Today we’d like to introduce you to April Dillow.
April, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started stamping metal about five years ago. My friend lost her brother in a car accident and I wanted to just love on her a little bit. I really just wanted her to know I was thinking about her. I came across a “blessing box” idea and the sample included a stamped necklace. Well, as the story goes, I could buy a necklace for $25 or make it for approximately $120 in craft supplies. (Fellow DIY-ers, you know what I mean!) So, I chose the latter and I created my first stamped necklace. I began creating more stamped necklaces as gifts because they are so personal and unique. I fell in love with the process.
About two months into stamping necklaces, I again had the creative urge to try creating hand-stamped leather cuffs. It took me a while to realize that the cuffs were made using old leather belts! So eco-friendly to shop second hand! The first cuff I ever made was on an old duty belt of my husband’s, using a brass wing plate, and on my tile floor I stamped the word “REDEEMED”.
I think the rest is history. Some of my friends saw what I was doing and started asking for their own and before I knew it I had an order sheet two pages long. This business has continued to grow with a lot of prayer, surrender, and encouragement and support from so many dear friends.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road has definitely not been smooth. In the beginning, I struggled to even share what I was making because I was afraid of what people would say. I was terrified of criticism. There were times I overbooked myself and became so stressed out. I’ve made mistakes and sent customers the wrong cuffs, or misspelled/misstamped words. Learning how to set up a website… yikes! I had no “official” place to work so I would stamp on the floor of the laundry room or the bathroom with the door shut so I didn’t wake any sleeping kiddos. The list goes on…
I would have to say though, that now my biggest struggles are with time. I am a stay at home mom with three kids so making sure that my time spent matches my priorities is a big struggle. Balancing the work at home life with field trips and deciding when to do craft markets has been a learning process.
All this being said, the struggles make the journey sweeter. There have been many moments where I have asked myself why I still do it because it’s just too hard. When I get to the other side of it though I can see God’s hand in it. I can see how much I’ve grown and it makes me want to keep on trying and keep on learning.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Stamped Lily – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I create up-cycled hand-stamped leather cuffs and repurposed jewelry. I hunt for leather belts and old vintage jewelry to create unique handcrafted jewelry we wear today. I love to give old things new life. I can be found scouring thrift stores and antique stores searching for the next pieces that can make their way on to a leather cuff or be used in creating a new necklace. I stamp the metal plate letter by letter and attach them to each leather cuff and it’s been so awesome to see what people want to wear on their wrist. From kids birthdates to bible verses, to dog’s names, to inside jokes, the pieces I stamp are unique.
I am most known for the embellishment of the leather I use. I have been known to add lace, paint, use string art, and even attach different leather belts together to create my cuffs. It’s so fun to get creative with the leather ensuring my clients are wearing a unique one of a kind piece of jewelry.
Some of my favorite pieces to make are “memory cuffs”. Clients bring me their loved one’s leather belts to create cuffs and keychains they can carry with them. I am so humbled to be able to create something so special for people who are missing someone so dear to them. It is seriously my honor.
I am so grateful for how God has used this business to bless other people. People have told me how something I’ve made has spoken directly to them exactly when they’ve needed it. It’s been there to encourage them, remind them of who they are, or remind them of someone they love. It’s amazing.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I don’t have any big changes coming in the future. I’m five years into this amazing adventure and I am still loving it! I’m sure I will be creating new pieces as always because I don’t know how not to!
- Website: www.thestampedlily.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestampedlily
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestampedlily
Desiree Shuey Photography