Arts + Crafts, Home Tours, Interviews

Meet Pretty Little Things

June 5, 2008

I’d love for you to meet a lady who turned her passion into a small business. Her name is Lori Marie, the artist/designer behind the California-based business Pretty Little Things. Based in Oakland, Lori started out as an aerospace engineering major at UCSD and decided to take some art classes, “to balance out my math and science courses,” Lori said. “It wasn’t long before I realized that my passion for innovation and creativity was better applied to pattern making than rocket science…so I transferred to FIDM in San Francisco and graduated with a degree in fashion design instead.” This is a lady who followed her heart! Would you like to know a little bit more about Lori and see her work studio? Sure you would. ;)

Meet Pretty Little ThingsSome of Lori’s handmade creations.

How did you get started after your studies at FIDM?
Lori: My first design job was as a pattern maker for a leather handbag company called Libaire. I learned a little bit about everything in this position since I hand drafted all the patterns and worked directly with the sewers to see the designs through production. I needed a change after 2 years and so I began freelancing as a textile artist for Pottery Barn Kids. I got the job the old fashioned way, through the classifieds, followed by a series of interviews and … Voila! I worked with them for over 4 years doing hand embroidery and appliqu? samples for childrens’ bedding collections. I am currently working with a brand called Whistle&Wink (launched in 2007 by the original design director for Pottery Barn Kids), in addition to creating handmade designs under my own label of course.

Meet Pretty Little Things This is where the magic happens, in her little art house. How sweet is this!?

What inspires your work?
Lori: I am inspired by all sorts of stuff, but mostly by print and pattern. I like to combine interesting colors with unexpected details to create fun and functional pieces of art.

Any favorite designers/artists on your radar right now?
Lori: There is certainly no shortage of inspiration online these days and you never know where you might end up after a series of links. I love to search aimlessly through etsy listings when I need a good dose of inspiration. I am constantly adding to my list of faves.

Here are some of her favorite spots in her art studio…

Meet Pretty Little ThingsMeet Pretty Little ThingsMeet Pretty Little ThingsMeet Pretty Little ThingsMeet Pretty Little Things

What is the best business advice you’ve heard and applied to your own business?
Lori: I think it’s easy to get lost in the crowd with so many talented ladies willing to share a glimpse of their world with us through blogging. It can be a challenge to stand out and sometimes I wonder where I fit in. I have to remember not to compare myself too much to others, but just keep on doing what I love and hope it will shine through. {note: Lori’s blog can be found here.)

Where do you sell your work?

Lori: Since I still make each and every pretty little thing by hand, I sell them exclusively through my etsy shop.

Any advice for those looking to start their own business?
Lori: You better make sure that you LOVE what you do because you will eat sleep and breathe it!

Meet Pretty Little Things
Psst: Lori was on the Martha show this past February, here’s a project of hers that you can try yourself at home!

Thank you Lori for visiting us here on decor8 and a special word of thanks to reader Michele for telling me about Lori in the first place!

I’d also like to mention that Lori makes a super point about how one can easily start comparing their work to that of others and what a downer that can be. I think many of us battle with this tendency, it’s human. When you find yourself doing this think of what Karl Lagerfeld once said to pull yourself in and regain focus, “Personality begins when comparison ends”.

(images from lori marie)

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22 Comments

  • Reply Jen June 5, 2008 at 3:54 am

    I have a couple of extra questions for Lori (if she’s available and all that…).

    First, what are the dimensions of her studio? It looks somewhat like a garden shed (which is what I work out of) but also looks so much bigger also.

    Second (and, Holly, maybe this is better asked in your “What to Do” posts), how do you market an Etsy shop?

  • Reply Carrie June 5, 2008 at 4:22 am

    How sweet! I love her creations and her delightful little art house!!!!!

  • Reply ellencrimitrent June 5, 2008 at 5:09 am

    ooh I love these dolls and the colors of her studio so sweet and inspiring.

  • Reply herzensart journal June 5, 2008 at 5:34 am

    these dolls are lovely! :o)

  • Reply sk8ordiehard June 5, 2008 at 11:23 am

    how can magic not happen in a cottage like that!?!
    It’s absolutely stunning, and so is her work!

  • Reply quaint handmade June 5, 2008 at 11:35 am

    lori is new to me and seems like such a gem. i love her studio and her work is whimsical + charming, especially thos adorable dolls.

  • Reply happyowlglass June 5, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Oh wow! I have a zippered pouch that I bought from her years ago at a Feria Urbana in SF! Very lovely work and I still use that item today.

  • Reply [michele] June 5, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I am SO glad you featured Lori Marie! She is so talented and super sweet too!

    Thanks Holly! :)

  • Reply Regina June 5, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Nice report!
    The studio looks lovely, he products are georgious and it was great to read the interview!

  • Reply lori marie June 5, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    thanks a million for such a lovely post about me and my pretty little things. looks great!

    smiles
    lori

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente June 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    What an absolutely beautiful art studio! Inspirational to be sure! Thanks for sharing!
    xo
    Melissa

  • Reply Tracey June 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm

    Great interview- I am going to frame that quote in my office “Personality begins when comparison ends”. Soooo true!

  • Reply becky from hatch June 5, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    that little art house is the greatest thing I’ve seen in awhile!

  • Reply Jamie Watson June 5, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you – I loved this interview and her art house, and her owls are so adorable!!

  • Reply Tamara June 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    thank you for interviewing Lori…what an amazing artist and what a lovely studio!!

  • Reply Jennifer Ramos June 7, 2008 at 5:19 am

    this post was SOO CUTE!! love all the colors in her place. Good interview!

    Jen Ramos
    ‘100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More’
    http://www.madebygirl.com
    madebygirl.blogspot.com

  • Reply Harley Dee June 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Very very cute! Loving the colors and patterns.

  • Reply The Time Is Now June 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Where did she get her cuckoo clock from? It’s gorgeous!

  • Reply benson July 2, 2008 at 5:04 am

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU for this:
    ” I’d also like to mention that Lori makes a super point about how one can easily start comparing their work to that of others and what a downer that can be. I think many of us battle with this tendency, it’s human. When you find yourself doing this think of what Karl Lagerfeld once said to pull yourself in and regain focus, “Personality begins when comparison ends”.
    Thanks so much girls–as a new business owner I love this kind of encouragement!

    as a new start up business– I totally agree. Unfortunatately there are others out there that try to bring you down if you let them–

  • Reply priscillasjewelrybox October 25, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Really loved this girls shop. So inviting and makes you want
    to visit often.

    Priscilla

  • Reply Cheryl Phillips August 26, 2009 at 9:53 am

    WAY TOO CUTE !!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT !!!

  • Reply emanuela middei November 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

    complimennts!

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