Today I am so excited to feature the ladies from The Loveliest, a fine linen boutique based in Dallas, founded by sisters Kelsey and Britni and their mother Joni. Not only do these lovely ladies and I share a passion for beautiful linens and exquisite monograms, but we all just happen to be from the same small hometown of Abilene, Texas. And Kelsey and Britni are fellow SMU alumnae! Such a small world. After spending years in different parts of the world pursuing careers, the trio decided to move back to Texas and open a family business which launched in May 2015. Let’s get to know more about The Loveliest!
Q: What inspired you and your family to create The Loveliest?
A: We have always dreamt of creating a business together, but in true Wood girl fashion, we really just took a leap of faith in actually going for it! Britni and I had both lived all over the country since graduating from SMU and both decided in December of 2014 that it was time to start thinking about moving back to Texas to be near family. While home for Christmas, we spotted a darling house for lease in the Fairmount District, which is one of our favorite areas in Dallas. Within a couple of weeks, we had found our storefront, purchased an embroidery machine (which we had no idea how to use) and were headed to market in NY for our first buying trip! We hit the ground running when we got back to Dallas and opened our doors in May of 2015.
Q: You state on your website “It all started in a little town called Abilene,” which is also my hometown! How did growing up in West Texas influence your love of linens?
A: You would probably agree that growing up in a small(ish) town such as Abilene was such a luxury. It’s a quaint town that has always had an appreciation for the arts. Some of our best memories from growing up were from weekends at the Buffalo Gap Art Festival or lunch dates with our mom at Hickory Street Café with a visit across the street to Sharon’s Specialties, which was the most incredible linen store in an old Victorian home. We were so fortunate to receive much of Sharon’s collection of linens after she closed her doors. Needless to say, when you grow up in such a neat town with a mom who owns a darling children’s clothing store and collects linens and textiles, there is really no way that you don’t have an appreciation for all of the above!
Q: I love that The Loveliest is family operation. When I think of fine linens, I think of family traditions and heritage. Do you have linens in your personal collection that have been passed down through the generations, and how are The Loveliest linens designed to do the same?
A: We are lucky to have an abundance of linens passed down from our grandmothers, great grandmothers and great aunts. We are also lucky to work with some amazing vendors, one of which is the Busatti family. They have been passing down the tradition of their linen business for eight generations and continue to keep it in the family. They are based in Anghiari, a beautiful village in Tuscany, and they make the most beautiful fabrics and linens for The Loveliest, which we hope will become cherished linens for our customers to pass down for years to come.
Q: What experiences from your past careers help you today with The Loveliest?
A: We have all worked in creative roles prior to starting The Loveliest, but each of our careers have been quite different from the other! Britni was a Style Editor for Martha Stewart Weddings before moving over to the Anthropologie brand to start their wedding shop, BHLDN. She went on to start her own styling company and continues to style for various magazines and brands. As her sister, I feel like I can say that she has a way of making everything look perfect. From changing the store around from week to week and making everything look new, to designing many of our beautiful custom monograms, she is hands down the most creative person I’ve ever known.
As I mentioned above, our mom owned a children’s clothing store when we were much younger, which she also did a lot of the designing for. She has such an eye for design, is quite a lover of textiles and a lover of people, which are all things that are a huge asset to The Loveliest!
My background is rather interesting because of the different arenas in which I’ve worked. I have always loved interior design and so enjoy styling homes for customers and friends, but my background is primarily in special events. The majority of my experience was in the political arena, where I worked on the 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns, followed by a position with The Make-A-Wish Foundation, which I continue to care so deeply about.
Between the three of us, we manage to make it all happen and are just so grateful for this opportunity to create something wonderful together.
Q: You have the most beautiful assortment of monograms from which to choose. Are you seeing any current trends when it comes to monogramming?
A: We do have some fonts that are a favorite for many of our customers, but we have been seeing more and more people go for the fonts that are a bit more modern and unique as opposed to traditional. Britni and I are much more drawn to non-traditional monograms, so we are constantly coming up with new designs to set us apart from others.
Q: With the holidays rapidly approaching, what suggestions do you have for gifts, stocking stuffers, and hostess gifts?
A: Hand towels, cocktail napkins and candles! We have so many fun options for all of the above.
Q: When you aren’t at the Loveliest, what are your favorite hobbies and activities?
A: You would think that we get enough togetherness with being at the store all day, but if we’re not at the shop, you can usually still find us all together – finding treasures at estate sales, exploring new shops and eating our way through Dallas.
Q: Please tell me more about your new e-commerce site and any upcoming news.
A: We built the website completely on our own and put so much heart and soul into making it look as much like our store as we possibly could. From the pink fringe border which resembles our wrapping, to showing every monogram style stitched and offering the most precisely depicted thread colors of any monogram store online, it truly is the best representation of our store that we could have created.
We are looking forward to premiering our own branded line of table linens, pillows and home accessories in the store and on the website in the very near future!