She’s the face behind the cheeky Palm Beach-based needlepoint company, Lycette Designs. Named after her needlepoint-loving great-grandmother, Edyth Lycette, Lycette combines Palm Beach whimsy with New England sensibility, and has been featured in House Beautiful, The Enchanted Home, The Pink Clutch, Delta Sky, the Glad Pad, Fiber Talk and more.
In Jessica’s words, “I hope to bring back pastimes that require devotion of time and intention. Pastimes that show and symbolize love through the final product, whether it is a gracious thank you note, a needlepoint pillow, or a dinner menu reflecting your guests’ favorite foods. More than anything, I want Lycette to encourage other women to start their own businesses embolden by their passions.”
We love that!
Read our interview with Jessica below.
Describe Lycette’s style in 3 words.
Cheeky, Whimsical, Warm
How did you decide to turn your hobby into your business?
I began working at a needlepoint store in college and while I always loved needlepoint, I grew to adore the community and the customers during my time at The Point of It All. From there my involvement within the industry blossomed into a wholesale business and eventually my own store.
I never made a distinct choice to turn my hobby into a business, but rather sought to fill “gaps” that I felt existed within the needlepoint industry. These “gaps” included the need for modern designs, a online needlepoint store, and a retail shop that feels like home.
What’s the best and worst part about working for yourself?
Working with myself! Being your own boss is liberating because you make your own decisions; however, it is also tough because you have to hold yourself accountable. At the end of the day if anything goes wrong, it falls solely on you.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned starting your own business?
Patience! Everything works out the way it should, in its own time. Do your homework and the rest will fall into place. Also, self care is essential. If you feel that you need to take a break, do it! You will most likely focus better and be more efficient after taking time for yourself.
What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
- Invest in good stationary. A handwritten note goes a long way.
- Your “to do” list will never get shorter, but make sure it doesn’t get longer. Only add a “to do” to your list once you have crossed something off.
- Connect with and support other small businesses!
What does work-life balance mean to you, and how do you achieve it?
Ha! This is an something I struggle with everyday. To me work life balance means taking time off when you need it. If I feel burnt out, frustrated or overwhelmed I will take an hour to myself to take an exercise class, cook a healthy meal, take a walk outside or browse for inspiration. I believe a healthy work life balance occurs when you recognize and honor your feelings and deal with them accordingly in the moment. As I previously mentioned, it’s a constant work in progress at Lycette!
If you could invite three guests to a dinner party, from the past or present, who would they be and why?
- Keith Richards because The Stones are my favorite band and I loved his autobiography. I adore men and women who are unapologetically themselves.
- Erica Wilson as she was a pioneer in the resurgence of needlepoint in the 60s and 70s. She harnessed her passion to create a thriving business that continues to inspire individuals to needlepoint. I admire people who have the ability to inspire, and Erica certainly possessed that talent.
- Steve Martin. He is my father’s favorite comedian so I grew up memorizing his SNL skits and watching “The Jerk” on repeat. Later, around the time I was starting Lycette, I read his biography, “Born Standing Up.” His approach to building a career resonated with me and is still how I work on Lycette- one step at a time.
What is the future of Lycette?
Opening its doors to Palm Beach this October! I am very excited to share Lycette with my favorite island and have a place for the needlepoint community to gather, be inspired, and pick up a project or two.
I am also looking forward to future collaborations with like-minded brands- we have a lot of fun things in the works at Lycette. Stay tuned!