Business Spotlight: Lacewing

At Ventures, we love to feature client success stories. Recently I sat down with one of our clients, Britt Willey, who is the owner of Lacewing, a fine gardening and botanical design business in Seattle. More than just a landscaping business, Lacewing adds a human touch to the process. Britt provides a hand drawn sketch of every botanical design, and as a part of routine maintenance, crafts bouquets for her clients using their own flowers and plants. Britt graduated from our Business Development Training in the Fall of 2015, started her business in 2016, and will be hiring at least one employee in 2017. We talked about her motivations, her aspirations for her business, and how Ventures has supported her as an entrepreneur.

Lacewing Britt WilleyWhy did you want to start your own business? 

I am naturally hardworking and kind of obsessive, so I figured I could channel this energy into building something focused entirely on what I love; being outside, improving local ecosystems, and demonstrating the diverse beauty of landscape and interior plant designs. 

Describe what a great day at work looks like for you. 

Great weather, energized staff (including me) ready to tackle a big, transformative project that wows the client and offers a renewed vision of their landscape (hopefully while chugging coconut water and ice coffee).  I especially love taking on a project that forces me to learn new skills or a new approach. It is essentially for building new skills and confidence.  Don’t be afraid to try and ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING!

What makes you proudest about Lacewing? 

The fact that it even exist is still kind of amazing.  I’ve longed for running a design business focused on plants and natural material for many years but never expected I had anything that anyone would want to buy.  Now that it’s actually happening, well, let’s say I’m hoping I don’t wake up to find the whole thing was just a dream.  

What distinguishes your business from other landscapers? 

I want people to fall in love with their landscape, either for the beauty of it all,  in discovering an urban retreat or an opportunity to reconnect with nature on a daily basis.  I am awed by the resiliency of urban ecosystems and want to share this vision with everyone!  This is paired with extremely personalized attention and authentic relationship building with the client.  In addition, I offer personalized floral design services based on the plants growing directly in their landscape.

How has Ventures helped you to achieve your business goals? 

I am thrilled to be a part of Ventures.  I have met two essential mentors, without whom, I would still be dreaming about the possibility of Lacewing.  John Song was a mentor that I met during the 101 class.  He has been an incredible force in the startup process.  And recently, you, Ryan, have been so supportive in figuring out practical nuts and bolts of growing the business.  It is so essential to have support in taking on this huge venture, I am forever grateful!