Sunday, October 11, 2015

Come Visit My New Blog!

I've launched a new website and blog to chronicle my creative adventures while I'm on sabbatical from store ownership. I'm posting projects, reviews, news, and pictures of retired shop dog Otis!

I hope you'll come join me!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Bag design - wait list only!

Wow, you guys! I wouldn't have dreamed that so many of you would want to come back in to design bags before we close! I underestimated the current demand, which is loads higher than our usual custom sales volume.

As you know, Laura Bee bags are made by a tiny team. Within the limited window and with my staffing and my own labor, there is a finite number of bags we can make! Today we will assess our capacity to see if we are able to book any more appointments. We will keep a waiting list of those who have requested appointments in the last 24 hours, but haven't yet booked.

While I don't like to disappoint anyone, I also want to be sure we can fill orders that we write! Thank you for your understanding. - Laura

Read the announcement about our retirement of our retail business model here

We will be fully stocked with great gifts through December 24, so we look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

We're Hiring!

Studio Assistant Wanted for Busy Retail Custom Shop

Laura Bee Designs is looking for the perfect addition to our team. We are a custom handbag studio and retail store in Ballard. 

We are looking for someone who understands our brand and is excited about working with customers and executing production tasks. If you thrive under tight deadlines, excel at customer service, and are handy with a rotary cutter and/or jewelry tools, we’d love to hear from you.
Available shifts are Saturdays and one shift during the week. Our ideal candidate will be able to jump in during the summer, then continue during the fall and very busy holiday season, when more shifts will be available.

Job Duties:
  • Customer service including custom bag sales
  • Cashier
  • Cut handbag materials including faux leather, fabric, and interfacing
  • Price and receive incoming merchandise
  • Fabric and materials organization
  • Other duties as assigned
Skills and qualities we’re looking for:
  • Customer service and cashier experience preferred
  • Ability to complete repetitive tasks with accuracy and speed
  • Quick learner
  • Strong manual dexterity
  • Experience making things by hand
  • Rotary cutting and/or fabric/sewing experience preferred
  • Ability to shift between tasks easily and smoothly
  • Willingness to take on assorted tasks as needed to maintain and run the store
Pay rate $11 per hour, direct deposit. Generous employee discount on merchandise.

Please email a resume with a cover letter explaining why you are a good fit with Laura Bee Designs. Please, no calls or drop ins. Email: orderdesk(at)

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

January Sale on Now!

20% Off
Jewelry & Hair Accessories
Tea Towels, Dishes, + Mugs
Hats + Gloves

Buy One Get One 50% Off

50% Off
Christmas Goods

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

New Ribbon Arrivals for New Bags + Accessories

I often say that the best part of my job is hunting for materials that I love. I've built a business around my passion for ribbons, buttons, and fabric.

 It's always exciting when I find new materials to bring into the studio. I can't wait to see what my customers will put together using these textiles as inspiration.
Right after the new year I introduced all of these ribbons for the first time, for your designing pleasure!

Of course, I couldn't resist putting together a couple of designs of my own for the ready-made collection. On this Beatrice, I combined a limited edition charcoal premium faux leather body with a pearl gray top strip.

I used three more of the new ribbons to restock the Madeline mega wallets for our sales floor. This time of year we always see an uptick in wallet purchases. The new year is time for a fresh start, clean slate, and organized wallet!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Happy New Year! A 2013 Round Up

I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you who patronized Laura Bee Designs in the last few months.

Thank you for bringing your friends, for buying gifts for your loved ones, and for your enthusiasm when designing a new bag or accessory. We hope your gifts from our shop brought bright moments to those who received them.

You, our wonderful customers, new and long-term, keep us motivated and excited about making accessories by hand year after year. We have fun things planned for 2014, and can't wait to share them with you!

First, I thought it would be fun to present a round-up of highlights from Laura Bee Designs in 2013:

In January, we introduced a new bag design, Alice. The classic shape and iPad-friendly size made Alice an immediate favorite for custom design orders.

We launched our pug locket fundraiser in January as well, donating $10 from the sale of each necklace to pug rescue organizations Seattle Pug Rescue, and Southern Nevada Pug Rescue.

In February of 2013, we added new designs to our exclusive locket collection, and enhanced our custom image insertion service options.

In March we launched our glass bubble line of earrings. We had such a great response to this line that we added dozens of new styles and images throughout 2013.

April brought a new bag design, the petite Stella shoulder bag. (Named by a customer in a naming contest.) Stella features a snap off strap making her perfect for tossing in a big work bag or switching to a cross-body strap. Stella filled a small bag niche in our collection.

We sourced lots of new materials in May, including our popular butterscotch faux leather, shown on this Helen bag. We also introduced a new strap option that we call a convertible snap strap. This option makes a bag switch from shoulder to cross-body in a flash. It's a popular upgrade for any two-ring bag, and comes standard on Helen (above).

We also prepared for warm weather by making lots of colorful cotton headbands, which customers scooped up for themselves and for gifts.
In June, we said Hello to Fiona, a new cross-body bag shape with soft gathers. We added decorative quilting to our embellishment options.

We welcomed summer sun by selling cute, retro sunglasses and made simple, fun sleeves to keep them cozy.
In July we made these lightweight cross-body bags out of our ever-popular mesh, and trimmed them in bright orange and lime for summer fun.
Maps became our focus in August, as we developed a collection of wallets, passport covers, wristlets, and more featuring vintage maps of Seattle and Washington State.

We also introduced Sally, a sleek clutch design that features an exterior zipper pocket and fabric mixed with faux leather. This style is larger than our popular Clara shape, and is both organized and compact. The Sally in the above picture also showcases a new material introduced in August - the gorgeous Taupe Shimmer.
With the change of seasons in September, we stayed busy stocking the store with bags made in rich fall colors and materials. We also added color-blocking (shown above right) on some of our bags for a clean, modern look.
We also made many custom wedding collections during the fall season, working with both local and out-of-town brides on one-of-a-kind bags.
In October we introduced a brand new category - lip balm! We incorporated our vintage maps into the old-school slider tin packaging design, and also made a cute animal collection.
We sourced new knits for our infinity scarves and started serious production for the coming cold weather.
We prepared for our eleventh anniversary party, in early November. We stitched up lots of new bags including this quilted Heidi cross-body bag in one of our newest materials, buttery soft teal faux leather.
November second was the biggest day of the year at Laura Bee Designs as we celebrated our eleventh anniversary with a party! We showcased work by local artists including enamel by jewelry Bemused Creations, above.
We debuted new designs from our own studio, and mingled with long-time customers during this annual event.
We are already planning our party for 2014, so save the date: Saturday, November 8 from 3-7 pm.
November continued to bustle as we kicked off the giving season with photo gift orders, custom bag designs, and ramped up production of our ready-made goods.
We continued to add new designs to our locket collection, and to insert special images inside these necklaces as personalized gifts.
We expanded our shimmering glass gem collection with new colors in both earrings and necklaces.
December is a bit of a blur with its fast pace and festive celebrations. I always look forward to this season  because all of the new designs I've created and products I've developed reach their widest audience.
Our glass bubble collection jewelry is new this year, but is really a reinvention of jewelry that we started making ten years ago. Its success is a lesson to me that we can make things fresh through reinvention while staying true to ourselves. That is how I'm approaching this 2014, and I can't wait to share the new developments with you as we progress.