#WCW – Lindzi Shanks from The Trendy Sparrow

Today, I’m featuring miss Lindzi Shanks from The Trendy Sparrow for this week’s #WCW! When I think of #GIRLBOSS, Lindzi is definitely the person that comes to mind. Lindzi designs the most amazing tops and home goods that range from fun and cheeky to empowering and inspirational.

I met Lindzi a few years ago when we were both vendors at a holiday event at West Elm Chicago, and I have since been so impressed with her drive and passion for The Trendy Sparrow. She is definitely an entrepreneur you need to know.

Lindzi does it all from running her online shop, to posting on-trend looks for The Trendy Sparrow blog. Read on to learn more about how Lindzi got started with The Trendy Sparrow and what she finds most challenging and rewarding about being an entrepreneur.

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Name: Lindzi Shanks
Company: The Trendy Sparrow
Years in Business: Almost 2

When did you realize the Trendy Sparrow was going to be your full-time business?

I was sitting in one of my graduate school classes at University of Chicago and noticed all of my classmates getting up to leave. Class had ended, but I didn’t even notice. I couldn’t recall what the professor said or anything we learned in class. I had spent the entire duration of class designing new products for The Trendy Sparrow and answering customer emails. It just sort of dawned on me that it was pretty clear which path was making me happier…and it wasn’t school. So I graduated with my MA, decided to not go get a PhD as I planned, and started running The Trendy Sparrow full time before I even graduated. I didn’t even attend my graduation ceremony!

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What was the most challenging part of starting The Trendy Sparrow?

Learning the accounting side of things! I’m still not great at it, and finally opted to hire a full time accountant. I don’t have a degree in anything business related so having to learn the traditional (and important) aspects of running a business such as accounting and proper lingo for things were a big struggle for me.

What is the hardest part about running your business now?

Intellectual property issues, for sure. I deal so often with other businesses both big and small attempting to duplicate my work. It’s so incredibly frustrating! Unfortunately, it’s something I realized was never going away. Instead I hired an IP attorney who does her best to secure trademarks on everything we make and send cease and desist letters on my behalf. It’s still one of those things that really gets me down though, and makes running a business so much harder.

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On the flip side, what is the most rewarding part of running The Trendy Sparrow?

I love seeing my products in the hands of customers! It’s why Instagram is my favorite social media platform. I get giddy every time someone tags our products in their photos because I love knowing that something I created is making someone happy, or inspired, or stylish. Similarly, I love reading reviews people leave on the site. I want to see how people use the items, why they love them, or how we can improve.

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What’s a typical day in the life of Lindzi?

One of my favorite things of being a business owner is that I don’t really have a typical day. I have certain things that I accomplish each day such as drinking tons of coffee, making sure my emails get answered, and packing up orders. Other than that, my day really changes quite often. Some days I’m designing, others I’m focusing on photography and social media, and some I’m out at meetings. Each day is quite different, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned thus far as an entrepreneur?

Although it’s important to delegate and surround yourself with amazing people, at the end of the day…it’s all on you. I once heard someone say, ”I want to be an entrepreneur so that I don’t have to answer to anyone”. The reason is, you answer to EVERYONE. As a business owner, your paycheck is a direct result of your success and hard work. If something goes wrong in any aspect of your company, it affects you more than anyone else. So know that you are going to where multiple hats. You never get to say “that’s not my job” because at the end of the day, everything involving the business is your job.

Who would be your dream customer?

Oh gosh…I would pretty much flip if I saw a photo of Leighton Meester with one of our Blair Waldorf mugs or Alexis Bledel with a Gilmore mug! But mostly my ideal customer is a girl who is a total boss, feels like taking on the world, and wants to look incredibly stylish while she does it!

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What’s next for the Trendy Sparrow?

The next big thing is a huge new line. I can’t give away too many details on it, but expect a ton of new items come Fall 2016! In the meantime, I am focusing on growing my social media presence, my blog, and revamping our online site.

What do you like to do in your spare time and how do you unwind?

Because I spend most of my day working in an office alone, I really like to get out and see friends to unwind. Even if that means a dinner, a quick drink or coffee, or some gal pal shopping time…it’s getting to spend time with the people I love the most that helps me recharge and unwind.

What are you obsessed with right now?

Oh gosh…I feel like I get “obsessed” with things all the time! Right now I’m really obsessed with fashion illustrations. I’ve started drawing some myself. I let myself draw a little bit every night to help the creative juices flowing. I’m also really obsessing over jumpsuits. I have to try so hard not to buy every jumpsuit I see when I go shopping!

I totally agree with Lindzi that it’s a vital lesson as an entrepreneur to learn that the outcome of your business is the direct effect of the amount of work and energy you put into it.

Thanks so much to Lindzi for letting me interview her for the #WCW post! Make sure you follow Lindzi on Instagram at @thetrendysparrow to get the scoop on her new products and sales while getting some major desk envy and outfit inspiration.

It’s Game Day Ya’ll!

Disclaimer: I did not go to school in the south nor did I go to OU (Illini for life, if you’re wondering). However, my boyfriend went to OU and is a die hard Sooner fan. Thus, every year for the past 4 years, we travel down to Dallas for the Red River Rivalry game between the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas.

The first time I went to Dallas, it was a huge a culture shock to see southern belles decked out from head to toe in their school colors. I’m talking homemade spirit dresses, huge hair, bold lipstick, and of course, no outfit in the south is complete without cowboy boots.  If you’re like me, and fairly new to the whole decked out game day look, it can be really easy to be fashionable while supporting your favorite team.

Victoria’s Secret has their Collegiate Collection (and NFL & MLB lines) which make dressing cute for the game super simple.  If you have some time and you’re feeling crafty, I love this Game Day Dress tutorial made out of regular old tshirts. Jewelry and accessories are also a great way to add some color and sparkle to your look. I’m partial to our bow bracelets and bows in general. Since SSD jewelry is hand made, we can make many of our designs in an endless array of colors. If you can’t find your team’s colors email us at info@seesongdesigns.com to order your spirit jewelry!

How do you rep your school on game day? Check out my game day inspo below!

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A Little Update

THANK YOU!

It’s been a fantastic first year of business here at See Song Designs. There is really nothing that can compare to the feeling of making your dreams become a reality. This first year has brought some tremendous highs and lows which have taught me countless lessons as an entrepreneur and a jewelry designer. I really can’t thank each of you enough from my friends and family, to the amazing bloggers and boutique buyers I’ve worked with, to the media and press that have so graciously recognized my jewelry, and most importantly, to each and every person that has bought a piece of See Song Designs Jewelry. With each piece being personally designed and made, it is really amazing to see my customers wear and love the jewelry that I lovingly make with my own hands. In the end, making jewelry makes me happy, and I am ecstatic that you all share my love and vision with every piece you own.

NEW COLLECTION & WEBSITE

With Fall right around the corner, I will be debuting our Fall and Holiday collection on a new website. Our website will be launching soon and you can buy jewelry directly from the site for U.S. and Canadian customers. International orders will still be available through Etsy or through special requests. Here’s a little sneak peek at the new site!

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SSD ON TV!

On September 4, SSD jewelery will be featured on the show, The League, on FXX. A very special surprise guest star will be wearing SSD, so be sure to tune into the season premier to see who it is! If you keep up with the show, you probably already know who it is 😉

Again, thank you for your love and support, and I can’t wait to share all of See Song Designs’ successes with you. Make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get up to date news on what we’re up to 🙂

Best,
Liz

See Song Designs for ShopBevel

Awhile back, I entered a design contest with Shopbevel. You may have remembered voting for this jewelry design contest where the challenge was to design something that incorporated neon. I submitted my Neon Pink Crystal Cord Bracelet and ended up being one of the winners! Well, my design is up and running over at the Shopbevel site, and they did a fantastic job of photographing and styling my bracelet. Check out the photos below, and you can get the bracelet here! Only the Neon Pink is available at Shopbevel, but you can get the black and confetti versions directly from my website as well.

See Song Designs for Shopbevel

See Song Designs for Shopbevel

See Song Designs for Shopbevel See Song Designs for Shopbevel

Photos courtesy of www.shopbevel.com

Recap: Chicago Sidewalk Sale 2013

Last week, See Song Designs was a vendor at the 7th Annual Chicago Sidewalk Sale in Daley Plaza. The weather was perfect, and it was great to meet some of our loyal fans and interact with new customers! I also got to debut our new table set-up which featured a brand new black and white chevron table cloth which was a great compliment to the bold and bright jewelry. The Sidewalk Sale was sponsored by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and Fashion Focus Chicago, and each day included a fashion show featuring some of the designers selling at the Sidewalk Sale and Factor Models. One of the best parts of doing events is being able to make friends and network with other designers who have a similar passion for fashion and design. My booth neighbor was Megan Lee Designs, and I bought my new favorite t-shirt from her line of super comfy and cute clothing. Be sure to check our Where to Buy page to see where we’ll be selling next and sign up for our email list so you never miss the chance of checking out See Song Designs Jewelry in person. Check out some of the pictures from the Sidewalk Sale below!

Liz and the See Song Designs booth at the 2013 Chicago Sidewalk Sale

The See Song Designs booth at the 2013 Chicago Sidewalk Sale and Liz wearing our Marbled Acrylic Collar Necklace

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Chicago Sidewalk Sale 2013

The most adorable models on the runway. Love her little pose!

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Shop SSD at the Chicago Sidewalk Sale

Shop local this week and support your favorite Chicago designers and small businesses at the 2013 Chicago Sidewalk Sale! See Song Designs along with other local Chicago designers will be selling all things fashion including accessories, clothing, and of course, jewelry. The event will be at the iconic Daley Plaza on July 23 & 24 from 9am-3pm. There will also be a runway show at noon each day styled by Garmental’s Style Director, Suzanne Kopulous. Hope to see you there!Chicago Sidewalk Sale Flyer

Simply Stylist Chicago

Simply Stylist is coming to Chicago on Saturday, June 8th, and I am so happy to announce that See Song Designs will be a part of this fabulous event! Simply Stylist is a company dedicated to connecting consumers with top tier designers, stylists, and tastemakers in the fashion and beauty industry. Simply Stylist has held their successful networking event in New York and Los Angeles, and this is the very first time that Simply Stylist will be in Chicago.

Attendees will get the chance hear from prominent beauty and fashion panelists which include Catt Sadler, host of E! News, Corri McFadden, founder of eDrop -Off, and Jacey Duprie, blogger behind Damsel in Dior, to name a few. After the panel discussions, Simply Stylist will be holding an exclusive beauty and fashion shopping event where you can shop See Song Designs’ Spring/Summer collection along with other brands. The shopping event also includes the opportunity to be styled by celebrity stylist and president of Rad & Refined, Jacqueline Rezak. Guests will also have the chance to get complimentary manicures from LVX and blowouts from Blowtique. This is going to be a major event, and if you love fashion, beauty, and networking, you cannot miss Simply Stylist in Chicago. Visit the Simply Stylist website to learn more about the event and be sure to get your tickets to this amazing event!

Simply Stylist Panelists

Simply Stylist Panelists