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.

Monday, October 20, 2008

'Tis the Season - Make it Personal

I hope you all are getting into the swing of fall and looking forward to some of the upcoming holidays. This year, I know my 4 year old son, Joey, has given me a renewed enthusiasm for Halloween. Since the first week of school he has been bringing his "Oriental Trading" magazine that is full of Halloween supplies for his "reading material" during nap time. It has been taped back together several times to ensure he is still able to peruse the selections and dream about how great all of these decorations would look all over our house. To appease his need for immediate gratification one night last week, we made some paper towel ghosts and hung them throughout the house. It reminded me of the simple pleasures that come from making something from essentially nothing. The ghosts aren't as "fancy" as some of the ones in Oriental Trading, but to me, they couldn't be any better. Joey couldn't get over how "smart" I was to think of making these ourselves. I'm sure I'll save a couple to remind me of the fun evening we had together making them and... of course, to remind Joey of the days when he still thought his Mom was so "smart." :-)

As I was recounting my fun evening with Joey to a friend, I realized it is very similar to the experience we offer at 1154 LILL. Often our customers are shopping with friends and family and are looking for ways to create memories and share time together. Now more than ever, they are looking for ways to spend their money wisely on items that are personal and hold significance to them and the recipient. I know this season, I'll be looking to give gifts that fit these ideals. Really this should always be the case, but sometimes it just takes a reminder from someone small - when you add a little of your time and creativity, you can give a gift worthy of warming a heart. Happy holiday hunting!

Jen Velarde
Founder - 1154 LILL Studio