Maker interview: Lilymae

Brrr, it’s definitely getting a bit nippy as we head towards the shortest day this weekend.  This time we’re talking to Delwyn from Lilymae clothing.  Have you seen her lovely coats, ponchos and pinafores? The perfect way to keep your little lady snuggly warm.

So snuggly warm!
So snuggly warm!
  • How do you describe your work?

Lilymae is a very new and small Christchurch based business that was inspired by my two delicious daughters! The brand is in fact named after them; Lily being the middle name of my eldest daughter Meg and Mae the middle name of my youngest daughter Pippa. I love to make beautiful clothes for them, things that I can’t buy in the shops, that are fun, stylish, practical and sometimes just a little bit different!

Meg and Pippa, the inspiration behind Lilymae.
Meg and Pippa, the inspiration behind Lilymae.

I started selling a few surplus items online, then Made it became my first retailer two years ago. Since then my business has really taken off and I now have nine stockists throughout the country.

  • How did you learn the skills needed to make your products?

I am afraid I have no fancy sewing skills or fashion experience, just good old fashioned “learning by doing”. I guess I could claim I have been in training since I was very young, as I have a whole collection of outfits for my Cindy doll.

Cindy dolls in early Lilymae creations.
Cindy dolls in early Lilymae creations.

In fact this blog inspired me to dig out some of those creations which include a trendy blue bomber jacket, complete with cuffs as well as a pink fur jacket. Both were probably quite fashionable when they were made in the 80’s!

  • What prompted you to turn your skills into a business?

Two things lead me to turn my skills into a business. The first was the need to finance my desire to always improve on the item I had just made – as after all how many coats does a two year old really need? Also my clothing was getting some attention as people were asking where they could buy it.

  • Which is your favourite product to make?

I love making swing coats. I think it’s because I love the texture and colour of the wool blend against the feel and contrast of the cotton lining. I love them also because they are bright and cheerful on a bleak winter day!

Delwyn's favourite - the Swing Coat.
Delwyn’s favourite – the Swing Coat.
  • Many people craft to relax. What do you do to relax?

I appreciate good company, food and wine!

  • Whats your all–time favourite happy song?

I am not sure what my all time favourite song is but at the moment I am loving Lorde – Royals.