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Daily Inspiration: Meet Melanie Hernquist

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Hernquist.

Hi Melanie, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am trained as a graphic designer and have worked in publishing, beauty packaging and brand design. I have always had a love for stationery, paper, ribbons and making everyday occasions special. My love for stationery and paper led me to owning a stationery boutique in Pasadena, CA where I worked with wedding clients as a designer of letterpress stationery and paper goods for weddings. Throughout my career as a designer, I have never let go of my love for creating my own brand of products. Fast forward to 2010 and I found myself working as a freelance designer while being an independent distributor for a fashion accessories social selling company. I struggled to find unique incentive items to share with my team to reward them for their hard work. Using my design skills and my knowledge of production, I created the Lucky + Lovely Shop as a gifting boutique. It has expanded into a full line of colorful, joyful and inspiring graphic tees and personalized lifestyle products. Our mission is to help women on a mission find gorgeous, unique and high-quality products that they love for themselves and to gift others.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Running my business has not always been a smooth road at all. I struggle with juggling all of the hats and have recently hired a team to help me grow the business. Sourcing products and producing our inventory has been a challenge as well. I started using third-party production partners to launch the business. That has been both a blessing and can sometimes be a curse. When you outsource, you don’t always have the ability to control all aspects of production and it can be more costly. Last year, covid-19 challenged us because I had goals of finally doing some in-person pop-up events. After paying for several events that cancelled, I found myself coming to terms with the fact that we were going to be online only for a while longer. I was terrified that sales would dry up because of the economy and people losing their jobs. Fortunately, the community rallied around small businesses like mine and we were able to grow by over 300%. I applied for every grant, loan and opportunity that came my way and was given a spot as a business highlighted by the Curate Retail group which owns QVC and HSN. I was one of 20 Black businesses that was promoted on their digital platforms last year which helped tremendously with visibility and traffic to the website.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
We specialize in gifting by designing and curating joyful, colorful, and inspiring apparel and personalized products for our shop. I am inspired by strong women who lead others with love in their careers and in their homes. We love rainbow color palettes, iced coffee, satin ribbon and wrapping gifts with pretty bows. We love cupcakes, brunch with girlfriends and a perfectly pulled-together outfit. We never met a monogram we didn’t like and we believe everyday occasions should be celebrated just like special ones. We believe in high fives and saying “you go girl” when we achieve goals. I am most proud of. Honestly, the joy that seeing my products brings to my customers. I am proud of our impeccable customer service. We work hard to over-deliver and make our customers happy even if our product failed to deliver. I am proud of the attention to detail that I pay in design and choosing our materials and sourcing our goods. I am most proud of our vibrant and inspiring community that spreads the Lucky+ Lovely joy daily.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
The loved ones in my life deserve credit. My husband pushes me to stay focused and to obsessively search for ways to increase our margins and revenue. He is my biggest cheerleader and brags about our shop. He works as a software engineer and he fixes tech issues and website bugs when I need him to. My daughter is my Fulfillment Queen! She is a teenager and freshman in college and she spends her breaks at my workshop. She packages up our orders with love and helps me stay organized. My son Henry is my little model. He encourages me and helps me create fun social media content. Overall, my family and community are very encouraging and have supported me by shopping, sharing the website and referring me to their networks.

Pricing:

  • $15-30

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brand photos (of me) Hannah Michelle Photo

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