Meet Jess Cruser, Lead Designer and Art Director for the up and coming Southern Prep clothing brand Lily Grace.
With designs that ring true to the southern lifestyle of staying classy, charming, and modern, Lily Grace clothing embodies what every southern girl aspires to be. When I learned that the brand was coming to Glik’s, I had to know find out more about how Lily Grace came to be and where this adorable southern apparel brand is heading.
- Can you tell our readers a little about Lily Grace clothing?
Lily Grace represents our lifestyle. We love to dress up and do our hair, but we also like to dress down and when we do we wear Lily Grace. It is still beautiful and represents us, but in a go to class or chilling by the pool kind of way.
- There are so many “southern prep” brands popping up everywhere. In your opinion, what sets Lily Grace apart from the rest?
Lily Grace began with myself and my best friend working as a team to come up with t-shirts that we wanted to wear. I was born and raised in the south and my bff pretty much is southern at heart and got here as fast as she could. Everything about us is southern and we like to think classy. We put our both our personalities into the brand and designs! And unlike many other brands, we actually design & print our shirts ourselves. We are involved in every step of the process that each individual shirts goes through so, we hope our customers see the love that we have put into this brand!
- Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Our inspiration comes from the everyday. The girls here in the office grew up here in south and appreciate being “Southern” on a deep level. We don’t take breaking tradition lightly- but with that being said we also love new ideas. We live the life we represent in our art and we hope it shows!
- How do you begin your design process? Is it a collaborative effort?
Yes! We first make a Pinterest Board with things we are thinking about we take notes and agree or disagree on concepts- then we go to sketch phase-After we come up with sketches we sit around the conference table and pick out what we like and dislike. We make changes and then go to approval to make the final! Even after the final we come back as a team and decide what inks and shirt colors we should do. So all in all we need and want everyone’s input!
- What does the future for Lily Grace look like?
The future looks like the same and better all at the same time. We are a southern brand with southern employees and designers. And for that we know our designs will stay true to those values, but we also know that we want to keep going and make more clothing that both we and our customers want! Expect to see more than just T-shirts in the very near future!
- What is your favorite shirt design for this season?
My favorite design this fall would have to be fox with the scarf. I love his sassiness! And the phrase is something that I think really fits where I am in life at this moment. P.S. I am wearing a Scarf as I type this ( i also love scarves)
- Lily Grace clothing has partnered with various charity organizations. How important is it for the brand to stay connected with the community and give back?
Not important. Just kidding! No we absolutely love to give back. We are extremely fortunate in more than just business and we take pride in knowing that we get to make a difference to more than just people’s wardrobes! Both the company and even individual employees have started different events or ideas to find ways to help as a group. It is very inspiring and keeps us working as a team with positive goals! Please check us out on Social Media-we highlight different things throughout the year that we love helping with and also inform y’all on ways that you can help us help them!
- Our customers love finding southern preppy t-shirts that boasts phrases they can identify with. What southern saying do you connect the most with?
This goes back to #6- at the moment it is ” live life to express not to impress” but my second phrase would have to be from last season from Oscar Wilde “You can never be overdressed or overeducated” I actually have my MFA in Illustration so this pretty much describes me to the T!
- Lily Grace clothing is based out of South Carolina. Did your team ever dream that the brand would spread so far across the U.S.?
Yes and no. Of course we feel that our designs are universal in regards to all women who love life and having fun would be able to associate with our shirts. We didn’t expect for it to be as successful as quickly as it has proven to be!
- Fill in the blanks: A southern girl should always be ____, ____, and ____.
Compassionate, stylish, and witty.