Little girls dancing in silky soft dresses that flow in the wind. Ribbons and sun hats and delicate tea cups with teddies and dolls as the honoured tea guests. This is the picture in my mind as I paged through the GraceLace Collection…and I am in awe with beauty. So without a doubt I had to contact Michelle to hear her story and of course arrange a super giveaway to all my fans.
Thank you Michelle and Corne for making the world a more beautiful place with your delicate and breathless GraceLace dresses.
Liefvilou – The GraceLace Collection
Who is LiefViLou?
LiefViLou lovingly and meticulously sources beautiful and unique lace-themed dresses and outfits from all over the world, to the carefully curated GraceLace Collection.
The GraceLace Collection includes limited items for babies up to 1 year. Most designs are available from 1 years to 6 years. Some items will be available up to age 10/11 years.
LiefViLou’s aim is to offer these dresses and outfits at affordable prices which could range between £15-£30.
We aim to be the “go-to” on-line shop where you can find that perfect and unique gift for a special little lady:
Unique Flower Girl Dresses
Special Christening Dresses, Holy Communion Dresses and Dedication Dresses/Outfits
Pretty Party Dresses
Daywear with a difference
What makes LiefViLou different from the “High Street” Retail Sector and other small business providing similar products?
Obtaining a dress from LiefVilou’s GraceLace Collection is a beautiful experience, whether you buy it on-line or direct from us, or from our future boutique stockists: From that first moment of seeing the dress, to receiving and opening your uniquely wrapped frock and then wearing it.
Excellent customer service and that “personal touch” are at the heart of what we do! Numerous 5 star ratings and lovely reviews from our customers are testimony to this.
When LiefViLou was created it was always going to be about more than just pretty little dresses. For us, it is about keeping it small, keeping it “real” and making it count towards something good…
Early on, we also focused on our “Corporate Social Responsibility” element of the business. In August we have started a “Grace-it-Forward” project, which we are calling:
“100 Dresses of Kindness : A Grace-it-Forward Collaboration”
That sounds interesting! Tell us more about 100 Dresses of Kindness:
In a nutshell: The heart of our project is to give away pretty dresses from our GraceLace Collection to little ladies all over the world, who’s Life Stories have touched hearts. Making a deserving little girl feel like a princess and saying to her: “You are loved.”
We welcome as many as possible of our customers and fellow small business owners to be involved with this project by nominating Little Ladies who’s stories of facing and/or overcoming hardships and challenges, have touched their hearts.
We also welcome sponsorships, volunteers and contributions of products or services to the project…we believe that by working together, we can become a large “Grace-It-Forward” community… a ‘Kindness Collaboration’ as such! Together we can give away more than 100 Dresses of Kindness…so much more!
Thus: LiefViLou is not just about selling pretty little frocks and you are not just about buying pretty little frocks…it is about so much more!
We hope to tell you more about this in our first ever blog post on our new website to be launched on December 1st!
Who is the brains behind this label? Tell us a little about yourselves.
LiefViLou was founded in March 2015 by me, Michelle Pieterse. I am a South African living in the UK, wife to a Dairy Farmer, Apie (yes, that is his actual name!) and mommy to two beautiful Little’Ns, Harry (5) and Issi (3).
Finding unique and beautiful lace-themed dresses for my little girl became a passion and was enthusiastically shared with enquiring friends. After a small collection was curated, a Facebook Page was created which was intended to be only a small selling platform. It soon became apparent that so many others were interested in the beautiful dresses…the Facebook page grew to just over 3000 followers in little less than a month with enquiries and orders flooding in!
I was so overwhelmed and surprised by this positive public reaction, and began to struggle juggling my mommy-duties; which would always be my first priority, alongside the growing new business.
Thankfully, a dear friend, Corné du Toit, approached me to offer help, and soon became a valued business partner and “voice-of-reason”! Corné has been a prefect match for the ethos of the company: She has a beautiful heart and passion for making others feel special and loved. This is evident in all that she does…she is also a South African living in the UK and wife to a Civil Engineer, Hendri, and mommy to 3 boys: Malan (7), Abie (5) and Harry (3).
We are both Occupational Therapists but have opted to take a career break to look after our little ones. I am a chalk-paint enthusiast and love everything interior design- and fashion-related and Corné is a talented baker of cakes and sweet treats almost too beautiful to eat! We both love coordinating our children’s parties.
LiefViLou has become an additional creative outlet for both of us and has allowed us to connect with the loveliest of customers, some of whom have become dear friends! We have grown and learned an immense lot on our “Mumpreneur” journey! It is not always easy being a full-time mommy, running the household and fine-tuning the smaller details of a little business, but we lay this little business at the feet of Abba and trust that He will give us wisdom to use this unlikely platform for His Glory.
Where does the name come from?
One morning, after dressing my little daughter, she once again lovingly exclaimed (with the most beautiful lisp in her pronunciation): “Lief vi lou, Mamma!”… and instantly it clicked! The name for the business was born, meaning “I love you” and so I decided then and there to create a Facebook page!
The name “GraceLace” has also been on my heart for a long time. As True Grace sustains me and covers me, my prayer is that the same Grace will cover every little lady wearing GraceLace by LiefViLou.
What or who inspires these designs?
Our signature colour palette includes tones of dusky pinks, dreamy ivory-whites, cloudy greys and earthy browns. The designs are “in tune” with the current trend of dreamy-softness and romantic-sheerness with a vintage feel, as seen in the latest whimsical and bohemian wedding gown-designs. GraceLace is reminiscent of child-like innocence: we want little ladies to wear their pretty dresses but still feel comfortable enough to run around and do cartwheels!
So the dresses and outfits from LiefViLou’s GraceLace Collection are not just for special occasions?
Our dresses and outfits are most definitely not intended to be worn only for a special occasion…oh no! GraceLace is for any occasion and any season depending on how you accessories and layer it!
GraceLace for all every day in all seasons! –We source clothing that can last over many seasons…for example: layer most of our dresses with tights and a long sleeved vest top underneath in colder months with a pretty cardigan and boots.
A note we will soon be attaching to each parcel:
“Dear Little Lady:
Wear your pretty frock again and again and again…
*Dress it up! – Wear GraceLace with glitter pumps and a floral crown! Hop on your Unicorn and fly from one dreamy cloud to another.
*Dress it down! – Wear GraceLace with a funky bow in the hair! Pair it with well-worn Converse or Doc Martens over leggings along with a denim jacket!
*Wear it with bright wellies (Gumboots) and jump in those muddy puddles!
Dear Little Lady:
When you’ve outgrown your favourite dress…
*Hang it on a pretty hanger and display it in your room.
*Put it in your childhood keepsake box and hand it down as heirloom to your daughter one day.
*Give it to a little girl in our “100 Dresses of Kindness” project.
Dear Little Lady:
May True Grace cover you… always. This is our prayer.”
What can we expect from LiefViLou in the near future?
Our handmade Accessories Collection and Deluxe Edition Collection will be launching soon with alternative price ranges.
We are now also looking into designing our own little collection and we are hopeful to launch 2 or 3 designs to the market in 2017.
We are currently researching the possibility of having some of our accessories made in partnership with an already existing, small-scale and informal “upliftment or job-creation project ” for people with disabilities or women from disadvantaged communities in South Africa…we welcome anyone who would be interested in partnering with us in such a venture, to contact us at [email protected]
Due to us both being Occupational Therapists, this is something we feel called to investigate and carry through, however, for now, raising our little ones are the main priority, and we pray God will open the right doors at the right time…
How can mommies order and buy your beautiful dresses?
Our main market is the UK and many European countries, but we also supply to a stockist in Namibia (Gieters and Goeters). We regularly send orders with acquaintances visiting South Africa and are now ready to be approached by South African boutiques which may wish to stock some products from our higher-end collection.
Currently we use Facebook as our main selling-platform: www.facebook.com/LiefViLou
We are also on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Orders and enquiries can be made by emailing us at [email protected]
Our new website with on-line shop and blog will launch on December 1st. www.liefvilou.com
Keep a look-out for that and a special give-away in partnership with Carmien Kiddies!
From now up to December 1st, we would like to offer our SA customers the opportunity to obtain their orders and not having to pay international postage…Corné and her family may be visiting South Africa over the Christmas Period and can bring orders along! This will be posted early in the New Year, using the recommended domestic courier postal service.
Win a Carmien Kiddies and LiefviLou Hamper