“If you really want something, you can have it. You just have to put in the work!”

December 2020: Greer, SC

Monogram Maven

Loretta Smith, Marleylilly Human Resource Manager

What can I say about Marleylilly?! We make monogrammed and personalized clothing, gifts, and accessories and jewelry. Wearing anything monogrammed is so much fun. I love the duck boots. I love the sweaters. I love the beautiful jewelry and cups and tumblers. There are so many different things down to the monogrammed suitcases. We have an awesome design team and everything is so color coordinated. My husband was jealous, so I brought him home a couple of camouflaged masks. He loved them.

Marleylilly is making such an impression on the community because it actually cares. We are focused on providing great jobs and opportunities. We do a lot in the community and work with Greenville County Schools, Salvation Army, and colleges and universities. We are making a foot-print in our community. People know about us. We are well-positioned in Greer, especially being right off I-85. It’s amazing when you drive down and see this pink building, like it’s floating on air. I passed it by, but never knew what it was, and then I was blessed to start working here. Oh, my gosh!

“I’m a native of Seneca, and a wife to Carey Smith, and the mother of three kids. They are all adults and living on their own. I went to the University of South Carolina when I was 16 years old and majored in criminal justice and pre-law. But life happens. I got married while in college and had to raise a child. I dealt with an abusive spouse. I don’t mind sharing that, because my life may encourage someone, as we all live and learn, and all we can do is go forward. It’s not what you’ve been through that matters, it’s what you’ve done with your life.

I eventually went back to college and completed my degree, and then I fell in love with Human Resources. I decided to apply to Clemson University and when I was 50, got my Master’s in HR Development, all while working full-time. If you really want something, you can have it. You just have to put in the work! I’ve been married now 22, going on 23 years. Carey is just wonderful.

I’ve been in Human Resources for approximately 30 years. I was working at Belk in HR and was approached by a recruiter to join Marleylilly.

“. It sounded great, and when I talked with one of the owners, Chad Owens, we meshed immediately. I was so impressed by Chad and Kelly Owens, and their knowledge of business, and their vision for Marleylilly We were speaking the same language, in regard to employees being the most precious asset of a company. We all believe in strategy, structure and proactively developing leaders to take the organization to new heights. They are gracious and considerate business owners, especially in the way they treat their people. And then when I saw this beautiful building that turns pink at night and the well-landscaped property, I fell in love with Marleylilly.

We have about 100 full-time employees and that goes up to 700 for the holidays, when we bring in temp employees. We do internships with Clemson University, Bob Jones and Anderson University, and U.S.C. A lot of times, those internships turn into full-time jobs once they complete their degree. We also do volunteer work with high school students to help with interview preparation, so they are prepared to go out into the workforce.

“The owners really make a difference in so many people’s lives. They are great people and very kind people. They believe in taking care of folks. I can’t say enough nice things about them. I think it’s the fact that Marleylilly has such humble beginnings, with Kelly Owens starting the business off in her home, and then in her basement, and then a strip-mall suite, and then building this grand 154,000-square-foot facility. The growth has just been awesome. When you build your organization with a foundation based on faith and taking care of people, and being kind, that means a lot.

I’m 60 years old. At this time in my life, Kelly and Chad saw the experience I brought to the table. Instead of trying to get someone young and inexperienced, they saw my qualifications, education and experience I had in Human Resources and Organizational Development, federal and state laws, and performance management. I’m so glad they appreciate someone who is a seasoned professional with many years of work experience.
This is the perfect location. On my lunch hours, I’ve eaten at some of the best restaurants. One of my favorites is A&P!

“You can take the backroads and explore different little places, and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I’ve found a cute consignment shop in my travels in Greer. Or, you can jump right on I-85 and travel downtown to the city. So, you have alternatives. This area is just beautiful. The business community here is innovative and dynamic, and there’s room for growth. That’s one of the most attractive things about Greer: the fact the city and the county development is on-going. We have beautiful homes, great places to live, great schools. What more could anyone ask for?

This is where I hope to stay until I retire. That’s my plan. I think it’s important for us to stay busy, because whenever we get to the retirement stage of just staying home, your body goes down faster when you are not active. I plan on being active on the job, for as long as I can, and as long as God blesses me to be able to do so. One of my favorite things is when I came on board, they showered me with beautiful gifts, and gave me a gorgeous, white coffee cup trimmed in gold with my initials. That touched my heart so much. I love my cup and it’s running over.