Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pare Down for Party Season

wristlet_glam, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

With all of the baggage we carry in our daily lives, isn't it fun to go minimalist (yet sparkling) on the weekends?

Every woman should have a small bag that packs the essentials - phone, keys, lipgloss, and ID. Dinner dates, girls night out, movie night - think of the times you'll carry such a bag.

Wristlets and clutches start at $28. The above Caroline wristlet features a vintage glass button, $39.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


candycane_lipbalm, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Perhaps this is the perfect stocking stuffer. $4.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Let's Hear it for the Boys

The brothers, husbands, fathers and sons in your life need accessories too. We offer some fun goodies for the boys in your life. These super hero-worthy socks are brought to you by Portland's Sock It To Me, $9.
This recycled notepad is made in Canada by EcoJot. $10 each.
Our mesh pouches are at home in a briefcase, backpack, or tackle box. Available in two sizes, $10 and $13.
Many men report that they prefer our slim mini wallets over bulky billfolds. $14 each.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

For the Frequent Texter

Want to keep your cell phone close at hand, along with your keys, lip balm, and some credit cards? Choose our Clara Wristlet. Her back pocket hugs your iPhone/Blackberry/Android perfectly, while the main compartment holds your essentials. $44-48, depending on materials.

These Texting Gloves by Look at Me Designs are handcrafted from recycled sweaters. Among our hottest sellers this season, they are available in various colors and textures. $30/pair.

We offer a selection of both of these items for sale in our shop.

Stocking Stuffers - Handmade from Recycled Materials

Made from discarded sweaters, these sweet flower pins are crafted by Look at Me Designs. We have various colors and textures in our shop. $18 each.

Seattle jewelry design Krissy Maier collects vintage treasures like broken necklaces and lonely earrings and incorporates them into one-of-a-kind new pieces. These hair clips are perfect for holiday parties. $17 each.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Scarf City USA

Because I'm a scarf junkie myself, we have many terrific scarves for sale in our shop these days. I'm always looking for new ways to wear scarves from my collection, and my current favorite is the easy braided method demonstrated in the above video.

Our scarves start at $18.

Sidebar: You can pretty much figure out how to do anything at all on YouTube! My husband recently learned how to tune up his drum kit, and I find myself watching makeup and craft tutorials nearly every day.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Map necklaces by Cyn City

After several of you asked about these glass pendants, we ordered a new batch.

Available in both Ballard and Seattle styles, these make awesome gifts for college students, the recently moved, teachers, and anyone who wants to show off some local pride.

$24 each

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Custom Photo Gifts and Cyber Monday Coupon Code

Photo necklace
 New! Custom photo necklace, $28, order here

We're in the home stretch of accepting custom orders for holiday delivery. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of our custom photo products.

Wallet with Original Image
 Custom photo mega wallet, $50, order here

We hand craft each of these personalized items to order in our Seattle studio.

 Custom photo keychain, $16.50, order here

To me, using old family photos or images of favorite pets is in keeping with that old-fashioned holiday season spirit. It's not about the stuff, but about the people and the memories.

 Custom photo checkbook cover, $27, order here

Don't forget, you can use any type of image on our photo products. This child's drawing above makes what might possibly be the most charming checkbook cover in the world.

Cyber Monday coupon code: Order any of our custom photo products on our website and receive FREE SHIPPING on orders placed 11/27/11 through midnight on 11/28/11. 

Enter PHOTO-FREE2011 when you check out.

Pretty Little Lockets

Pretty Little Lockets, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Pretty Little Lockets $24

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Go Away Gray

Yellow scarf, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.

Stare at this yellow scarf for awhile and you may soon forget the gloomy skies.

We will be closed on Thanksgiving to celebrate with our families. We reopen at 10 am on Friday, and look forward to seeing you.

We promise there won't be mayhem at our shop, but we are giving double the punches so you can earn store credit double fast.

Yellow scarf, super soft and itch-free, $19.50.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Black Friday Fun

Have I told you that from now until Christmas, we'll be open until 7 pm from Tuesday through Saturday each week? You can view our whole schedule here. There's more good stuff to be found in our monthly newsletter here.

I also want to let you know that we're having some fun this Friday. You can escape door-buster mayhem and shop locally with us instead. We'll wrap your purchases in extra special owl gift wrap (see above). More importantly, you'll earn double the punches on your Frequent Shopper Punch Card. That means you'll earn store credit to spend twice as fast!

Otis the shop dog hopes you'll be as cozy this week as he is in his holiday sweater.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sparkling Swarovski

I've been watching Project Accessory and drooling over the dishes of gleaming crystals available to the contestants on the show.

The name is famous, yet frequently spelled wrong. Swarovski crystals are the industry standard in luxe sparkle. You can read their fascinating history here.

The earrings above are a mysterious shade of green that Swarovski calls Olivine. The teardrop-shaped cut of the crystal is called briolette. These have a sterling earwire and cast pewter loops.

$26 a pair, crystal is 15mm, available in our store and online here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Infinitely Cozy

We've been sewing up these comfy scarves as fast as we can because they are selling quickly. It's scarf season in Seattle, after all.
Have you ever worn an infinity scarf? Ours is a loop of fabric that's fully finished on all edges. We make these accessories out of super-soft sweater-like knit fabrics.
You can wear an infinity scarf many ways, and you never have to worry about it coming untied or flapping around. We have this black and white print and several other patterns available for sale in our shop. At $30 these make great gifts for anybody who has a neck to keep warm.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thrifted Christmas

I've been perusing the aisles of Goodwill and local charity shops over the last few months looking for holiday decorations in my favorite shades of pink and aqua. The box above was a definite score at $1.95; Shiny Brite ornaments are highly collectible. I love the graphics as much as the pink ornaments.

How do you prepare for the holiday season? What are your favorite Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Festivus or Christmas rituals?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lead Time Schedule - Holidays 2011

Vintage Ornament Wreath 2010

Believe it or not, it's time to start planning your custom holiday orders with Laura Bee Designs. Our production schedule always gets booked, so we deliver orders on a first come, first served basis.

We're excited about the hustle and bustle that's starting in our shop, and want to make sure that we deliver all orders as promised and on time. We're open late during this busy season to make it easier for you to visit us. Check out our holiday hours here.

Here's our turnaround time schedule:

Orders complete* by December 15 must be placed by November 25.
Orders complete* by December 20 must be placed by November 29.
Orders complete* by December 23 must be placed by December 4.

*Please note that "complete" means ready to ship or ready to be picked up in the store during  business hours.

Ready to start ordering? Visit our website, or contact us at (206) 789-4044 to set up an in-store design appointment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Blue Bird Brooch is Back!

 Several people have asked if we were going to get more of these lovely pins in stock this year. Well, they time has come and they are here!
Hand-enameled in New York State, the blue bird brooch nearly glows. Since we only have four in stock, these will not make it on to our website. Never fear, you can order them right here by clicking the Paypal link below. $23 each.

Shipping destination

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Nerdy Production Moment

Infinity Scarves in Production
Our new infinity scarves have been selling quickly, so I decided to train Debbie "Scissor Hands" on cutting and prepping the tricky sweater knit material for me to sew.

While I stitched away on some bag orders, she got to work. A little while later I turned to see this perfectly pinned stack of scarves ready to go. She told me she, "has a thing about stacking fabric perfectly."

Like fluffy fabric pancakes.

Cozy Hairclips

Here's an example of handmade gift that's under $20. These little hair clips are sweet beaded felt flowers atop crushed velvet-covered tension clips.

Made in our studio, $16 each.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Store window display - 9 Year Anniversary

Presenting our newest window installation featuring nine years of Laura Bee Designs sew-in labels. Kim hung them alongside a huge version of our party invitation. 

I got a little misty-eyed when I popped the ceramic owl in the lower left and stepped back to took at the whole display. I thought of all of the people and bags represented here.

What will the next nine years bring?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Party Prep - Finding the Perfect Button

Edith with glass button
I delight in pairing a special vintage button with its perfect match in fabrics. The vintage teal and antique gold pleat on this Edith bag is just gorgeous with the glass topper, don't you think? (The bag is part of the Glam for Good collection we're creating for our upcoming party.)

Finishing Station
You can spot the Edith and a coordinating Luxe clutch in the lower left corner of this picture. This is a shot of Kim's work station at the end of a busy day of sewing on my part. Each order awaits Kim's expert finishing - rivets set, buttons stitched, straps applied. Each step is listed on the pink production slip.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Glam for Good 2011: Fancy Clara Wristlets

Champagne sequins Clara with layered ribbons
I'm making a huge batch of Clara Wristlets out of extra special materials for the Anniversary Party on November 5th. This popular design continues to sell like crazy.
Ivory sequins Clara with pleated ribbon and vintage button 
The Glam for Good collection gives me the chance to load up some readymade items with special materials and extra bells and whistles, such as vintage button embellishments and layered ribbons.
Macaroon Clara with metallic and green ribbon and vintage brass button 
The Clara features an exterior zipper pocket that is the perfect place to stash your smart phone.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sweater Flower Collection

Taupe and green glen plaid clutch, $53.
I'm not sure who likes these sweater flower clutches more, me or the customers that keep snapping them off our store shelves.
Navy boucle clutch, $53. 
I've had the best time putting together each unique bag, especially choosing the vintage buttons for the flower centers.

Sweater flower clutches, $53. All one-of-a-kind readymade, not available custom.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glam For Good 2011 - Lola Clutch

When former staffer Katie spent a semester in India earlier this year, she collected some gorgeous textiles for me including this gold and green brocade ribbon. I found a home for the metallic beauty on this faux sequins Lola clutch in champagne.

This one-of-a-kind bag will be available for purchase at our Anniversary Party on November 5th. A portion of the proceeds will go to two Northwest charities, Seattle Pug Rescue and MercyCorps.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Party Progress: Little Ruched Bags

We're in the midst of our Anniversary party preparations. In addition to labeling thousands of postcards, ordering delicious treats from Ballard's Bouteloua Bakery, and receiving goods from our favorite designers, we're sewing up special bags.

Each year we offer our Glam For Good collection. We use our extra-special materials to hand craft one-of-a-kind bags that will make their debut at our party. First up is this batch of ruched bags. These will be wristlets and cross-body pouches, each embellished with a gorgeous hand-picked vintage button.

Monday, October 10, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond: Zig Zag Scarf

I made a small edition of these scarves, and Kim scooped one up right away. The fabric happened to perfectly matched her outfit.
The cozy fabric is soft and itch-free with a range of colors including teal, tan, gray, brown and indigo.

Available to ship right away.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Helping You Carry Stuff Since 2002

9years_web, originally uploaded by Laura Bee Seattle.
Well, I actually started making and selling bags in 2001, but I opened up my brick and mortar store in 2002, so let's stick with 9 years.

I hope you can come help us celebrate. We'll have some terrific new merchandise, one of a kind bags, prizes, and more!

Learn more here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Luxe Clutch: Green Tweed with Sweater Flower

I'm trying something new here on the blog. I just discovered that I can post items for sale here and can provide a link to Paypal for easy checkout! We have reorderable things available on our website, but this quick and easy system will be perfect for one of a kind items like this clutch.

Features: Zipper closure, vintage tweed in green/multi, hand embellished ivory flower with faux suede leaves and vintage button, detachable wrist strap. Bag measures 4.5" tall by 9.5" wide.

One of a kind, ready to ship.

Otis the Shop Pug Invites You

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Personalized Picture Keychain

I just made this custom photo key chain for a customer and I thought it was so cute that I should share it with you. What a perfect gift for the mother who has everything. Plus these key chains are super-functional because they keep your keys from dropping to the bottom of your bag!

At only $16, you can get one for each person on your list without breaking the bank. Learn more here.

Monday, September 26, 2011

California Wedding Wristlets in Action

Back in March I told you about an upcoming wedding in sunny California and showed you these wristlets. Recently, my customer checked back in with me and posted this lovely picture of the couple and their attendants, each with a Laura Bee Designs wristlet.

I dig the green dresses in various shades, paired with cowboy boots. Don't they look like they're having the best time?

Thanks Danielle, for making LBD a small part of your wedding day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Staying Optimistic with Your Support

As I begin planning our 9 Year Anniversary party, I find myself reflecting on the journey I've taken since opening up shop on the corner of 65th and 20th in Ballard in 2002. At that time, I'd sold bags for about a year at local craft shows and two home boutique shows.

The customers who bought my bags way back then gave me the courage to keep trying, keep designing, and continue building my dream business.  

Heartfelt thanks to all of my customers - old and new. Thank you for coming back to shop at LBD for the last nine years. I can't wait to see what the next nine look like.

Along the way some amazing women have worked with me cutting and sewing bags, decorating windows, doing year-end inventory, and above all, custom designing personalized accessories. Thank you to my inspiring staff.

Dahlias for Haiti
I count my blessings each day that I get to do what I love, and share my obsession with fabric, buttons, and design with customers old and new. It's not always easy; other small business owners know the optimism and fortitude it takes to believe that customers will keep coming day after day, year after year.

I am in this business for the long haul, and plan to make bags and accessories for the next decade and beyond.

I must be honest: Times are tough for everyone, and Laura Bee Designs is not immune to economic downturns. We appreciate your support and purchases now more than ever.

Despite the economic news of late, I'm stocking the store with great stuff - scarves ($18-$30), bracelets ($3-$28), necklaces ($12-$40) and tons of other great gifts arrive each week. Of course, we have lots of new custom bag materials and designs too.

Let's shove pessimism to the side and embrace optimism (and bright color), as we count our blessings heading into the holiday season.