Today we’d like to introduce you to Michele Lough.
Michele, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was 16 years old and a sophomore in high school, I started a t-shirt line called Miss Styles Clothing. I had three different designs that I had printed from a local screen printing shop and started an online store.
When I was 25, I relaunched the line and sold five different designs. Although I loved running this line, I felt I was outgrowing the younger market. Then, compact vinyl heat printing was invented, which is something you can do from your home.
I bought a machine and heat press and came up with the concept to make denim jackets for brides. The first time I ever sold a jacket was at the Arizona Bridal Show. I reached out to them out of curiosity for booth pricing and they gave me a great last-minute deal to display my jackets in their Crafter’s Corner. However, I only had three weeks to stock my store. I worked day and night and all through the weekends to have 27 jackets to sell at the show and I ended up selling half in one day.
After the bridal show, I launched the Etsy shop and began an Instagram page and the rest is history. I have been operating for over a year and have 65 sales. I make custom orders for brides all over the country and I have no plans of slowing down. I love being able to have a hand in fashion still, it is absolutely my passion.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest obstacle so far has been marketing, which is imperative in promoting your business. I have marketed on Pinterest and Etsy and even collaborated with local photographers to spread my company’s name. It is important to make contacts and network with people who are in the same field as you in order to find new networks and opportunities.
What should we know about The Denim Dreamery? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The Denim Dreamery takes vintage and secondhand denim jackets and turns each one into its own unique piece.
Every jacket that is brought home is washed and then treated with love during its makeover. I take the time to assess and decide what kind of personality to transform every single one into. You will never find two denim jackets exactly alike at The Denim Dreamery.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
My mom is the biggest inspiration in my life. She started a company with my father in 2001 and it is still running strong today. She has twenty employees and clients all over Arizona. She has always kept her composure in business and I have watched her face many obstacles and overcome them with integrity, honesty, and tenacity. She has also always supported my dreams and pushed me to live them out.
- Website: www.etsy.com/shop/thedenimdreamery
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: thedenimdreamery
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedenimdreamery
- Other: www.thedenimdreamery.com
SJ Stills, Alyssa Lens Photography, Emily Vance Photography