At the sharp corner of Beaver and Division Street sits an eclectic orange, turquoise and purple store front. Its creative structure, accompanied by an official landmark plaque, welcomes you to the posh town of Sewickley with definitive style. When it comes to first impressions, the fashion boutique Lex & Lynne has captured my heart, and let’s just say we have been dating ever since.
G&G: This store is gorgeous! What (or who) inspired you to launch Lex & Lynne?
L&L: I launched my jewelry line in 2011 and it was Lex & Lynne, all handmade bracelets and necklaces composed of precious gems and materials from around the globe. I was selling out of a number of boutiques along the east coast and launched my website in 2012. Being in NYC, I was able to connect with like-minded designers who also hand crafted unique garments and accessories and I brought them on to the site; there I had a really neat handmade, one of a kind collection of clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. When I moved from NYC to Pittsburgh I had every intention of moving back and considering it a simple-city-break, but was introduced with a great opportunity to bring my online-shopping site to life in a great store-front in Sewickley, PA.
As for who or what inspired me to create L&L — my passion for gemstones and their origins, art, and the name of my jewelry line was inspired by my relationship with my sister, Lindsay, and the women in my family.
G&G: Let’s get straight to it…the “Lex” part makes sense – who is the Lynne?
L&L: “Lynne” is an ongoing mystery for my shoppers, clients, and peers; Lynne is a family name and has always been a ‘constant’ in my life. I’ve always been inspired by everyone in my family’s personal journeys and challenges and that is why the name of my jewelry line/art/company is Lex & Lynne; I also like to think that Lynne is a counterpart to Lex, the Lynne’s are always putting things in to perspective and calm. There are a number of Lynne’s that range from my sister, Lindsay, to my best friend (amongst them are my mother, my first and second-cousins, my aunt, my grandmother, etc.)
G&G: I love that! What advice do you have for a young entrepreneur or Fashionista looking to get into the retail industry?
L&L: I studied international business when I was in college and lived and worked in New York City for a stylist, independent magazine, and designer. I never worked in a true retail-atmosphere until I opened my boutiques, which was very scary. I was always on the other side being in the corporate fashion world.
My advice is to take in everything you can, every day, every experience and learn and grow from it; whether it is applicable to fashion or retail, or not.. every experience counts and applies to future decisions. I believe that making moves and taking chances, doing, is always the best thing; keep your creative outlet, always – whether it’s a personal blog or a Pinterest board, or literally a collage book and don’t settle.
G&G: Do you have a favorite quote?
L&L: “Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso
G&G: What’s your morning routine?
L&L: My mornings usually include a lot of coffee, music, a long walk outside, reading, and seeking inspiration.
G&G: What is your favorite trend for fall?
L&L: We don’t really follow “trends” at L&L. We tend to stick with the basics and staples, timeless, classic, effortless fashion. Sweaters are definitely a fall must-have, so I guess it would be sweaters!! Every kind of sweater there is.
G&G: What’s your normal #OOTD?
L&L: Distressed denim, booties, and usually a top from LNA, layered with a long duster-sweater in the fall. Being cozy, comfortable and flexible in retail is a must for most days and also traveling which I always seem to be doing. The occasional DVF or Rebecca Taylor dress lingers in to my “OOTD” when I’m not moving or unpacking boxes.
G&G: Where do you see Lex & Lynne in three years?
L&L: I see Lex & Lynne continuing to thrive in Sewickley while expanding to another city – maybe Nashville or New York, or my college-town Winter Park – and our online business growing.
G&G: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
L&L: My biggest accomplishment has been entering the unknown and making a life-decision to change everything I knew (from Florida to New York City to Pittsburgh) and continuing my business, growing it, and making opportunities for myself, the women and men who work for me, and L&L. When a client or customer comes in to my boutique and is looking for a specific look, or something fresh, and we style them head-to-toe in what they may or may not expect and they leave feeling happy and refreshed; that definitely makes me feel like I’m doing something right.