Mom-owned business takes monogramming to a new level
Customers have asked Katie Seymour to monogram just about everything — from the typical towels or cloth purses to the completely abstruse car mats or sports bras.
“There is a huge market for embroidery, and it’s a competitive market,” said Seymour, who owns Lily Belles in Hazelwood.
Seymour is just one of a dozen business owners in Hazelwood who have contributed to its revitalization during the last seven years. The gift shop is named after Seymour’s daughter, Lillian, and her father is her business partner.
Lily Belles sells many locally made items, such as bags, jewelry, knit dolls and aprons, but specializes in embroidery — a talent Seymour learned from a friend. Seymour, for a while, worked making custom bags at a friend’s shop and learned how monogram. Then, about three years ago after her friend’s store closed, she decided to open her own place.
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in, and I felt like there was a place for it in Waynesville,” said Seymour, a mom with young children.
Although she cannot work on a mass scale like large corporations, Seymour gets help with her work from two computerized machines, which when fed a design, initials or a logo, immediately begin sewing it into an item. Simple monograms take 10 to 12 minutes to complete, whereas more intricate logos usually take closer to an hour.
Not limited to merely the novel, Seymour has done work for the Clyde Police Department, the Waynesville Fire Department and sewed a design onto scrubs for the Haywood County hospital. Some clients also allow her to exercise her artistic side; most recently, she created shirts for a little boy’s birthday party, decorating them with planets and stars for his galactic-themed shindig.
“I love getting to do the creative projects,” Seymour said.
Lily Belles is one of several eclectic, boutique-style shops that have breathed new life and energy into the old Hazelwood shopping district during the past several years. Other creative, homegrown entrepreneurs carving out a niche alongside Seymour are Hazelwood Soap Company, Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters, Claymate’s Paint-Your-Own Pottery, Robin Blu and Bourbon Barrel restaurant.
Go for a visit
Lily Belles is located on Hazelwood Avenue and is open every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. 828.246.0875 or www.lilybellesonline.com.