Lately, I've been thinking about LoweCo. and how I see it from your perspective. Initially, I didn't want my face to be a huge part of the brand because I knew the quality of its products were sound and I wanted it to succeed by that merit alone. Then I realized that my story and I are a huge part of the brand innately since the inspiration came from how Sean and I got to know each other. I saw other business owners that started out in the public eye - Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Bethenny Frankel, among the many - and I realized that our passions make the brand more relatable. Now, I've decided to take LoweCo. in a direction that I'm proud to say I'll be more the face of and with your help, my little stationery company can be a luxury lifestyle brand that you'll love to support.
A week or so ago, I reached out to the followers of LoweCo.'s Instagram account (if you aren't following, you should!) and asked them to ask me questions that they were curious about. Questions about the brand, personal questions, questions that made me uncomfortable (SEAN LOWE WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME SUCH A QUESTION PUBLICLY THAT I HAVE TO ANSWER)
Here are my responses. Enjoy :)
LoweCo. Business - Conception
Q: Have you always wanted to start a business of your own? What was the driving passion behind starting something from scratch?
A: I never ever ever thought of myself as a business owner, probably because I'm not the most responsible or organized human so being an "entrepreneur" is kind of laughable to my former self. I just knew I loved design, the concept of creative freedom and marketing planning, but the rest was very daunting.
Dallas has a lot of reputable and desirable places to work (Neiman-Marcus, Fossil, advertising agencies - to name a few) and after trying to go that route and taking interviews, I decided that since it wouldn't be too long until when Sean and I wanted to start a family, it wouldn't be fair to an employer to train me and then have me leave soon after to raise my child. So, I determined that LoweCo. would be the most flexible and reasonable way to go. And Sean is a business-mind so I'd always have someone to help me on the pieces I was naturally lacking. Hindsight, starting a company while pregnant was incredibly stupid. You live, you learn!
Q: How did you take LoweCo. from idea to action? What advice do you have to other aspiring creators and entrepreneurs trying to find their thing or move their side hustle forward?
A: I'm not the most decisive person and since this is my first solo business venture, it took a lot of toe dips in the water before the big leap. I had to have a product (which includes vendors and materials), a brand and a site to start for real. As long as you have a passion, goals and a to-do list, anyone can get anything going. Oh, and grace for yourself and the inevitable bumps in the road. "How I Built This" is a great podcast for those who are thinking about starting something; so many great tips and ways to get where you want to go. (Side note: Patagonia's Owner resonated the most with my personal business style!)
Q: How did you find the printing company for your sweet cards?
A: Since I hadn't worked in Dallas before, I didn't have many friends in the industry that I could ask for business references. But after networking and meeting young entrepreneurs through local events and through friends, I was taken under the wing of Chelsea Carpenter of Southern Fried Paper. The pieces her company creates are beautiful and creative and although I wasn't planning to be in her exact segment of the market, I was still hesitant to ask her advice or for her manufacturers. I called her and said "please please excuse me if I'm stepping over the line and I'm so sorry if I'm doing this all wrong, but can you tell me who you work with in the city?" I was really worried this would ruin our relationship and friendship, and after holding my breath waiting for the answer, she said, "Girl, don't apologize. Us girls got to stick together." And then she told me her vendors and their contact information. I couldn't believe it. Girl power at its best. I owe my business to her. And now, anytime someone asks me about where to get their wedding invitations or anything they specialize in, I direct them to Southern Fried Paper. Check them out, they're amazing :)
LoweCo. Business - Current
Q: What do you love most about LoweCo.?
A: I love the freedom of creativity that I have with LoweCo. Since it's my business, I can decide which products and sayings I introduce and to whom I sell them. It's the best type of challenge and even though it's incredibly hard sometimes to be a grown up, it's nice to know I'm being pushed to do things I don't want to do (ex. financial stuff, legal stuff, organization) so I can truly see my potential.
Q: What is your favorite LoweCo. card/phrase?
A: That's like asking your favorite child...I have a special place for TUSH and AGAIN/ANNIV because they each make me giggle when I read them aloud but our Cards That Grow are my bestie bests. I mean, plantable cards?! YES.
Q: How do you come up with the captions of the cards? Would you consider making a competition with your followers to see who could come up with a new caption for a card?
A: When I'm feeling extra witty, I sit down and write down all my ideas and I don't filter a thing. I then categorize the best sayings into occasions and see which occasion is lacking and focus more on that sentiment. I also keep a running note on my iPhone of fun ideas for captions or whatever when I'm inspired in daily life.
A competition would be a great idea! I would love to see what our followers come up with and I will definitely start thinking about how to implement that into our calendar. Thanks for the suggestion! :)
Q: Do you partner with non-profits?
A: I've worked with a couple of 'for charity' organizations and donated products to many groups that request them, so I guess that answer is yes!
Q: Do you have a team of people helping design or are you doing it all on your own?
A: I've been in business for a year and half and this past month has been the first time I've had help in the designing department. I have three summer interns and two of them are graphic design-focused. I am still the Creative Director, but I'm delegating some of the design tasks to two young ladies :)
LoweCo. Business - Future
Q: Do you want to expand your LoweCo. brand to other things besides stationery? Will planners be incorporated? Bookmarks?
A: We are planning to expand our offerings very soon to home goods, other paper items and other gift-related products. In early 2018, the first phase of our home-centric CASA Collection will be launched and will (potentially) include luxury candles, coasters and limited quantity art pieces on canvas. I am also hoping to incorporate gourmet food items to our range of products! Once everything is solidified, you all will be the first to know what's coming up next :)
As for planners and bookmarks, I'm not sure that is in the near future but I'll never rule anything out!
Q: Do you want to add color into the cards in the future?
A: The lack of color has been the signature for our brand and as much as I completely adore the white monochromatic textured concept, I have been trying to find the most appropriate and unique way to incorporate color. It will happen eventually! Stay tuned!
Q: What is your ultimate goal of where you want the LoweCo. brand to go?
A: My ultimate goal is that LoweCo. becomes a luxury lifestyle brand that is known globally. WOW THAT SOUNDS SERIOUS AND DAUNTING BUT I LIKE IT
Q: Are you able to tell us about any exciting new developments in expanding the brand?
A: I've leaked our CASA Collection but one thing that I'm reeeeeeally excited about eventually is gourmet croutons. It'll make sense, I promise. Oh, and they'll be DELICIOUS.
Q: Will you be having a pop-up in the near future in Manhattan or elsewhere?
A: I haven't planned a pop-up anytime soon but I am always interested in meeting and seeing people that are fans of LoweCo.! I was in discussion with a well-known Manhattan retail shop and if it comes to fruition in NY or anywhere else, believe you me, we will announce it! :)
Q: Have you ever thought about putting a store in California?
A: I started LoweCo. with the hopes that it would allow me to balance raising my family and working at my own pace. Opening a storefront would definitely take a lot more time, resources and energy away from my newly growing family so I haven't thought about that avenue yet. But I never say never!
Q: Why are you so attractive?
A: Why, Sean Lowe. Why.
Q: How do you manage being a business owner, mom and wife?
A: Not easily. After a year of riding the strugglebus around many towns, I have figured out how to prioritize my to-do lists and give myself grace when I fail. I have also tried to balance all of my roles by asking for help. There's no shame in delegating!
Q: Are you thinking of adopting any kids?
A: Sean and I are both planning to adopt children and we cannot wait until God blesses us with the opportunity to parent more biological and adopted children!
Q: How do you keep your hair healthy?
A: I honestly don't wash it all that often (2.5 times a week), drink water constantly, take my vitamins and thank my genetics!
Q: How has being a mother changed your life?
A: How has it NOT changed my life?! Being a mother has been so special, challenging, delightful, emotionally-draining, time-consuming and fulfilling. My life has turned upside-down and I am a better person for it. I daily attempt to be more patient and selfless and mature. Attempt is the operative word.
If you have any other questions, please ask below! Thanks for your interest in LoweCo. and how it came to be. Join our email list to find out more about what's the haps with our brand, upcoming events and product launches!