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Meet Pretty Little Things

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. ;)

Some 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.

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…

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!

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)

Posted by decor8 in Arts + Crafts, Home Tours, interviews on June 05, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Jen commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 3:54am

    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?

  2. Carrie commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 4:22am

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

  3. ellencrimitrent commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 5:09am

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

  4. herzensart journal commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 5:34am

    these dolls are lovely! :o)

  5. sk8ordiehard commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 11:23am

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

  6. quaint handmade commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 11:35am

    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.

  7. happyowlglass commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 11:48am

    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.

  8. [michele] commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 12:00pm

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

    Thanks Holly! :)

  9. Regina commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 1:15pm

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

  10. lori marie commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 1:41pm

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


  11. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 1:52pm

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

  12. Tracey commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 3:59pm

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

  13. becky from hatch commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 4:53pm

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

  14. Jamie Watson commented
    June 5th, 2008 at 7:16pm

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

  15. Tamara commented
    June 6th, 2008 at 2:29pm

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

  16. Jennifer Ramos commented
    June 7th, 2008 at 5:19am

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

    Jen Ramos
    ‘100% Recycled DESIGNER Cards & More’

  17. Harley Dee commented
    June 7th, 2008 at 8:44pm

    Very very cute! Loving the colors and patterns.

  18. The Time Is Now commented
    June 9th, 2008 at 9:55pm

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

  19. benson commented
    July 2nd, 2008 at 5:04am

    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–

  20. priscillasjewelrybox commented
    October 25th, 2008 at 1:32pm

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


  21. Cheryl Phillips commented
    August 26th, 2009 at 9:53am


  22. emanuela middei commented
    November 24th, 2009 at 7:12am


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