I’m so excited to introduce you to my fellow Midwest gal and the ultimate style queen, Lizzie Loftus!
You can always count on this blonde and bubbly gal to be the life of the party and chicest gal around. Whether she’s lounging doing some online shopping, baking up one of her amazing treats, or headed out in D-town with her girl gang, her outfit will undoubtedly leave you speechless. Her style is the epitome of her: sweet, bold, and the MOST fun, with maybe a hint of sass thrown in there!
I’m sure all of you have seen Lizzie strutting around campus in an amazing fit, but there’s one secret a lot of people don’t know. She is the mastermind and owner of a small jewelry business, Winona Street Design. The jewelry is amazing, and recently they started selling WISH candles which are seriously to die for!!! I was lucky enough to chat with her about her incredible business, and I’m thrilled to share it with you all!
Meg: How long ago did you start Winona Street Design?
Lizzie: I started the company in 2016 with my sister. The company originated because of a piece my grandpa gave my grandma for their 50thwedding anniversary. The piece was a stunning mix of roman numerals diamonds, sapphires, and rubies to represent each of the 10 kids my grandparents have. My sister and I took that design and simplified it into our every day Roman Record collection. Since then we have expanded to include enamel jewelry, offerings for men, and even a line of hand poured candles.
Meg: What inspired you to start Winona Street Design?
Lizzie: My grandpa James Kennedy was a judge in Chicago, but he really should have gone into fine jewelry. He designed countless pieces for my grandma, Mary Jo, over the years with each being more unique and thoughtful than the last. The roman numeral necklaces he designed are what inspired the creation of Winona Street Design, appropriately named after the street my grandparents raised their family on and where my grandma still resides.
Meg: What’s the most challenging aspect about running a small business?
Lizzie: Juggling the boring side of things like taxes, margins, and supply chain is both challenging but important. If you don’t have a strong grasp of revenues and cost it can be hard to move to the next level. Luckily, my sister Katie and I’s strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.
Meg: Has COVID-19 impacted your business at all?
Lizzie: Definitely. A lot of our revenue comes from trade and gift shows which have all been canceled. Additionally, we count on Mother’s day and graduation as two major sales generators. On the upside, we have had a huge uptick in our candle business. Our DIY WISH candle kits had an incredible launch and sold out within 48 hours. We have since restocked and may I add they make the perfect Mother’s day gift.
Meg: What advice would you give someone wanting to start a business?
Lizzie: You will never succeed by wishing you had done something. I believe it’s better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. Lastly, with hard work, determination, and motivation anything is possible.
Meg: What’s your favorite piece that you sell?
Lizzie: Our Madonna necklace. We designed it in collaboration with a Chicago artist, Kathy Trumbull Fimreite. The best part about the Madonna necklace is the array of sizes and colors it comes in, but my favorite is the gold version on our thin beaded chain.
Meg: What’s your favorite WISH candle scent?
Lizzie: This is SUCH a hard question! I am torn between our newest scent Egyptian amber and our crowd favorite Arom spa. I’ve been obsessed with amber ever since I started wearing amber oil as a perfume and the candle smells exactly like it! Arom spa is the perfect mix of floral and vanilla. It truly transports you to the spa!
As you can see, Lizzie is so talented!! Everyone MUST go check out her website here, and seriously, buy one of the candles! I promise you won’t regret it!