Today, friends, we chat with McKay, the creative mind behind Oatmeal Lace Design. She loves chronicling the journey of her creations, so read on for the story behind her store's name and what inspires her the most. Enjoy...
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So tell me a bit about Oatmeal Lace
I'm lucky to have grown up with strong female role models in my life. I'm named after my mom and grandmother, who are both amazing in front of a sewing machine and even better in front of a stove. I luckily inherited some of their talent in the sewing arena...not so much in the kitchen, unfortunately. My grandmother (we call her Mamama) always made the most delicious cookies when we visited growing up. Thin, crispy, buttery goodness -- named Oatmeal Lace. Naming the company after those cookies is my little shout-out to her and all she's accomplished in her lifetime. I mean, seriously, how many 94-year-olds do you know who still live alone, drive and play golf?? Oatmeal Lace was started with weddings in mind, and its primary focus has been on brides-to-be and their bridal parties. It's been successful in that arena, which has allowed me to branch out and start making bags for other occasions and dabble in baby products. So much fun!
What inspired you to start the shop?
It was almost a fluke, actually. While planning my wedding, I rediscovered my creative side -- it had been dormant for quite some time. Anyways, I was having a lot of trouble deciding what to gift my bridesmaids that would be something they would want to use after the wedding, be customized to their individual taste and also not kill the budget that I was working so hard to stay within. I knew how to sew, thanks to my mom and Mamama, and I love bags, as did my bridesmaids, so decided that I was going to make them custom clutches (a very lofty goal at the time). Long story short, I loved making the clutches, and with some not-so-subtle pushes from family and friends to open a shop, I decided to go for it. Finding a creative outlet that allows me to still be involved in the wedding community, which I love, and helps contribute to our family income has been a dream come true.
What's your best piece of advice for people looking for great online shopping deals?
Once I know what product/service it is that I want to purchase online, I always, always, always go to Google first and type in 'such and such promo/coupon code.' I cannot tell you how many times I have been able to save at least 10% off my purchases that way. I also do this for purchases I make in-store, since many coupons you can print out and take with you...
In this recession economy, what are some ways people can still look chic for less?
If you consider t-shirts, jeans and flip flops "chic", then I'm your gal. :) Honestly, what I find the easiest and most effective way to liven up any outfit (especially the t-shirts I'm always wearing) is buying a fun scarf or a great pair of earrings. I'm a huge fan of Forever 21, Target, Marshalls & TJMaxx to source fun & inexpensive jewelry/accessories. I'm partial to dangly earrings since I throw my hair back in a ponytail 95% of the time, and they are guaranteed to automatically make me feel more put together and stylish when I wear them. Plus, Target has the best t-shirts for cheap -- and in a plethora of colors. I think I have one of each (and about 5 in white). I've also found that Marshalls & TJMaxx are a gold mine for fun infinity scarves that don't break the bank. They always add a little pizazz to any outfit you put together and work even in warmer climates like Tampa, where I am. Just stay away from the wool if you're down here.
What is your favorite item in your shop and why?
My favorite item in the shop is the geometric genevieve. I really love the pattern, and although I've not been able to source it in the taupe anymore, I love it even more in the gray. I've been using a bright teal for the interior which I think is such a fun surprise when you open the bag.
P.S. Look for an awesome giveaway from McKay on the blog tomorrow! :)