Who is Layne James?•
Posted on October 08 2019
Hi, I'm Lydia Roney Wright, the founder of Layne James Embroidery.
While I will most definitely answer to "Layne" or "Mrs. James," those names aren't who I really am! Layne is my given middle name and James is both my husband's and son's middle name. Several years before I created my company, I wanted to find a name that was unique and special to me, but not my actual name. So I unintentionally created somewhat of a pen name, I suppose, and the rest is history!
Some of my readers are loyal customers who have been here since the beginning. But some of you may be new here or not have heard the story of how this adventure began. Below is a transcript from an online interview I did for a Boutique Clothing series with a company called Rock Bottom Tees back in 2011.
- What inspired you to start an online clothing boutique?
When I began my embroidery business in September 2010, I had planned my original focus to be on embroidered gifts. After showing photos of my toddler son wearing a few appliquéd shirts that I had made, I received a tremendously positive response. Orders for appliquéd shirts began flooding in and I also began to receive requests for other children’s clothing items such as bodysuits, rompers, hats, caps, and the like. My niche chose me and I could not have been more surprised or delighted!
- How did you get started?
After receiving my first embroidery machine from my parents as a Christmas gift in 2008, I spent weeks researching the world of embroidery. I taught myself both how to use my new embroidery machine as well as the tricks of the trade. In the Spring of 2009, I finally had enough courage to open an Etsy store where I showcased my latest creations. My Etsy store became very successful as did word of mouth advertising for the next year and a half. Eventually in September of 2010, I embraced my lifelong dream of owning my own business, bought a commercial embroidery machine and began Layne James Embroidery & Designs, LLC.
- Are there any milestone moments that you’d like to share with us?
My milestone moment was a couple of months after I began my business. I was accustomed to family, friends, and friends-of-friends telling me how much they enjoyed my work and products. But once complete strangers began to order items from my website and “like” my Facebook page, I felt completely overwhelmed with amazement. It was a wonderful confirmation of all the hard work I had put in to understanding my craft, the embroidery world, and my business!
- How long does it take, on average, for you to complete a typical project?
The average timeframe of a project depends solely upon the type of project. For monogrammed items, the total time it takes me is approximately 20 minutes. This includes creating the design/wording on the computer, hooping the item, stitch time, finishing the item, and packaging.
For appliquéd items, the average time is a bit longer. A complex design with 3 or more fabrics takes about 30-40 minutes, which includes the same steps as mentioned above.
I take great pride in the quality of my work, so I am willing to spend extra time doing a few additional steps that other embroiderers may not. I also greatly enjoy anything that is technology related, so I may spend more computer time on a design finding just the “right” font for a particular project!
- Where do you find the inspiration to come up with these embellishments?
I have always been creatively inclined. I remember being involved in every type of craft and art class imaginable as a child. I even studied Interior Design in college and afterwards made a nice living as a Project Manager/Space Planner in the commercial furniture/interior design industry. I have a general love for colors and fabric and truly enjoy matching, blending, and creating with fabrics and threads in my embroidery work!
- What would you say is the biggest challenge facing boutique clothing craft businesses?
The most challenging aspect of my business is anticipating the demand of my customers. From the opening of my business, I have been pleasantly surprised at the outpouring of support from not only friends and family but people that I’ve never met. I’ll admit that at times, it is difficult to maintain a short turnaround on orders that come in since I am a one woman show! I feel so incredibly blessed to have this “problem” and appreciate my customers more than they could ever imagine.
- Is there any advice that you’d like to share with someone who may be considering starting one?
Research every single aspect of owning a business before you take the plunge. Owning your own business is not easy and you must have a general idea of what to expect so as not to be blindsided or overwhelmed. If you love what you do enough to start your own business, it will be completely worth all of the hard work.
I hope you enjoyed the interview! Even though the interview was eight years ago, my responses are still relevant today. If you've thought about starting your own creative business, I would love for you to reach out so we can talk about how I can guide you on the right path to entrepreneurship! I have some exciting things in the works just for people like you and would love to include you in them from the get-go.
Until next time, y'all be particular!