Lily is the face of Lily & Co. on Sanibel.(Photo: Logan Newell/Special to Grandeur)
“She wears her adornment well,” Karen Bell says with a agenda of pride.
She’s Lily — a face that’s become alike with the eponymous Sanibel Island adornment abundance Lily & Co.
Lily is a amber labradoodle who came into Karen’s activity two years afore she and business accomplice Dan Schuyler opened their adornment store. Karen, who is additionally a adept Captiva Realtor, says the name Lily & Co. became the bright choice, an answer of a acclaimed classic: Tiffany & Co. But Lily’s clay career “was absolutely absolutely by accident.”
When they were basic the abundance for aperture in 2006, Karen and Dan created a “teaser ad” featuring a bejeweled Lily. As they were advancing inventory, a woman in a flannel shirt rode up on a bicycle, acicular to the ad in her duke and said she capital to buy the $35,000 Tahitian fair and azure chaplet Lily was showcasing. “And we weren’t alike open,” Karen says. That aboriginal applicant pulled out abbreviate of $50,000 later, with the chaplet and a watch.
They accomplished they were “onto something” but still went the avenue of hiring animal models. That didn’t fly with the bound island community. “We had bodies asking, ‘Where are the ads with Lily?’” Karen recalls. So Lily became the boutique’s “spokesdog,” a adjustable persona who’s modeled with a guitar for a “flower power” affair and in motorcycle garb. Behind the glamor, Lily has become an basic allotment of Karen’s life.
Karen Bell and Lily in the Lily & Co. exhibit on Sanibel. (Photo: Logan Newell/Special to Grandeur)
Karen, 59, absolutely formed continued hours in absolute acreage — afore aurora and afterwards sunset. She had consistently been a “cat person,” because they are almost carefree, and toyed with the abstraction of authoritative the charge to a dog for three years. Afterwards affair her friend’s labradoodle, Karen placed an adjustment with the Australian breeders who originally alloyed a Labrador retriever with a accepted poodle to actualize a dander-free brand acceptable for allegorical and account for those with allergies.
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ollowing a nine-month wait, Karen accustomed 10-week-old Lily in July 2004 — a ages afore Hurricane Charley hit Southwest Florida. Thereafter, Lily underwent two accordance training stints and an activity course, followed by able apprenticeship at home.
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Since the beginning, Lily and Karen accept been connected companions. She’s altogether ill-fitted to Karen’s appointment at VIP Realty Group and circadian visits to the adornment store, area she joins Dan’s two Labrador retrievers, Angel and Gracie, in acquiescently greeting visitors. “She’s a alive girl,” Karen says.
All of Lily’s efforts in advanced of hot flat lights and about the island are appropriately rewarded. Lily partakes of Karen’s bootleg food, sometimes handfed, a addiction developed back Lily’s appetence sank during an illness. “She still brand that from time to time. Mommy doesn’t care. She’s one of my greatest ability in this lifetime,” Karen says.
Karen Bell with Lily (Photo: Logan Newell/Special to Grandeur)
Each Saturday is a poolside “fun day” for Lily and her basset playdate of 11-plus years, a rescued retriever mix called Emmett. Both accept a abysmal affection for swimming, and Lily knows what Karen is abstract to back she spells out s-w-i-m.
Lily afresh denticulate a full-time associate she adores: 6-month-old Leo, an orange tabby. The bank is at hand, and there are two continued walks in the adjacency anniversary day.
“There isn’t abundant in activity that she’s gotten too annoyed to do,” Karen says.
Karen says Lily helped her reframe life.
“She brings joy to whoever she meets. I accept she was put on this apple to do that,” Karen says. “She accomplished me there’s added to activity than aloof working. Lily knows back to stop. She has been a abundant archetype for me.”
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