It's a funny thing that happens when small town girls get big ideas! The ideas began in early childhood when these sisters, Kristi 'Leigh' Johnson and Lori 'Nants' Lickliter, began creating and selling handmade wares to every friend and neighbor. They vowed to each other at the ages of ten and nine when they grew up, they would open a business together and its name would be Leigh Nants. (After their middle names)
Once grown, the girls gathered over coffee with their Mom and grandmother, Gigi, and discussed these 'big ideas'. They rehashed their childhood dreams of opening a shop and decided to take the plunge and open their first retail store. They claimed this would be the spot 'where art would meet style'.
Kristi (Leigh), the oldest sister and the more adventurous one is always on the move. She brightens any room she walks into. She has a true gift of encouragement and her organizational skills are essential to the success of Leigh Nants. She operates with a faith that never sees a hurdle too big to conquer.
Lori (Nants), a self-taught artist and true visionary, is one who paints the sky with her mind. She finds inspiration in everything that her eyes see, her hands touch, and her mind can imagine. Her best ideas come in the night hour. Her mind never sleeps. Some would call her ideas crazy imaginations, but Lori sees them as God-inspired innovations.
Kristi and Lori are not only sisters but are the best of friends. These two girls complete each other's thoughts, balance each other out, and create a laughter that is infectious. Together they are a matchless team with a work ethic like none other. They never sit still. They are constantly bouncing ideas off each other. There is never just one idea; most of the time they are juggling four and five at a time. The Leigh Nants girls are always amazed that God continues to give them new inspirations.
Lori first started by creating her own handmade line of jewelry and sold it through home-shows. As the demand for her pieces grew, she knew the jewelry needed a permanent home. So while she continued to create more original pieces of jewelry, paint abstract canvases, and design appliqué t-shirts; Kristi focused on finding other unique handmade gifts, including making a few of her own. The girls also realized that they passionately longed to find electic styles of women's clothing, shoes, and accessories under one roof. So, at the same, they began their search in hopes of creating a store filled with cutting edge selections.
The girls knew if they could stock the shelves with what they loved, their customers would love it too. They sent out postcards to all of their friends, neighbors, and contacts they had made along the way announcing the opening of their new brick and mortar store. On March 9, 2010, with only $130 in their account, Leigh Nants opened their doors. Much to their surprise, opening night was a huge success! Having the store has been the most amazing experience. The girls have had the opportunity to get to know customers and consider them dear friends for life.
It is exactly these small beginnings, these small ideas that have blossomed into their fresh bold boutique of today… Kristi and Lori hope that every girl that comes into the store or shops online will leave with something that inspires her. It is their wish that she will leave feeling like a 'Leigh Nants Girl'.
A Leigh Nants Girl is smart, confident, passionate, and boundary pushing. A Leigh Nants Girl knows who she is and what she wants. She dares to be different. She is not afraid of her future and she loves to laugh. She's fun, inspiring, and she is always a fashion statement waiting to light up her environment. She is a "small town girl with big ideas".