Meet Juliet Abeille of Loverly Cottage

tell us about your products. where they are made. who makes them. favorite product features.

Most of our items are made at the workshop in the store or in the workshop at my house. My absolute favorite items are the teddy bears [and pillows] that I make by transforming vintage furs. I love to repurpose, but the bears are just decadent and snuggly. The bear is created almost completely by hand, just a small portion is sewn on the sewing machine. They are cut by hand, assembled my hand and their faces are all hand detailed to give them individual personalities. They are the most selfied product I make. My repurposed fur bears get squeals of delight and hugs from the majority of people that see them. Another holiday treat that I LOVE to make are the holiday stockings made by repurposing vintage saris. I carefully select the saris for color and composition of details. They sparkle and shine when adorning a mantle.

tell us about your connection to chicago. your neighborhood.

I am a suburbanite, but love to visit the city. I am frequently a vendor at Randolph Street Market. City Winery is a MUST STOP while in the area. Ladies night out are a series of stops. We find one place for appetizers, another location for dinner, and after a show or event we find ONE MORE location for desert. The perfect city experience with friends so that we can sample all the area has to offer.

what do you love about your business, your industry.

I love to creating something new with found objects. Whether I transform a dresser with a coat of paint or break out the tools and make trees from tin ceiling tiles, giving new life to items that were once discarded is not only better for the environment, but give you a different perspective of something.

tell us about your design inspiration - space, smells, colors, textures.

My grandmother taught me to sew. I remember sitting next to her on the sofa when I was 5 learning needle point on handkerchiefs. I still have some, with my near perfect French. That evolved into using a sewing machine and when I was 18, i started making bears out of fur coats. Teddy bears are the symbol of unconditional love. It is eternal nod to my grandmother and the unconditional love she showed me. Vintage throwbacks with a modern twist in furniture, home decor and more are my inspiration. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to create and my brain is always trying to see how many things I can create with random found objects.

what advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?

Let your heart guide you. If someone doesn't appreciate what you created, that is OK, you cannot please everyone.

share a favorite quote, a mantra.

I have a mantra for the trolls or people that don't appreciate my creations. "I appreciate your input, it just means this isn't the piece for you"

surprise us with your secret talent, fact, etc.

My teddy bears paid for college and I earned a BS in Computer Science. I have a day job, I am a network admin by day, creative force of nature at night and on weekends :)

what's the most common question you get about your business?

“Where do you get your inspiration?”

tell us about your process for making + creating.

Beauty is all around us, each unique color, smell, touch, texture. I find what speaks to me depending on my mood. They are not all successful, and that is OK. I just keep moving forward.

name 3 local makers/brands that inspire you and why.

I miss my friend Candice Hunsinger, owner Ivory & Iron [formerly Cacao Sweets & Treat] She is an old soul and I love how she stays true to herself and fights for the best quality of organic ingredients in all she makes. I also adore Jen Zervas from Pandoa's Box. Another spirited soul sister who puts heart, gratitude and kindness into everything that she does.

what is the best advice you've ever been given and how has it shaped you and your business?

Keep moving forward. When I was in the process of opening my first store about 6 years ago, my daughter and I lost our home in a fire. Everything for the store stopped. The opening was delayed and almost didn't happen because I had to relocate and inventory my entire life for insurance purposes. but in creating I found peace. It grounded me. I was a sanctuary that kept me from having a nervous breakdown. So, I keep moving forward.

Connect with Loverly Cottage

@loverlycottage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Jessica Cohen