Friday, January 29, 2010

Ramona Loves Zippers

Inspired by Ashley's recent trend watch column, I decided to use contrasting red zippers on this Ramona wristlet. The body of the bag is a crisp pinstriped dark wash denim.

We carry this sueded ruffle ribbon in several colors - chocolate, lime, and more - for a girlish touch. Ramona is a terrific wallet substitute with two interior credit card pockets, and the exterior zipper pocket above. $46.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ashley's Trendwatch: Functional Accessories-Zippers

The fashion world as we know it has always adapted to leaner times, and 2009 was no exception. While things are beginning to look up, it's still hard to part with our hard earned dollars when it comes to something indulgent. The remedy? Functional accessories.
Photo copyright Laura Bee Designs

Designers and accessory mavens have taken to this trend by storm, seizing any opportunity to make a basic part of their clothing into a stand-out feature. Zippers have been the most heavily used, a marriage of the hardware-heavy and biker-chic trends of 2009.

Pour la Victoire booties - Photo courtesy of

More avant garde desingers have taken zippers to the extreme:
3.1 Phillip Lim - Photo courtesy of

Others have truly taken into account the emphasis of functionality. Artist and designer Sebastian Errazuriz using over 120 zippers to create this dress of endless possibility:

Photo courtesy of

And just because it's functional doesn't mean it has to be black. Laura Bee carries nearly 25 different colors of zippers in stock at all times. While we usually focus on the function of the zipper, matching it to blend with the color of the bag, some customers have chosen to make the zipper on their custom items a stand-out in its own right.
Photo copyright Laura Bee Designs
Try highlighting the beauty of functionality in your own zippered items. Don't worry, there are more teeth than bite in this look.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dahlias for Haiti Update

Stacks of this felt have taken over our shop and my home studio. It's such a soft, cozy material. Can you believe that it's made in the USA from 100% recycled PET soda and water bottles? Look at those juicy colors, from left to right, Fuchsia, Turquoise, Charcoal Gray, and Orange.

I'm moved and amazed that this little flower project has taken off so quickly. I first posted the flowers on my website last Friday night, and thought that selling 200 might be a stretch. I thought it was important to have a goal to reach for, and $2000 raised for Mercy Corps seemed like a lofty one.
Now just a few days into the month-long project, we're well over 150 flowers sold and counting. We've sold the majority of flowers online, but the store has been bustling too with Seattle locals stopping in to select flowers in person.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has publicized and purchased! The heartbreak in Haiti continues and it remains clear that every dollar donated is desperately needed.

Here's a terrific blog entry on one Mercy Corps Haiti programs called Comfort for Children. Did you know that approximately half of Haiti's population is under 18 years old?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Peek at our New Julia Bag

1-14-10 Photo Shoot, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

She's a gathered bag with a strap that can be worn on your shoulder or across your body. The debut version above features a thick gray and black floral pattern with metallic steel faux leather.

I can picture future versions with soft corduroys or casual plaids. What would you choose?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti Fundraiser: Our Soda Pop Dahlias

I've been making these felt flower pins for a couple of weeks using some sweet little vintage buttons in my collection. The felt is made from 100% recycled soda bottles. Today I had a lightning bolt idea - why not sell them as a fundraiser to help those desperately in need in Haiti?

I shot off an email to the wonderful folks at Mercy Corps, a Portland relief non-profit. Can we partner up on this little project Yes, they wrote back, go for it.

So here we go! We are now offering these handmade Dahlias on our website for $12 each. We'll donate $10 for each flower sold to Mercy Corps' efforts in Haiti. We'll use the $2 left to ship the flowers to any US address, and to cover the credit card fees we incur.

I hoping you folks can help us reach our lofty goal of 200 flowers sold, made, and shipped by February 14th. That would be $2000 raised!

Order here.

PS - I'm making a big batch at home that I'll have in our Ballard store on Sunday. Otherwise, order online right away.

Design Phase

1-14-10 Photo Shoot, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Following the bustling holiday season, I spend some time working on new designs. Somehow the gloomy weather fuels my creative impulses as I play with materials.

Here is the first new bag of 2010. Introducing Julia, sporting our newest premium faux leather in Steel.

More info to follow soon!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ashley's Trendwatch: Anchors Aweigh!

A Nod to All Things Nautical

When you think of the word 'nautical', what comes to mind? Tacky gold? Shoulder-padded thigh-length navy blue blazers? Well, at the risk of striking fear into the hearts of all those who lived through the eighties: Nautical is back. Thankfully this time, the stripes don't have to be horizontal, the gold is sprinkled rather than saturated, and the blazers are decidedly more chic.

Photo courtesy of

When designers start releasing their resort wear in the gloom of January it's difficult to see the point of purchasing something you have to keep in a closet for months before wearing. Nautical wear easily transitions from winter to spring/summer. This allows more bang for your buck, and often includes staples you can use year round. This cardigan, for instance:
Beaded Cardigan - Photo courtesy of

Or these shoes and belt:

Seychelles flats - Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Here at Laura Bee Designs, there are several ways to pay a little tribute to the sea. Include a nautical button on a handbag or clutch, add a striped ribbon to a wallet, or pick up a lucky sparrow necklace or schooner money clip to accent your look.
Clockwise from top Right: Vintage buttons, Alaska Gadgetry Money Clip - $16,
Classic Hardware Sparrow Necklace - $37, vintage wooden button.

And not to leave anyone out, even Fido and Fluffy are able to get in on this look:
Photo courtesy of

The nautical trend isn't as scary as you remember, so don't be afraid to dive in - The water's fine.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Exotic Earrings

These earring may appear bohemian and exotic, but they were made right here in the USA by Ollipop.
Encrusted with rich details, they look gorgeous with this season's chunky sweaters. $26 pair, available in our store. Or email us to order: info (at)

Video: Our Locket Collection

We sell so many lovely lockets on our website and in our store, I thought I'd make a video overview so that you can get a better idea of their sizes and features.

I got a new video camera for Christmas that is much better at capturing small details, but I'm still getting used to it so forgive the fumbling.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Green Theme with Animals

After indulging in our pink and silver Christmas decor for over a month, I decided to mix it up and change the window to light green theme. I hung some little bird cages along with tissue paper puffs in the window. (I made these once before years ago here.)

Then I set about gathering products from the store that coordinated with the look. Sometimes displays just come together. The striped coin purse above looks adorable next to the International Arrivals notebook.

More stripes and texture keep the look light and winter white.

How about a bushy tailed squirrel on a green background?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Orange and Gray

Wondering how to wear gray during the gloomy winter months? Pair it with a hot color. This Eve bag features our glossy gray as the body, with mandarin orange accents.

Shades of gray can be less severe than black, but still just as neutral. Here is a coordinating Madeline Mega Wallet, which is bright orange on the inside.

If orange isn't your bag, then try gray with red, yellow, or turquoise.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thursday, January 07, 2010

New Year - New Tags

We change our tag colors each batch to keep things fresh. Our latest color combination is a minty aqua with orange stitching.

You can learn more about our sewn-in tags here.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Business Card Organizers

Photos courtesy of Galison.

While you might have your frequently called phone numbers programmed into your fancy cell phone, you still might enjoy having this cute organizer on your desk.

Rather petite in footprint, and designed to fit standard business cards neatly, the organizer gives you place to store the paper versions of your contacts. $16 each. Available in our store.