The Lilley Line Started with a Gift

Many years ago, my dear friend Guadalupe Lopez gave me a present from her home-country of El Salvador. She wanted to share a piece of her culture that celebrates life with color and joy. Initially I was struck by the basket’s vibrancy and design, but it was not until a month later when I realized that it was a bag for everything.

A Bag for Everything

I used it for shopping, meetings, potlucks, school projects and sporting events. The flat and sturdy bottom kept my casserole dishes from leaking and my produce protected. I wasn’t the only one to notice the special qualities of this bag. Everywhere I went, from the grocery checkout to the hockey rink or dinner parties, everyone commented on my bag and wanted to know where I got it.

Launching The Lilley Line

These baskets seemed to have both an aesthetic and a purposeful appeal. An idea emerged. We could support many women and their communities in El Salvador by introducing this useful and attractive product to North Americans. I talked with Guadalupe and said, “I could sell these!” She thought I was crazy, and I had to beg for years for her to send the baskets for me to test. She started scooping up baskets in markets all over her region, which brought a lot of joy to weavers, and she started to curate the best local artisans. Eventually we traveled together to El Salvador and I realized how these bags truly represented the splendor of Central America and the warmth of the people. I made new friends and created new business relationships that set a foundation for The Lilley Line. Our small groups of weavers in tiny mountain villages in El Salvador proudly weave beautiful bags.

Stylizing the Collection

The Lilley Line introduces stylized handicraft weaves to discerning customers. Our collections are designed in the United States, and offer unique designs highlighting both seasonal and classic colors. The sizes and shapes also provide utility for many of life’s activities and reduce the need for disposable plastic bags and packaging. You can look good and feel good with a Lilley Line bag over your shoulder. We set out to create a product for the modern woman – a product that weaves chic style with ethical and global sustainability.

All these years later, that first basket from Guadalupe still hasn't lost its strength or luster, and remains part of my everyday life. The Lilley Line bag can be part of yours too.