’s cute to listen to the kids to guess about what Santa will bring the next morning." - Rachel, Creative Services Manager

"Our family tradition started with my Mom, she would give us a new ornament each year, one year it might be made of glass the next year it maybe made of plastic, I can remember being so excited, waiting to see what my ornament would look like, what color, I don’t have all the ornaments, that she gave, I do have a few that I was able to hold on to thought the years and they are on my tree at home today." - Donna, Parts and Pieces Department

"For the extended family Christmas dinner, we forgo the entree because everybody brings such great appetizers. There is no formal dinner sit-down, the extended family eats buffet style from the appetizers each of the eight families brings. Of course, you cannot get in the door without Christmas cookies.
We also have a gift give away. In addition to the secret Santa gift, everyone brings a wrapped gift costing no more than $20. The gifts are placed in a pile. All the gift-give-away participants is given a number picked from a hat. Person number one picks a gift and unwraps it. Person number two can either “steal” from person number one or pick an unopened gift. Anyone one having a gift stolen can steal from any of the opened gifts or open a new gift. This goes on until everyone has a gift.
We implemented several rules. You can only have your choice stolen three times. We have outlawed Chia pets and candles. This is turning out to be the most popular part of the evening. You would think that there would be a lot of animosity built up by having your sister steal a gift you wanted but it is in good fun. In addition, the gifts are pretty cheesy. I am still trying to get rid of the Ginsu Knives my wife picked and nobody would steal." Mike, Production Director

"My family’s holiday tradition is an annual Holiday Bingo party. I don’t know what gave my mom the idea the first time, but it was so much fun that we’ve been doing it for probably 15 years. My mom buys little gifts and wraps them up so you can’t tell what they are, and when you win a round of bingo you get to pick a prize – and you never know if you’re going to get something good or something not so good. Last year I got stuck with a key chain of a tiny foam flip-flop... It started out with about ten people, but every time someone new comes, they want to come back the next year – so the crowd gets bigger every year!" - Liz, Accounting Manager

"My mom always gives my brother and me a Christmas ornament each year. Whenever possible she finds one that somehow relates to events that occurred during the year for us—for instance, I got a porcelain rabbit purchased in Vermont the year we took a family vacation there and a carved wooden English Bobby the year I spent in London in college. It’s a wonderful tradition because now my brother and I each have a fantastic collection of ornaments, each of which conjures up a memory of the year we received it. So... thanks mom!" - Kate, LILL on Location Director

"Ever since I've been with my husband we have his brother and wife (who happens to also be my best friend!) come over to our house on Christmas Eve after Grandma's dinner and present opening extravaganza. Every year I hide a "Christmas Pickle" in the tree. The brothers fight to find it. Whoever finds it gets to open the first present and play Santa. Now we have kids so it gets to be more fun than ever!
My birthday is also on Christmas, so we stay up until midnight and then my husband and in-laws/friends present me with my b-day gift at 12:01. They count down the minutes 'til my birthday. I love it, it makes me feel so special." Amy, Web Store Manager

Thanks for sharing in your holiday traditions.
If any of you LILL fans have a tradition you'd like to share, we'd love to hear it! Send it to:

LILL wishes you all a joyful holiday season and a wonderful new year to come!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Featured 'LILL Girl' - Meet Hillary!

Some LILL Fans have just discovered the joy that is creating your own handbag and others have been long time dedicated, die-hard fans who spread the word to anyone and everyone no matter what state you are in. With that, I'd like to introduce you to Hillary, an ER nurse. Her love for LILL began in 2004 when she was a student nurse in Chicago at the Children's Memorial Hospital ER and would walk by Lill everyday on her way to work.

She was one of 30 attendees who attended a LILL on Location party in Seattle. She has a great history with LILL and fun stories to share.

Hillary is originally from Fremont MI, lived in Chicago for a few years, and has since been in Seattle for about two and a half years.

Let's get to know Hillary and share in her fantastic journey of becoming a "LILL Girl".
"I was a student nurse in Chicago at the Children's Memorial Hospital ER and would walk by Lill everyday on my way to work, since I actually lived on Lill Street. I told myself that when I graduated and started working I would buy a "work bag" with my first pay check. I ended up working at the Children's Memorial ER for two more years and carried Pamela with me every day. So total now I've been a "Lill Girl" for close to five years!

The Seattle Children's Hospital Lill madness began the first day I went to work with my new Hadley, which I had just picked up during a trip back to Chicago. Since that day I have found my bag missing with ransom notes left, and other nurses walking around holding onto the bag. Despite work's "no Internet rule", I can usually spot one of the nurses at all times with the Lill website open or minimized at the bottom. When my good friend Sara, hosted the Lill party for our work, over 30 women showed up, and it's still the talk of the ER. "

Let's get to know Hillary by learning of her favorite things!

Hobbies or activities you enjoy doing? "Lately my husband and I have had some serious Monopoly matches, other than that I love to shop, drink coffee, hang out with friends and travel."

How many LILL Bags do you own? "I think 7, but Carolina should be arriving any day now. That doesn't include all of the bags I purchased as gifts though, my bridesmaids loved them!"

Favorite LILL Bag style? "Right now it's probably HADLEY, with my BRIDGET being a close second."

Top 3 fabric picks:
Spring Sprigs, Yellow Stone and Ring Around the Rosie. All different bags of course.

If you were crowned the Queen of LILL for the day, what would you do?
“If I were owner for a day of LILL I would do nothing more than design design design!!! I will always love my Lill bags, but the actual process of designing them is my favorite part!"

Thanks for sharing your great stories with us, Hillary! It was fun getting to know you and we look forward to creating with you again real soon!
-Lilly S.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December LILL Team Memeber of the Month!

December's LILL Team Member of the Month is.....Alexandra A. from LILL's HQ Cutting department! You may also recognize her from an earlier post.

Alexandra is from Mundelein, IL and joined the LILL team in February of 2008. She also works as our Jr. Fabric Associate and works with the Design team. She exudes a feeling of teamwork and positivity. She is known for being a speedy worker and a joy to work with. Alexandra’s hard work ethic, as displayed in her assistance with the new fabric system and dedication during the busy period of the cutting department, influences those around her to push a little harder in all that they do. Whether in cutting or design, Alexandra is always giving her all, learning and implementing as much as she can and always willing to share what she has learned with others.

Let's get to know Alexandra!

Favorite LILL style?
HADLEY…I already have 2!

Top 3 fabric picks:
Tomato Faux Suede, Higan Bloom, Fruity Pebbles (This is my all-time fav!)

What do you love most about working for LILL?
"That all day long I get to look at purses and think about what I’m going to purchase next!"

Nickname: "For the most part I go by Alexandra, but my brother and the girls at the restaurant I work at all just call me Al."

Favorite bands or music genre?
"I am a long time lover of the band Green Day but also hold all genres of Spanish music very close to my heart!"

Where did you last vacation?
T"o Huatulco, Mexico almost two years ago."

Anything else fun you’d like to share?
"I love to sing out loud at work and annoy all the girls by knowing every song that is on the radio no matter what station we are listening to lol!"

Thanks for sharing your fun info with us, Alexandra! It was a pleasure to get to know you better and is truly a joy to work with you.

-Lilly S.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Emily's Pick of the Week

Happy Friday LILL Fans! I am excited to post my pick this week after a short hiatus. This week's pick was designed by LILL customer Elizabeth S. Elizabeth designed a custom BRIDGET. BRIDGET is a reversible bag!

For the exterior, she chose the fun Topsy Turvy fabric. For the interior, she chose the whimisical Bangladesh Paisley with a zipper accent that really pops in Tomato Faux Suede.

Check back next week for a new post. Have a great weekend! Emily

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Can you believe Thanksgiving is already tomorrow? We are hosting at our house this year, so its time to dust off all those seldom used serving dishes and table settings! Fortunately for my family, I will not be the head chef - I'll serve as "sous-chef" to the wonderful cook that is my mother-in-law. I'll do what I do best - I'll supply the tools and dress the space and leave the "concocting" of the meal to her.

As I see the holiday decor (and hear that familiar music) everywhere I go, I am really starting to "feel" the holidays. It seeps in slowing and before I know it we will be at the height of the holiday season and I will be wondering how Christmas is tomorrow and how I still have a huge list of things to finish. I relish so many of the special things that happen this time of the year, but am always amazed at how quickly the time goes.

So before it gets too far away from me, I wanted to send a note of thanks out to our amazing customers. I truly appreciate your patronage and support of our brand. Your feedback both pushes and inspires us every day. I love hosting you in my "home" that is the LILL brand and I love being the "sous-chef" to the true creators of our products - you! I feel so fortunate to have such wonderful, engaged and loyal customers! Thank you for your business and for sharing your love of LILL with your family and friends. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jen Velarde
Founder/President - 1154 LILL Studio

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Featured 'LILL Girl' - Meet Briana!

Meet Briana, a LILL Girl since March of '08. Originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey, but now resides in Los Angeles, designer of 12 LILL Bags! I received a few emails about a particular LILL FANatic, Briana. Her love for LILL was spread about the office, bringing cheer to us all. This is why we love what we do and why we love to hear your stories.

Jenny W., our LILL on Location rep for the OC/LA area wrote a post about Briana's party on her blog.

Lets get to know Briana by learning some fun facts about her.

Briana featured on left loving her DONNA.

Special hobbies or activities you enjoy doing?
"I really love to travel. I love exploring new places and cultures. I've been to 41 different states and a number of countries (USA, Mexico, The Bahamas, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, Mauritius, India, Vietnam, Burma, Hong Kong, China, Japan, England, Scotland, Spain, France, The Netherlands and Italy).
Any fun facts you’d like to share?
I once lived on a ship with 600 college students for 100 days while traveling around the world!"

What began your love for LILL and how long have you been a LILL Girl?
"I was first introduced to LILL while I was at a conference in Boston in March of '08. A friend from grad school told me that she had just designed her own bag at a store on Newbury Street, and I was immediately intrigued. Being someone who has a pretty healthy obsession with bags, I knew immediately that I needed to check this out for myself. So I went back with her, and the minute I walked into the shop, I knew I was hooked. I made two bags that day for myself, one for a friend and got the phone number for the LA rep."

How many LILL Bags do you own?
"Let's see. I own an ANDI, a MOLLY, a DONNA, an ANNE, a DREA, two LESLIEs, a SAM, an ERIKA, a LIZ, an ERINN and an AUDREY JANE. Oh...and a CONNOR! I believe that is 12 in total!
Favorite LILL style?
"This is a tough question. It's hard for me to choose. But, I think my favorite is the ANDI. She's such a great everyday bag. She has plenty of space for all of my daily needs, and she can easily hold some of the smaller LILLs inside (like the SAM!)"

Top 3 fabric picks:

Calla Lily - It's just such a beautiful fabric, and I love the different textures of it!

Paisley Party - When I first saw it in person, I was blown away by how appealing the different colors and patterns were. I knew I needed it on a bag immediately!

Central Park Tweed
- I love green and tweed, so I think this fabric was made for me!

“If I were the queen of LILL for a day of LILL I would….invite all of my favorite bag-lovers to come make a bag. I love introducing new people to LILL and seeing how much fun they have while designing their own purse. I would especially invite those who are skeptical because they can't picture what the bag will look like in the end because I know once they see the end-product, they'll be a LILL fan for life! I would basically host one large LILL party!"

Thanks so much, Briana! It was certainly fun getting to know you better. We can't wait to create with you again and see what creation you come up with next!

-Lilly S.

Friday, November 21, 2008


In the past couple of months I've received a few catalogs from J.Crew. I have loved their current collection so much that I simply can't throw the magazines away. It is even more ridiculous in that I as I peruse the catalogs, I am 5 1/2 months pregnant and have no chance of being able to wear much of what they feature this season. Nonetheless, I still covet the clothes.

What I have been struck by is the upscale elegance they have seamlessly intertwined into their line along side their traditional casual weekend wear. The result is a look I love - beautiful tailored jackets layered over tops and jewelry that are both playful and sophisticated. The color palette they have chosen for their line this season is right up my alley as well - optimistic, tonal, and complimentary in nature.

An 1154 LILL bag is the perfect companion to top off this stylish look that has inspired my picks for this month. If I could only wear one of the blazers…..I would definitely wear it with LILL's ERINN clutch for evening in "Coming up Daisies" or LILL's DREA reversible everyday bag in "Lipstick Jungle" and "Cosmo Tweed," as these bags combine some of my favorite fabrics and looks for fall. This season, why not dress up that traditional casual with a little upscale elegance? 1154 LILL Studio can help you design the perfect accent to your new look.

This picture shows some products from J.Crew along side our ERINN in Coming UP Daisies and was created using a really cool site called Polyvore. The site lets you take products from various vendors and put together looks / outfits. What a great way for you to tell your significant other EXACTLY what you want for the holidays. Check it out yourself at

Happy designing!

Jen Velarde
Founder / President - 1154 LILL STUDIO

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This Week's Team Members

Only one week away until Turkey Day is finally here! It's also a time to reflect on what we're thankful for; family, friendships, and lower gas prices? At LILL we are most thankful for the people we work with everyday. It seems whenever I ask the question "why do you love about working for LILL?", there is a common answer "the people I work with...". There is a reason for that common answer, all LILL employees seem to have the same kind, dedicated and hard working nature that truly creates a great recipe for a solid team.

Now meet some more, wonderful, fun, give you a tooth-ache they're so sweet, LILL Team Members:

Meet Monica W., LILL's Office Manager

Favorite Style: SOPHIE
What do you love about working for LILL?
"That everyone has some kind of creative energy. And that most everything is a democracy, we vote or have discussions on everything! :~)"

Meet April D., LILL's Design Associate

Favorite Style: "CORA & SOPHIE, but the backpack we are currently working on might top the cake!"
What do you love about working for LILL?
"The open community of ideas. We are able to express our creativity and bounce ideas off of each other openly. LILL loves creativity!"

Meet Danielle B., AKA “Dani”, LILL's Junior Software Developer
Favorite Style: DONNA
What do you love about working for LILL?
"I’ve only been here a short time, but I love the work I’m dong – and the people! Everyone is so nice and a lot of fun! Also, the environment in general – it’s laid back, not corporate and annoying. I love it!"

I hope you enjoyed getting to know LILL's team this week. Check back next week for more featured LILL people and more!

-Lilly S.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Meet LILL's "Models"!

LILL's current home page features 3 lovely ladies from LILL's HQ and one special little lady, Jen's daughter - Hadley! There is a sweet story behind this "feel good, warm and fuzzy" home page.

The shoot took place in Jen's home. During the photo taking Hadley awoke from her nap, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. So sweet, how could we not want to take some fun practice shots with her in it? Turns out, Hadley is a natural - mom must take lots of pictures of her! Hadley really helped to bring the feel good feeling we were looking for to life. She's just like her mommy, so into fabrics and colors. There's no doubt she will be a mini version of Jen someday.

Although the shoot was not tremendously long, it was hard for our models to smile for such long periods of time. In order to loosen up those smile muscles they could be found doing the "Super Model" look or as we like to refer to is as "The Zoolander Look". It helped to have a bit of silly time between shots.

Now get to know our models:

Meet Robin N., LILL's Vice President
Favorite Style: "I am loving the HADLEY right now – it’s big enough to throw stuff for my kids into it, including an extra diaper and sippy cup, but it’s still definitely a “purse” vs. a diaper bag. Plus it has these great pockets for my blackberry, digital camera and CONNOR with my business cards."

What do you love about working at LILL? "Having been involved with Jen’s dream for what would become 1154 LILL from the very early stages, I don’t feel that this is a job, but instead, simply a part of my life. I can’t imagine doing anything else and I feel so lucky to be involved with something that is so important to me. It’s thrilling to help someone design a bag that is perfectly her or hear a customer talk with excitement about the bag she designed herself. It’s rewarding to collaborate with so many talented people here at headquarters to shape and direct what LILL is now and what the company, the brand, the product and the experience will become in the future. And finally, I am inspired and proud of my friend for building all of this. She is so strong and brave and always sees the best – both in possibilities and in people."

Meet Laurie C., LILL's Creative Services Associate
Favorite Style: "SUSAN! Over the weekend I stuffed my laptop, an extra pair of shoes, my makeup, clothes for 2 days, a book, and a freezer bag full of cookies in my SUSAN."
What do you love about working at LILL? "I love my coworkers and the sense of community that exists at LILL. Oh, and there is always candy somewhere. I like that, too."

Meet Amy F., LILL's Web Store Manager

Favorite LILL Bag Style: "JACK and SOPHIE, I love the convenience of both and especially because they are both named after 2 of my favorite people! Although I have had my eye on SUSAN for quite some time now."

What do you love about working at LILL? "I've been with LILL for almost 6 years now. Before that, during college I interned at Jen's small studio apartment where it all started - 1154 LILL St. in Chicago. It's been so amazing to see how much we've grown over the years and I'm so happy and proud to be a part of the growth. And of course, the people that work here are the greatest. They are truly like my family. I've seen so many girls go through weddings and babies. It's nice to "grow up" with a wonderful bunch of people."

We hope you enjoyed the outtakes of the shoot and getting to know our models/team members a bit more!

-Lilly S.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Team Member of the Month!

November’s Team Member of the Month is….Alex A.!
Yes, LILL does have some male employees!

Alex has been a tremendous help in so many projects and in every department of LILL HQ and beyond. He is known for being innovative in his thinking of project solutions especially to make them time efficient. Alex has always been distinguished by his great work ethic and willingness to help even when extremely busy. Kind, knowledgeable, even tempered, patient (especially for working in an environment of mostly women), consistent and positive are some of the things that were used to describe Alex in the votes submitted. He has done an outstanding job!

Alex is originally from Fresno, CA and has been with our Tech Team for the past 1 and ½ years.
Let's get to know Alex, you can see why we here at LILL enjoy working with him.

Favorite style: HADLEY

Top 3 fabric picks:

Hitchcock Roses, Bubble Gum Linen, Manatee Faux Suede

What do you love most about working for LILL?

The people I work with, a fun bunch of funny bunnies

Nickname? Al (short for Alex)

Favorite type of music: Every type of music, viva eclectica!

Where did you last go on vacation? Berlin, Germany.

Have a fun story you'd like to share?

My name in Latin means leader of man, which can't be true because I get lost all the time. Once while camping I went wandering and couldn't find my way back, so was forced to sleep outside the whole night, like a failure. I woke up in the morning about 6 feet away from my tent.

Thanks, Alex! You are truly a joy to work with.

-Lilly S.

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Week's Employees

Last week you met our 3 “models” from our website’s home page. Now meet some more behind the scenes folks that work hard everyday to ensure you truly love your LILL Bag.

Meet Adrienne S., Senior Fabric Associate Design Dept.
Favorite Style: ANDI and PAULA
"I love all the creative minds and seeing how a bag comes together. I also like that it is a mostly women run company. It is very inspiring. It is a great work environment and I never dread going to work."
Fun Fact: The ADRIENNE bag is named after this very Adrienne!

Meet Donna C.,
Parts & Pieces Associate
Favorite Style: MOLLY & DONNA of course.
"I work with an awesome team. I love how I have learned so many areas of the company.
Our potlucks are the best ever."
Fun Fact: The DONNA bag is named after this very Donna!

Meet Brayan N., Shipping Associate
Favorite Style: "If I were to be a girl, I would say the AUDREY JANE would be my favorite. It would have a Lux Tux exterior and fairy dust for the JANE."
"What I love about working at LILL is that it’s very motivating. I have learned so much and I enjoy working with my co-workers."

It was great getting to know this week's highlighted LILL team members. Check back soon for more fun posts from LILL's owner and see what Emily's pick of the week will be this week. Your LILL Bag could be famous!
-Lilly S.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Things You Are Given

This week was a memorable one for me. I am pregnant with my 3rd child, and had my 20 week visit to the doctor on Monday. For those who have been through a pregnancy before, the 20 week visit is a "big" one - you get an amazing view of your child during a lengthy ultrasound and it is the one where you can find out if the baby is a boy or a girl. For our first 2 children, we opted to be traditional and wait till the end. The announcement of "it's a boy," for our first, and "it's a girl" for our second was nothing short of thrilling. I had hoped to go the same route this time and wait till the end, but over the last few weeks I simply got anxious. Maybe, it was that the timing of the appointment was so close to the Presidential election - where nothing was certain until yesterday, or that lately the news is filled with so many unknowns. Something was pushing me to find out so I would know for sure. Fortunately, baby number 3 obliged and quickly offered the doctor a view that confirmed, without a doubt, that we are having a boy. Joey, our 4 year old, was thrilled. After all, he had been praying "to make the new baby a boy" almost every night in his prayers. The revelation to him that his prayers had come true is something I'll cherish.

Number 3 completes our family. Knowing the make up of my family - boy, girl, boy - gives me a peace I can't quite explain. Some things you can't plan or choose, you are just given. And somehow, the things you are given have a way of being just right.

Jen Velarde
Founder - 1154 LILL Studio

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meet LILL! See why we love it.

For this upcoming holiday season, we know how important it is to find the perfect gift. That mixed with the economy and the state it's in, we know how important to spend wisely and put your earnings towards something you believe in. As you know, you can design the perfect handbag, accessory or pillow with LILL, however there is something more that you are giving when you are giving the gift of LILL. All LILL products are created right here in Chicago. When you buy LILL, you support a local, woman-owned business, employed by team members who also stand behind the LILL product and philosophy.

Your LILL Bag, accessory or pillow is hand-cut, hand-sewn and shipped to you by a special individual. We’d like to introduce you to these dynamic team members that make the LILL product, and company, personal and unique.

Meet Kari, Mandy and Alexandra. (Featured in picture, from left to right) You may recognize these girls as our models from our current home page on our website. Each girl is as sweet and unique as a LILL Bag. Get to know the girls that work to make your LILL experience and product so special.

Meet Kari O, Cutting Team Member
Favorite Style: ANDI
"I love being a part of the LILL team because I love getting to look at pretty fabric all day."

Meet Mandy L., Design Department Director
Favorite Style: ERINN
"I love being a part of the LILL team because I get to work in a collaborative environment with the greatest people."

Meet Alexandra A., Cutting Team Member, Junior Fabric Associate
Favorite Style: HADLEY
"I Love being a part of the LILL team because I am surrounded by creative problem solvers, and I learn something new about my job everyday at work and look forward to expanding my skills of this profession."

Check back often as we will be featuring the lovely people that make LILL the wonderful place it is. Feel good about the gifts you give.

-Lilly S.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Emily's Pick of the Week

Happy Halloween LILL Fans! This week I thought I'd feature some of the new fabrics that we have available online for custom orders or for fabric sales. I love fabric! I love to check out all of the cool colors and textures. Normally I am a big fan of spring/summer fabrics. However, I am really inspired by the new fall/winter fabrics that were recently added to LILL's website. It's so much fun to think about making a new fall bag or designing a new pillow or two with these great new fabrics! I'd like to spotlight some of my personal favorites.

Bangladesh Paisley and Coming Up Daisies are great for a neutral bag with a pop of color! Also both of these fabrics would look great on a custom JASMINE pillow.

Flocked Sesame and Malabar Paisley have beautiful brown and black designs. These fabrics will coordinate with almost any outfit.

Salmon Floral is a bright shiny fabric. This fabric makes me smile.

Central Park Tweed has a green, tan and navy woven together for a hearty fall look.

If you love purple, you will love Sintra Gardens. Sintra Gardens has dark purple, light purple, tan and cream behind black velvet flowers.

If you are looking for inspiration, take a look at our fabric palette. I'm sure you will find something that makes you feel good!
Have a great weekend! Emily

Monday, October 27, 2008

Spook-tober Potluck

Here at LILL HQ we host a monthly themed potluck to celebrate all the team member's birthdays that fall in that month. It also provides a fun way to gather and chat with each other and catch up with each other's lives. The birthday kids get to pick the theme and the rest of us bring the grub.

It was no surprise that our October babies chose a spooky Halloween theme for October's potluck. The spread consisted of delicious sweet bread that took on the shape of brains, mummy hot dogs, and pumpkin shaped PB&J sandwiches. There was also a nice sprinkle of fall foods such as spicy pumpkin bread, apple cider and an amazing apple pie.

Activities included guess how many candy corns are in the jar and a costume contest where team members brought in photos of costumes they wore in past Halloweens.

The candy corn guessing game was won by Bob H., LILL's photographer and brother to owner Jennifer Velarde (I think the "fix" was in).
The costume picture contest was won by Imelda F., LILL's Cutting Manager and Design Associate won with her picture of a her and her husband dressed in a horrific, gory costume.

Jack also made a special appearance as he also celebrates his birthday in October. He enjoyed a delicious cupcake while all the LILL folks sang Happy Birthday to him.

It was a great potluck and we all continued our day with full bellies and happy thoughts of what next month's potluck will bring.

-Lilly S.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Our team members, both here at HQ and in the field, are always telling stories about the wonderful experiences they have with customers who came into the store, shop on-line, or host/attend a party. Recently, I started to reach out to some of these customers with emails to thank them for their business and for sharing their stories with us. Hearing back from customers after these emails has quickly become a favorite part of my day. I have been so inspired by the stories I have received and often find similarities between myself and our customers. I received one this past week that I'd love to share with everyone. It reminded me of something my girlfriends and I would do. The "rules" literally had me laughing out loud. It is the story of 4 women from 3 countries who met through work, became fast friends and have bounded over handbags. They started their love of LILL bags with our rep, Amy DeJong, who serves the Detroit, MI area and recently traveled to Chicago to visit our flagship store. Here is the story in their own words:

"We would like to share the story of our Traveling Purse with you and hope you enjoy reading it! We have also attached two pictures of us in front and in your store.Lill Purses have become an addiction of ours for the last 4 months and some of us longer. We are on our third party amongst the four of us and I think our significant others think we may have a bit of a problem (he,he,he). We became friends through work here in Michigan and all come from different backgrounds. Two of us are from Germany and will be returning very soon. One of us is Canadian and living in Michigan and the final woman of our foursome is born and raised here in the United States.

The idea of our traveling purse was inspired by the book/movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.While we're much older than the characters in the movie, we can relate to and appreciate their desire to maintain a special bond across time and distance. We all love the movie and Lill Purses so much that it inspired us to use both concepts to continue our friendship for years to come.

On Saturday October 18th 2008, the adventure began. We took a girls trip to Chicago to visit the original 1154 Lill Purse Studio to design our first traveling purse. When we arrived, it was extremely exciting for all of us and soon we were sitting on the front steps smiling away for a picture we asked a stranger to take. Upon entry into the store, our little grins turned into bright smiles. We all stopped in the doorway overwhelmed and not sure where to go next. We sat our things down on a big table and walked around the store taking in the beautiful colors and the selection of items around us. After about 10-15 minutes of aimless wandering, we finally gathered ourselves together, assigned tasks and began grabbing fabrics for our purse. Surprisingly because we were so acquainted with the fabrics and agreed on a style, it did not take long at all. Our Andi Bag was complete and we were all so pleased with what we had accomplished. In an effort to make sure the bag was not lonely while it traveled from country to country, we added a cute little mirror for the journey.

The Rules of our Traveling Purse:Like the movie, there were rules that the traveling purse had to have. Over many glasses of Prosecco, we all decided on the following rules:

1) A journal must accompany the purse at all times. It must be small enough to fit inside, yet large enough to write down the exciting adventures we experience while carrying our purse. If the pages of the journal run out, it is the responsibility of the person in possession of the purse to purchase a new one.

2) Pictures are a must have in the book and the front page will have the four of us on the front steps of the 1154 Lill Purse Studio where our story began.

3) The mirror was added not only to help put our lip gloss on but also to spark creativity in our writing. Over time we are going to get some grey hair, a few pimples, freckles or wrinkles so whenever we look in the mirror, we have to record what we see in our journal.

4) Whenever anyone Scotch Guards or cleans the purse, it must be noted in the journal so we do not over care for it. We definitely need to maintain the beauty of our fabric.
5) While in Chicago, we were introduced to stamp embossing (while purchasing our journal). It is now one of the many treasured hobbies we share. So, since the purse, journal and the stamps were all purchased in Chicago, when signing off in our journal entry, it must have the signature stamp we all picked out to represent ourselves.
6) Every one will get the purse for 2-3 months and then it will travel to the next person. The time period is still under negotiation :o)
7) Considering patterns and styles change over time, we will have to meet in Chicago at least once again to create a new purse. The time is yet to be determined at this moment."

I read this email yesterday when I arrived at work. It instantly made me want to gather up my own girlfriends for a girl's weekend, or at the very least a girl's dinner. I wanted to laugh with my girls the same way I imagined these 4 friends laughing as they created the "rules." I really connected with their story. It made me proud to have created something that will connect them as they return to their respective homes. At the same time, I am so inspired by their friendship, creativity and humor. Thank you Daniela, Maggie, Larissa, and Daniella!! I hope the story of their "traveling bag" inspires you as well - go gather your girlfriends and celebrate the beauty of friendship! Have a great weekend!

Jen Velarde
Founder - 1154 LILL Studio

Emily's Pick of the Week

Happy Friday LILL Fans! This week, I'd like to feature our custom SUSAN. SUSAN is a great bag to carry for baby essentials, the gym or for work. LILL girl Diana C. created a darling SUSAN online recently. Diana chose the very popular black and cream Moroccan Tiles for the exterior base and pocket. Moroccan Tiles is a vibrant pattern that really catches your eye! Meridian Blue brightens up the trim. The sturdy Black Utility fabric covers the exterior top and strap. Black Utility was a great choice beacause it is a very strong fabric and will hold up very well.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Erin's Special Day

Meet Erin H., our Providence LILL on Location rep who recently tied the knot with the man of her dreams. The day was gorgeous, Erin looked ever so lovely, and her 'maids were beautiful, and not to mention - beautifully accessorized!

Erin dressed her girls in deep sky blue satin dresses and accessorized them with cocoa brown sateen MARY bags. The reverse side of each MARY matched each of her bridesmaid's personality.

Let's get to know Erin more and learn about how LILL helped make her day special.

Wedding Date: August 23, 2008

Most memorable part of your wedding day: I remember sitting at the reception and looking around the room at all the different groups of family and friends that were there for me and Armando. College friends mixed in with cousins and childhood friends dancing with my brothers and sisters. We were so blessed to be surrounded by so many family and friends from all over the world on our special day.

Oh – and our reception was crashed by a group of sailors. They made for some amusing pictures!

How did LILL help make your special day, special?

I get to help others make LILL bags everyday but it’s even better when I get to pick out fabrics for my friends. I made 7 MARY Bags in “Dark Roast Sateen” (to match our color scheme of blue and chocolate brown) and the reverse side was a fabric that matched my bridesmaid’s personalities. I also made LESLIE and ANNE Bags for our readers and guest book attendants. My bridesmaids are some of my best LILL customers so they were thrilled to get another bag to add to their collection. One of my attendants – Janet – was also the gal who first introduced me to LILL when we were on a reunion in Chicago. Don’t you love how it all comes full circle!

Favorite LILL Bag style:

My ANDI is my everyday bag and I love it! I just got a new one in “Boston Navy” and “Stained Glass Window” with “In a Daze” peeking out in my pocket. I also love my ANNE Bags. I have 5 and they go everywhere with me – in my work bag, my gym bag, my desk, my purse – you name it, and ANNE is there!

Favorite thing about being a LOL rep?

I meet the most fascinating people! One night I’ll be working with a group of executives and the next night I’m the entertainment at a bachelorette party. All of the gals (and some guys!) with whom I have had the pleasure of working with, love the LILL brand as much as I do. I love seeing the fabric combinations that people come up with and see the different ways people use their LILL. Amy as a camera case, a Christie to match their bathroom and a Leslie to carry laundry money and fabric sheets – and the list goes on.

Thanks LILL for being part of my special day!

Thank you for sharing all the joy of your special day with us, Erin! I hope this inspires all you brides-to-be out there. Remember, brides get a special discount of 10% off their order of 5 or more bags of the same style!

Book your party with a LILL on Location rep today, visit one of our boutiques or design online anytime!
-Lilly S.