Stacy Dill never expected her hard work to pay off when she started a new business. She also never dreamed anything she created would be featured in national and international magazines.
Shortly after her son was born in January 2012, Dill decided to try something new in her life. Because of her love of vintage wear, Dill opened an account on Etsy featuring hand-painted vintage jewelry called Love Obsessed.
Dill felt that stores didn’t impress her taste, and she wanted runway inspired pieces before they trickled down into stores. Despite her desire to make jewelry, Dill had no idea if it would even sell online.
“I never knew if anyone else would want [to buy] it or not,” Dill said. “But if I poured my heart and soul into it and no one bought it, at least I could walk away knowing I did my best.”
Dill’s first piece was inspired by vintage rhinestone jewelry she had in her personal collection.
“I never wore it because it was too fancy for everyday wear,” Dill said. “But I thought if the stones were a bright color, it would look really amazing. I wanted to create a line of jewelry that would become future heirlooms.”
Love Obsessed pieces combine current runway trends with vintage style. Dill creates a variety of different items, from earrings to sunglasses. Every piece is designed and painted in Dill’s studio, located in East Greenville, Pa.
Dill’s current inspirations vary from period movies to fashion blogs. Even city life gives her ideas for new pieces.
“I love fashion blogs and seeing what girls are wearing,” Dill said. “I love going to the city to people watch. I am inspired by the runways with the $10,000 gowns, but also by the average girl who put together an amazing outfit from her thrift shop finds.”
“I love period movies like ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ – the clothes, the colors, the love,” she added. “It all tells a story, and I try to do that with my jewelry. I just want to make something that people love and that makes them feel good when they put it on.”
Because quality and craftsmanship is important to Dill when she makes new pieces, she strives to create the best possible pieces for her customers. These two things keep customers coming back and creating whole collections, she explained.
“I get emails from my customers all the time, telling me how many pieces they have in their collection, or how they have really changed the way they buy new pieces for their wardrobe now because they want items that last,” Dill said.
After painting her first bracelet, a friend told Dill she would like to buy it.
“I put three pieces up on my Etsy shop and one person bought all three pieces a few days later and wanted more,” Dill said.
A little traffic on her Etsy shop soon turned into something much bigger.
A few fashion blogs found her shop and mentioned them. The attention snowballed and now Love Obsessed has been featured in Marie Claire, OK!, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and LaurenConrad.com. Vogue Magazine even named Love Obsessed one of the 10 best shops on Etsy.
“So much has happened to me, beyond my wildest dreams,” Dill said. “When I launched this line, I never dreamed that it would ever be in magazines.”
Love Obsessed is run by Dill, although she has help from her niece or a friend during busy times.
“I make the jewelry, take the pictures, edit the pictures, maintain my Etsy shop and website, ship orders, email customers and talk to bloggers,” she said. “It can be exhausting at times.”
As Love Obsessed receives a high demand, Dill has thought about hiring a full-time employee.
“I’m still a small business, trying to grow while maintaining what Love Obsessed is all about,” Dill said. “Maybe someday I will be able to hire someone to help me, but for now I just have to keep my nose to the grindstone.”
Although her life can be hectic, Love Obsessed does benefit her family life.
“It allows me to stay at home with my son Nicholas and take care of him,” Dill said. “My husband is a student at Drexel University so on days that he doesn’t have class he takes care of him so I can make new designs.”
Despite attaining the fame she doubted Love Obsessed would have, she still has one dream that hasn’t come true.
“My dream is just to one day be walking down the street and spot someone wearing Love Obsessed,” Dill said. “It hasn’t happened yet, so my fingers are still crossed.”
Bria Topper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.