Well, we go out of 2018 on a high, what a great year for Lily Ella!

 Our biggest milestone was celebrating our 5th birthday - Happy birthday to us!

We really have come a long way since Zoe started her business in time honoured fashion, around her kitchen table with a baby on her hip and a toddler at her feet….

Julie joined Zoe on Day One to help man the phones and here we are, five years on, still with Julie holding the fort; but now in beautiful, refurbished offices in a local business village with our own little warehouse and small call centre and a team of 12 which includes our own in-house merchandising and buying team, with Zoe of course heading up the design side. And that’s not including our trusty band of freelancers who help us with our photoshoot and catalogue and are so close to us they feel like family! 


part of the premises we occupy at the business village

We also have an annual student intern on placement from the acclaimed fashion course at nearby Northumbria University.  This year our intern Emily has proved to be an absolute star and we are so sad at the thought of losing her at Christmas when she returns to her course.  

We’re now poised to keep growing and to this end we are getting geared up to offer our customers even more choice as we plan to expand our ranges in 2019 – we have some lovely surprises planned for the coming seasons! 

 Back to this year though, in the Spring Summer Collection we enjoyed our first foray into cruise wear and introduced our fabulous swimsuits.  The rest of our Collection we pretty much design ourselves, but we are the first to admit that swimwear is a specialist area, particularly for the kind of figure shaping and enhancing styles we were after, so we went to established market leader Seaspray as their quality and fit is second to none. As those of you who have bought our swimsuits can testify, they really do feel marvellous on and they look fantastic too!


For our Autumn Winter season we branched out into Homewares for the first time.  We teamed up with a lovely lady in Yorkshire to create Lily Ella’s signature fragrance, Water Lily.  This was crafted into a small range of exclusive candles and diffusers.  To create a ‘Hygge’ feel for your home we added some absolutely gorgeous pieces in hand woven pure new wool – a tartan cushion and a herringbone throw - co-incidentally also made in Yorkshire.  We’ve been greatly encouraged by our customers’ response to our Homewares, so we are already busy working on a bigger offering for next Autumn Winter.  If you have any special requests as to what to include do let us know, we aim to please!  



We’re sure you’ll have heard of the Great North Run which is a veritable institution up here in the north east. It’s the UK and the world’s biggest half marathon covering 13.1 miles and over 57,000 runners take part. Well, this year on 9th September, Zoe ran in aid of MIND, the mental health charity. This is what she said at the time: “With mental health statistics rising and many young people being affected I feel it's time for me to get involved by doing a little fundraising. Your mind should be a beautiful thing, full of dreams and happiness, not a dark and distressing place where you feel the need to escape from it. Mental health issues can affect anybody at any time.” We’re delighted to report that she raised over £2,000 for this cause close to her heart. Well run Zoe!  



Image courtesy of Mirror.co.uk

Also, in September we enjoyed a team outing on one of the most exciting days of the year for us!  We went ‘out out’ to Newcastle Gateshead Hilton Hotel where Lily Ella was featured on the catwalk for Gok Wan’s One Size Fits All Show.  The whole team took a table to enjoy brunch and fizz and watch the show.  There was a host of local companies also showing their designs, but we were delighted when Gok referred to Lily Ella as ‘the Star of the show’. This is because we genuinely do try to cater for all women and Gok was delighted and impressed to learn that our sizes go up to size 26. Apparently, our outfits were the easiest to style for the show as we gave him such a good choice to choose from!  


Zoe, in black, with Gok Wan and left, Steph our merchandiser, and right, Emily our fashion intern

In November we had our photoshoot for our Spring Summer Collection.  It’s always so satisfying seeing everything come together after the months of hard work behind the scenes at Lily Ella.  As we write this, the printing presses are getting ready to print our ‘New Spring Style’ catalogue which we will be sending out early in 2019…. watch this space.


a sneak peek at our Spring Style cover

We feel that in this fifth year we’ve really found our feet at Lily Ella.  We are incredibly grateful to all our customers who have loyally supported us and recommended us to their friends since we planted that tiny little Lily Ella acorn five years ago – we hope you’ll still be with us when we reach oak tree status!  We always love hearing feedback from our customers, so keep sending us your emails and letters in 2019. 


In the meantime, we wish all our customers a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.



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