I started out in 2008. I was a full-time mom to our 4 wonderful kids, Clay, Kade, Vivi, and Eva Bella. I started sewing clothes for my young girls as a hobby because I couldn't find anything in stores that matched and was tasteful and fun. My grandmother had taught me to sew as a girl – and I picked it right back up!
At one point I had purchased too much fabric for a pattern. I figured there had to be others just like me searching for the same, fun dresses – so I decided to make a few extra items and sell them on an eBay store. Well the eBay store grew and grew to the point where I had to hire nieces and aunts, ladies from the church – and even my mom - to help sew, process orders and ship!
Within a matter of months, we had turned our bedroom and garage into a mini-factory. I thought things couldn't get any crazier until, on a fluke, I put up some remnant garments on Facebook and offered them first-come-first-serve to anyone who commented on the posts. The response was so overwhelming – that literally within 2 weeks I had moved my entire eBay store over to Facebook! That was 2010, and truly that is when LWD as we know it today was born.
Although the growth was exciting, I was completely overwhelmed and leaning towards trying to sell LWD to someone who could 'professionally' manage it. That was apparently not what God had in store ☺. Around that time, our circumstances drastically changed when Will lost his job as part of the developing real estate crisis. We were really staring down a financial bind and there were no strong job options for Will if we wanted to stay in Lexington. So despite the risks and questions we faced (Could we turn what was basically still a hobby into a real business? How big of a business could Facebook support? What if we got caught with inventory that didn't sell? What if Facebook changed?) – we decided to just take the plunge and see if we could support ourselves 100% on LWD.
Will jumped onto a monogram machine and learned how to do buttonholes – and we moved into our first actual factory and hired our first official LWD team - and never looked back!
Since then, we've grown every month, putting every penny back into the business. We've hit milestones we never dreamed of hitting, moved into a beautiful 19,000 square foot facility (half-funded by the state of North Carolina!), and believe it or not, have become the largest business in the world transacting on Facebook – including a thriving community of over 375,000 Facebook fans. Most importantly, we've created jobs for more than 100 people right here in Lexington, NC. Please know that Lexington was once a thriving manufacturing and textile town but now has an unemployment rate of 10.7% (one of the highest in the country), with almost all of the manufacturing work having moved abroad. Creating meaningful work for our great LWD team of people – every one of them with an incredible and often heartbreaking story of their own – has been without a doubt one of the greatest blessings of building this company.
And that is really what it is all about for us. Keeping God and our families first and our blessings in mind - providing our wonderful customers with beautiful, affordable clothing that makes their families look great and feel proud - and always remembering how important, easy and FUN it is to care about each other and help each other out.These are the values that have kept us grounded throughout this incredible journey and keep us motivated for everything that is still to come.
I can truly say that from the most unexpected places, and from the most unexpected people – huge hope and positive impact can come. Truly, anything is possible!
And then lastly, before signing off, I want to say that while we have had an incredible journey on this side of things, the journey really is about YOU, our wonderful customers and your beautiful families who inspire us so much. Thank you for listening, for letting us serve you, for welcoming LWD into your families and lives, and for being such a critical part of our journey to date. We are truly humbled by the opportunity to build this company and participate in your beautiful families and special moments. You are the true heart of Lolly Wolly Doodle. May the blessings continue in all of our homes.