Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Start-Up: Sew Jolly

Thanksgiving weekend might be the most anticipated shopping week throughout the whole year. So much hype is built around Black Friday shopping and what seems to also be eroding into Thanksgiving day. Only expanding the madness. Small Business Saturday on the other hand brings my favorite and most eager one of all. It's an opportunity to spread some love and show support for your local businesses. And I am all about spreading the love to those who have taken the risk to follow their passion of building a business.

I couldn't think of a better brand or better person to kick off Small Business Saturday and continue our Small Business Start-Up series than with the stylish doggy fashion line I am completely obsessed with, Sew Jolly.
It saddens me that we don't have a pup of our own (YET!), however I must confess we are immersed in doggy fever. Once we scoop up a pooch you better believe we are going to shower that baby with tons of unique collars, fun leashes, and stylish doggy beds all compliments to Sew Jolly of course.

Today we get to hear from the founder herself  as she takes us down her journey and experience with launching her business, and gives us a detailed look into Sew Jolly- a pet boutique. 

It is with much delight and pleasure to introduce you to the beautiful and inspirational entrepreneur, Catherine Jolly, alongside her handsome Chief Dog Officer Finley.

Lucky for me I have known Catherine for many years and have seen firsthand her kindness and generosity, love for animals, and innate ability to transform ideas into ingenious pieces of jaw dropping creativity. Sew Jolly has been sew much fun to learn about. Given today is Small Business Saturday, read what Catherine has to say about Sew Jolly and go use her promo code exclusively for Life a la Carte readers. I just want to mention there is currently an awesome Christmas collection of collars and accessories that can be found here. A perfect present for your pooch and is sure to get the whole family in the Christmas spirit.

Hometown: Green Bay, WI

Current City: Denver, CO

What services/products are offered?  

How would you describe Sew Jolly? Sew Jolly is a modern, stylish online dog boutique. All products are handmade and nearly all of the designer fabric used comes from local fabric shops. To ensure dogs remain both stylish and unique, only a limited quantity of each style is made. So when a style runs out, it's gone forever. 

Where can readers find your products? You can shop online at We can also be found at a few boutiques in the Denver area and at artisan events throughout Colorado. We’ll be at the Firefly Handmade Market in Denver on December 6th and 7th!

What prompted you to start your own business? I thrive off creativity and making things. After getting my Golden Retriever puppy, Finley, I was inspired to make him stylish, durable dog products. Stylish and durable rarely fall into the same category for pets so I knew I was onto something with Sew Jolly. 

What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself as a result of launching Sew Jolly? When it’s something your passionate about, you can work tirelessly to make it happen and it doesn’t ever feel like work. My husband will joke, “do you ever stop working?” and I just laugh and say “I’m not working, I’m having fun.”  

What was your biggest challenge bringing your idea from concept to fruition? PATIENCE! Every step of building a business takes time. From getting the accounting and admin stuff squared away to coming up with the concept and bringing it to market. Oh, and then you have to wait for the brand awareness to set in and pray that word of mouth travels quickly, which certainly does not come over night. I will say the greatest reward after all that patience is getting the first order that falls outside your family and friends!

How do you find inspiration? My dog Finley, obviously! I love seeing the crazy bond between other humans and their pets. It makes me realize I’m not the only nut in this world that spoils their dog and treats them like family.

Also, anytime I walk into a fabric boutique I get a rush of excitement and have to contain myself so I don’t buy the whole store.

What advice would you give to any readers looking to start their own business? If you have a product/service you love and truly believe in, go for it! Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.

What’s your favorite quote? Quotes keep me incredibly motivated and put a lot into perspective for me…so I have A LOT of favorites. To name a few:

“Peace. It doesn’t mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, noise or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” -unknown

“She believed she could so she did.” –R.S. Grey

“How you do anything is how you do everything.” -unknown

“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy

What do you enjoy most about Sew Jolly? There is a creative artistry and passion that goes into the design of my dog products. It’s a great feeling to share that with others at the various events I sell at. I love being able to connect with the end user on a personal level.

What is your vision for Sew Jolly in 2015? I plan to launch a Couture Collection made for special occasions and pet photography. Here’s a sneak peek.
(Can you say adorable!?)
(Oh. My. Gawd. Gimmee, Gimmee!)
 Don’t worry, ladies…we’ve got you covered too. Stay tuned for Spring 2015!

Small Business Saturday is coming up, how do you show your support for your fellow small businesses on this day?

Last year was the first year I completely stayed away from Black Friday. Instead, I went out on Small Business Saturday. I started the day off right with a latte from a local coffee shop (Laughing Latte), hit up some boutiques in the Highlands (a Denver neighborhood) for Christmas gifts and ended the day with dinner at a Denver hot spot. It was such a great feeling knowing the money I spent went back to my city and I got one of a kind gifts you can’t just get anywhere—not to mention amazing food and drinks. I plan to do the same this year!

Why should others shop small?

There’s a stat that if every family in the US spent an extra $10 a month at a locally owned, independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy. Every dollar you spend locally does make an impact, adds up and betters the local economy!

Isn't she amazing??? Talk about some talent!!! And Chief Dog Officer Finley sure fulfills his role (and cuteness). Be sure to head on over to Sew Jolly and pick up lots of goodies for your precious pet. Don't forget to use the promo code exclusively for Life a la Carte readers. 

Promo Code: ALACARTE to save 20% on collars and accessories now through December 10th!

Support Small Business Saturday! And Happy Shopping!

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