Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This we chat with Lily B, of Lily B & Co., a versatile line of jewelry for the no nonsense woman. Lily talks about how her love of science affects all aspects of her jewelry business.
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your career.
My name is Lily, and I am the owner & designer of Lily B. & Co., a versatile jewelry brand. My line features gemstone jewelry meant for everyday wear. Each piece is delicate and light, yet practical. Everything is hand-crafted in my cozy studio. Growing up, art was a big part of my life, and I always had tons of creative projects going on. I also had a passion for wildlife and the environment so I ended up getting a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on Wildlife Conservation.
For me, my creativity and my love of science have always gone hand in hand.
2. What prompted you to start Lily B and Co.? Did you start selling online right away?
I started making jewelry when I was very young, about four years old, but after college I went on to pursue a career in science. My science work took me to Wyoming and then to Cape Cod. While working in an oceanography lab I started making jewelry at night as a way to unwind. People showed an interest and then stores started wanting to buy my work. I decided to take the leap and pursue the business full time. I grew up in an entrepreneurial household, with parents who owned a children’s clothing company, so I suppose owing a business was in my blood! In the beginning I did a lot of trunk shows at local stores and festivals, but I started selling online after about five months. Now my business is primarily wholesale (to an amazing variety of stores around the country) and retail direct from my site.
3. You also have a passion for wildlife and conservation, with a degree in Environmental Science, how do balance your passions?
Both things are of equal importance to me. My science background influences every aspect of my business, especially my stone selection. I love searching for treasures from around the world, especially North America. The beauty of nature never ceases to amaze me! The incredible stones are my inspiration and starting point.
Lily mining for Tourmaline
4. What is your most successful form of marketing? Has it always been?
Instagram has proven to be a great marketing tool since I started the buisness. I have met some incredible customers and store owners through it.
It’s [Instagram] a neat way to highlight your product and set the tone of the brand.
5. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I am inspired by such a variety of things: Pre-Raphaelite art, wildlife photography, children’s book illustrations, antique jewelry, & the list goes on! I am fueled by traveling and searching for gemstone treasures. Discovering new gems always re-inspires me and refreshes the excitement level in the studio.
6. Who is a Boss Lady that you admire and why?
My mom! My parents started a children’s clothing company before I was born, and my mom was the head designer. Somehow she managed to run a successful business and wrangle two kids and 30+ pets at the same time. Our house was always full of inspiration and magic (and baby goats), and I am ever grateful for that.
7. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Think smart & be diligent from the beginning. It is so important to keep on top of your finances from the start; it is just as important as the creative aspect. You have to work harder for yourself than for anyone else, and of course there will be overwhelming days. There is nothing as wonderful as hearing from happy customers though. That’s what makes it all worth it.
Just for fun…