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April Small Business Feature: Lily and Grey

How did your business get started?

When Melissa got engaged and was planning her bridesmaid proposals, we were talking about how there has to be an easier way to do this and save time on running around, or avoid ordering from 10 different Etsy stores because let’s face the stuff from small businesses or creative artists is so much cuter than the big box stores! Then Lily and Grey was born! Melissa has always had an eye for gifting and wrapping up the cutest boxes and me (Danielle) has worked with small business and startups for the past 5 years.

How has the pandemic affected your business?

We have seen ups and downs. Less weddings in the spring was tough this year. Along with reduction in markets meant only online sales this year. Then came the holidays and a big push from everyone to support shopping local, we did pretty well and it was great because when people order from us it also means we are restocking from other small businesses too.

What are your favorite products or services that you currently sell?

For Melissa, she’s obsessed with all of the new baby line items. Everything is organic and super soft. The little stuffed animals are too cute. For me (Danielle), I love the birthday box! Birthdays are so hard to shop for. I’m also a sucker for a great mug. We include a custom mug with your sign on it and I think it’s such a fun box. Runner up is our spa box.

What are a few fun facts about your business?

Melissa is far better at tying bows than me. It usually takes me about 3 times before I get it right still, so more likely than not, your bow will be tied by Melissa. If you ask us our origin story about our name, we might make up a different one every time 🤣. But in truth, Lilies are our favorite flower. I adopted a dog this past year whose name is Lily and I knew it was meant to be as soon as I saw the name. She’s now our mascot.

What advice do you have for someone in the beginning stages of owning a business?

Plan, but also plan for the unexpected. Know there will be hard days. Believe in yourself, because sometimes that’s the only one who will. If it’s a product-based company - spend on professional photos. We didn’t at first and it set us back a few months. We thought we could do ourselves and turns out we couldn’t. It was worth spending the money.

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