May 26, 2015

Seller Spotlight with Cyndee of Lovin Each Stitch

We feel extremely lucky to call Cyndee of Lovin Each Stitch an Urbee and have truly enjoyed following along as her business has blossomed. The love she puts into her company and her products is obvious and no doubt a huge contributor to her success. Self taught in sewing and in business, Cyndee has a lot of wisdom to share. Check out our interview with her!

Tell us about your company:
Based out of Morinville, Alberta, Lovin Each Stitch has grown to include more than 8 original and unique designs for sewn bags. Edgy crochet items are also in store – certainly not your grandma’s crochet!

The sewing line up includes:

  • Phoenix Convertible Messenger Bag which fits wheelchairs and strollers in addition to being a great computer/work bag
  • The Eve Original Tote (which is where this whole journey began)
  • Bonnie Yoga Mat Bags
  • Stacey Messenger Bag Sets
  • clutches, purses, wallets, scarves and more.

Crochet cowls, convertible shrugs, scarves and the extremely popular Limelight Cowl are the stars of the crochet section. Boot cuffs, ear warmers, purses…the list goes on.

There will also be a new and maybe a bit surprising addition to the Lovin line up this year but that’s all we can say right now!

Why did you start your business?
My business started simply to get my friends off my back! Haha. They were relentless in telling me to sell my creations. I’m glad they were. About six months after launching my Facebook page and making my first sale, I became a single parent. This is also the same time my business really started launching. Now, my business is very important to me. I still wanted to be home to raise my girls and so I have been working my business even harder in the last 18 months. It is not easy but I still truly love it. And now I look at it as an opportunity to lead by example and show my girls that with a lot of hard work, determination and the right mindset, anything really is possible.

A coffee shop that supplies your caffeine fix or a local designer that wowed you…tell us about a local company that has been a lifesaver to your business:
Lifesaver? This is an easy one. Diane Fillinger of Brickbubble based out of Stony Plain has been a huge contributor to my success in building a recognizable brand. She designed the perfect logo for me and it is already being recognized by customers. I’ll never forget someone coming by my shop at the market last summer and looking at a bag. When she saw the logo, she exclaimed, “Hey, wait a minute…YOU’RE Lovin Each Stitch! I knew I knew that heart (logo).” That was an extremely rewarding moment – that I quickly shared with Diane as well.

Where were you previously working and how did you build the skills for your craft? I have no formal training or background in design or sewing. I do have many years of experience in being hard on myself though and have always strived to be the best at what I do….perfectionist? Guilty. I have sewed a lot….and developed a close relationship with my seam ripper. Thankfully those days are comfortably behind me as my skills have improved – having made hundreds of bags to date. 🙂

What was the first product you offered and how did you begin selling it? When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I realized I needed a diaper bag 😉 But I didn’t like anything I saw in stores – and I certainly didn’t want something that looked like a diaper bag. So, I dusted off an old hand me down sewing machine my mom had given me (for some unknown reason) and I taught myself to sew. My first bag was brown and black leopard print….to match a pair of stilettos I adored. I had so much fun with the challenge of learning to sew, I kept making bags….and I kept giving them to everyone I knew who was expecting. My friends were thrilled and impressed with my new found skill set. I finally gave in to the pressure from them to start selling my creations (I honestly thought they were just trying to make me feel good) and quietly launched my Facebook page in June of 2013. Within an hour I had made my first sale….and realized my friends must have been on to something!

What’s your favorite product out of all that you make and why is it your favorite?
My favourite sewn item is the Phoenix Convertible Messenger Bag Set. For as much as I truly love sewing and building my business and all the wonderful things that come along with that, the day I sold my first Phoenix to a young girl in a wheelchair was the day things really became crystal clear. I am able to truly enrich the lives of others by doing what I love to do. Wow! That is the real deal. I’m so grateful to be able to positively impact others in this way. What an amazing blessing.

My favourite crochet item is the Limelight Cowl. They are so unique and really a lot of fun to wear. Seeing peoples faces light up when they see it and especially when they try it on? It is really a feel good thing for me to see people happy like that.

How have you set your business apart from others doing something similar?
Hmm….I don’t know if I am set apart really. I just honestly am Lovin this gig.

What’s an interesting fact about you or your business, reporters would deem newsworthy?
The start up story is one that most people find intriguing. I suppose because of the designs of the sewn items paired with the quality, most people are surprised that I hadn’t been formally trained or have extensive experience.

Tell us about a business disaster you learned a valuable lesson from and can (hopefully) laugh about now:
Well….I’m a pretty positive person and believe that everything is a lesson. Maybe there hasn’t been a disaster? I’m not sure because, honestly, I can’t think of anything. Sure there have been ups and downs and unexpected things….but disaster is a pretty strong word! Maybe I just prefer to bypass “disaster” in exchange for “opportunity to learn”.

What has been the biggest challenge of running your business and how have you overcome it?

Balance. Easily – balancing work and my girls. Being a single parent of 2 preschoolers would keep anyone busy. My youngest daughter has some special needs as well, so finding time for all of the appointments, quality time with both of them, and work? I haven’t conquered this yet, but I’m working on it 🙂

What’s been the most important aspect to growing your business?
As I mentioned earlier, branding has been a very strong area for Lovin. It has really helped establish who and what Lovin is. Aside from that, the St Albert Farmers’ Market has been wonderful. The people of St Albert are amazing to say the least. They are welcoming, engaging and supportive. I am so blessed to have been able to establish relationships with so many customers and businesses. Having been accepted to Make It this past spring and now again for the November show in Edmonton, large scale markets are proving to be a great venue to share the Lovin Each Stitch with more and more people.

We like to help hold people accountable so tell us one of your goals!
Growth is a huge reality for Lovin right now. Keeping pace with the growth is one of the goals on the board right now….and having a day off would be nice too 😉

Head on over to Cyndee’s Made Urban Storefront to see more amazing items handmade with love!

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