COMPANY: Craft Box Girls
Lynn Lilly was traveling in Tokyo when she had an idea, an online lifestyle haven for creative-minded women. Lynn collaborated with friends Courtney Covault and Laura Burchfield, and in 2013, Craft Box Girls was born.
Craft Box Girls is a user-driven social commerce and lifestyle website that provides women the opportunity to discover unique content, share creations and shop handcrafted goods. The site features women bloggers who specialize in a wide range of topics including: fashion, food, fitness and lifestyle tips. There are 17 featured expert bloggers that produce weekly content.
Inspired by Japanese culture and a born creator, 29-year-old Lilly, co-founder and chief executive officer of Craft Box Girls, was also planning her wedding and was exhausted that there was not an all-inclusive website on bridal, fashion and party planning information and tips. “It dawned on me that there should be an easier way to bring all of these things together.”
She describes that the goal for Craft Box Girls “has always been helping women create creative lifestyles and to come together online and in real life.” Users are able to join the Craft Box Girls community and write blog posts, comment on other posts and communicate with other women via a chat function. Craft Box Girls hosts a “series of workshops that provide women the opportunity to connect and build relationships.”
Craft Box Girls also hosts social events in Boston, Charleston, Atlanta and Birmingham to generate a sense of community. Curated events include book clubs, wine tastings, craft nights and community service projects. “Our vision is to create a lifestyle brand that lends itself to every aspect of a woman’s life,” says Lilly.
Lilly found her entertaining and event planning passion while at Auburn University. “After graduation, I worked in event planning, advertising and marketing, but I always wanted to have my own business.” Following her entrepreneurial spirit, Lilly created her own event planning company in Atlanta.
Entrepreneurs who specialize in handcrafted goods were celebrated by the White House this year in the first ever Makers Faire on June 14, 2014. “This event celebrates every maker … to entrepreneurs launching new businesses to innovators powering the renaissance in American manufacturing,” says President Obama. This highlight on small business and professionals demonstrates the effect homemade goods are having on the economy.
Lilly is already planning to expand Craft Box Girls’ e-commerce ability and mobile applications. “Avid handcrafters that want to pursue a business of producing and selling their products can easily set up a shop within minutes,” says Lilly. Craft Box Girls also “provides coaching to [merchants] while marketing their products to users.” Lilly hopes to include local merchants and home goods to the website for women to purchase.
Lilly hopes Craft Box Girls fulfills the “hunger for community and discovery of products” that women experience. I have a desire to create a household name that will be a trusted and vibrant source for every aspect of a woman’s life.”