HCUO’s “Who Runs the World?” series aims to highlight the stories of female founders running small businesses while completing their studies.
We all know that Sunday nights can be a huge bummer; being tired from catching up on assignments and dreading the upcoming week is NOT a vibe. Enter: Leah Dallaire, founder of Sweetly Seamed – her shop the rack sales happen every Sunday night through her website and giving her customers something unique and positive to look forward to every week! As if that’s not enough, her products are both sustainable and adorable – what more could we ask for?
Leah partially credits the idea to sell sustainable fashion to her globalization major – after learning about the way that goods are manufactured and their overall environmental impact, she knew she wanted to make sustainability the top priority for her business. She also drew some inspiration from her mom, who will sew her own curtains when she can’t find ones she likes; so when Leah realized that the sweatshirts she was buying didn’t fit her in a flattering way, she took matters into her own hands (like her mom, a true DIY queen) and reworked them!
Read on to learn more about Leah, Sweetly Seamed, and how you can get your own upcycled sweatshirt and scrunchie sets!
HC: How did you decide to go with your Shop the Rack sales?
Leah: “In the beginning, I thought it would be a better idea to give people a selection of sweaters to choose from instead of me only posting one. I didn’t want people to have to decide between buying the one I posted or waiting until the next post in case they’d like it more. Shop the Rack sales are always fun for me to organize and orchestrate too because I get to piece a lot of different colours and styles together but in a way that they still really flow.”
HC: What is your favourite part of running a business?
Leah: “I love meeting new people. I feel like these upcycled products that I make don’t appeal to everyone necessarily. Oftentimes it’s in a niche of people that are interested – people that are like-minded, and it’s cool to meet people with the same interests as me. Sometimes conversations go a lot differently than I would’ve expected and it’s so fun! Also, a lot of the people that I’ve met through Sweetly Seamed are very creative and like to live sustainable lifestyles and it’s very inspiring – I think that we build each other up in a way by having that community. I also feel like you get more of a connection through Instagram because you have to DM me to purchase something or ask a question, and from there we get to have a conversation. Overall, I’m really grateful for the connections I’ve made through my business, it’s such a nice way to meet people!”
HC: Do you have any tips on how to make yourself stand out in the market?
Leah: “You don’t want [your products or business] to be just like everyone else’s, and because no one’s the same, I think that the more YOU that you put into it, the more you’ll stand out. So, I’d say to put your own personal touch on everything you make. Personally, some of my favourite things are plants, flowers, and being outside in general so when I’m taking pictures for my products, I incorporate a lot of nature inspired [aspects]. It’s important to have a unique product, something that you’ve made your own.”
HC: What would you say success looks like for your business?
Leah: “I think that success for me doesn’t necessarily depend on selling, it depends more so on feedback – if I’m making a poll, asking a question, or launching something that’s different, something that would indicate success to me is the feedback that comes from people who have a few of my products, and who come back to me and say that it is a good idea, or [who come back with] suggestions. Being able to have that relationship with people from my page is super important to me. I truly think that success is based on the relationships you have with your customer base and [on] how comfortable they feel reaching out to you and asking questions about products.”
Check out Sweetly Seamed online at sweetlyseamed.com on Instagram @sweetlyseamed!
Know someone who would be perfect for this feature series? Send us your suggestions in an email at email@example.com with the subject “Who Runs the World?”
Note: responses have been formatted for the purposes of this story.