When I first started Blythe Leonard LLC in June of 2015, I filled a lot of shoes, and I still do. But one principle of business and my mother’s famous saying is, “you can’t spread yourself so thin.” My everyday job roles were the sewer, saleswoman, secretary, treasurer, photographer, marketing director, model, you name it, I did the job. Starting your own business definitely takes wearing a lot of hats. Over the past couple of years I have started to grow the BL family little by little.
Everyone who knows BL knows my sweet mother, Jane. 99.9% of the time, my mother is by my side cutting leather, answering phone calls, finalizing sales, and offering coffee to anyone who comes to the store. BL would not be where it is today without the loving support of my mother, and my father. Over the past three years, we have had several amazing models on our team and I could not thank them enough for the love and support of BL.
On January 11th, 2017 I hired our current full time model and brand representative, Berit Herrick. She was an instant spark in the BL team, a beam of energy, happiness, and joy and I loved that. The family was beginning to grow, and for the best! Berit has the biggest and kindest heart of anyone I know, she cares so much about people, animals, and the success of BL. She actually has a feather friend named The Notorious Homie, which was an honorary name from her first duck Homie. As you might have seen this past year, we collected non-perishable food items for a nonprofit, Homie for the Homeless. This nonprofit is one of our very own family member’s, Berit’s. She also is Mrs. Davidson County United States, Mrs. North Carolina Tourism 2018, and Mrs. Harrisburg Fourth of July and is going for Mrs. NC United States in Pinehurst, NC March 9th and 10th of this year. We will be there cheering her on! Berit not only has a beautiful face for my company, but she also understands the hard work and dedication it takes to own and run your own business. Besides modeling, Berit owns her own tanning salon, Sunkissed Tanning Salon since May 10th, 2010 and it is located at 6234 Old US Hwy 52 in Welcome, North Carolina. If you ever want that sun-kissed glow you should go see her, she does beautiful airbrushed tans as well as tanning bed options. (Please check out Berit’s Instagram at sunkissedtanning1)
Berit Herrick, Photo Credit: Ashley Stone Photography
Every single event that we have as a company, Berit, without fail is in attendance. She wants Blythe Leonard LLC to succeed because she believes in the brand and believes in what I am trying to say as an American made company.
On November 7th, 2017 I decided to expand our BL family even further. On August 15th a Jeep Wrangler pulled in front of my shop and a woman and a precious little girl jumped out and walked into the store. Never did I imagine that our next BL family member had just entered the building. Ashley proceeded to tell me that when she first spotted my work, it was love at first sight. Leather bags were works of art to her, much like they are to me. We shared a passion for creativity, color, mood, lighting, materials, and style and I didn’t even know it. You see, Ashley is also a wife, business woman, and mom to two beautiful children, and she just so happens to own her own photography business, Ashley Stone Photography. Her repertoire of photography skills include but definitely are not limited to weddings, bridal portraits, engagement sessions, families, newborns, children, and high school senior photos. I just recently learned that she also photographs for a local bakery Sweet Lucy Lou’s that does beautiful cupcakes and cakes!(@sweetlucylous on Instagram)
Sweet Lucy Lou's Cake, Photo Credit: Ashley Stone Photography
On our first photoshoot together it was like a second me… another set of hands and eyes on set that understood my vision. Ashley is so dedicated to producing beautiful photos that she takes time out of her own busy schedule to edit even into the wee hours of the night. It is like a birthday present to me every morning that my Dropbox folder has a brand new set of photos, I get to ooooo and ahhhh over with my morning coffee. If you ever need an amazing photographer, I would definitely recommend giving Ashley a call, tell her we sent you! Check out her Instagram @Ashley.stone.photography and follow her! http://www.ashleystonephotography.com/
I am so grateful that my passion for creating beautiful leather bags has allowed me to meet and work with these women who I now call my friends.
Ashley Stone with her fur babies, Elvis and Priscilla.
Berit modeling our Black cowhide and Floral Hair-on-Hide Tia Bag, Photo Credit: Ashley Stone Photography