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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018 10 months ago

Local entrepreneur Malia Dreyer to take ‘The Hot Seat’

The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce’s ongoing series, will feature Lettermade LLC owner Malia Dreyer.
by: Troy Herring Sports Editor

The business world is, well, a busy place.

There are so many companies in the world that sometimes it can be easy to miss the small, quality shops located next door — or online. 

Local entrepreneurs and store owners work daily to create the best product while simultaneously running their own marketing campaigns to draw people’s attention.

It’s a hard job, but a noble pursuit leaders at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce are hoping to assist with as they host the next edition of The Hot Seat Wednesday, Aug. 29, at the chamber’s home on West Lyman Avenue.

The upcoming event will feature a talk from local entrepreneur Malia Dreyer — who will discuss her business Lettermade LLC.

“She does some really whimsical and fun things — her main medium that she works in is embroidered napkins,” Chamber President and CEO Betsy Gardner Eckbert said. “We love how she takes something that reminds us of grandma’s embroidered napkins and turns it on its head.

Founded in 2014, Lettermade was developed out of Dreyer’s love for keepsakes and fine linens — a passion itself that was inspired by her grandmother Mary Jacqueline, who also had a passion for linens.

Dreyer’s embroidered linens range from cocktail napkins with designs featuring animal people to Oprah to the usual floral decorations. There also are linens that can be customized to a customer’s specifications.

But her work doesn’t just stop there. Dreyer also offers dinner napkins, guest towels and handkerchiefs that feature numerous designs.

And it’s not just her products that have drawn the attention of the chamber — Dreyer has utilized social media like a pro to advertise her linens in Winter Park area and beyond. On Instagram alone, Lettermade has more than 12,000 followers.

“I think what is interesting is that Malia’s products are highly Instagrammable — and that used to not be a word,” Gardner Eckbert said, laughing.  “‘The Hot Seat’ was started two years ago to really be a way to highlight small businesses that are kind of punching above their weight in our community. We have a bunch of really interesting, right under our nose businesses here in our town that are national — or even to some degree, global — and we want to start focusing on what those people are doing.”

In the past, “The Hot Seat” has featured Winter Park-area business leaders such as 4 Rivers owner John Rivers and Track Shack co-owners Jon and Betsy Hughes.

As with any of “The Hot Seat” events, the hope is always simple: inspire local entrepreneurship. 

“Even the biggest businesses can benefit from being more entrepreneurial,” Gardner Eckbert said. “The focus is on scaling, growth and it’s about doing it in a limited-resources environment. If people come to this program and walk away feeling inspired to operate more efficiently, to create a leaner organization, to create more impact in terms of their growth, then we have hit the target with this program.”

Troy Herring is the sports editor at the West Orange Times and Windermere Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive (BS '12) and the University of Alabama (MA '16)....

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