Today I get to share the launch of my biggest dream to date! Read on to learn what it is, how it came to be and what’s in store for the future.
Eeeeek! I’m so, SO thrilled to finally sit down and give you all the scoop behind my latest business venture, Novalie! I could seriously go on and on all day about the backstory but I’ll try to keep it short (ish).
You’ve all probably gathered that I’m a big fan of fashion, and always have been. I remember sketching clothes while sitting on my grandma’s living room floor, watching Clarissa Explains it All (do you guys remember her wardrobe and styling?? It was so wild and I loved every second!) because Grandma had cable and we didn’t. (Thanks Grandma!)
I’ve always loved putting outfits together and think that it’s so amazing how a fun and unique outfit can transform a girl’s mood. Unfortunately, there’s always been a sad dearth of clothes that fit my two main criteria: decent coverage and exciting colors and prints.
About 11 years ago, I looked into designing my own styles and having them manufactured (I was just getting back into sewing as a young mom back then) but sadly, it was going to be too much of a time commitment and investment to make it happen.
Fast forward 10 years to last summer and I was on a trip with Luke’s family to Scotland. I had a lot of time to read while we were traveling and halfway through a self-help book, I just knew it was time to start working on this dream.
You may be wondering why it would seem like a better idea to start working on a new business now that I have and homeschool NINE children, instead of 2 kids like back in 2008. Well, back in 2008 I didn’t know that I’d end up homeschooling my kids, having twins or having so many babies so close together. I really feel that my decision to shelve my dream as a young mom was an inspired one, even though it was hard to give up on the idea.
There was a solid year after having the twins (and three other kids 6 and under) that I got almost NOTHING done other keep myself and the kids alive. So even though life is definitely busier now, in a lot of ways it’s easier because I have big kid helpers, an established routine and more money to invest in the business.
Once I started investigating the manufacturing process, I realized that I needed a little more experience in the retail side of things and more money to start up than I originally estimated. So I decided to start selling affordable, boutique style clothes while I continue to save for and develop my own line of designs.
Most people have no idea what kind of money is required to design and manufacture a line of clothes. It’s thousands and thousands of dollars to just be able to meet the minimum manufacturing requirement of some factories and the smaller your order, the higher the overhead per piece. Meaning that unless I could afford to manufacture ten thousand pieces of a design up front, I wouldn’t make hardly any money on the final product unless I was charging astronomical retail prices.
Anyway, in the end I actually found a tiny manufacturing floor RIGHT HERE in Arizona, just 5 minutes away from Luke’s office. So I’ve been studying and sketching and learning all about how to make that happen, while simultaneously purchasing, tagging and prepping the private label brand that’s now available at Novalie.co!
A quick note about the name Novalie (pronounced “nOva-lee”): names are really important to me so I stressed out for months about what to name my venture! I really had no interest in naming it after myself but I wanted something pretty, easy to say and remember and unique. My sister and I brainstormed for an entire afternoon and eventually started combining a bunch of names we liked together. We really liked Nova and Leigh and once we threw them together (and changed “leigh” to “lie”) we both loved it! Strangely enough, when I googled it, we found out that it’s actually a pretty popular Scandinavian name that means “new”. Who knew??
So that’s a quick rundown of the behind-the-scenes on this little business venture! I’m so excited to be here and also really, really terrified of all the things that can go wrong. But that’s just part of any new venture and I’m thrilled to see what this brings to our family and the great affordable fashion I get to offer to all of you!
Let me know if you have any questions about Novalie and I’ll do my best to answer them in the comments!
Melanee PhillipsSeptember 8, 2019 at 6:57 am
That sounds great. Good luck with your endeavor! I homeschooled for nearly 20 years my 7 kids but finally had to stop because of an autoimmune disease. I felt so guilty when I had to stop. My youngest is the only one who has just gone to school but is now in 8th grade and thriving. I can’t imagine having the energy to start such a huge undertaking. My hat off to you!
BonnieSeptember 8, 2019 at 7:33 am
Oh thank you Melanee! Homeschooling is awesome but so glad to hear your youngest is doing well too! You’re a great mom no matter where your kids go to school 💗
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