Lex is the master mind behind Smarmy Clothes and the hit craft site WhatTheCraft.com. A brilliant seamstress, she creates punk clothing and accessories that she sells on Etsy.
Lex found her calling as a clothing designer in college. She started sewing for fun and would flip through clothing catalogs and think, "That's cute, but I could make it." So she did. It wasn't long before she saw that there was a big handmade clothing movement happening on Ebay, and she decided to try selling what she made. "It probably only took one sale for me to realize that if I kept selling what I made, I'd have infinite resources for buying more fabric and making more things. I didn't really care if I was making money or not. I just like making stuff. If I can eat, pay the bills, and make stuff, I'm happy."
The name "SmarmyClothes" came about simply because Lex always liked the word Smarmy. She describes it as one of those words that's kind of it's own thing. Nothing else describes “smarmy” the way “smarmy” does. She was about to launch her website and wanted a new name, because the name she had been using (TallyHoClothes) was something she picked randomly, and says she had grown sick of it already. She created list of several one-word names, because she figured it would be hard to get sick of something as simple as a single word. And when her boyfriend suggested Smarmy, she knew that was it was the one as soon as he said it.
"The same reason I picked the name Smarmy is the same reason I love what I do. I love making things and knowing there's just nothing else like it, and I know that's what my customers love about my stuff. I might be having the most craptastic day, and then I get an email from a customer telling me they get stopped in the street because people are demanding to know where they got their dress. Then I do some fist-pumps and pelvic thrusts, and it's suddenly the best day ever."
When Lex finished her nursing degree, she says she knew she wanted to do SmarmyClothes full time. "I owe a lot of my success to the never-ending support from my boyfriend and my family and friends. They've never doubted me for a second. It breaks my heart when I hear other crafters say that their friends and family ask why they don't get "a real job". Running your own handmade business has a lot of perks, but it can also be super stressful. Not having the support of the people you love backing you up would be really hard."
What started out as a hobby has been her full time job since 2005, and last year her boyfriend jumped aboard the S.S. Smarmy, so it's now a full time gig for both of them! Lex says her goal is to eventually train her cats to answer my emails for her. (how cool would that be?)
Lex says she is currently working on three new projects that she's been wanting to do forever:
The first is Smarmy t-shirts. I've been wanting to design t-shirts for years, but I finally found the time to do it this past spring. The second is jewelry. I've dabbled in jewelry here and there in the past, but I've been getting a little more serious about offering a full line of Smarmy jewelry to the shop. And the third is sewing patterns. People have been asking me for years if I'll sell my patterns, and I released my first pattern through my tutorial site WhatTheCraft a few months ago.
Places you can find SmarmyClothes: