Hi Lilly! Fancy meeting you here, at our house. Ha! Is it weird to be interviewed by your Mom? Be honest.
Uh sort of… you know me pretty well so…haha!
How did the idea for illyLillyDesignCo come about?
Well, me and Daddy one day we were looking for a Christmas present for you and we really wanted to get you a teacher lanyard. When it came Aunt Haley and I decided we could make these and make them even better! We were even looking on Pinterest one day and you and Aunt Haley told me I could probably make even better ideas than we saw on Pinterest. A few months after that I saw some clay earrings on your Pinterest and it grew from there!
What is your favorite part about being your own boss?
I can make up my own ideas and nobody can tell me what to do!
What is the hardest part about owning your own business?
Balancing this business with school is hard! Sometimes I have to take a break from it and just do school. That’s why I loved summer! We could all hang out and work on lanyards all day long if we wanted. That was awesome!
What has a been a big struggle for you in the business world?
Social media is hard because I’m actually not allowed to use it yet! I have to be with my Mom when I post and she helps me with photos. Shipping is kind of hard too so I’m happy you help me with that! It feels stressful when we get so many orders all at once and then have SO many packages to ship.
What is something you love about this business?
I think it’s cool that I can sort of work anywhere! Once my beads are made I can keep a little Kit with me to work on wherever we go (it was so fun to get some work done when we went to the Lake this summer!) and I can work at my MomMom’s house or while I’m watching TV. I can even work in the car.
Creatively where do you see illyLillyDesignCo going in the future?
If I keep this business going for awhile I hope I can learn about business in school and learn how to get a real store front. I’ve learned creating is sometimes the easy part and good business is the hardest part. I can’t even do taxes yet so luckily we have Dad!
I really want to open up our own website like www.illylillydesignco.com but I know from you that’s going to be kind of a long process! But I want to do it as soon as we can. For now I’m just happy you know how to operate an Etsy shop and we can sell our creations there!
What’s the hardest order you’ve taken on?
900 Apple Earrings for Teacher Care Craft for SURE. That’s 1,800 individual apples + extras just Incase of breakage or damage in the mail. I needed my whole team to finish them (you, Aunt Haley, MomMom, Grammy, Sherri and Abbey, thank you!). It was fun to complete such a big order but I’m excited not to make apples for awhile.
How do you feel about social media right now and Instagram use?
I like it! Instagram is where I get so much inspiration from different food photos, cool videos and fun teacher accounts! It’s also the easiest way to share my products.
What has been everyone’s favorite collections?
Definitely the Be Kind lanyards. Also the Starbucks inspire and Magnolia paint chip ones! Everyone loved the cactus lanyards too. Oh and Harry Potter. And also the Bookish lanyards!
Do you think you will pursue art as your future career? If so, in what way?
Yes, I’m hoping to open a small storefront someday in Sewickley! That’s a cute town near where we live. I really want to go to art school maybe in Savannah Georgia!
Are there things you’ve learned in school that have helped you run your own business?
Definitely math! We use percentages to figure out discounts, multiplication for so many things, money, time management and probably so much more. Definitely art too! I have to do so much math to order supplies and figure out shipping costs and decide what materials are worth it for me to spend money on. But I’m glad I can use a calculator!
What do you do with the money you earn in profit?
Well, save it for college. I order supplies with it and when I can, if you and Dad let me, I go to Target for something special. Or I’ll buy a book or something small like that. I love getting new books. I think because I’m 9 most of my money goes into the bank but maybe when I’m 16 I’ll buy my own car or take a trip to Paris!
I hope Lilly takes me to Paris, ha!
Who are three women in your life that you look up to and why?
Let it be noted this was an incredibly difficult question for Lilly to answer!
Mrs Eddington my art teacher because she’s the one who inspires me with her Instagram and if I don’t ever get to a store front I might like to be an art teacher like you and her!
I definitely look up to you and my Aunts and MomMom and Grammy.
Last but not least, who is a better employee, your Mom or your Aunt? Chose wisely.
How do I choose that?! (Giggles) Mom, this question is unfair. Well you do live with me but that doesn’t mean Aunt Haley isn’t just as good an employee! You aren’t as busy as Aunt a Haley so you usually get more work done but Aunt Haley has a real teaching job so… I can understand that!
What would you like to tell people reading this interview?
I would like to tell people that I’m so so excited that this business has taken off! It is SO cool. But I’m only 9 so I don’t know what will happen with it as I get older. I really want to make more jewelry and not just lanyards. My sisters and I love to make and wear cool earrings. Because you work so hard to get lanyards made and shipped sometimes I can experiment with other stuff!
Thanks so much Lilly! It’s so much fun for me as a Mom to watch you learn all about business and art and working hard at something you love. Between you, your Aunt Haley and myself this has turned into something so special!
Be sure to visit @illylillydesignco on Instagram and enter our weekly Friday giveaways! You can never have too many cute lanyard.