While starting isolation in March, Simone Levendosky began crafting small, wooden signs with the name and state of her friend’s favorite colleges. She built them as a favor, not knowing that soon she would be starting an extremely successful local business in Fredericksburg.
At the beginning of quarantine, Levendosky knew she wouldn’t be working since she unexpectedly left her job that was on campus as a part of Student Activities and Engagement (SAE). Bored in isolation with no source of employment, Levendosky made herself busy by taking part in some serious crafting.
“I started with two designs for UMW and then posted it onto the Facebook page, Give it, Lend it, Sell it for UMW. It blew up from there, [and] I got a ton of orders over the time in quarantine. [And from there, I] decided to start an Instagram and Facebook page and name myself srl.designs (SRL).” SRL are Levondosky’s initials.
After her initial success with the college signs, Levendosky started adding customer’s majors and other customizations onto the signs. Levendosky took on building other requested pieces, such as table trays, which were a huge hit this past September. SRL Designs started a fall line by printing several fall sayings onto her decor like “Happy Fall, Y’all”, and “Welcome to our patch!” Knowing that fall activities will look different this year, Levendosky thought her decoration pieces would help the season come back to life.
Levondosky’s boyfriend, Hunter Watson, a UMW ‘19 Alumni, helped shape the business by cutting fresh wood, assisting on designs and even building her dream farmers market stand for her business.
“I help Simone with anything she needs, I’ll often help paint or stain,” said Watson. “I do mostly the dangerous stuff like cutting, and building. She’s the brains of the operation!”
SRL Designs made its way to its first farmer’s market gig on Oct. 3 at Hurkamp Park on Prince Edward Street. Levondosky said that she made more money than she ever expected from the experience. The day was filled with multiple purchases, requests for new signs and endless support from her followers on Instagram.
Levendosky had no idea what this business would turn into, but she encourages those who are passionate about crafting to make something out of it. “If you have an idea, go for it and post it [somewhere]! I definitely had no idea that this was going to expand into what it is today. I’ve also learned that you want to follow as many people that you want to to sell to.”
SRL Designs is focused primarily on college students, and makes great college signs for bedrooms, offices, workplaces and even kitchens, but the small business can customize any design a customer has. This includes home decor, table trays, glassware, coasters, and more. Interested customers can find SRL designs on Instagram or Facebook, under “srl.designs” to purchase, or get an idea on what Levondosky’s business has to offer.
Nancy Martin, one of SRL Designs’ customers says, “it’s one of the best things to come from quarantine!”
SRL designs will be at this weekend’s Fredericksburg Farmers Market on October 17th, from 9am-1pm.