Have you thought about ways to say “Thank you” to the people that have helped you get ready for your wedding? Do you want your bridal party to have a special gift from you that shows your appreciation, but you want something super special and unique? Today I want to introduce you to 1154lill.com . Who are they? Simply, women that think out of the bag.
In 1999, Jen Velarde founded 1154 LILL studio, a place where customers can be creative, and create individualized handbags and accessories. These then became their own ‘designer bag’, and let’s face it; don’t we all want a ‘one of a kind bags’? Now I know you’re going to say “but they are not in NY Lisa”…I know, but I think it’s worth a day trip. I had so much fun looking at over 150 designer fabrics that range from brocade, sateen, silk, cotton – all across the color spectrum including a ‘special wedding palette’.
Laurie Strong the manager of the Boston store, shared with me why she became a part of 1154 and what it’s like to create something new everyday.
This shop is great Laurie, what is the first thing a bride to be or any woman that walks in does?
I think people that don’t know the brand, are really excited that they have found a place where they can get a bag, that is functional and as unique as they are. They take a look at some of the samples we have here, and then the hardest part – choosing which bag to design for themselves.
From the moment they walk in, we tell them “take a breath.” Look we realize that this can be a stressful time, but we want to make this fun for them. Some have an idea of what they want to get for their bridal party, they have checked out the site before they come here. Other times we mix and match it up.
What do you mean ‘mix-it-up’?
We have several types of bags that are typical for brides and their bridal party. We have clutches (Grace and Erinn), hand-held with a strap (Chloe); some that go from day to night clutches (Carolina and Anne), and of course there are makeup bags, jewelry rolls and coin purses, which are really cute if you have flower girls. It’s the perfect size for them. So a bride may want to pick a bag and/or pattern to match the personality of the bridesmaid. That will make every bag unique for the girls. I know some people may think that something that is “custom made” is super expensive, but ours range from $28-100 for bridal bags.
The bride will either try to tie in the theme of the wedding colors or personalities of the girls when she is choosing. Sometimes it’s an accent color or ribbon that she is having trouble with, that’s where we come in and suggest options. Of course the final decision is hers. Again, we want this to be fun and as stress free as possible for her.
Do you ever have the entire bridal party come in to the store to create their bags?
Absolutely. If they want to do that, I would recommend that they call at least 1 day in advance and we will create a workspace just for them. It’s a great time for the bridal party and also a fun icebreaker for the mothers to get to know each other better if they come. It’s a fun atmosphere and everyone is having fun.
Can they do it during the day – say if they come up for a day trip?
If they like we will make space for them, but if there are more than 5 we recommend that they book an appointment if possible. We get a lot of girls from NY that will come up for the weekend and just happen to find the store as they are walking around and pop in to take a look and want to get started right away.
I have a few brides that are very interested in “green” vendors. Do you have ‘green products they can use?
We have a few that are eco-friendly but we are saving carbon by having everything produced here in the US and not outsourcing. As both the demand and fabrics become available, we would consider getting more colors and styles that are ‘eco-friendly’.
What would you like the bridal party to know and remember about you and 1154 LILL?
We absolutely understand that this is both a fun and stressful time for her. Our job is to take a bit of the stress out and put some fun in this process. If a bride is interested in creating her bag on line – she should take a look at the styles and colors, let me know her budget and we can work with her from the comfort of her home or office. They should know that it takes about one month from start to finish – from the moment they design it until they receive the finished product. When we have an order of 5 or more we offer a 10% discount and we always have specials going on. I really would love it if they would call or stop by. We are here for them.
Just so you ladies know, while I visited the location in Boston and they do have other locations. Don’t’ feel like taking the trip, there is a representative located in Long Island who will come to your home or location and bring the party to you (there is an 8 person min. requirement for this service). No matter which way you choose, you will be able to create a one of a kind bag…almost as special as you and your girls are.