Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Grossman.
Leslie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far. I am the founder of Stitches by Leslie, Inc. and proud inventor of the ‘Mate line of products. My focus is on creating unique organizational products that connect fashion trends to productivity tools. This not only makes my clients stand out but helps them keep it together!
I’m an entrepreneur. A wife, mom, daughter, runner, hiker, boss, and sewer (to name a few). I wear a lot of hats. I am everywhere, doing everything… and I needed a way to keep it together.
The last 20 years of my life has been spent working in the field of Information Technology. Being in corporate America, I have found that I must be prepared at any given moment. This typically means I carry a lot of things with me throughout my day, including my cell phone, journal, pens, laptop, money, employee badge, presentations, budgets, etc. Needless to say, I always left something behind or dropped something along the way. Frustrated with this pattern, and NOT interested in carrying a bag with me around the office… I knew I needed a solution.
As a hobby quilter I leveraged my sewing skills and my creative problem-solving skills – and magically the first Journal Mate was born. The Sling style was simple and modern while covering my needs. After a few days, and several coworkers noticing it – commenting on its uniqueness and asking where I bought it – I knew I was on to something. Then I received my first order. And another… Before long I was creating bulk, custom orders and selling at local green markets.
I have grown substantially since that first sale in early 2015. I attribute my success to my customer’s feedback, which was turned into improved product quality, new features and even the development of new designs – the Color Mate and the Sketch Mate.
I now have a patent on file and trademarks underway. Fulfillment and assembly are underway with the latest line of fun colors! What an amazing feeling to go from concept to product. From one customer to hundreds… with a goal of reaching a billion!
Lastly, I have an organizational program that I developed using all the management, time, and project training I have received over the years – the very program I use EVERY day to conquer my goals and stay on top of EVERYTHING that happens in my busy life. It’s free, and it’s called 30 Days to an Organized Life #30DTAOL, which can be found on my blog, www.stitchesbyleslie.com/blog. #Goal Crusher
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome? Making my product was easy when I was only selling a few here and there. Some of my earliest clients were instrumental in making the Journal Mate what it is today (feedback is amazing). But I quickly realized that my challenge was going to be scale. I needed inventory and the volume I needed couldn’t be done alone. Looking for a reputable company that could source materials, sew with quality, and deliver the quantity I needed within my budget was challenging. There were definitely growing pains, but I ultimately found an awesome factory that was able to assemble my product even with my strict quality standards! Now that I have inventory, managing it while marketing to my customers is tricky. Fulfilling retail, web, and event orders while keeping my costs low means that I must have a solid partnership with a one-stop fulfillment firm. Having a clear understanding of costs aligned with the services I need is crucial to obtain early in the process. This prevents surprises, and nobody likes surprises when they affect your bottom line.
Stitches by Leslie – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition? With a foundation in modern quilting, I use patterns and colors in a unique way. With a passion for sewing, I really want to teach others how to sew, while making it easy for them to do so in this busy modern age. Teaching classes and selling kits was my early (and hopefully long-term) dream. Leveraging my organization skills, a lot of my kits were made to fold away easily (you don’t need a sewing room or dedicated space to make them) or delivered something to help in your everyday organization – from placemats with pockets for utensils, to well the +Mates.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on? Every time I see my products being used by my customers. I can’t tell you how cool it is to walk into the boardroom or sit at a cafe and see it in action.
- Journal Mate 34.95 + shipping
- Sketch Mate 34.95 + shipping
- +Mate 24.95 + shipping (no book)
- Contact us for wholesale bulk pricing
- Website: www.stitchesbyleslie.com
- Phone: 561-714-8145
- Email: Info@stitchesbyleslie.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stitchesbyleslie/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stitchesbyleslie
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stitches_Mates