Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday Potluck

This is probably my 100th post about LILL's infamous potlucks, but I can't help myself. Once a month our entire production staff brings in a dish and we all dine together.This tradition started as a way to recognize birthdays of staffers born in the respective month, and we've been adding some other traditions along the way. Staff past and present visit with their children, and this month our newest addition at only 2 weeks old, paid us a visit. We also shared gifts and some fun crafts with eachother (made from scrap fabrics of course!) and designed a bag from our LINKS collection. As always, it was a great time and a sweet way to celebrate the holidays with co-workers.

We wish everyone a Happy Holiday! Enjoy creating new memories while celebrating some of your own traditions this holiday season!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spring 2011 Trends

Spring may be a fading memory at this point, but it's never too early to be thinking about how you'll refresh your wardrobe come March. Everyone is still talking about major trends that evolved from fashion week, and Refinery 29 has highlighted ten of their favorites. Halter necklines, floor length frocks, wide legged trousers and full skirts are some top style trends, and in terms of color, neutral, orange and chartreuse reigned the runways.

According to Pantone the color of 2011 is Honeysuckle, a reddish pink that we think will bode well with LILL fans. We're keeping all these color trends in mind during our spring buy (see below), but we promise some fun surprises in there to mix things up a bit!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spring is in the air! Here's why...

With Christmas around the corner (and snow on the ground here in Chicago) there's no denying the fact that winter is here, but we're already thinking spring. We're currently searching for our top choices for LILL's spring fabric collection, so our desks are filled with cheerful colors and fun florals...which is a nice view compared to the gray skies outside. It's quite a process, but always loads of fun!

After collecting samples throughout the year we take a look at our current selection of fabrics and decide which fabrics need to go because they're out of season and which ones we're not quite ready to part with. We make stacks and stacks of our favorites, our not so favorites and fabrics that aren't right for now, but may be for later. We consider what the "it" colors are for the season and get input from our fellow staffers, and a few weeks later they're available to you, dying to be designed with! Here are a few of our current favorites...

Current fall/winter fabrics are in limited supply, so if there's something you love, now's the time to treat yourself!

Friday, December 17, 2010

LILL's Elves

This time of year is always exciting here at LILL's headquarters because it's so evident that the holidays are here. Production is bustling with orders, our web store is flooded with phone calls and shoppers are loving their time spent at our stores. Here's a look at some holiday fun
around our production space...

A flurry of cut parts waiting to be assembled and handed off to sewing...

Imelda, from our Quality Dept.,
giving the bags
their final inspection...

& Vanessa prepping boxes for
shipping, from floor to ceiling.

As you can see, we're quite busy this time of year, but we'd have it no other way. Thank you all for your continued support and for giving the gift of creativity this holiday season!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sneak Peek!

As many of you would assume, working for a custom handbag company has its perks, and one of them is having the opportunity to test drive a new style before it's officially released. This month everyone is clamoring for the chance to try out the Roxy, a new everyday style that debuts on January 3, 2011. Since you have to wait a couple more weeks to see it for yourself, we thought we'd give you a LILL holiday treat and share a sneak peek...

Maybe someone special will give you a LILL gift certificate this holiday season, and you'll be able to get yourself a Roxy to kick off the new year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Baby It's Cold Outside...

Greetings from Chicago! It's a chilly 12 degrees today (-6 with the wind chill) and boy is it cold. Like it or not, blasts of chilly weather and snow really do make it feel more like the holidays...and I specifically love how Chicagoans grin and bear it. There were still a number of shoppers on Michigan Avenue this weekend, and I have to give props to the Bears fans that not only sat through an entire game yesterday, but tailgated before hand. That's the spirit people!

Now, for those of you who'd prefer to do your holiday shopping from home...we're here to help! If you didn't already know, you can give the gift of LILL to others with a LILL gift certificate this holiday season. Not only do you not have to leave your house to get one, you can also have it sent electronically to your recipient if you'd like. A LILL gift certificate makes a great gift because while it's always nice to get a LILL bag, it's even better to give someone the experience of designing it on their own. See for yourself!

Here's a little something I designed for my wishlist. I hope Santa's reading this.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Not Ready for a Goodbye...Maybe Just a See You Later

I wish there was an appropriate way to show my gratitude towards
Lill, but I feel as though all forms just fall short. My time here as the marketing intern is something I will never forget and never stop being appreciative for. The incredible staff has been overly generous, kind, and patient with me this semester as I have learned the ropes;I could not have been surrounded by more genuine people.
Today is my final day, and boy have I been dreading this since the get-go. I have fallen in love with a city, its' energy, people, opportunities, beauty, and most of all Lill and the incredible "family" that holds it all together.

As much as I didn't want today to come, now that it's here I'm ready to make the most of it! What makes this so easy is that my amazing supervisor brought this incredible spread of breakfast foods to celebrate my leaving along with the gift of one of Lill's beautiful bags! Lill, way too generously, allowed me to design my own bag before leaving and I picked out a LEXIE in Onyx Honeycomb
and Raspberry Fizz (pictured here).
While I am in no way ready to leave Chicago and all it offers, I am very thankful to be going home to celebrate the holidays with my wonderful family and friends! Even though I do not plan on saying a permanent goodbye to Lill, I think I can handle a"See you later". So, "See you later Lill", it's been more than I ever could have imagined and you will always hold a dear place in my heart :)

All the best,


Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Time to Lace up Those Boots and Throw on a Scarf...or Two

Hey there!

Now that we have our first official snowfall here in Chicago, and it is already December-I'm thinking it's time to make the most of the holiday season by getting out in the city and exploring a few awesome activities! I know that the frigid temps and blustery winds make it a little more tempting to cozy up inside with a blanket and movie, but don't give in! This season is here for only a short time so don't miss out on all the fun (and free) activities put on in this beautiful city.

After researching a bit I found a few things going on that I think you should absolutely consider for a weekend afternoon or evening! They are...
  • Ice skating in Millenium Park-It's free admission and you can rent skates there if needed.

  • Caroling at Cloud Gate-A fantastic array of groups join in Millenium Park each friday to perform carols for whoever would like to enjoy them.

  • Zoolights- Watch ice carving, see Santa, enjoy warm drinks, and be amazed by over a million lights at Lincoln Park Zoo.

  • Christkindlmarket-German and International vendors are set up in Daley Plaza for a guaranteed afternoon of fun, sweets, and delicious drinks.

These are only a few of the wonderful holiday things going on in the city this season so know that their is no shortage of exciting, free entertainment. Peel yourself off the couch, layer on some outergear, and prepare yourself for a holiday experience you aren't likely to find anywhere else!



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My last day at LILL...

Wow, how surreal to write those words – “My last day at LILL…” How do you leave a company, a brand, a group of people, an experience, a friend that has helped shape the very fabric of who you are as a person?

For me, this transition is bittersweet. I am leaving my full-time position as Vice President of 1154 LILL Studio after 11 plus years to have my third baby (next week!) and to spend more time with my kids as a full-time mom. I am thrilled to be able to do this – they are only young once and I can’t wait to get more involved in their schools and their activities while soaking up their sweet personalities.

I also feel so good about where the company stands at this point. Not only did we have an amazing team in place already, we have hired an exceptionally talented and experienced Chief Marketing Officer who brings so much to the table and is truly going to help shape the future of LILL. I cannot wait to see how the company will grow and change as the entire team moves forward together.

At the same time, I can't imagine my life without LILL. It's been such a huge part of who I am for the past 11+ years. I have felt lucky EVERY DAY to be a part of it, to work with such smart, talented and caring people and to be surrounded by such loyal and creative customers and fans.

I am honored and humbled that my friend Jen Velarde put her faith and trust in me those many, many years ago and has taken me along with her on this ride. Over the years I’ve worn many hats (as have many at LILL) but the roles I hold dearest include acting as Jen’s sounding board, spokesperson, right-hand woman, confidant and more. I am inspired by her and so very proud of her as a person, an entrepreneur, a leader, an innovator, a mother and a friend.

I am SO excited for the potential I see in LILL. There is a big part of me that wishes I could be a part of this next step - seeing the company grow to the next level. But I also know that it is the right time for change. So - it's the start of a new phase and a new adventure for LILL and for me. It’s crazy, surreal, exciting and of course very bittersweet. I'll always have LILL in my heart and I know that LILL will always have a part of me in it's heart as well. I fully recognize what a rare and special opportunity I have had here at LILL and am truly thankful for all I have experienced along the way.
With much love, Robin

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design Updates

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday! Here at LILL we've already got holiday gift giving on our mind, and many of us are quite the crafters. If you're like us and enjoy making some of your gifts here are a few simple projects to try using fabric as your medium...

Use various sizes of needlepoint hoops
to display fun fabrics!

Cover a canvas or a piece of lightweight plywood with fabric
and arrange them at different heights on the wall.

Make a tree skirt, or even some stockings out of fabric!

I hope we've inspired you to give crafting a try this holiday season. If you need some fabrics to get you started we have quite a selection of our own to choose from! If crafting isn't for you, no worries. Our holiday gift guide will surely do the trick!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Crafty Can be Cool

The wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving is approaching
which for me, means a few things like..
-Incredible food in greatly-oversized portions
-Afternoon-consuming naps
-Catching up with family
-Shopping like it's going out of style
-The blessing of free-time

This last aspect got my friend and I thinking about spending some of that time getting a little crafty...

While I have done a number of crafts growing up, I am now 21 and in hopes of discovering a few projects that are homemade but also hip, artsy, and colorful! In case you find yourself with some wonderful, and i'm sure well deserved, free-time this holiday weekend-here are a few projects you may want to try out :)

  • Design your own apron! Move away from that "one size fits all" style and incorporate your own taste into an all new kitchen ensemble

  • Create fashionable placemats out of magazine covers-find covers or pages of magazines that you'd love to show off and all you need is thin pieces of wood, transfer paper, and varnish in order to make pieces of art you can display at every meal!

  • Begin knitting a blanket-especially if you live in a place like Michigan, as I do, you will have many gray, chilly days to work on it as well as greatly appreciate its' warmth.

  • Decorate lamp shades-All over the magazines and specialty boutiques are shades draped in ribbon and adorned with flowers. Make the most of your old shade or pick up an inexpensive one to experiment on! It'll add both personality and much cozier lighting to any room.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday week ahead full of family, friends, food, and maybe even a craft or two :)



Monday, November 15, 2010

Design Updates

Wendy is officially here! If you happened to stop in at the store or attended a LILL on Location party over the weekend you may have had the opportunity to get your's a little early, but today is the day it's available everywhere. Wendy is a casual tote bag that offers you an exterior and an interior fabric choice, as well as your choice of black of natural webbing for the straps. The straps have a super cute knot detail that we all love, and there's a sneaky zipper set into the exterior side seam to keep all your valuables safe. On top of all that Wendy is reversible, and has a great price point at $88, making it a perfect holiday gift.

Design yours today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nothing Short of Bittersweet...

Good afternoon ladies of Lill,

After reading the two previous blog entries I realized that I in no way can compete with their exciting and beautifully touching stories-goodness I've only been apart of Lill for a semester and the "Tapestry ELLIE" story nearly made me cry! As I try to recover from that tender act of kindess presented by Lill employees, I say we dive into my life; a college student winding down an incredible semester in Chicago!

The holiday season is quickly approaching and its been so exciting seeing all that Lill has done in preparation actually come together! I have absolutely fallen in love with a few of our new designs and feel as though I will not be leaving empty-handed come December :)

The only sad part about the upcoming holidays is that my time here at Lill and in Chicago is nearly up...

While my family and friends from home have been dearly missed, these past 3 months have been nothing short of life changing and nearing the end is painfully bittersweet. Seeing how so many things have progressed while I'm here like...the DAB kits, gift guide, etc. it's going to be incredibly challenging to let go; this position has been such a blessing!!

Even though I am whole-heartedly ready to make the most of these next few weeks both at work and in the city, I know Lill will be greatly missed once my residence is once again in the "mitten state". So while I am dealing with mixed emotions, make sure that you keep an eye out for all the AMAZING things Lill will be doing for the upcoming holidays!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What I'm Loving (this) Wednesday

Good morning all you LILL fans. I can’t believe it’s already mid November, the holiday’s are just around the corner. But don’t worry there is still plenty of time to get everyone on your shopping list fun and creative gifts from 1154 LILL Studio! (shh…keep reading for a special blog exclusive offer).

1) I had to wear a winter coat for the first time this weekend in Chicago, so naturally I wanted to escape reality already. Which means I’m on VACATION, I’m spending the week down in Longboat Key with a couple of girlfriends, and couldn’t be having a better time…thanks Jamie and Tracy…and the sun.

2) Design a bag kits, design a bag kits, design a bag kits. Can you tell I’m excited about our new design a bag kits? This week we officially launched our new line of Design a Bag Kits for the holidays. We have changed the packaging up a bit, and are offering ten (10) bags at various price points, who wouldn’t want to design their own bag for Christmas? Shop Design a Bag Kits

3) While laying on the beach I’m trying for about the 3rd time to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson, it’s a slow start, but I’m finally getting into it and can tell it’s going to be phenomenal.

4) This Monday LILL officially went into holiday mode, be sure to check out our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect gift for every girl on your list.

5) I’m also loving all of the amazing press 1154 LILL Studio is getting, it’s so fun to share in all of the excitement with our die-hard LILL fans. Who doesn’t love seeing the same bag (but in totally different fabrics) they have walk down the red carpet?

6) Last, but not least…who doesn’t love a deal? This is why I am offering a $10 off code for all you blog readers. For three (3) days only enter Promo Code: BLOG10 at checkout and receive $10 off your order. This offer expires on Friday, 11/12/10 at 11:59 PM CST – which just so happens to be my very own incredible mom’s birthday – happy birthday mom.

Thanks again for tuning in to see what I’m loving this Wednesday. Back to vacation for me J

- Morgan