Owner and designer, Camilyn Beth LLC
Camilyn Leavitt started her eponymous clothing line, Camilyn Beth, in 2012, after she was invited to 16 weddings in one year.
She made dresses for herself and friends, and word of her designs caught on. A wholesale order kicked it off, and five years later, her dresses are sold online and in boutiques across the country.
Leavitt says her business growth was slow and steady in the beginning. Then she saw a spike in year three and additional growth in year four. Her fifth year in business is another year of steady growth. “From what we’ve experienced, growing so quickly, it was hard to keep up with everything,” she says. “Slow and steady growth is more my goal.”
What’s crucial, she says, is making sure the company is being original and creative and is coming up with new content, designs and marketing. “It’s a more trending field, but that makes it more competitive, too.”
It’s not unusual for Leavitt to work nights and weekends to keep up with demand. But there’s big payoff, she says. She has two favorite parts: When she’s finished with a design and thinks people will like it, and going through the process of manufacturing her designs and bringing them to the public, especially seeing people wear them on special occasions.
Her next goals include having a large department store carry her dresses, increasing the size of her team, building the wholesale aspect of her business and branching out with the bridal section. “It’s another area of growth that we see,” she says. Leavitt is also considering an expansion beyond dresses to possibly include separates, accessories and a children’s line.
The end goal is always clear to her, she says: “See more Camilyn Beth dresses out there. Have more women wear them and feel special.”
— Grier Ferguson
Name: Camilyn Leavitt
City of residence: Sarasota
Twitter handle: @camilynbeth
Employer: Camilyn Beth LLC
Birthplace: Honesdale, Pa.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 19
Marital status/children: Married
Alma mater/degree: The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale with a degree in Fashion Design
Best place to network: Trade shows
Messy desk or clean workspace: Both! It all depends on what I’m working on
Eat lunch out or at your desk: At my desk
Best business lesson ever learned: Learn from every mistake
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Snipping threads off of garments for a designer
A website that makes your job easier: Quickbooks
App you use the most: Instagram
One thing you do everyday: Kiss my husband
Community group you’re most involved with: Humane Society of Sarasota
Favorite off-hours activity: Going to the beach
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: Jackie Kennedy and Anna Wintour
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Graphic designer
Top item on your bucket list: Camilyn Beth photoshoot in Paris, France
Your happy place is: Sweden
Your biggest fear: Losing someone close to me
Favorite Ted Talk: My favorite podcast is "How I Built This"
Skill you’d like to learn: Knitting
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Anne Hathaway
Describe yourself in three words: Honest, creative and determined