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February 10, 2014

lulu's mimi and a giveaway

Hello from snowy Pennsylvania! We got yet another snow storm yesterday- but it's gorgeous and after spending an afternoon this weekend reigniting my ski love, I am thankful that it's still winter.

Today I am happy to be writing about another small business from a friend of mine, Lindsay Gaines, from Juniata College.  We were basketball teammates there and after college both happened to moved to the great state of North Carolina, where she now resides.  Lindsay is a fellow blogger, new mom to a precious little boy, and starter of a business called Lulu's Mimi, an out-of-home business that features things "homemade with love". 

Part of my intention to introducing a small business is not only to feature great products, but also to capture a bit about the person behind it.  By getting to know these people a little better, the item bought from that business is a little more meaningful, and in our culture, isn't it great to put a face behind a product? 

^^Lindsay sporting one of her most popular items, a chevron scarf^^

So, here's a bit of the email interview:

1. What inspired you to start making items to sell?
My inspiration actually stemmed from blogging.  I started reading blogs consistently and noticed that many of the blogs I was reading were primarily sewing/tutorial type posts.  Once I started navigating Pinterest, I decided I could do those things. So, on Black Friday two years ago my mother talked me into buying a sewing machine and here I am.  I have to add that I sewed with my grandmother as a child/teen so I had some experience with it prior to this, but hadn't done anything in over a decade before becoming inspired by what I saw out there.  Coincidentally, this also inspired my blog.

2. What has been your most popular item(s)?
My most popular items are definitely baby items: car seat covers, burp cloths, bibs, and diaper clutches. Many people like to give them as gifts and everyone loves receiving them.  My scarves are really popular as well, particularly the chevron pattern.  My favorite thing though is when people contact me asking me if I can make something.  That's how I started making car seat covers!

3. Do you sell at local craft fairs or just out of your home?
 I do sell at local craft fairs.  I even had my crafts in a store front here in town for a little over a year.  I sell a lot through my Facebook page.  I really enjoy doing craft fairs because it allows me to connect with other vendors and I've always been a small business/craft fair junkie so I love the atmosphere.

4. What has been the hardest thing about having a small business?
Right now the hardest thing about having a small business is finding the time to sew with a little one in the house.  However, I also have the hardest time getting to the post office.  I don't know what it is about that place!

5. What other thoughts do you have on buying locally/small businesses? 
I try very hard to buy local/small as often as I can.  If I can't do that, I at least try to purchase goods made in America.  At one point in my life I had a hard time paying the extra you might pay for locally made goods, but then I started making my own things and realized the time, effort, and love that goes into creating.  That's the best part of shopping small; each item is unique and created with someone's hands quite possibly while they were balancing life with a new baby or raising money for a dream vacation...  I love that everything has a story.

6. Where did the name "Lulu's Mimi" come from?
My grandmother is the one that taught me the basics of sewing.  Growing up she and I made aprons, duffel bags, blankets, even prom dresses together.  She is a very talented woman who happens to be my grandmother and, more importantly, one of my very best friends.  It is really important to me that I keep this legacy alive in my family (I'm extremely sentimental) so I'm so proud to carry on the tradition of creating clothing and gifts.  One of my nicknames is Lulu and I call my grandmother Mimi hence the name: Lulu's Mimi.  I'm considering changing my blog to the same name so that everything flows cohesively in the event that this small business could become more than a hobby at some point in my life.

So, without further ado, there are a couple different ways to see Lindsay's products:
Blog: Here
Blog FB page: Here
Lulu's Mimi FB page: Here

She does take custom orders through her facebook page, and also said that she has some things already made, ready to send out. So check it out!

Annnnd one of you lucky readers 
will win any item of your choice from Lulu's Mimi (free shipping too!). 
So, if you have a baby, an upcoming baby shower, or need a stylish scarf, just enter a comment below listing a small business that you patron and why you go there.  Enter by next Monday, February 17, where the winner will be chosen at random.

**Good luck and thanks for supporting small businesses!!**


  1. Thanks for sharing, Dana! Pretty inspirational right there. I love how the Internet empowers people to do things they love for a living (or fun). :)

    A small business I love here in Winston Salem, NC is the Amani Market ( This shop sells beautiful jewelry and gifts and supports the Amani Children's Foundation. Amani's mission is to raise funding and promote understanding to care for abandoned babies in Africa in partnership with New Life Home Trust in Kenya. Since 1993, 1400 abandoned infants have been cared for, and nearly all of them have been adopted by Kenyan families ! Because Amani Market covers overhead, 100% of all donations to Amani go directly to Kenya to care for the babies!

    This year I bought Christmas ornaments at the shop and they were a hit!

    1. Lauren, this is awesome! What a great cause and awesome to find good reason to shop there! Where is it? I'll have to visit on my next trip to WS!! Miss you!

  2. I love Ligonier, PA and it is has quite the selection of fine small businesses that I love to frequent during the holidays or really anytime of year. Here is a sampling of my favorite locally owned small businesses in Ligonier:

    Dovecote Ligonier - I bought a set of antique champagne classes there that I used at my wedding & on New Year's Eve!

    G Squared Gallery - Supports local artists and has some of the best locally made infused oils & the jewelry is way cool.

    Main Street Exhibit Gallery - Some of the coolest handmade hardwood furniture I've ever seen - plus the ceramic is reasonably priced and very functional. The jewelry here is also way cool. All local artists.

    Song of Sixpence - Really unique fun stuff. They feature sweet locally made soaps that are just perfect.

    If you're ever in the Ligonier, PA area and have a few hours to spend meandering through the downtown area I highly recommend you stop at any of these small businesses.

    1. I actually have only been in Ligonier once and LOVED it! We stopped in for lunch there while house shopping a few months ago, but since I live so close, I must go back and check out these sweet shops! Thanks!

  3. What a great story! Congrats to your friend for making a hobby into a little more, and honoring her grandmother too.

    One of my favorite locally-owned small businesses right now is Stella Brew, a new craft beer and wine store that opened in Ardmore a few months ago. It has a great selection and is in walking distance. The people are really nice too! They also sell disc golf supplies but I don't play that, though many of my friends do. Miss you!