Meet Kate Butler of LillyTales, and maker of a line of whimsical wooden bookmarks.
LillyTales caught my eye on Instagram several weeks ago when I decided I was finally going to use the platform. I was, of course, looking for other bibliophiles and bookish folks. Her feed was a combination of adorable branding, clever ideas, and a love of books.
Recently LillyTales released a line of whimsical wooden bookmarks. I reached out to Kate for an interview -- I was curious about her inspiration, and why she's decided to make a business out of being bookish.
You just recently started making bookmarks, and it seems to be going really well. Before that you were selling clever Blind Dates with Books. What's the story behind the blind dates and the bookmarks?
The blind date with a book concept is one which many book shops and bibliophiles have endorsed in the past. My motivation for creating the experience of a "blind date" with a book was for two differing reasons.
I really like the idea of people taking a chance on a story they wouldn't necessarily pick up if they were to judge it's appropriateness for them solely on the cover imagery. I think it's important to be open to a diversity of differing texts. You never know what you can learn from a voice dissimilar to yours.
I also found myself with an overwhelmingly large pile of collected books whilst trying to move house. It was the perfect time to share the stories I've loved and treasured with others in a fun, less traditional way!
Lillytales bookmarks are such a delight to produce, I am very appreciative and humbled by the positive response I've received from my Instragram and Etsy followers. I was thoroughly enjoying communicating with an audience through Lillytales by reviewing books, however I wanted to expand the Lillytales brand into something more, I wanted to connect with my followers by sharing with them a larger part of me; and in doing so, spread the love for literature. I was introduced to the concept of wood art by partner and once I got the knack of production - I was off!
The bookmarks are keeping me very busy as I create promotions, competitions and manage the Lillytales Etsy store. I recently received a bulk order to act as wedding gifts, which was definitely a fun and rewarding job!
You obviously have a love of books. Physical books, not digital. What's that about? And specifically, what would you say to others about the importance of physical books in the world?
I cherish books, but more than that, I love stories and I think they're extremely important. In debates concerning print vs. digital platforms, my position is right in the middle! I own a kobo and have an extensive list of much-loved ebooks. However, I also own and consistently purchase physical books. I do not believe that one platform is necessarily taking sales from the other. I think nowadays readers just use a combination of both, and if by having an e-reader one person a more encouraged to read, then I think that's a positive.
Personally, I like to use my e-reader when traveling as it is lightweight and easier to hold whilst in confined transportation spaces. However, the experience of walking into a bookshop and being surrounded by physical books is unbeatable and can't be replicated by digital platforms. I really enjoy books in a physical sense when it comes to making a home. There's something particularly comforting about having your walls lined with your favorite stories. I love giving books as gifts, it's as though you are providing someone with a key into a new and secret world, and this is much easier done with physical books!
What are your three most prized books on your bookshelf currently, and why?
This is such a tough question! Here goes...
1. The entire Harry Potter series.
These books have been surrounding me consistently throughout my childhood and adult life. Not only are the characters relatable and the stories gripping, but the series has provided me with endless comfort and enjoyment for the majority of my life. I could write a book about how much I love Harry Potter, so I better stop right there.
2. Alison Bechdel 'Fun Home'
I recently saw Alison Bechdel speak at Adelaide Writer's Week and was blown away by her courage to honestly and unashamedly write about members of her family. Fun Home acts as Alison's childhood memoir, detailing how she struggled to come out to her parents as an openly gay woman, her strained relationship with her closeted-gay father and his untimely suicide when she was in college. The book is written in comic strip form but in no way does it lack depth, description or substance. I really enjoyed the challenge of reading a piece of work in a different narrative layout and Alison's illustrations are genius!
3. Lionel Shriver 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'
This novel is one of the best I have ever read. Lionel Shriver's writing style is immaculate and gripping from the beginning. This is the book I recommend first to any adult who asks me! It totally got under my skin and I was hooked, a classic page-turner which deals with so many societal themes.
Christmas is still a few months away, but I think it's time for a gift right now. Kate has generously offered my favorite in her line for a giveaway to Velvet Verbosity readers. See the details below the photo.
>> LillyTales Giveaway <<
There are two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment below and tell me what you're currently reading.
[because I've gotten reports that the commenting system is being wonky, and Squarespace is "still looking into it" you can also enter on social media.]
2. Head to your favorite social media platform and tell me what you're currently reading.
- Facebook - go to the Velvet Verbosity page and share what you're currently reading.
- Twitter - Tell me what you're currently reading @velvetverbosity hashtag #LillyTalesVV
- Instagram - Post a photo of your current read, tag @velvetverbosity and @Lillytales and hashtag #LillytalesVV
[UPDATE: This has been updated with extended deadline!] You MUST be following me on whatever social media platform you use. Enter up to 4 times (one on each platform), entries close at midnight EST October 13th, and I'll announce the winner on Monday's #100words post.