Garland Bags

Garland Bags

We're so excited to have one of our favorite people on the first ever Support the Girls blog series! Lindsay Thomas is the founder of Garland Bags, a luxury handbag company that makes the chicest clutches using the most amazing fabrics. In addition to making gorgeous purses, she's hilarious and if you aren't following her on Instagram, you should be. Just saying.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Lindsay Thomas. I live in Savannah, GA with my husband and two children. I have a history of career-hopping which involves mostly corporate, office jobs before finally listening to my heart and going in this random direction that I now happily find myself going! I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm realizing that nobody else does either, so I am just enjoying this journey of playing with beautiful fabrics, receiving lots of compliments, and getting advice from EVERYBODY! Ha!

What is your startup story?

I had stepped away from a string of somewhat corporate careers, and had randomly started a pillow workroom (trying to figure out fulfilling ways I could work while being self employed and home more with my kids). So in the course of making pillows with beautiful, designer home decor fabrics, I discovered a little Pinterest tutorial on how to make a clutch purse with hot glue and cardboard. Even though I could sew I thought it might be fun to try it and use a scrap of some of the Scalamandre zebra fabric I had. It turned out about as poorly as you might expect a clutch made of cardboard and hot glue would, but it started my wheels turning! I began to play around with how I might make a real clutch, and after a few months I had it figured out! I knew it was something I wanted to pursue because I would lie awake at night thinking of ideas. I was hooked.

What has been the most challenging part? Most rewarding part?

I think getting any business off the ground is challenging. Building an audience/customer base is something I've never really had to do on any large scale so I've learned as I've gone. And I still have so much to learn! And of course once Covid hit, and nobody was going out, my purse sales plummeted. That was not fun. BUT, I own a business where I get to be creative and do what I really want, from home while my kids are young. I literally could not ask for more. The day-to-day creativity and flexibility are beyond rewarding. Plus, I think there is just something in me that needs to create with my hands. It's so cathartic.

  

What is something you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning?

That I was not ever going to keep up with my Quickbooks and an accountant was a necessity.

How do you relax & decompress after a long day or week?

A glass of wine and something mindless on TV. Or browsing fabric sites to find new patterns that I love. When you love your work, it doesn't feel like work!

What advice would you give to other people wanting to start a company?

To just try it. You don't necessarily have to quit your day job but if it's something you would truly enjoy doing (in your spare time), then pull the trigger! I think the biggest obstacle for people not starting businesses is just their failure to actually follow through with starting it. Be a person of action!

Where can people learn more about your company? 

Through my website: garlandbags.com or my Instagram @garlandbags

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