MAITLAND, Fla. - Inside the Friendlily Press warehouse, you will find products so eye-catching, they almost jump right off the walls. But it is what the company stands for, that makes them unique.
"Friendlily is an adverb. It means to do things in a friendly way. So we apply that not only to our customer service and our internal operations but also to how we treat our customers," co-owner Ashley Withey said.
Withey runs Friendlily Press in Maitland.
You may be familiar with her work when her company was known as Ashley Beth Graphics.
Back in 2016, she created the ‘Love Orlando’ orange in response to the Pulse Nightclub tragedy. The artwork raised more than $12,000 for the LGBTQ+ community.
"We had people calling us every single day. Messaging us on Instagram saying hey! When are more products coming out? When are you going to do a rerun of this?," Withey said.
That is when she and her husband decided to rebrand the company in 2019 to Friendlily Press, a company offering graphic design services for a variety of products.
"We are a primarily female-run staff and my girls are amazing. They are a part of the thought process. They help with design in terms of like giving ideas, they’re part of all of our brainstorming. I couldn’t do it without them," Withey added.
The company went from a staff of one, to 20 people working out of the 6,000 square foot warehouse. "The drink stirrer line started as two skus in our entire catalog and it was just so popular that we just kept going with it," Withey said. On the day we visited, staff was fulfilling an order of custom stirrers for the luxury sports car manufacturer Aston Martin.
One thing that makes the business unique is everything is done in Central Florida. The products are designed here and the company manufactures, packages and ships the pieces from here.
But if you ask Withey about her original desire to be in Orlando, she will tell you she never really saw the appeal. It was her husband who had to do some convincing.
"He’s multiple generations from the area and he just showed me all the fun and exciting things that were here. Now it’s like I can’t imagine being anywhere else," Withey said.
Friendlily donates a portion of its sales to Orlando-based nonprofits. The company hopes to open a boutique within the next year.