Team work! Serena & Lily are the perfect team and have been dreaming up sophisticated prints and unique finds for little ones for years. We are beyond excited that we can now shop for the rest of our home on their site as well. We love the relaxed bohemian chic vibe of their pieces for big and little rooms. Get to know Serena & Lily, where they live and what inspires them to keep growing this brilliant business.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE SERENA & LILY?
Lily: I left the business world and was the owner of a baby boutique store in Mill Valley. Serena came in with her portfolio of incredible textile designs and there was instant chemistry. We agreed that there was a void in the market for high-end crib bedding with sophisticated designs and decided we should make it ourselves.
WHAT MAKES YOU A SUCCESSFUL TEAM?
Lily: We have very clear domains and mutual respect for one another. I look after the business and Serena looks after the design. Every time I walk into her studio I’m reminded why this business works. She has such a keen eye for what’s beautiful in the world and knows exactly how to bring her own vision to life.
Serena: I trust Lily implicitly. I love her clear-headed decisiveness. She knows exactly what she likes, knows what will work (and what won’t) and is never afraid to say it.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU STARTED SERENA & LILY?
Lily: I spent 18 years in accounting and technology, my most recent corporate post was Director of Retail for the West Coast for Microsoft. I’m a serial entrepreneur. My entrepreneurial energy is my creative outlet. That creative energy fuels my soul.
Serena: Before Serena & Lily I was a painter, textile designer and color consultant.
WHAT WAS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
Lily: Probably from Jim Collins, one of my favorite business gurus – shoot bullets and not cannon balls when trying new things in your business.
YOUR BRAND HAS EVOLVED FROM BEDDING FOR THE NURSERY TO BEDDING AND DÉCOR FOR THE ENTIRE HOME. DID YOU EVER ENVISION THAT YOU WOULD HAVE THE BUSINESS THAT YOU HAVE TODAY?
Serena: We started with nursery, but didn’t feel that it was strictly a baby line. We felt like it was home décor, and the products at the time were for the nursery. But it always felt like a design company, not a baby company. Scaling the business is definitely the hardest part, but we developed a pretty clear understanding of who our customer was and what they wanted for their homes, and had a clear point of view about the rooms and aesthetic outside of the nursery. Our point of view was consistent across the home, and I think that’s the reason it could logically scale.
Lily: After two years in the business we were faced with the decision, “Do we stay a baby brand or do we expand into a lifestyle brand?” It was a fairly easy question for us to answer and we decided to expand beyond baby. In our third and fourth years we expanded into kids rooms, and then in 2008 we decided to begin our expansion into the whole home. I believe the vision has scaled because we put on the market products we love. We have also been able to hire a fabulous team and that is helping us scale the business.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR SERENA & LILY?
Lily: We’ll continue to add textiles, furniture, and décor for all the rooms in the home, as well as more outdoor. We have many other ideas about great places for Serena’s textile designs, so stay tuned.
WE HAVE SO MANY NEW FAVORITES, THE ELEPHANT SIDE TABLE BEING ONE OF THEM. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PIECES FROM THE COLLECTION RIGHT NOW?
Serena: It’s always hard for me to answer that. It’s like picking a favorite child. But, from our newest kid’s collection, I love Ramona. It’s so punchy and summery – I’d put this on my daughter’s bed in a heartbeat.
Lily: I love the new Border Frame Towels. They look so pretty rolled in a basket – the color on the end adds a little action.
WHAT SHOULD OUR READERS/CLIENTS KNOW ABOUT SERENA & LILY THAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Lily: Our brand is about living well, creating special moments with family and friends, and making your home unique, special and personal.
Serena: We’re a happy brand and that reflects in our use of color and pattern. Being in California infuses the brand with a fearlessness and sense of expressiveness, celebration, and unpretentiousness.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Serena: Sausalito, CA. Our location influences the company in every possible way — from the brand, to the product, to our workspace and company culture. California is a little easier and breezier than other parts of the country. New Yorkers come to Sausalito and can’t believe we work here... and often we feel the same way.
Lily: Mill Valley, CA.
IF WE WERE VISITING YOUR NEIGHBORHOODS, WHAT WOULD BE ON YOUR LIST FOR US TO SEE/DO/EAT/SHOP?
Shop: Summerhouse in Mill Valley
Do: Hunt for treasures at the Alameda Flea Market
Eat: Davey Jones Deli delivers to your picnic-on-the-beach by boat!
WHAT/WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?
Serena: My grandmother was an amazing painter and sculptor. My home is full of her work and it is a daily reminder to stay true to my own artistic vision in whatever form that takes.
Lily: Making a difference in the world. Serena and I are interested in using our business platform in any way that we can to make the world a better place. We love to support local handicraft artisans. We also have great passion for the next generation getting involved as change makers and it drives us in our business.
Thanks Serena & Lily!
Three Kisses Chelsea, Rachel and Diana
Visit Serena & Lily.