Flea Maker Spotlight: Love Harper
Love Harper Boutique founder Jennifer Thryion knows that sometimes, all that glitters really is gold - hence why the floors of her Castle Rock store are in fact, completely covered in gold glitter. The sparkly, happy spirit of these floors is infused into every aspect of Love Harper, which offers "customer-friends" pretty feminine clothing items and inspiring jewelry pieces that will always make women feel beautiful. Jennifer initially created Love Harper to be a creative outlet and opportunity to flex her jewelry-making skills, but four years later, Love Harper has two locations (the OG Castle Rock location and another at Park Meadows) with a third set to open in Cherry Creek this summer - and you can find the team at the Summer Flea on July 14-15!
Most excitingly for Flea fans here in Colorado and out-of-state is that Love Harper just launched their online store, stocked full with summer-ready outfits, accessories and more! Start shopping and get inspired at www.loveharperboutique.com.
WHAt was your inspiration for starting love harper?
I started making jewelry about 13 years ago when I moved from my hometown in Michigan to Las Vegas. I fell in love with wire wrapping and semi-precious stones so, for the next 10 years, I made jewelry for friends and family, as well as sold sporadically on Etsy. At that time, I worked full time as a massage therapist at a spa in Las Vegas hotel. Over time, I became, let’s just say, not the best employee because I was more interested in day dreaming about living a life of creativity and freedom than giving spa treatments.
In 2011, I met my now husband and in 2013, we took the much-anticipated leap and moved to Colorado! I thought moving would renew my passion for massage therapy. Well, I met some great people, but it was still not fulfilling the part of me that craved something more. About 6 months after our Colorado move, a friend introduced me to The Barn (in downtown Castle Rock) which enabled us to start a boutique without large amount of start up capital. This was exactly 4 years ago and I had NO idea what I was doing. After 3 months, my partners dropped away and it was all mine - it was scary but exhilarating. I created Love Harper and for one full year - I continued to work my full time massage therapy job while growing the shop. It was a stressful, messy year but month by month, I became more clear on what message I wanted to put out in the world.
So to finally answer the question- my inspiration for creating Love Harper started with a desire for a creative outlet - but it has evolved into creating a boutique experience where when you step foot into our gold glitter dipped boutique, or our lil' slice on the web - and I hope you feel inspired, alive, uplifted and welcomed. We hope our sarcastic and inspirational gift items bring a smile to your face, and our clothing and jewelry let you feel not only comfortable, but also beautiful and strong, feminine and confident - just like your alter ego!
what was the first product you ever created?
Wire wrapped jewelry with semi precious and Swarovski Crystals is where I started. Most of my pieces were big, colorful statement pieces. After all, I lived in Vegas, baby!
how has your brand evolved over the yearS?
I am constantly growing and learning - when I think I have it “figured out”, I am reminded that it is far from the truth. I have grown and evolved SO much in the last four years and that is only from trying a lot of different things, making mistakes, learning from them and in turn, getting more clear on the message I wish to convey with Love Harper. I started off in 2014 with selling just my handmade jewelry in one 200 square foot shop to now having three locations, offering clothing, jewelry, gift items, home decor, accessories, charm bar and furniture!.
what is your favorite product or collection that you've created?
I really put a lot of thought into everything I create. I have to say, adding the stamped element to my skills a few years ago has really lit me up. I am a lover of quotes and words. An inspirational quote or word keeps me focused, motivated and in the "good vibe" zone. Also, in the rough patches of my life or a bad day, an inspirational quote or a word has, and will always, get me through. I love custom stamping a piece of jewelery because that is when it turns into more than just a pretty thing. To have the name of someone that means the world to you or a quote that you live by around your neck is an amazing thing.
who is the average love harper customer?
I really find (and have been told) that our clothing and jewelry appeals to a wide range of people, due to the clothing’s “comfy but cute” style, our jewelry’s simple designs and our price point being below $60. You will find nothing too fitted where you have to do a cleanse for 5 days prior to wearing it and rarely a piece of jewelry that you could not pull off wearing almost every.single.day. I don’t like putting my customers in a box so if want you to feel comfortable but beautiful and appreciate trends while not breaking the bank- you are our customer-friend!
who are the core members of your team?
I was a one-woman-show up until recently! I have had friends (shout out to Natalie, Liz, Sarah & tons of hallelujah to Morgan) help here and there the last couple years but with the growth of Love Harper - I hired Genevieve just a few months ago for all the boutique hustle and Leah for our photography needs. Especially with launching online, I knew I needed to add some amazing ladies to the LH team. Not only do these gals hustle but they are just amazingly kind, down to earth and positive humans - which for me, sealed the dea, l and I am honored to have them on my team!
where are your company's headquarters located?
Currently my jewelry studio, warehouse, shipping and receiving is all done from my home! My husband insists that I need a separate warehouse/studio but I would rather get a bigger house. LOL. For real, I love working from home and with having our first child this fall - it is all the more appealing that I can work on my own time, especially as my schedule will be dependent on a little one!
why do you do what you do?
Because I really believe in the correlation between pretty things and how they make us feel. I spent most of my life hating my body and therefore, who I was. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, a yo-yo act that is so extensive, I have lost count. Recently, currently being almost 100 pounds lighter than I was a year and a half ago - it took me a long time to learn is that it didn't matter what number was on the scale, I didn't like myself any less or more. Taking pride in my appearance despite my weight (and what I felt I deserved) is what set me free. It enabled me to love myself NOW and not waiting to be X pounds on the scale, or wait to make X amount of money or whatever crap I was putting in my head. When I made jewelry, I didn't feel worthy or pretty enough to wear it. I used to wear the same black yoga pants all week long with the same black tank top and cardigan because I didn't feel I could wear anything pretty - I believed I wasn't pretty enough. I seriously didn't wear a pair of jeans for over 3 years! I had it backwards.
Bottom line, when I said EFF IT, I am worthy, THAT is when my problems with food stopped navigating my life. I stopped obsessing about what I didn't like and beating myself up, and slowly began to love myself which bled into every other area of my life. I began to stop hiding and live the life I wanted. I know, this may seem deep for a boutique. But, I am so passionate about women feeling good in their skin, just as you are AND THAT IS WHY I DO WHAT I DO.
PS - To go along with this sentiment, we will be expanding our size offerings this summer (curvy girls can I get an AMEN?!)
what does you brand truly mean to you?
EVERYTHING. It is all covered in the last question but it is ALL about what is most important to me - pretty things + body positivity + serving + good vibes.
what's your advice to others seeking a similar path in life?
Never ever ever give up. It might be cliche but it's true. It’s ok to change paths - don’t stay on one that you are not absolutely passionate about BUT once you find it, don't give up. You are going to make tons of mistakes and there will be plenty of days where you will think “What the hell am I doing?” - and days where you feel on cloud nine from a huge win. That is the roller coaster of entrepreneurship. So, throw your control freak pants away and enjoy the ride!
what's the best part about being a colorado company?
After moving here from Las Vegas, there was a HUGE difference. The support for small business and makers in Colorado is amazing! It has only grown MY love for the culture and having a few small boutiques myself - I strive to support as many makers and small businesses as possible. I hope more and more people can see the heart behind these brands and continue to grow the support for small biz and makers. And I have to say, I feel more inspired being around the beautiful backdrop of Colorado!
Follow love harper boutique:
QUICK FACT #1
We just launched our online shop on May 2nd, 2018! Check it out at www.loveharperboutique.com.
QUICK FACT #2
We are opening a new store in Cherry Creek this June, and couldn't be more excited!