We're back with our Behind the Business series, this time with Malia Dreyer, who owns the shop we're obsessed with, Lettermade (you might recognize it from this giveaway). It was such a treat to learn more about her company and vision.
What: Lettermade, a Florida-based shopped selling embroidered cocktail napkins (with dinner napkins coming soon!).
Who: Malia Dreyer
Tell us about Lettermade.
Lettermade originated from my appreciation of a great monogram and grew into a small shop bridging my fancy for embroidery, home decor and beautiful linens. Dinner parties with friends and family are the best. Conversations over wine, cocktails, or dinner make some of the best memories...Lettermade being part of this is what I hope for! Mixing contemporary designs with the traditional craft of embroidery is what Lettermade is all about. I hope that what I make for others will be part of fabulous get-togethers and keepsakes for the years to come!
What were you doing before you launched your company?
I've always had an interest in style....both fashion and interiors. While in college, I interned at an apparel showroom in New York City and after college worked in advancement and marketing for a private school. My creative outlet (and non-stop hobby!) had been embroidery, and eventually turned into what is now Lettermade! I love creating something that brings beauty and comfort to the surroundings of a home- you'll always see my love of design and creative colors influencing Lettermade linens!
What would you say are three keys to success for an emerging brand to get them on people’s radars and up the awareness factor around their company?
Social media has been a major help! I was able to share my product on Instagram before my website even launched! Second, keeping a “stick-to-it”, positive attitude, because there can (and will be) days that don’t go so well! And third, believing in your brand or product and being able to communicate that to others. I hope that everyone who buys Lettermade cocktail napkins feel that hospitable, inviting, "taken-care-of" feel when they use their new linens.
If you could describe the brand in 3 words, what would they be?
Narrowed down to two words it would be "modern traditionalist." The Lettermade gal values classic design and decor stirred up with a contemporary flare!
What do you see as the greatest opportunities for your brand? What about challenges?
I love what I do so much; every day I think about new ways to grow and expand the brand. This summer I am so excited about our launch of a small collection of dinner napkins. I would say some of the greatest opportunities would be continuing to collaborate with bloggers and magazines in the future! It’s really awesome to see how supportive and encouraging women are of one another through blogs and various social media outlets- I am very grateful for the bloggers who have supported Lettermade and encouraged me!
The biggest challenge was learning about starting a business from the ground up; I started asking for advice and tried to take things one step at time...I remind myself to have patience! When challenges arise, I try my best to work my way through them head on, learn from mistakes, and keep on going! I think challenges can be a really good thing and definitely part of the learning curve when starting a business.
What is the biggest goal for Lettermade in 2014 and beyond?
We'll be adding dinner napkins this summer and plan on continuing to grow Lettermade in ways that will compliment aspects of dining and entertaining in terms of linens. Embroidery is such a beautiful art and absolutely timeless; I love that Lettermade linens will be in homes for years and years to come!
In case you missed them, check out our other Behind the Brand interviews below: