Jennifer Velarde started 1154 LILL Studio - the original custom handbag company - in her small studio apartment at 1154 Lill Street in Chicago. She had signed up for her first street fair and decided at the last minute to bring her fabric swatches along with her bags to take custom orders in the booth. She loved pairing fabrics, colors and textures together in interesting ways, and thought others would enjoy this creative outlet as well. She was right. Women were drawn to this unique concept and the framework for 1154 LILL Studio’s original “design your own bag” concept was born.
Jen loves being creative – nothing gives her more pleasure than taking something raw and turning it into something beautiful and useful. She loves her surroundings to be filled with color and texture, loves how a great accessory completes an outfit and really loves how mementos of past experiences help her remember the good times she has shared with special people in her life. As Jen likes to explain it:
“When the team at LILL discusses next steps for the company, or new product development or processes, I often have trouble removing my personal feelings from the decisions. Some might say this can create problems when you are running a business, but I would argue that it is what makes LILL so special. The personal connection I feel – that, in fact, the whole LILL team feels – to the product and the experience is what makes LILL connect so well with its customers. We represent our customers and together we are designing a business that produces a product and an experience of which we are proud. It is something we are excited to share with everyone we know.
So when you visit an 1154 LILL store, attend a home party or shop with us online, know that you are truly shopping with us. Know that we thoroughly enjoy the personal interactions that are part of helping you create your very own LILL bag. And, know that we look forward to helping you and your friends, family and co-workers connect through the creation of something that is a true reflection of your style.”