Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in pet care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ashley Narramore, Co-Founder of Lucy Lou’s Designs, located in Jacksonville, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We make dog and cat collars, leashes, and harnesses. Pet owners love the unique designs we offer, along with the ability to personalize their collars for safety and style.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Ashley, and just over ten years ago, I started LLD after adopting my boxer, Lucy. After finding out she was allergic to nylon, I was on a mission to find a collar for her that would not only be comfortable but stylish as well. After searching for weeks, I quickly realized how difficult this would be. I asked my mom to teach me to sew because I was determined to make something that would check both boxes. After a lot of research and practice, I began making Lucy’s collars and leashes out of cotton fabric. Each time someone at the dog park would see Lucy’s collars, they would ask me where they could buy them. This trend got me started down the path of making them for friends and family members, and I eventually launched our brand, Lucy Lou’s Designs. Fast forward ten years and my husband and I are now working full-time with our company. We sell our designs online, at local art markets, in several dog boutiques and vet clinics, and travel to a variety of art festivals along the east coast each year. We just had our first baby last year, and we feel incredibly blessed that God has allowed us the opportunity to work alongside each other and raise our daughter together. She motivates us each day to use our talents to serve others.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Recently, we launched a subscription box where customers receive an exclusive, designed dog collar once a month for their fur babies. It’s been a request from our customers for quite a while, and I’m really happy to see it come to life.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is overworking. When you own a business, there’s always something to do, and it’s difficult to find a good balance between work and pleasure.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Teamwork really does make the dream work. When you work together towards your goals and vision, you can achieve so much more. Whether it’s a spouse, a business partner, or someone new that you hire, it’s so important to reinforce the importance of working as a team.
- It’s a blessing to be a blessing. By going above and beyond in your business to make an ordinary transaction an unforgettable experience, you will gain so much more than a lifelong customer. We have found that there is a profound joy in giving others more than they expect.
- Celebrate the smallest victories. This is important because owning a business means YOU have to be your own cheerleader. It’s not always easy to build yourself up when you feel down, but when you get in the habit of actively looking for what you’re doing well and celebrating that, it keeps you from getting stuck in the trenches.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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