“There’s no business like bow business” – Minnie Mouse
I only have little boys, so bows were a bit foreign to me, but even I know that the small shop bow business is cutthroat. Lilly Belle Market has successfully found a competitive edge by offering small shoppers versatility, high quality products and affordable pricing. “Our most popular item is our Charlotte bow,” owner Missy Palmer shared. “I believe it is because the bow is a classic shape and size that a lot of people can relate to and can come in a variety of different prints for the seasons.”
The shop features bows and headbands in vibrant colors, sequins, florals, crushed velvet, faux leather and more. “My favorite print changes with the season, but I tend to love the pink tones. For spring this year, I’m obsessed with all things coral and it will show in our spring launches.” Makes sense because “Living Coral” is the 2019 Pantone color of the year! Lilly Belle Market isn’t just for the bellas either. The shop offers a “Dapper Dash” line for bow ties. “We have many customers with little boys too and the request for matching bow ties with hair bows grew. During the holidays, we drop a new line.”
Lilly Belle Market was initially conceived almost five years ago to hand make signs for local events. “After the signs became popular and our Etsy shop grew, we ran into the difficulty of shipping large signs. Because of that, we looked at a different business plan and decided to come up with something a little more manageable,” said Palmer. When Palmer’s daughter Lilly Belle was born, Palmer fell in love with bows. “She had no hair so bows were mandatory,” she joked. And far easier to ship!
“When we first started, it was just me with the help of my husband after we worked at our full time jobs. I taught myself how to sew and craft with the help of my mother via FaceTime,” Palmer explained. “Six months later, after we launched, I hired my first seamstress, quit my full time job, and now we have a team of eight local women that make bows and one fabulous assistant who is my right hand.” The experience has taught Palmer when to ask for help. “As we have grown, I‘ve learned to hire assistance where I may be weak. It’s humbling, but in the end, we cant be the best at everything. We’ve created a phenomenal team.”
Ultimately, Palmer found her calling in bows. “My favorite part of creating bows is just that. I love designing and creating. I have a background in fashion and absolutely love playing with prints and styles.”