Peyton Flowers Whether you’re a “shop till you drop” girl or dread shopping like the plague, you have probably considered signing up for a subscription stylist service. But often, these limit your budget, variety of style and control over the items you receive. Traci Kelley, a Boaz, Alabama native and local Montgomery resident, saw the need for something different in the world of online fashion styling.
With a keen eye for style and a love for helping others find that perfect wardrobe item, she created lilablake.com. LilaBlake’s stylists provide a monthly style guide straight to your inbox with 30 items curated to match your style profile, doing the work of scouring for unique items from all across the web for you!
What inspired you to create lilablake.com?
I have always wanted to do “more.”I just never knew what that was. I am ADD and bounce around ideas all the time, andI finally found one that I was passionate enough about and believed in enough to invest in. I am very creative and have always loved fashion. My family and friends were always asking me to shop for them or sending me pictures of items and asking my opinion. After several of my friends tried Stitch Fix and likedthe idea of the service, but didn’t like the price of the items, the limited number of items they would receive, and the pressure to send back the item within a three-day timeframe or they wouldbe billed, I knew I could do it a different way. I wanted to offermore items, at prices that were not marked up, and give the subscriber the power to purchase only what they love. With LB, you can use online discount codes, wait for the item to go on sale, or buy it at full retail price knowing that another companyhasn’t marked it up even more.
Where did the name LilaBlake come from?
Lila Blake is the “daughter I never had.” I have two wonderful boys who I love dearly, but would not have appreciated being
named Lila Blake (kind of like the “Boy Named Sue”). So, after spending hours and hours of coming up with the concept, working with a developer and now trying to get it off the ground, it has taken on the role of another child.
Describe your own personal style.
My personal style varies day to day. At my grown-up job, I am the director of strategic development at ASE Credit Union, andI truly enjoy dressing up for work. I probably overdress sometimes, but I do not believe beautiful clothes should sit in the closet. During the week, I would say that I am "sophisticated/edgy." On the weekends, I would say that I am “boho chic.” I love a long flowy dress with sandals; one that has a beautiful back that is versatile enough you can wear out to dinner or to a kid's ballgame. I have also been known to rock the “homeless bag-lady chic” look to Target on a Saturday afternoon. I believe in comfort on the weekends. No heels unless I’m headed to church.
Who is the ideal lilablake.com subscriber?
Any female that:
A. Doesn’t have the time to shop OR doesn't like to shop and would like someone to pull the best of the best that is available online for her to choose from
B. Loves to shop and wants more options to choose from
C. Doesn’t know where to begin when shopping and wants a little advice from someone who lives to shop
Explain how the process works.
For $9.99 per month, you subscribe to receive the monthly styleguide. Once you subscribe, you take a two-minute quiz that will tell our stylists what items to recommend based on your style, size and budget guidelines. Each month on the 10th, you will receive an email with 30 items that were personally chosen based on your quiz results. These 30 items can include dresses, tops, pants, skirts, jackets, jewelry, handbags, scarves, sunglasses, etc. From there, you click on the items you like and purchase what you love directly from the retailer. Another option is to print the guide and use it as your personal style assistant when shopping in local brick and mortar stores. In addition, on the 1st and 20th of each month, you receive an email with three items that we recommend and a list of active promo codes or great sales that retailers are having.
What are the benefits of using a service like lilablake.com?
It save you time and also saves you money - you buy only what you love directly from the retailer. We do not mark up any of the items or make a profit when you purchase an item. You can use coupons or promo codes, and you can even save your favorite items and wait for them to go on sale! Instead of receiving five items like our competitors, we offer 30 for you to choose from and there’s nothing to send back. You only purchase what you love and nothing is automatically shipped to you that you have to either decide within three days to keep or send back.
Where would you like to see the future of LilaBlake.com going?
One day, I would love to expand and offer maternity options. I would also like to branch out and offer the service to men and possibly home décor. There are so many wonderful online retailers that are small businesses like myself that offer unique items, but it can take a long time to research and find them. I would like to showcase those retailers and help bring awareness to their goods.