Millie Holloman is a great friend of mine. I seriously love this lady with my whole heart and whenever we get to see each other, life is just much happier! I also have a great deal of respect for Millie - she is a true business woman. She has a few companies under her belt and she is definitely an entrepreneur who I look towards for inspiration. What I also admire about Millie is that with every project, event, photo shoot, or company that she creates, she brings together the perfect team who really makes the finished product SO well done. She never compromises quality and you know that whatever Millie is a part of is going to equal brilliance. Her latest company is called Pressed Cotton, which is an online shop, focused on detail pieces that can bring together one cohesive look to your home or event. It's even a great place to purchase a gift for someone! We caught up with Millie to learn more about this new adventure and more behind the vision of Pressed Cotton!
(All photos taken by Millie Holloman Photography)
Q. Tell us about Pressed Cotton. What was the inspiration behind starting this company?
A. We decided to begin this adventure over a year ago because my friend, Jennifer, owner of Salt Harbor Designs was always saying there wasn't one place she could go to purchase the things she needed to create a cohesive wedding. As we became friends, I noticed she put a great deal of time and effort into creating items because she could often not find anything of the quality she wanted already made. Also, she was spending many hours making things from scratch when she could have been spending that time on other things. We also were doing lots of styled shoots and often received emails from people asking if they could buy the pieces she was creating. With Jennifer's gift of design and styling and my love for details and photography, it seemed like a natural extension of our talents and so Pressed Cotton was born! We asked our favorite graphic designer (who also happens to be my brother), Brent Holloman, to be involved and now here we are!
Q. You have been a wedding photographer for years, all the while keeping your entrepreneurial spirit alive and growing your businesses organically. What is the secret of 'branching out' from photographer to pursuing other business endeavors?
A. An amazing team! Seriously, without my team I could not do any of this. When one puts the right people in the right position, and allow them to exercise their strengths, beautiful things happen. It also helps that I am super organized and love to automate things and create system that produce efficiency and get the job done in as little steps as possible.
Q. What is the difference between coming to Pressed Cotton or shopping on Etsy?
A. At Pressed Cotton we have tried to think of every element you could need on your big day from the ceremonial moments such as the sand ceremony to the guestbook. We have goods that can be used individually or paired with other items to create just the right look for each couple. We have created a one stop shop for party host's and brides, a place where they can come and find items to use for their event. While Etsy provides a wide range of products, the difference is that our team of designers and artists are working together to create a cohesive look, we are using our experience and expertise to put it together for you!
Q. Pressed Cotton is a company that is targeted towards both Weddings and the Home. I think this is brilliant, but why did you decide to market both?
A. Brides put a lot of time and energy into create the perfect day. They dream about it for years and also typically spend quite a bit of money on their wedding day. Each event should reflect the couples personality and style. If the couple chooses items that reflect their style the ability to re-use them in the home not only maximizes their investment, it creates less waste. Plus, when starting a new life together, what better way than to fill their home with warm and cozy items that are reminders of their beginnings and full of memories while serving a purpose!
Q. How important has the collaboration process been with you, Brent and Jennifer to bring Pressed Cotton to life?
A. HUGE! Brent and Jennifer do most of the product design and development. I typically run the business side of things. I love the business and creative side so I have fun giving my ideas and then helping it all come to life. Jennifer's styling and designing experience as well as years of being a wedding planner and designer help us know what works and what won't. Brent's graphic design background and education provide us with a never ending resource of amazing graphic design ideas and the ability to bring them to life. My marketing experience and love of business help the gears we've set in place work so we wind up with a well oiled machine. I would not want to do this without them and I think they would say the same!
Q. What is your dream for Pressed Cotton?
A. Our goal is to make the lives of wedding planners and brides easier by providing items they love at an affordable price. Our dream is to be constantly developing new ideas, creating new products, and to expand our team by adding other brilliant minds. In addition, we have a wholesale division so we aspire to engage large wholesale accounts and help bring some solutions to planners in the industry while giving brides more options. Our dream of being an international business has already materialized, we are shipping to France and Australia and have had website visits from over 78 countries. We just want to listen to our heart and to our clients and create something that we are proud of.
Q. Do you hope to grow your product range?
A. Yes, we have big plans for everything from custom wedding invitations to an entire line of favors (coming soon) and many more fun areas we will fill in!
Q. What will keep brides and shoppers, in general, coming back to Pressed Cotton?
A. We'll be releasing new items all of the time, new collections, new pieces and new ideas. We have a notebook full of things ready to implement. Party hosts can come to our site for small or large parties. As mentioned earlier many of our items also double as home decor making our site a great place to visit for just about anything event related or home decor. We also have a blog coming within the next year which we hope to have so packed full of content, ideas, and gorgeous design you won't be able to stay away!
Q. What are some of your favorite products that you carry at Pressed Cotton? Most unique?
A. I really love our pillows, they are custom designed and sewn in house and they've been a hot seller! I also love our wire card holder, and vintage table number holder for holding photos and other fun objects in my home. The favors we have coming are also some of my favorites. I find myself indulging in them on a regular basis, in fact that is why we will be carrying them, they are too good to keep to ourselves. Our garlands are super cute too, they make me smile. Our lavender smells amazing, you'll just have to order a bag for yourself!
Q. Anything else we should know to share the love?
A. Right now we are just trying to get the word out that we are here. We are so happy to see our idea become a reality in Pressed Cotton and that it's working! We are incredibly grateful for the support that the industry has given us so far and we can hardly wait to see what is to come!
You can also check out Pressed Cotton on Facebook.