Lovelane is anything but ordinary. The children’s imagination wear line is the ultimate treasure trove mixture of raiding grandma’s costume trunk, plus every color of the rainbow, plus outfits that go beyond just princess and cowboy. Lovelane is the brainchild/labor of love created by Lane Huerta, who began dreaming and designing what would soon become her business in rural North Carolina. According to her bio, she was all about “Imagining adventures in the woods behind her house, she counts Pippi Longstocking and Punky Brewster as her earliest inspirations.”
Lane is equal parts Southern upbringing/ San Francisco graphic design guru and completely a full force of creativity. After moving to Savannah in 2006, she set up shop in a sunny Victorian in the Starland District, where her designs went from local craft fairs to splashing across platforms like The Huffington Post, Today.com, Hooligan’s Magazine, Harper’s Brazil, and ABC World News Tonight. She is a global force, thanks to her work as a dedicated local.
Lane continues to work, live and play in Savannah with her husband, Patrick, and her daughter, Clementine, who serves as Lovelane’s key (and cutest) model. We were able to steal a few minutes away from the rockstar’s time to talk with her about her journey from part-time creator to full scale business owner and book author.
The Creative Coast: Talk to us about Lovelane Designs.
Lane Huerta: I as a good Southern girl would always sign my letters, “Love, Lane.” That’s how my grandma taught me, so, that’s where the name comes from. We hand print and create imaginative children’s playwear, made with natural cottons and eco-friendly inks. And I’m proud to say that everything we do, is all handmade here, in Savannah.
CC: Can you talk about Lovelane’s journey? I know that it was sort of around when you were still living in California.
LH: That’s where the roots came from. The reason we moved to Savannah is because it was easier. We loved San Francisco, but it also meant that my now husband and I were working two jobs, living in a small place and living a very expensive life. I had visited one of my childhood best friends, who went to SCAD and I started visiting her here and thinking, hmmm…I could live here.
I always loved Savannah—but I had to convince the California boyfriend, now husband. So when we were here, our friends showed us around and they had this charmed little life- they were renovating some houses, they had a little boat, they lived cheaply and they were our age. We realized that they have a different quality of life here. Within six weeks of our last visit to Savannah, we bought a house through a videotape and moved like three months later. And have been here for 11 years now.
That’s when I was able to spend more time focusing on Lovelane and have more space to really explore and grow what I was doing. It started in a little shed in the backyard, down the street, and then I found the building we are in now, which is an old Victorian home, and because of that, I’ve been able to get larger equipment and grow because Savannah is affordable.
There are a lot of great creative people here supporting us, and because of that we’ve been able to thrive.
CC: Can you talk about how you went from a general design company to specializing in children’s imaginative wear?
LH: Absolutely. I had my daughter and all of a sudden she’s old enough to start using her imagination and playing and she was like playing in the laundry and I’m like, “I can do better than that. I can make something really creative.”
And it was. A lot of costumes are made of yucky synthetic materials, and that’s not what I wanted for her. I also felt there was a lack of a super creative costumes and things that weren’t specifically a character, of Batman or a princess costume. At Lovelane, we’re all about letting the kids chose their own character, but with the help from all these fun options.
LH: So I felt that there was definitely a gap in the market. And I help with filling it!
CC: So, for you, what else do you think that Savannah has sort of allowed for you as a business owner? You’ve discussed livability and affordability, anything else?
LH: I was so lucky to move here when I did. I had a creative friend who had been here for years, and so she introduced me to so many people.
There are so many incredible talented, artistic people here that went to SCAD and have started their own businesses here. I think Savannah has such a wonderful pocket of creativity, whether it has to do with the art school or not. I think it’s in the community and being able to work with others and be inspired by others. I just feel like this is a really supportive artistic community.
CC: What would your advice be for either the local dreamer who would look at what you’re doing and be like, “oh, maybe …” or for the person who is living in Brooklyn or San Francisco or Austin and is like, “I don’t know,” and is looking at Savannah but isn’t totally sold. For you, since you have a bit of both of those experiences, what would you say to them?
LH: If you really, really, really, really, really love what you do … that’s too many really’s …But, you have to have a ridiculous passion to open a business. I’m not a fine artist, and I can’t speak for fine art, but small-batch manufacturing in a creative field, you have to love it, cannot live without it, because I do feel that the long hours and being so immersed in it all the time is very real. I’ll be honest, the first couple of years consisted of me not being home some nights, and not getting a lot of sleep and not taking care of myself. But it’s paying off now, and being able to find a good team helps.
I love Savannah. I love to travel, and now there’s easier ways to fly up to New York with JetBlue. It’s easy to travel now. But I love it here. I couldn’t imagine, honestly at this point in my life, living anywhere else. We don’t too many- No, we do want people to come.We want responsible people to come.
Savannah is a gem. I have met so many people that have come from New York or California or Chicago and larger places to settle here. I love that my daughter is growing up here. We took her to the Wegman exhibit at the Telfair and then the beach and then to meet all her fun artsy friends and she has a blast.
I think it’s a special place. I know we’ve got some problems, but I think Lovelane would not be anything of what it is if we weren’t here, based upon all the creative people that are here. I don’t think I could have lived any other life.
To learn more about Loveland, visit: https://www.lovelanedesigns.com