So this one time, at
band camp a sewing and vacuum shop, my parents bought me the Rolls Royce of sewing machines. It had a touch screen (which gave new meaning to the idea of stitch & bitch), a super chic carrying case (#imsofancy) and best of all, an embroidery attachment. Needless to say, I embroidered everything and it was glorious. But even more glorious are the savvy embroidered linens over at Lettermade. Malia Dreyer launched her lovely small shop earlier this year and has been dressing up tablescapes ever since. I mean, seriously – that flamingo napkin is just completely perfect.
NAME Malia Dreyer
LOCATION Orlando, Florida
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND Rollins College (and spent a semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC)
COMPANY Lettermade LLC
ESTABLISHED February 2014
Tell me a bit about your company. What inspired you to start your own business? Embroidery started as just a fun hobby that quickly turned into an absolute love and passion! Lettermade then began from my appreciation for a great monogram and embroidered linens; my grandmother is probably the biggest influence behind Lettermade and its mission. She was the epitome of hospitality; she always made her home welcoming and delightful for anyone who came to visit and valued pretty, well-made linens.
You have quite a lot of embroidery designs in your shop (those multicolor pineapple napkins are completely magnificent). Where do you draw your inspiration? Is it ever-changing? There are so many things that inspire me! I love contemporary art and fashion (especially women’s wear from the 1960s). I love patterns, colors, and textures of fabrics- interior design is also very inspirational! I am working on geometric designs right now that are inspired from interior design trends from the 1960s.
Tell me about the design & embroidery processes. Once I have an idea of something I’d like to try, I’ll do a rough drawing of what I’m thinking…from there, I use a software program to do a more exact design of what it is that I’ll be embroidering! Colors are always a fun part, because I have quite a few color spools that I mix and match before the embroidery to try out different color combos!
Did you face many challenges as you were preparing to launch? How did you learn the ins and outs of running your own company? Every day has been a learning process and truly exciting! I was so fortunate to have one of my favorite bloggers (Bradley from Luella & June) do a feature on Lettermade just a few days after my website launch- this was such a blessing! To be honest, I’m really learning the ins and outs of running a business everyday! I have some wonderful people in my life that have been great mentors as I’ve started this company.
What has been the highlight of Lettermade to date? There have been a lot of great moments! It would probably be when I saw my cocktail napkins in the Fall issue of The Knot (out now!). This was the first time seeing my cocktail napkins in a magazine and I was very excited to say the least!
You have had an exciting year in the press department! How did you get the word out about your company when you first launched? How have you handled marketing since? When I first launched, I starting posting my cocktail napkins on Instagram and from there I had one of my favorite bloggers offer to do a feature! That really helped spread the word about Lettermade right from the start. The blogger community has been so encouraging and supportive of my brand!
Let’s travel back in time a couple years. What advice would you give yourself on the topic of entrepreneurship? A lot has happened in two years! I think I would probably tell myself not to worry so much! It can be a little daunting at times thinking about starting a business and not having a more stable “9-5 job” (thinking about the possibilities of what could go wrong, instead of focusing on all of the amazing opportunities!). Setting daily, weekly, and long-term goals has been really helpful with keeping my focus on what I hope to accomplish in the future.
With your bona fide penchant (and undeniable talent!) for tablescape decor, what advice would you share for dressing up the dining table at home? This might be predictable, but I have to say monogrammed dinner napkins! I love crisp white dinner plates and linen napkins with a colorful monogram- they really bring a bit of panache to a table setting! The second thing would be fresh flowers- they brighten up any room or tables cape!
Where do you hope to see yourself & Lettermade in five years? I have a few long-term goals for different collaborations I would love to be a part of! I will be so happy to see Lettermade continuing to grow and make its way into many more homes!
Guilty pleasure? Baileys Irish Cream at Christmastime and Chess Squares (they’re these dessert bars my mom has always made that are basically a mix of butter, sugar, and cream cheese- so good).
Favorite animated movie? Right now, I’m on the Frozen kick! I love it.
Cake or pie? Cake! Definitely.
Song that just never gets old? Moondance by Van Morrison and Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder
Favorite corner of the world? Daufuskie Island, SC! I have family there and it’s the most relaxing place.