Chic Spotlight: Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell
|Germanic Cincinnati sign, by Grainwell|
Cincy Chic: Can you explain the concept behind Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell?
Christine Kirn, Co-founder of Olivia Lane Designs: Olivia Lane Designs is a creative studio and boutique. We started out with a focus on personalized items and monogramed gifts. Olivia Lane Designs has since grown into a one-stop shop for unique gifts, from shirts designed and made-in-house to unique gifts for anyone. We also focus on weddings and events, allowing brides and event planners to collaborate with us to create anything to help make their special day or event unique.
Grainwell is an online creative wood shop with all items made from wood and designed and created by the three of us. We strive to get all our materials, from wood to shipping materials, locally; all our barn wood is from local farms in Kentucky and Indiana. We offer unique signs and items made out of wood that allow for customization between us and the customer to make any idea come to life!
Both companies are run by the three of us who are sisters that truly have a passion for design and handmade items. We feel both companies complement each other, making both websites a place where you can find a unique or personalized gift. All items are hand made and designed in collaboration by the three of us.
Cincy Chic: When did each business launch?
Kirn:Olivia Lane was founded by Michele, the middle sister, in November 2012 to make a little extra money while she was in graduate school. The name ‘Olivia Lane’ came from the street we grew up on, unfortunately no one is named Olivia in our family. Olivia Lane began as a personalized gift shop with monogrammed items including adult and children apparel and drink ware. When Christine, the youngest sister, graduated from college and moved home the in August 2013, she added wooden monograms to Olivia Lane. In March 2014, Melyssa, the oldest sister, moved home from Columbus and Olivia Lane became Olivia Lane Designs, LLC. The three of us collaborated ideas and expanded the business by adding graphic tees, unique accessories, custom weddings and event decor and custom wooden signs. After a few months, we saw a need to separate the wood items in order to expand the boutique and event side of Olivia Lane Designs and push our wooden items into a more gender-neutral company, which we named Grainwell (meaning ‘grain’ that is well done).
On September 10, 2014, we launched Grainwell, our new sister company that carries all our wood items from Olivia Lane Designs (with the exception of wedding and monogram-related wood items) plus many new designs! We are continually creating new designs on Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell. Next year we hope to have a local boutique/showroom/studio so our customers can meet with us to collaborate on projects or see our items in person!
Cincy Chic: Who’s behind the businesses?
Kirn: Michele was the founder of Olivia Lane, but in March 2014 Olivia Lane became Olivia Lane Designs, with all three sisters as co-owners: Christine, Melyssa and Michele. Grainwell was founded by all three of us in September 2014.
We run and operate everything together, from the business side to designing, production and selling. We do all of our own designing and hand make everything in our shop – from sawing, sanding to nailing and painting; we aren’t afraid to get our hands dirty.
Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell are truly family businesses, and our parents are the first to step up and help when help is needed.
Cincy Chic:What’s the inspiration behind Olivia Lane Designs and Grainwell?
Kirn: The three of us have always had a passion for art and handmade items, stemming from our creative parents. We have a deep appreciation for well-made and well-designed items and strive to make products for both companies that are unique and of the utmost quality. We are inspired by travel, with Grainwell having a large focus on city and state items. We each have a different taste that reflects in our items, making Grainwell and Olivia Lane Designs a wood shop and boutique for all.
We each received different degrees (Melyssa- BFA Graphic Design; Michele – MSN Nursing; Christine Bachelors in Architecture), which has allowed to bring our own point of view and our own creative elements.
Cincy Chic:What makes Grainwell and Olivia Lane Designs unique?
Kirn: All of our products at Grainwell and Olivia Lane Designs are made in the USA – mostly by ourselves. We do all of our own designing and creating ourselves. We work together to merge our different ideas and create authentic designs that you cannot find anywhere else.
Cincy Chic:Where can readers go to learn more?
Kirn: We are all over social media, including Facebook, and have our online stores: www.olivialanedesigns.com and www.grainwell.com. A handful of our products can be found in The Pretty Pony Boutique in Northern Kentucky.
We plan on being in several shows this winter and have a storefront in 2015 where both companies can be displayed together!