Meet Donna and Danielle: a mother-daughter duo who launched the vintage inspired online boutique Carolily Finery. While we love their jewelry and accessories, we are even more inspired by their mission to make women feel confident and beautiful in their own skin.
Note: Donna and Danielle are offering MDF followers 25% off any order on their website until July 10 – just use the code MDF25.
How did you come up with the idea for Carolily Finery?
Donna: The name Carolily Finery pays tribute to my mom, Carol, and my grandma, Lily. We try to honor their English heritage, confidence, down to earth nature and spunk. I am an artist and I love colour and mixed mediums – so I started thinking what else could I do with my artistic abilities that would represent who they were to me. I started talking to Danielle about my thoughts and since Danielle and I love jewelry (and I have made jewelry for years…it helped pay for my university education) and my mom and grandma always loved jewelry, it just seemed right that we start a business together. We would take the qualities of the four generations of women and create beautiful jewelry. Since I am more in tune with the creative side and Danielle’s strengths are with the marketing – we just click and are the perfect team. We think women are pretty darn cool and we want them to know that there is no one to compare ourselves to because we are all unique and one-of-a-kind, just like the jewelry we make.
Danielle: A couple of different things went into it. The name itself comes from mom’s mom and grandma. They were both trendy, confident women and that’s what we want to bring forth with our company. The purpose of Carolily Finery is to help women feel confident and beautiful in their skin.
In regards to starting the company itself, when mom came to visit two summers ago, we went for a walk and started to talk about going into business together. We both have a love of fashion and, specifically, jewelry. So we said, “Well, why not? Let’s start planning right now!” There wasn’t any great, big sit-down meeting. It was just a walk one evening when we decided we should go for it. We prepped for two years and last December was our grand opening. We sell our products through our hosted pop-up tea parties and ladies events, as well as on our website.
How has collaborating on the company impacted your relationship?
Donna: I believe it has strengthened our mother-daughter relationship and our friendship. We have always been very close. We now have even more respect for one another because of each other’s strengths that we rely on to make the company a success. And there’s that trust that is so, so important in everything that we do. I am very fortunate to be Danielle’s mom and business partner.
Danielle: Everyone asks, “How can you work with your mom?” But we have always been really close; I would certainly call Mom one of my best friends. Growing up, we always did a lot together so it isn’t strange for us to work together. It’s definitely brought us closer. We compliment each other well. Mom is incredibly artistic and handcrafts the jewelry. My strengths are in digital marketing and strategy which is what my focus is. We compliment each other nicely and give input without stepping on each other’s toes. Not too many cooks in the kitchen!
What is the best and most challenging part about working with your mother/daughter?
Donna: The best part is that I’m working with my daughter. It’s the closeness we have and an opportunity to share more. The most challenging part is that we don’t live in the same city. Sometimes I would like to see her in person to bounce ideas off of and such. Thank goodness for technology because it makes the distance between us much easier to deal with.
Danielle: The best part is creating this company with my mom. It has been such an amazing experience so far and we are only just getting started. There is no one else I would rather be on this journey with.
The only difficulty is that we live four hours away from one another. Thanks goodness for Google drive, email and messaging – having everything online makes everything feasible. But personality wise, we haven’t run into any issues. It’s been a great experience so far.
What do you most admire about each other?
Donna: Danielle is tenacious and knows what she wants. She is very confident and strong. She knows who she is. Great sense of humor and doesn’t take herself too seriously. Very kind and compassionate. Danielle is beautiful inside and out! There’s no one else I would want to go into business with.
Danielle: My mom’s confidence is something that I admire and would like to think I got from her. She is one of the most talented people I know, she excels at anything she puts her mind to doing well. Growing up, she always said that you should be proud of yourself and confident in who you are. That is something she instilled in me and what we want to share through our company.