The Interview — Liz Eichholz and Lindsey Johnson, Liz Eichholz: Creative Director of Weezie & Lindsey Johnson: CEO of Weezie
Welcome to Talking Top 10, a recurring series in which we feature the founders, CEOs, creators, and leaders who are shaking up their industries. Ahead, read our Q&A with Liz Eichholz and Lindsey Johnson, and keep scrolling to shop their Top 10 must-haves.
Almost a decade after first meeting through mutual friends, Liz Eichholz bought a new house, Lindsey Johnson got engaged, and both were on the hunt for towels. Buying new ones proved to be daunting—if they weren’t put off by mediocre quality, embroidery lead times, or astronomical price tags, they felt overwhelmed by jargon. GSM? Zero twist? They wanted a brand they could trust, and towels that looked as great as they felt.
In October 2018, after a year and a half of research and development, Weezie was born.
Weezie Creative Director Liz Eichholz was born and raised in Austin, Texas. After receiving a BFA in graphic design from the University of Georgia, she spent five years in New York working on in-house creative teams for media organizations. Liz currently resides in Savannah, Georgia, with her husband and two-year-old daughter (and second on the way!).
Lindsey Johnson, CEO, is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. Lindsey received her BA from Vanderbilt University and her MBA from Columbia Business School. Before co-founding Weezie, Lindsey worked in finance, including investing and serving on the boards of early-stage consumer product companies. Lindsey and her husband will soon be relocating from New York City to Atlanta, and are welcoming their first child this Spring.
Keep scrolling to read our Q&A, and be sure to follow Weezie Towels on Instagram.
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Tell us about your background and career experience. What was life like before Weezie?
Liz: I started my career on the in-house creative team at UncommonGoods.com, and moved on to become Creative Director at BDG Media (Bustle.com and Romper.com). While at UncommonGoods, I launched my first company, Tempe Rowe, which sold embroidered silk sleep masks.
Lindsey: Before launching Weezie, I worked in a variety of finance roles at Morgan Stanley, BlackRock, and, most recently, a hedge fund. Along the way, I became fascinated by early-stage consumer business and began angel investing in the space. I went to Columbia Business School with the plan of going into Venture Capital before Liz approached me with the idea for Weezie.
What led you to the realization that there was a gap in the towel industry?
Liz: The idea for Weezie came to me while buying towels off my wedding registry. I had just moved from a tiny New York apartment to a new house in Savannah and was so excited for a linen refresh! However, my initial excitement quickly faded to frustration. I was overwhelmed by the countless options, confusing jargon, and archaic, offline purchase experience. I shared my experience with my friend Lindsey Johnson, only to find that she did not love her towels either. The more people we talked to, the more we realized how widely shared our feelings were, so we sought out to bring the perfect towel to market.
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It’s tough to reinvent a household staple that’s been around for ages. How did you do it? What separates Weezie towels from the rest?
Liz & Lindsey: Before launching the business, we surveyed thousands of consumers and found that when it comes to towels, they primarily care about three things: softness, absorbency, and aesthetics. Too often, one of these qualities comes at the expense of the others—soft towels are not absorbent, and vice versa. In developing the Weezie towel, we leveraged a patented spinning technology that spins air into each and every fiber for the optimal balance of softness and absorbency. We were equally thoughtful about aesthetics and design: rounding the corners, adding a drying hook, and offering endless customization options.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since starting Weezie? How did you overcome it?
Liz & Lindsey: The biggest challenge has been learning to accept uncertainty and embrace the unknown—easier said than done in start-up life! As planners by nature, we’ve had to learn to roll with the punches and accept things as they come.
Is there a typical workday for the two of you?
Lindsey: Each day is so different from the next! A morning might be spent meeting with our Customer Experience Manager, reviewing customer service tickets from the previous evening and chatting through customer feedback. I may then meet with our VP of Operations for an update on our embroidery pipeline and warehouse staffing plan, and check in on Performance Marketing stats before turning to inventory analysis and forecasting in the afternoon. The next day, I might be in New York meeting with an editor, manufacturing partner, or grabbing coffee with another founder.
Liz: Similar to Lindsey, no two days are the same, though mornings and early evenings are typically reserved for time with my two-year-old daughter. I usually get into our Savannah office around 9 a.m. and spend the day leading all things creative. You can find me meeting with our Product Designer to review plans for an upcoming launch, looking over our content calendar with our Social Media team, and overseeing email and blog content with our designers. My job is an ideal blend of both long-term strategic and tactical work, which I love!
What’s the story behind the name?
Liz & Lindsey: Weezie is a modern nickname for the more traditional name, Louise (a family name for both of us!). Think of Weezie as the new age hostess—thoughtful but laid back at the same time. She is your friend whose door (and wine fridge) is always open. Weezie is also a nod to the word “easy”—shopping for towels shouldn’t be a headache!
What’s it like working with your BFF? How do you divide up responsibilities?
Liz & Lindsey: SO fun! We have known each other for over a decade and understood each other’s strengths (and weaknesses!) before starting Weezie. We’re also fortunate to have complementary skill sets: Liz is the creative, and Lindsey is the numbers gal. Our responsibilities align accordingly (Liz oversees areas such as Brand, Social Media, and Physical Product, and Lindsey leads all things Finance, Operations, and Customer Experience, among others).
What’s your best advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Liz & Lindsey: Avoid the naysayers! We were surprised at how much negative feedback we received when first starting the process of launching Weezie. Everyone will feel qualified to give feedback on an idea—remember that they don't know your brand or your vision the way you do! Our advice is to do your research—arm yourself with data, and once you have convinced yourself to go for it, don’t turn back.
Weezie Towels come with tons of personalization options. What do yours look like?
Liz: We’ve seen so many creative ideas from our customers in our River and Tybee styles! For a touch of fun in my powder room, I have the words "Dry Off" in our River Embroidery style on our Light Blue Hand Towels.
Lindsey: Throughout my pregnancy, I have been living in our Long Robe! I have it in White Piping with my initials in Green Tybee embroidery.
What’s next for Weezie? Any exciting collections or collaborations in the works?
Liz & Lindsey: We’re so excited to bring even more moments of everyday delight to our customers, from in-person events to new product launches and collaborations. Be sure to follow @weezietowels to be the first to know more as soon as we’re ready to share!