Before I created Leslie’s Lovelies, I was dismayed hearing about the massive human rights violations occurring across the globe. Particularly alarmed by the treatment of garment manufacturers, I decided that the best solution was to bring seamstress work back to America.I was concerned that fast fashion had conditioned people to value only price. But then I decided I would always regret if I didn’t at least attempt to be part of the solution. I set out to create the most unique clothing boutique in the St. Louis area.
In 2012, I opened a small shop on ‘the brick street’ in Lebanon, IL. It turns out, the road was more difficult than I imagined. The overhead on the storefront was more than I could support, and I had no idea how to effectively spread my message.
At the end of my lease, I packed up my sewing machine and stored it away. I took a few classes at the community college to brush up on my tech skills and slowly sell off the rest of my inventory online.
Over the years, I let the dream die.
I was working at a trucking company when the pandemic began. When the call went out to the general public to stay inside unless absolutely necessary, I knew I had to do what I could to protect the truck drivers at my company. With a bit of trepidation, I pulled out my sewing machine and started making face masks. I donated about 50 masks to drivers, family, neighbors, and other essential employees before I even found the time to restart my website. Since re-launching, I’ve been overwhelmed by the flood of people who finally understand my message about ethical consumerism.