Hi! We’re pleased to bring you a brand new installment of the Rock Bottom T-Shirts Boutique Clothing Craft Series; where we recognize the accomplishments of small businesses in the clothing craft industry.
- Founder Name: Lydia Roney Wright
- Business Name: Layne James Embroidery & Designs
- Years in Business: 9 months (September will be 1 year!)
- Products Description: Embroidered Gifts and Children’s Boutique Clothing
- Website URL: www.LayneJames.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LayneJamesEmbroidery/
- Contact Information: Lydia@LayneJames.com
Lydia Wright of Layne James Embroidery speaks with Rock Bottom T-Shirts
1. What inspired you to start an online clothing boutique?
When I began my embroidery business in September 2010, I had planned my original focus to be on embroidered gifts. After showing photos of my toddler son wearing a few applique shirts that I had made, I received a tremendously positive response.
Orders for applique shirts began flooding in and I also began to receive requests for other children’s clothing items such as bodysuits, rompers, hats, caps, and the like. My niche chose me and I could not have been more surprised or delighted!
By the way, Lydia…Layne James is a really neat name. It has an upscale quality to it and it’s easy to remember. If you don’t mind us asking, how did you come up with that name?
Layne was my middle name before I got married. James is the middle name of both my husband and son. I put it together one day when I was trying to decide on a business name. It seemed perfect because it had a nice ring to it, yet was also personal without using my own name! And yes, I have and will continue to answer to Layne or Mrs. James! ha! 🙂
2. How did you get started?
After receiving my first embroidery machine from my parents as a Christmas gift in 2008, I spent weeks researching the world of embroidery. I taught myself both how to use my new embroidery machine as well as the tricks of the trade.
In the spring of 2009, I finally had enough courage to open an Etsy store where I showcased my latest creations. My Etsy store became very successful as did word of mouth advertising for the next year and a half. Eventually in September of 2010, I embraced my lifelong dream of owning my own business, bought a commercial embroidery machine and began Layne James Embroidery & Designs, LLC.
3. Are there any milestone moments that you’d like to share with us?
My milestone moment was a couple of months after I began my business. I was accustomed to family, friends, and friends-of-friends telling me how much they enjoyed my work and products.
But once complete strangers began to order items from my website and “like” my Facebook page, I felt completely overwhelmed with amazement. It was a wonderful confirmation of all the hard work I had put in to understanding my craft, the embroidery world, and my business!
4. How long does it take, on average, for you to complete a typical project?
The average time-frame of a project depends solely upon the type of project. For monogrammed items, the total time it takes me is approximately 20 minutes. This includes creating the design/wording on the computer, hooping the item, stitch time, finishing the item, and packaging.
For applique items, the average time is a bit longer. A complex design with 3 or more fabrics takes about 30-40 minutes, which includes the same steps as mentioned above.
I take great pride in the quality of my work, so I am willing to spend extra time doing a few additional steps that other embroiderers may not. I also greatly enjoy anything that is technology related, so I may spend more computer time on a design finding just the “right” font for a particular project!
5. Where do you find the inspiration to come up with these embellishments?
I have always been creatively inclined. I remember being involved in every type of craft and art class imaginable as a child. I even studied Interior Design in college and afterwards made a nice living as a Project Manager/Space Planner in the commercial furniture and interior design industry.
I have a general love for colors and fabric and truly enjoy matching, blending, and creating with fabrics and threads in my embroidery work!
6. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing boutique clothing craft businesses?
The most challenging aspect of my business is anticipating the demand of my customers. From the opening of my business, I have been pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of support from not only friends and family but people that I’ve never met.
I’ll admit that at times, it is difficult to maintain a short turnaround on orders that come in since I am a one woman show! I feel so incredibly blessed to have this “problem” and appreciate my customers more than they could ever imagine.
7. Is there any advice that you’d like to share with someone who may be considering starting one?
Research every single aspect of owning a business before you take the plunge. Owning your own business is not easy and you must have a general idea of what to expect so as not to be blindsided or overwhelmed.
If you love what you do enough to start your own business, it will be completely worth all of the hard work.
Thank you for checking out our sixth installment of our Boutique Clothing Craft Series. If you know of someone that you think we should feature in this series please let us know by mentioning it on our Facebook Fan Page.