Thursday, September 9, 2010

This week in the Cutting Department

Katie, Erika, Sandra, and I are finishing up this week's orders. We are getting ready to assemble each individual order and send them to sewing. We cannot believe that every week, our customers continually come up with new and fresh combinations!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A special ELLIE for Katie...

Like many others, Jen and I have been on the sidelines of the Breast Cancer fight thru the years. We’ve known women who have been affected by the disease, but it’s always been just a step or two outside of our immediate circle of family and friends. That changed for us both this summer when a dear friend received her diagnosis.

Katie Weiss Torres is only 36 years old and had no history of breast cancer in her family. Jen and I remember talking after she found a lump this spring. Surely it would prove to be a simple cyst; we all agreed she was too young for it to be cancer. But the biopsy came back and showed us we were wrong. On June 1st of this year Katie was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma - Breast Cancer.

Katie had a bi-lateral mastectomy in mid July and is currently undergoing aggressive Chemotherapy treatments to tackle her cancer once and for all. Her current treatment plan has her continuing Chemo through the end of this year.

Katie has always had a great sense of humor and is an amazing storyteller. The consummate hostess, she always feels the need to make sure everyone is having fun, enjoying themselves, included in the conversation. And while she’s trying to work on focusing on herself now vs. taking care of others – it’s amazing to see how she commands and lights up a room even when she feels sick. Her strength, humor, honesty and grace continue to shine brightly and it is apparent to all who know her that she is passing these traits on to her three-year old daughter, Lulu. Lulu is bright, charming and sassy, exactly like her mom.

When cancer affects someone you love there can be such a sense of helplessness and frustration. You want to be able to do something to help in the fight. Jen and I are no different and wanted to come up with a way to offer our support to Katie’s fight. We decided we would ask her to design a bag and then donate the proceeds from its sale both to her and a charity of her choice. Katie chose the ELLIE tote and designed one in “Voila”. This bag will be sold online for the duration of her Chemo treatments, with $15 going directly to Katie, and another $10 going to Young Survival Coalition.

Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful. Working with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities YSC strives to ensure that no young women is left to face breast cancer alone

We hope you will join us in supporting our friend and other young women diagnosed with breast cancer. You can view and purchase "Katie's bag" here. Thank you!

-Jen Velarde, 1154 LILL Studio founder and president
-Robin Newberry, 1154 LILL Studio vice president

p.s. - The photo of Katie at the top and the photo collage were both taken by another friend who is an amazing photographer. Check out Bridget Stern's website at

Chicago Store Update!

Hello! Join us for a party at the Chicago Store this fall for great deals! With the release of our newest style Ellie, party hostesses are able to design their very own for free. Ellie is the perfect simple but classic tote for just about anything. The party hostess is not the only one this month who saves - all your guest will save 15% on a purchase of $125 or more. Gather your girlfriends and join us on Armitage for a girls day out! See you there!

To book your next 1154 LILL party, visit us at

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Celeb & Press update!

Hello all!

First of all, the 12th Annual “Day of Indulgence” event at producer Jennifer Klein’s home in LA last month was fabulous! Intimate, relaxed and chic, it was girly networking at its best. We brought along our GRACE and ERINN clutches and the reaction to the fabrics and our design-your-own concept was overwhelming. Jennifer Garner, Debra Messing, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jennifer Morrison, Connie Britton, Marley Shelton and more had so much fun designing LILL Bags of their own. They were all so sweet and down to earth!

Check out some of the black & white ERINN combos Jen G, Debra and Michelle created. InStyle Magazine covered the event – and you can JUST see Jen and I in the background of this pic they posted online. Does this count as “half” our 15 minutes of fame?

Speaking of InStyle Magazine – we were thrilled to learn that we’ll be featured in the upcoming November issue. Look for 1154 LILL in the “Web Guide” section.

In addition, an InStyle writer named Jenni has a blog called “I Spy DIY”. She fell in love with LILL and will be posting about us soon! Check out her blog in the meantime, it’s inspiring and so creative!

Other bloggers are loving LILL as well! Several “mommy blogs” have reviewed our SUSAN diaper bag, giving it high marks for not only creativity but also functionality and style. Several of these bloggers are also doing giveaways so check them out!

-Look What Mom Found
-My Sentiment ExactLee
-Katie Talks About
-Guessing All The Way

And finally – it’s always fun to see LILL bags on the arms of actresses and reality stars. Check out some pics of LILL bags “on the scene”. Tenley Molzahn of "The Bachelor" and "Bachelor Pad" carries her GRACE to an ET Emmy's party. Aynsley Bubbico and Amber Stevens of the ABC Family show "GREEK" picked up our new ELLIE totes during an event hosted by Maria Menounos for Yoplait Greek Yogurt in LA.

We hope to have more fun news to share soon! Take care!