We had the good fortune of connecting with Teddi Lightman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teddi, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
After getting engaged in December 2018, I searched long and hard to find a unique and thoughtful gift for my bridesmaids. I was unable to find a memorable yet affordable option so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I am a style enthusiast with many years of experience in the fashion industry, so I used my connections with overseas factories to create the perfect proposal gift for my bridesmaids – a personalized, acrylic clutch!
Social media exploded when my bridesmaids started posting photos of the personalized clutches, and I quickly realized that I was on to something! With so much demand from friends and family, I began a side hustle of placing bag orders while still working a full-time job. As many entrepreneurs know, starting your own business while having a job is definitely a challenge but my passion for Rae of Light fueled my drive and I found it to be extremely rewarding. When I was laid off from my full time job in Summer 2018, I decided to use this unfortunate experience as an opportunity to give Rae of Light my full attention and go all in!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Rae of Light is an affordable and customizable accessories company. Most of our products are under $100, which is what makes this brand so compelling for gifts of all types of occasions. Rae of Light gives customers the opportunity to create and customize a handbag by selecting from a variety of colors, fonts, clasps, and shapes. Whether you want to buy a purse for a wedding, birthday gift, or for an everyday look – Rae of Light has plenty of options for everyone! It is a “go to” accessory and a “Rae of Light” for so many especially during this current climate.
At first, I created Rae of Light as a fun gift for my bridesmaids nothing more. After learning that their was a huge void in the market for this product I knew this was a good opportunity to take things to the next level. At the time and still to this day, Instagram was a huge marketplace to sell and promote my business on. In order to take Rae of Light to the next level I knew that I needed to start an Instagram business page- promote my products, show a behind the scenes look into my life and feature the ups and downs of starting/running a business. Was this hard? YES! Did I embarrass myself? YES! Did friends and family tell me several times to stop. YES YES YES! But I knew that in order to grow my business this is what it would take. People want to see the raw truth and reality behind growing a business because at the end of the day, not everything is perfect. I have learned that in order to grow you need to make mistakes, embarrass yourself and listen to others. Without my instagram followers and community I dont think I would be where I am today.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Philly! The best city in the world.
Stay: Rittenhouse area- any of the hotels in this area are great! Hang in the park and go to the farmers market on Saturdays.
Eat: Parc Rittenhouse, Vedge (vegan), Kalaya, Vernick Food and Drink, Irwins, Suraya, Pizzeria Beddia, Angelos (get the cheesesteak!) Laser Wolf
Hang: Rittenhouse Square or Fishtown- both really fun vibes!
Get Drinks: Bok Bar or Four Seasons Sky High- the best view!!
Visit: Liberty Bell, Jewish Museum, Cheesesteak tour (yes I love food).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thank you to my husband and family for believing in me and pushing me to do more every single day. I would not be here without your love and support.